December 7, 2015

Another Meaningless ‘Fix’: DHS’s New Terror Alert System

We’re under high threat whether the government admits it or not.

In the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attack in San Bernardino, the Department of Homeland Security today previewed modifications to the nation’s terror alert system. According to Defense One, “The Obama administration will implement a new terrorism threat alert system in the coming days to address what he called intermediate-level threats to the United States, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Monday. The new system would augment the current terrorism threat systems, called the National Threat Advisory System, an alert system that has never been used because it is activated only when there is a credible threat to the U.S.” Johnson explained the decision, stating, “I believe in this environment we need to get beyond [what we have now] and go to new system that has an intermediate level to it.” He added, “We need a system that adequately informs the public at large, not through news leaks of joint intelligence bulletins to law enforcement, not through leaks from anonymous government officials. We need a system that informs the public at large what we are seeing … what we are doing about it and what we are asking the public to do.”

That’s good and all, but, frankly, most Americans would rather DHS focus on stopping these attacks. The agency doesn’t have a very good track record on that count. In fact, it’s having a hard time weeding out suspects from its own ranks. Rep. Stephen Lynch recently disclosed this bombshell: “Back in August, we did an investigation — the inspector general did — of the Department of Homeland Security, and they had 72 individuals that were on the terrorist watch list that were actually working at the Department of Homeland Security.” What are they planning to do about that?

And consider this: France’s highest terror alert didn’t prevent jihadists from slaughtering 130 in Paris less than a year after the Charlie Hebdo attack and just months after an Islamist tried carrying out another attack on a train. It goes without saying, especially after the attacks on “soft targets” like Chattanooga and San Bernardino, we are all under high threat whether the government admits it or not, so a new terror alert system would only affirm the fears Americans already feel. The New Daily Daily News last week slammed Republicans for their “meaningless platitudes” and wasting time praying. On the contrary, nothing is as meaningless as reviving a terror alert system to which terrorists pay no attention.

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