21 December 2003
In lieu of double-secret probation
Emperor Misha graciously translates the most recent Ridge-O-Gram:
As of today, we've decided to raise the terror alert level to Banana Fudge Sundae with Nuts and an Extra Cherry.
We've decided to do this because of unspecified chatter that we don't entirely know what's all about, but it might be dangerous. We urge you to stay extra-super-duper alert with a cherry on top in the coming days, though we can't tell you what you're supposed to stay alert for, nor do we have the faintest clue as to where in the Empire you should stay alert, if at all necessary.
We don't mean to freak you out, we just want you to know that we may or may not have heard something that may or may not be a threat that may or may not turn into an attack somewhere on the planet. Or not.
Oh, and happy holidays.
Says it all, or at least all that anyone is willing to say.
Posted at 1:29 PM to Political Science Fiction
This is the problem with the terror alert color code system. It doesn't really make anyone feel any safer, doesn't provide enough specifics to tell you anything of importance, and doesn't avoid looking silly. I suppose as a matter of procedures for taking precautions it might have some benefit, but only if people had an idea what kind of things the threat levels meant.
I mean seriously, what is orange alert? Does it mean, like, we caught a couple of guys who we think know something, and it turns out they like got this whole story that somethin's goin' down in the next 4 or 5 days, and their stories kinda match up so we know they're linked a little bit and this one dude thinks it's like chemical weapons in a major city and we intercepted a few e-mails that say maybe he's right? Well, that'd be something I guess, and worth looking at, but the American public has to know just how solid an info stream goes into setting an orange alert.
But of course we're not allowed to know these things, because they might jeopardize the War on Terrorism.
Meanwhile, Dean Esmay says we're acting like a bunch of kids.
Heck, I'm not asking for the specifics each time. That'd be ludicrous. But I'd like to know what sorts of specifics they might be in a general case.
The only purpose for the Terror Alert System is so that if and/or when something DOES happen, the Administration can't be looked at like they were hiding something and "knew" all along, like Bush supposedly "knew" about 9/11. It's purely political.
Never underestimate the power of CYA to motivate a government agency.
My terror index is always at red alert, baby!