How the National Terrorism Advisory System Worked for Boston
By now most U.S. citizens know that President Obama says Boston bombings an act of terrorism.
”Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror,” Mr. Obama said.
We tend to agree with his simplified characterization of the legally complex word TERROR. Consider:
+ Defining Terrorism Isn’t So Easy:
“unlawful violence intended for political effect,” is the definition law professor at the University of Texas at Austin Robert M. Chesney says he uses in classroom lectures.
+ When, And Why, to Call a Bombing ‘Terrorism’
The Boston Marathon atrocity on Monday afternoon may qualify or it may not. Since the discourse around terrorism in the U.S. is an exceptionally fraught one, here’s how to think through the issue.
Terrorism is not just violence aimed at civilians. Terrorism is violence aimed at civilians with a political objective — most often, designed to cause a spectacle.
Why? Because she replaced President Bush's color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) with her National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) explaining:
The NTAS system will more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector.Well, did it? Remember, the Bush administration had kept the threat level at Yellow. The threat level was never lowered to Low (Green) or Guarded (Blue). Lawyer Napolitano's September 2009 Task Force removed the Low and Guarded levels from the Alert System altogether, also downgrading Elevated to "Guarded" as the new alert system's baseline. Can you honestly claim you were more effectively informed of the Boston terror threat? More importantly, do you find the NTAS system less confusing?
Before answering, you may want to refer to this page, which at the time of my writing actually shows:
Juan Caruso's cartoon tried to warn us of future missed signals and confusion back in November 27, 2010, when General Napolitano's NTAS system was first implemented:
Submarines are always silent and strange.