Who Cries Wolf?

I was reading in Philosoraptor today, and came across this posting:”I have admitted and still admit that there is prima facie reason to suspect that politics has entered into the decisions about when to issue terrorism (or “terror”) alerts–in large part because politics seems to enter into so much of what this administration does. However, the point at issue is this: how much support does Julius Civitatus’s evidence provide for the hypothesis that the administration is manipulating the terrorism alerts for political ends?”

It is a point that lots of Bush’s critics will, no doubt, harp on, but for me it brings up a question or two.

First, isn’t it a duty of our government to issue proper warning of danger? Doesn’t that preserve lives…normally? And second, what about the fact that alerts and warnings issued irresponsibly create a dangerous vulnerability? The Cry Wolf syndrome.

Does it make sense that any political entity would risk the security of the national interest for the short term benefit of a few election year points? And at this time, couldn’t that backfire anyway?

I realize politicos can do stupid things…witness the Watergate fiasco, but this stretches the imagination. The credulity, I should perhaps say.

I think it is irresponsible to cast unnecessary doubt in the minds of the populace as to the validity of an alarm system.

The idea of having levels is to allow people to assess the risk and the need for vigilance. Any thinking person could understand the misuse of the system would cause innurement. To accuse the Bush Administration on circumstantial evidence and route this along the web pipeline is a type of politics that gambles the usefulness of the warning system for a short term gain of a bit of one-upmanship. If it was really happening it would be time for seeking support for grounds for investigation.

But we aren’t there, are we? No. Right now, it is just useless speculation based on coincidental perceptions. Mindlessly lobbed into the public forum.

Let’s think again before we pass on baseless rumor-mongering…. or let’s get serious about calling people into account. Keep the integrity of the information system, especially when warning about something such as terrorism.

That seems sensible.