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Kerry on Homeland Security

Old 08-03-04, 06:12 AM
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Kerry on Homeland Security

Someone explain to me how Kerry said we are overblowing the threat of an event (back in February I believe when he was on the party campaign trail) They cited it a bunch on the radio yesterday. And, now, how we aren't doing enough or spending enough. That to me is even a striking contradiction. Use one to get the nomination and go turncoat to try to get the job..

found the quote:

Washington post, GREENVILLE, S.C. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts said during last night's Democratic presidential debate that the threat of terrorism has been exaggerated.
"I think there has been an exaggeration," Mr. Kerry said when asked whether President Bush has overstated the threat of terrorism. "They are misleading all Americans in a profound way."
The front-runner for the Democratic nomination said he would engage other nations in a more cooperative fashion to quell terrorism.
"This administration's arrogant and ideological policy is taking America down a more dangerous path," Mr. Kerry said. "I will make America safer than they are."

now straight from Kerry's campaign site:

The most basic responsibility of a president is defending our homeland.

We've seen some progress in making America more secure since September 11 - but there is still much more to be done. Today our government is not doing enough to make us safe. Our intelligence services remain fragmented and lack coordination. Our borders and ports are full of holes. Our chemical plants are vulnerable to attack. And across America, police officers, firefighters, and other first responders still lack the information, gear, and equipment to do their jobs safely and successfully.

America needs a new strategy for homeland security that takes steps as big as the threats we face.
John Kerry and John Edwards have that strategy. They will do whatever it takes to make America safe - coordinate our intelligence agencies, take action on all key fronts, stand up for security whenever special interests stand in the way, and get the needed resources to the first responders who defend America every day.

John Kerry and John Edwards will offer a new security strategy that addresses five major challenges:

Track And Stop Terrorists
Many of the intelligence problems that allowed terrorists to slip into our country before 9/11 have not been addressed. John Kerry and John Edwards will improve our ability to gather, analyze, and share information so we can track down and stop terrorists before they cause harm.

Protect Our Borders And Shores
Today, our borders, our ports, and our airports are not as secure as they must be. John Kerry and John Edwards will make our airports, seaports, and borders more secure without intruding upon personal liberties.

Harden Vulnerable Targets
Chemical industry lobbying has kept the Bush administration from strengthening security at chemical plants, where an attack could endanger 1 million Americans. John Kerry and John Edwards will always put Americans' safety ahead of big business interests and take strong measures to harden likely targets-including nuclear plants, trains, and subways-against possible attack.

Improve Domestic Readiness
Our first defenders will respond to any attack with courage and heroism-but they also need the equipment and manpower to do the job. John Kerry and John Edwards will back up their words with resources and ensure that America's first responders have everything they need to protect their communities.

Guard Liberty.
We must always remember that terrorists do not just target our lives - they target our way of life. John Kerry and John Edwards believe in an America that is safe and free, and they will protect our personal liberties as well as our personal security.

Which is it Mr. Kerry? Not as big a threat? or one that requires more spending? What do you think France and Germany and the UN are going to say when you call for assistance? My guess is "GET BENT".

You cannot be on one side of the coin one day and the other the next. The guy in charge has to take a stand.

By the way, saw more heightened security yesterday than any time after 9/11. Even in NJ (Dem governor), everyone is taking this one very seriously. To those not in this area, it may be hard to understand what it feels like around here, but the best statement is to do what we do and just be aware of what is going on around us.

Also, if he thinks this is important, why won't he vote for the funding bills? Why did he vote against funding intelligence services at higher levels? etc. When has Kerry even sponsored a bill to increase security/increase spending for military/police/equipment???

