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Should the threat level be raised?

came under fire for its decision to leave the national threat level unchanged after the killing of Osama bin Laden, despite warnings that al Qaeda was likely to retaliate.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a Senate panel that the administration had not raised the alert because there was no credible information pointing to a specific threat.

Security has been increased at airports, seaports and border crossings while U.S. officials review intelligence reports on al Qaeda suspects and other militants who could already be inside the United States, she said.

The U.S. government scrapped its much-ridiculed color-coded warnings last month, replacing it with a new system that provides specific information about potential threats rather than one that simply reflects the general threat status.

"We want to be careful here. We don't want to say because we suspect, and reasonably so, that at some point there may be retaliation, that we go ahead and put the nation into an alert status without more information than we currently have," Napolitano told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.


But her explanation did not rest well with Republican lawmakers.

"From my perspective, it just still seems prudent to temporarily, at least, elevate the threat level," said Senator Susan Collins, the committee's senior Republican.

Republican Senator Ron Johnson said the purpose of an advisory was to "signal to the American public that something has changed."

"The purpose of the advisory, in my view, is to communicate facts and information so people know what to do," Napolitano shot back.

U.S. officials, including CIA director Leon Panetta, have warned that al Qaeda may try to retaliate for the U.S. raid that killed the militant network's top leader on Monday at his compound in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad.

The death of the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington has boosted public approval of President Barack Obama, just as the 2012 presidential campaign gets under way.

Napolitano said a panel of officials from several intelligence agencies was examining material from the bin Laden compound and advising her daily on the level of danger.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, an independent who often sides with Democrats, defended the administration's approach: "I think the system is working as we want it to."

Answer Question

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 2:47 PM on May. 5, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Our bases here were put on alert the night of the announcement.  With that being done and being reported (all over the news) it showed us (our family) that we are obviously at greater risk for attack, which we expected to happen when we heard the announcement.


    Answer by amazinggrace83 at 2:53 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • I don't think it makes much difference to the general public. If they don't know this will cause an up tick in terror attempts for
    Americans (whether here or abroad) they have their heads in the sand. I just hope our government is paying attention.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 3:01 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Anyone who lives on a base, works on a base, or has family on a base knows that regardless of what old Janet says to the media, the threat level is up, and so is security.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 3:23 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Our base is 100% ID check of all adults in vehicle right now. Frankly, I think it should be like that all the time, especially right now since we're still in a war.

    Answer by hopeandglory53 at 3:32 PM on May. 5, 2011


    Our base is 100% ID check of all adults in vehicle right now. Frankly, I think it should be like that all the time, especially right now since we're still in a war.



    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 3:34 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • We should always be on guard against terrorism. We should never drop our guard.

    Answer by meooma at 4:23 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • The threat level on base is elevated. It's to the point that it takes nearly 45 minutes for me to get in the gate each morning, you can't drive on mainside or park near buildings. On Monday it took me an hour and a half to get one mile after dropping my son off at the CDC. The powers that be say it's going to be like this for a while.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 6:23 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • To put it simply...yes.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:33 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • I think it should be raised. My DH works at a base where it is always higher. I cannot get on base without a special pass AND him with me. Not that I need to, but the security is always high here.

    While I wish they would raise it, anyone watching the news with two neurons that fire gets the idea that the crazees will wipe their tears and pick up the molotov cocktails sometime in the near future. It's always what that type of crazee threatens.

    LOL, however - it is better than being told to buy duct tape for the windows. I remember that, and I was all panicky as it was, and remember bursting out laughing at that one.

    Answer by LiliM at 9:59 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Why not, since the color system is arbitrary anyway. We should all be on alert at all times.

    Answer by Kitkat61277 at 11:20 PM on May. 5, 2011

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