How Terrorism Alerts Really Work

The answer: you’ll never be told . . .

Read this: Despite 2 Terror Tapes, No Alert Issued on Vegas, Memos Show.

Remember the mayor in Jaws? The one who didn’t want tourists to hear about nasty old sharks? The unfortunate thing about stereotypes is that they’re so often true. The United States is just one big Amity Island.

But it shouldn’t be. When we travel to other countries, our government warns us about known dangers. The warnings are called travel advisories, and you can find them here.

Why can’t our government end-run venal local interests by issuing domestic travel advisories? Put up a domestic terrorism advisory page at the Department of Homeland Security site, for example, where people could view lists of cities and tourist attractions considered potential targets, similar to the advisories the State Department issues to citizens planning trips to Israel or Liberia. Does anyone really think Las Vegas would become a ghost town if they did? Anyone other than greedy casino owners and local politicians, that is?

I remember a year or so ago the government let it slip that the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was a potential terrorist target. You probably remember that too — it was widely reported at the time. Did that warning affect tourism, even slightly?

Oh, well . . . nothing to see here, folks, no shark, no ma’am, no shark here, just keep moving, please.

© 2004 – 2011, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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