Last edited by matchpenalty; 08-03-04 at 06:15 AM.
Old 08-03-04, 06:14 AM
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He's a republican.
Old 08-03-04, 06:16 AM
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Originally posted by Trigger
He's a republican.
Funny, a friend and I were saying the exact same thing. He is trying to sound republican for the main election. He needs crossover voters (i.e. independents)
Old 08-03-04, 06:38 AM
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Well he doesn't have to try too hard to sound republican, because that's basically what he is. *sigh* The democratic party needs a wake-up call and 4 more years of Bush might do it. *sob*
Old 08-03-04, 09:48 AM
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Re: Kerry on Homeland Security

Originally posted by matchpenalty
Someone explain to me how Kerry said we are overblowing the threat of an event (back in February I believe when he was on the party campaign trail) They cited it a bunch on the radio yesterday. And, now, how we aren't doing enough or spending enough. That to me is even a striking contradiction. Use one to get the nomination and go turncoat to try to get the job..

Which is it Mr. Kerry? Not as big a threat? or one that requires more spending? What do you think France and Germany and the UN are going to say when you call for assistance? My guess is "GET BENT".

You cannot be on one side of the coin one day and the other the next. The guy in charge has to take a stand.
The Bush team has put in place a system that only serves to heighten our fears and paranoia, and has used this system in an extraordinarily cynical way. We invaded Iraq because of the spectre of dirty bombs and poison gasses and weapons of mass destruction, with an "imminent threat" from Saddam's "massive stockpile". We have a color-coded system that no one understands, we issue terror alerts and advisories but no specific information or instruction. Bush has budgeted zero dollars for local defense, for increased border patrols, and for emergency response teams.

Is there a threat? Yes. But crying wolf every two to three months based on unspecific "chatter" is not only counterproductive, it's foolhardy. That is the "exaggeration" that Kerry speaks about.

Oh, and as for Germany, France and the rest of the UN offering help -- in the days after 9/11, every nation in the free world offered assistance to the US, including Germany and France. (The infamous headline from Le Monde after 9/11 -- "We Are All Americans Now" -- paints a fairly accurate picture of global cooperation.) Bush and his team squandered our international good will in their rush to war. Tell me, which would make us safer -- having the aid of France, Germany, Russia, etc., in hunting down terrorists, or going it all alone?
Originally posted by matchpenalty
By the way, saw more heightened security yesterday than any time after 9/11. Even in NJ (Dem governor), everyone is taking this one very seriously. To those not in this area, it may be hard to understand what it feels like around here, but the best statement is to do what we do and just be aware of what is going on around us.
Not to belittle your own fears and concerns, which are valid... but how great was this "terrorist threat" exactly if yesterday President Bush sent Laura Bush and his two daughters to the Citigroup Center in the heart of Manhattan? Do you think the Secret Service would have allowed the Bush family within 20 miles of one of the top five financial buildings in New York City if the "terrorist threat" was real and substantiated?
Originally posted by matchpenalty
Also, if he thinks this is important, why won't he vote for the funding bills? Why did he vote against funding intelligence services at higher levels? etc. When has Kerry even sponsored a bill to increase security/increase spending for military/police/equipment???
Most of your claims seem to come directly from the Bush camp; might I suggest that you visit http://www.factcheck.org/ and double-check the veracity of these attacks? Here is a good article specific to the points you raised.
Old 08-03-04, 10:46 AM
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Nice post NCMojo. I agree completely.
Old 08-03-04, 11:10 AM
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We should just scrap the entire alert system anyway since it's all just to 'heighten our fears and paranoia'.

Of couse you all won't complain if there is another Terrorist attack with no national public warning, right?
Old 08-03-04, 11:22 AM
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Re: Re: Kerry on Homeland Security

Originally posted by NCMojo
We invaded Iraq because of the spectre of dirty bombs and poison gasses and weapons of mass destruction, with an "imminent threat"
You put that in quotes as if Bush said it - but he did not. In fact, he specifically said that the threat was NOT imminent, but we couldn't afford to wait until it was. This was in his most widely seen speech, the State of the Union Address.

