Task Force Will Reconsider Color-Coded Warning System
By Spencer S. Hsu
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today named a bipartisan task force to consider changes to the nation's color-coded terror warning system.
The group, to be led by former White House homeland security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend and former CIA and FBI director William Webster, will assess how well the Homeland Security Advisory System informs the public, private sector and government about current threats and needed protective steps.
"My goal is simple: to have the most effective system in place to inform the American people about threats to our country," Napolitano said in a statement. Findings of the 60-day review will be shared with the National Security Council before being presented to the White House. Public comments can be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The threat rating -- now at orange, or "high risk," for the aviation industry, and yellow, or "elevated risk," for the rest of the country -- has been criticized inside and outside the government as vague since its creation, after the 2001 terror attacks. Authorities have backed away from making public changes since 2007, but the five-level system drives some federal grant programs.
Posted at 2:27 PM ET on Jul 14, 2009
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