from Saddam's "massive stockpile".
You act as if this was some "manufactured threat" made up by the Bushes to "scare us", if you're to go along with the tone of your post. How wrong. Not only had UN inspectors catalogued Saddam's "massive stockpile" before 1998, but Saddam was never able to account for that stuff afterward, and even with the threat of invasion never gave the inspectors full access in his country, which he should have had he had nothing to hide. Our CIA director said "it's a slam dunk" that they still had these weapons. As did French, German and Italian intelligence. British Intelligence said they had them, and were trying to buy uranium from Africa. The Russians were opposed to the war, but their Intelligence said Iraq had WMDs and Hussein was preparing a WMD terrorist attack on the United States.

We'd just been attacked after 9/11, and accused of "not connecting the dots" - in this case, all the dots were firmly and clearly connected and referencing a sworn enemy of the US who was in violation of a Surrender treaty and eigtheen other UN resolutions, and who had kicked UN weapons inspectors out of his country.

I'd say all that information constitutes a "real threat", not some made-up scare tactic as you are trying to infer. Your inference is not supported by the reality of the situation at the time. Any President who got all that information and DID NOT act would be a terrible Commander in Chief.

We have a color-coded system that no one understands
I'm sorry, but you'd have to be dumb as a sack of rocks to not understand the simple five level, color-coded threat alert system. Democrats seem to brag about not being able to understand it - are they calling themselves stupid? A child understands it. The higher the threat level, the more indication our government has that an attack might be coming soon, and the more vigilant we as citizens need to be during that time, and the more stringent law enforcement will be in its security procedures. Had we had a threat level alert on 9/11, the event probably would not have occured because of heightened airport security and citizen awareness. Is that so "hard to understand"?

But I guess I am talking to the party who couldn't figure out a simple butterfly ballot in Florida, so maybe...

we issue terror alerts and advisories but no specific information or instruction.
Been reading the news the past few days? We've been specific down to the buildings in each city. The only reason we haven't been as specific in the past is because we don't have the intelligence that's so detailed normally - what else are you supposed to do, not tell the public to be more aware and police to step up security because you know something may happen but not where? Give me a break.

Is there a threat? Yes. But crying wolf every two to three months based on unspecific "chatter" is not only counterproductive, it's foolhardy. That is the "exaggeration" that Kerry speaks about.
The point of this post is Kerry is not "speaking about it" now - it's a classic Kerry flip flop - when running to the nuts on the left, he was talking conspiracy theories. Now he's saying there are no conspiracy theories.

Oh, and as for Germany, France and the rest of the UN offering help -- in the days after 9/11, every nation in the free world offered assistance to the US, including Germany and France. (The infamous headline from Le Monde after 9/11 -- "We Are All Americans Now" -- paints a fairly accurate picture of global cooperation.) Bush and his team squandered our international good will in their rush to war. Tell me, which would make us safer -- having the aid of France, Germany, Russia, etc., in hunting down terrorists, or going it all alone?
Once again, I must point out to you that this is completely untrue. We have the aid of France, Germany and Russia in hunting down terrorists. Only somebody completely unaware of the actual situation could claim otherwise. We are not "going it alone" in any way. You act as if these countries aren't helping us because that's the Dem party line right now, but in fact we are STILL enjoying an unprecedented level of Intelligence and police support from those countries. We've shared more information than ever, countries have helped us nab thousands of terrorists, let us come into their borders for operations, let us use their resources to catch the bad guys, etc.

You discount ALL of this because some of those countries have not wanted to help us in IRAQ - which you don't consider a part of the War on Terror anyway. Why do you constantly disregard the fact that we are being helped by these other countries in an unprecedented and profound way every single day? Do you actually not know this? Forget it? Or ignore it to spout out these kinds of non-sensical arguments? The threat level is up right now because of a raid conducted by PAKISTAN - helping us - a country that before we exerted ourselves was the lone nation supporter of the Taliban in the entire world.

We have not "squandered our good will" and are not "going it alone" in the War on Terror. Only in Iraq, which you don't consider a part of the War on Terror in the first place, and only with certain countries even in this case, can you say this. And France, Germany and others not helping in Iraq is because, we now know, that they were being paid off by Saddam by the Billions at the expense of the Iraqi people. They didn't want to invade there not becuase "of us", but because they didn't want their cash cow to dry up and their villainy there exposed. They have no moral standing on that issue, and to invoke them as some reason why "we're wrong" - when they were being bribed by the billions, is lunacy.

And 14 months is a "rush to War"? We got a UN resolution, and spent 14 months of diplomacy in this "rush to war" - likely allowing Saddam all the time he needed to move the WMD that everybody knew he had. We gave Saddam a chance to comply with the resolutions and avert war, but up until the very end he would not - he never gave inspectors full access even though that meant invasion. And this was after TWELVE YEARS of Saddam being in violation of his original Surrender terms with us and 18 other UN resolutions.

"Rush" to war? Maybe if you're a turtle.

Last edited by natesfortune; 08-03-04 at 02:03 PM.
Old 08-03-04, 11:32 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Kerry on Homeland Security

Originally posted by natesfortune
"Rush" to war? Maybe if you're a turtle.
Old 08-03-04, 01:12 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Kerry on Homeland Security

Originally posted by weargle
It's become increasingly clear that almost everything Kerry and the Democrats are saying about the war is either seriously misleading or flat out untrue. There ARE legitimate things we can argue about the war, certainly.

None of the points made above fall into that category.
Old 08-03-04, 01:40 PM
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::crickets chirping::
Old 08-03-04, 01:52 PM
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It seems we have to constantly spell it out for the Liberals and Democrats who just seem to keep forgetting facts.
Old 08-03-04, 01:55 PM
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I think your point about the terror alerts in regards to 9/11 are wrong nate. Had we had a terror alert to raise that day it would have done nothing because it would have been meaningless without 9/11 to give it some purpose. People would have ignored it never expecting an attack like that to be carried out no matter the color.
Old 08-03-04, 02:01 PM
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Originally posted by spainlinx0
I think your point about the terror alerts in regards to 9/11 are wrong nate. Had we had a terror alert to raise that day it would have done nothing because it would have been meaningless without 9/11 to give it some purpose. People would have ignored it never expecting an attack like that to be carried out no matter the color.
That is, of course, most likely correct - that the people needed some context for what we face here. Of course, even then, the alerts still would've meant stepped up police security and airport screening - and those guys who got stopped and searched might not have been let go that day.

I should have said that had we had that context somehow already, that a terror alert on 9/11 like we have now would likely have prevented these attacks due to stepped up security procedures and citizen awareness.

It doesn't change the point, however, that these alerts are easy to understand and do clearly serve a purpose.
Old 08-03-04, 03:25 PM
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You've spelled it out perfectly Natesfortune. Not only are your points well made, but perhaps some people will have learned from them as well.
Old 08-03-04, 04:03 PM
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I thought of this too the other day when they showed her and the kids there

Originally posted by NCMojo
Not to belittle your own fears and concerns, which are valid... but how great was this "terrorist threat" exactly if yesterday President Bush sent Laura Bush and his two daughters to the Citigroup Center in the heart of Manhattan? Do you think the Secret Service would have allowed the Bush family within 20 miles of one of the top five financial buildings in New York City if the "terrorist threat" was real and substantiated?
Old 08-03-04, 04:52 PM
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Re: Kerry on Homeland Security

Originally posted by matchpenalty
You cannot be on one side of the coin one day and the other the next. The guy in charge has to take a stand.
While I have no comment regarding his actions, I don't see how the two quotes you gave (ignoring the bolding) are actually contradictory. In the very first box it says "I will make America safer than they are.", which is pretty much what is detailed in the second box.

The only way those contradict each other is if you take the bolded portion out of context from the rest of the quotes surrounding it.
Old 08-03-04, 05:13 PM
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I'm convinced that people honestly believe the only thing the color codes are intended for are to make the public panic and act as a way to cover asses if something happens.

I really wish that people would understand that behind the scenes, law enforcement and private secruity procedures change when the threat level changes.
Old 08-03-04, 05:17 PM
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Originally posted by RoyalTea
I'm convinced that people honestly believe the only thing the color codes are intended for are to make the public panic and act as a way to cover asses if something happens.

I really wish that people would understand that behind the scenes, law enforcement and private secruity procedures change when the threat level changes.

So, how, exactly, does their procedures change? I mean, it seems to me that if they can be a little more secure at the red or oraneg or whatever levels, then it might be a good idea to follow those procedures all the time, no? Do they just slack off a bit when it drops down to yellow or what?

The color codes are bullshit. They're designed to make the public think that something is being done and as far as I'm concerned they just vary them totally randomly.
Old 08-03-04, 06:16 PM
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Perhaps they have more air martials on duty when the alert is higher? More undercover people? more people on staff monitoring CC cameras in the subways?
Old 08-03-04, 07:38 PM
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Originally posted by Otto

So, how, exactly, does their procedures change? I mean, it seems to me that if they can be a little more secure at the red or oraneg or whatever levels, then it might be a good idea to follow those procedures all the time, no? Do they just slack off a bit when it drops down to yellow or what?

The color codes are bullshit. They're designed to make the public think that something is being done and as far as I'm concerned they just vary them totally randomly.
Huh? Did ya stop to consider that maybe they change what it is they're doing? Perhaps from investigational work to response or something. Do you do exactly the same thing everyday at work?

My take on TSA inspection at check-in is the same as your take on the color codes.
Old 08-03-04, 07:50 PM
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I do not see a flip flop or changing of minds or pandering to one group and then another. The two items are two totally different things. Let's deal with the current terror alert for now.

Tom Ridge has been screaming that the sky is falling for quite a while now. It is hard to believe that they are not trying to control the country through terror. It is even harder to believe that there is a true terror threat when a president sends his wife and children to a very building that is supposedly targeted. And I do not believe the Secret Service would put the first family in that much danger.

Let's say the Secret Service does not care about their number one job, then perhaps Bush is going for a sympathy vote when his family dies? Even I find that hard to believe, so you must think there really is not a threat. Who would send their family into a place that has been targeted? The first thing the secret service would do is not allow them to go.

We also have to look at the fact that some of the intel is 3 to four years old. First off, we have learned that US intel is usually no good anyway - look at Iraq!!!!!!! But if they were looking at some intel that said about events 3-4 years ago, then let us analyze that.

Intel said that the hit would be early September and it would hit the financial district of NY and possibly even part of DC. Does this sound familiar? September 9/11? WTC (financial district) and Washington = Pentagon?

I still stand by the fact that it must not be a real threat if the first family appeared in one of the targeted buildings.

Now the second thing that Kerry says that we are not doing/spending enough. Maybe if we spent time and money on real threats, we would be spending enough to protect ourselves. I agree with Kerry.

So you see, the two issues may appear related, but they really are not.
Old 08-03-04, 07:56 PM
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Originally posted by Coupon_Queen
I do not see a flip flop or changing of minds or pandering to one group and then another. The two items are two totally different things. Let's deal with the current terror alert for now.

Tom Ridge has been screaming that the sky is falling for quite a while now. It is hard to believe that they are not trying to control the country through terror. It is even harder to believe that there is a true terror threat when a president sends his wife and children to a very building that is supposedly targeted. And I do not believe the Secret Service would put the first family in that much danger.

Let's say the Secret Service does not care about their number one job, then perhaps Bush is going for a sympathy vote when his family dies? Even I find that hard to believe, so you must think there really is not a threat. Who would send their family into a place that has been targeted? The first thing the secret service would do is not allow them to go.

We also have to look at the fact that some of the intel is 3 to four years old. First off, we have learned that US intel is usually no good anyway - look at Iraq!!!!!!! But if they were looking at some intel that said about events 3-4 years ago, then let us analyze that.

Intel said that the hit would be early September and it would hit the financial district of NY and possibly even part of DC. Does this sound familiar? September 9/11? WTC (financial district) and Washington = Pentagon?

I still stand by the fact that it must not be a real threat if the first family appeared in one of the targeted buildings.

Now the second thing that Kerry says that we are not doing/spending enough. Maybe if we spent time and money on real threats, we would be spending enough to protect ourselves. I agree with Kerry.

So you see, the two issues may appear related, but they really are not.
If you want to scream that Ridge is using the terror alerts "just to scare people", without having any facts or information to back such a stance up, then you can simply waste away in radical land, because nobody is going to take you seriously except the Moore-fanatics.

As for the specific terror threat for early September, I invite you to read the article again. If you had read it closely enough, you would see that the September time frame came from sources OTHER than the captured material, including a recent interrogation of an Al Quada operative by the British, who said they will try and hit us in September in the financial district. We did not get that information off of old computers and then apply it to today, as you say.

That you could think we'd be that stupid shows the respect you have for the forces that have miraculously kept this country free from attack for almost three years now since 9/11.
Old 08-03-04, 08:04 PM
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Originally posted by Otto

So, how, exactly, does their procedures change? I mean, it seems to me that if they can be a little more secure at the red or oraneg or whatever levels, then it might be a good idea to follow those procedures all the time, no? Do they just slack off a bit when it drops down to yellow or what?

The color codes are bullshit. They're designed to make the public think that something is being done and as far as I'm concerned they just vary them totally randomly.
If you want to take such an extremist position, you'd better have some material to back that up, or you're just taking yourself out of the realm of credibility - either show us some evidence that they are doing this "randomly", or speak at risk of losing any credibilty in this forum. You cannot level a charge like this with the mere supposition that you're using as your only supporting information. That's irresonsible, wrong, and just plain stupid.

Also, they certainly DO change security procedures, quite a bit, when the threat level goes up - that's what it's for. Local law enforcement increases their man hours, and patrols, for instance. People are checked more often, and procedures to get in and out of certain buildings, the amount of random checks and sensitive equipment screenings at airports goes up, bridges and reactors receive additional surveillance, etc.

The reason we don't do this "all the time" is because it costs quite a bit of money, and puts a big strain on local law enforcement agencies and city and state budgets.

I cannot imagine how anybody with even a cursory knowledge of current events could not have digested this information by now.

We have regular procedures in place that are sustainable in a free society, and when our intelligence receives word of an impending threat we raise the alert level which increases security in general, and especially in designated places.

It's very simple, and very practical. Not "bullshit" at all. Keep in mind, that you can never know how many "successes" we've had - how many attacks we've stopped - you know ALL the failures, but because of the sensitive nature of this war and the intelligence gathering which is our only way to fight it, you only know a small amount of the successes - we've no doubt stopped dozens of attacks on this country using these methods.

But that's okay, because a least the people in charge of government in this country are serious about our national security and not labelling procedures that deal with the situaion "bullshit" like the Moore-heads try to do for partisan political gain.

The leftist reaction to this has been simply frightening.
Old 08-03-04, 08:29 PM
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for one thing they put more people on the schedule. look at all the cops on the streets with M4s and combat gear since sunday. that's not normal, and a lot of those guys are probably pulling OT in order for the city to be able to have that presence

Originally posted by Otto

So, how, exactly, does their procedures change? I mean, it seems to me that if they can be a little more secure at the red or oraneg or whatever levels, then it might be a good idea to follow those procedures all the time, no? Do they just slack off a bit when it drops down to yellow or what?

The color codes are bullshit. They're designed to make the public think that something is being done and as far as I'm concerned they just vary them totally randomly.

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