Colorizing Terroristism

Note: The following memorandum was leaked to me by a prominent, highly-placed government official who, while he was sweeping up one night, found it crumpled up into a ball and tossed into a waste basket.

Intra-Departmental Memorandum

To: Secretary, Department of Homeland Security From: Deputy Assistant Undersecretary for Color Coordination

Subject: Colorizing Terror

I have taken significant time away from my regular duties pertaining to the remodeling and redecoration of the Department's new offices in order to comply with the Secretary's request for clarification on the Terrorist Alert Color Codes. Staff has worked diligently on the Secretary's request and I forward the result to the Secretary, with such alterations as may be required in a politically sensitive environment.

The Secretary will recall that when a Yellow Alert was first announced, there were immediate queries from the media who wanted to know what a "Yellow Alert" meant. Unfortunately, alert codes had not yet been codified and the President was forced to answer the embarrassing question with an equally embarrassing reply, to paraphrase: "Go on about your business. Go shopping. Go out to eat. Spend money. Don't worry. Be happy." That response has become the standard for the codification of Alert definitions, as we obviously cannot contradict the President's lame initial comment.

Consistency of meaning between various color codes is paramount, so lower (i.e., less severe) than Yellow alerts must be of lesser intensity than "Go on about your business. Go shopping. Go out to eat. Spend money." Higher (i.e., more severe) alerts must be greater intensity. Coordinating the various Presidential comments about the codes with actual meanings for code level thus far announced (Yellow and Orange) is a difficult task.

In addition, the following Terrorist Alert Status Color Code Definitions have been drafted in compliance with Presidentialist Executary Order 392784560-993[1], to include Presidential wordification within the body of the definitions.

[1] "Wherever possibleness allows, words and phrases culled from Presidentialary communications will be used in official documents."


Terroristism[2] Alert Status Color Code Definitionisms

Green - Low Risk: This means that the Risk is Low. Grass is Green. Grass is Low. Green = Low.[3]

Expect such common events as:

  • ' Randy Weaver's (separatist) extortion of $3.1 million from the Federal Government for "wrongful death" because his wife stood in the wrong place (i.e., Idaho) while the FBI was firing;
  • ' Vicky Weaver (wife of separatist) standing directly in the path of a speeding FBI bullet while holding an assault baby;
  • ' Branch Davidians (cultist religionists) forcing Government agencies to attack them with assault weapons and tanks, thereby dying by the scores and putting the Government in a bad light;
  • ' Law-abiding citizens (innocent bystanderists) being mistakenly at home when ninja-suited, assault weapon-toting DEA and ATF agents execute warrants, thereby resulting in aforementioned law-abiding, but out-of-place, citizens being shot and/or beaten through their own fault for not being elsewhere when unannounced raids were sent to the wrong addresses;
  • ' Major television ads accusing drug users of supporting terrorage;
  • ' Attempts to communicate intelligibly by President "I Really Won" Bush.

Green indicates no hint or rumor of any threat, whatsoever. Guidelines are:

  • ' General population: "Don't worry. Be happy."
  • ' Airport security: Answering two stupid questions[4] will allow passengers to carry on knives, box cutters, AK-47s. Baggage screeners encouraged to sleep at their posts in order to conserve strength for higher alerts.
  • ' State and Local Police: No more than half of the on-duty force may be in doughnut shops at any one time.
  • ' Federal Government: Business as usual - budgets to be overspent by no more than five (i.e., five - ten) percent. Update DEA and ATF address books.

[2] One of our favorites. Unfortunately, the President has used several different pronunciations for this word, many of which are included in this Draft.

[3] We feel it helpful to give easily recalled hints for the rememberment of the Color Codes.

[4] The two stupid questions are no longer required for carrying on knives or box cutters, but may be asked of anyone obviously toting assault weapons. Assault rifles, hand grenades, flame throwers, and Claymore mines may be packed in checked luggagement.

Blue - General Risk: This means that there is a Risk to Generals.

Expect such common events as:

  • ' The 1993 World Trade Center bombing by imported (i.e., not homegrown) radical, fundamentalist, religious, and/or separatist terrorists;
  • ' The Oklahoma City bombing by homegrown (i.e., not imported) radical, fundamentalist, religious, and/or separatist terrorists, about whom government agencies had information not shared with local offices;
  • ' Sniper attacks in the Washington, DC area by homegrown/imported buddy teams of radical, fundamentalist, religious, and/or separatist terrorists/gun nuts in white vans/dark sedans;
  • ' Attempts to communicate intelligibly by Chief Moose.
  • ' Potential attacks on the Presidential personage via pretzels or other foodstuffs.

Blue indicates no hint or rumor of any threat. Guidelines are:

  • ' General population: "Don't worry."
  • ' Airport security: AK-47s are no longer allowed as carryons. Mandatory searches of carry-on bags of highly suspect persons, such as: Frequent traveler; infrequent traveler; ticket purchased with cash; ticket purchased with credit card; ticket purchased on travel day; ticket purchased more than 21 days before travel day; carrying large amount of cash; carrying small amount of cash; no luggage; a lot of luggage; excessively shifty look (think Yassir Arafat Al Sharpton Ted Kennedy); excessively clean-cut look (think Gary Hart 20 years ago, Gary Condit two years ago). Baggage screeners allowed, but not encouraged, to sleep at their posts. Passengers of Middle Eastern[5] descent are exempt from baggage searches.
  • ' State and Local Police: No more than one-third of the on-duty force may inhabit doughnut shops at any one time.
  • ' Federal Government: Business more as usual - overspend budgets by no more than ten (i.e., ten-twenty) percent. Add White House food taster to staff. Add 30,000 baggage screeners to public trough Federal payroll under Transportation Safety Administration (TSA). Screener training courses to include: Pawing Through Baggage; Passenger Groping for Fun and Profit; Wanding 101; Wallet Retention; How to Nap While Standing; Goodwill: A Market for Confiscated Stuff. Sky Marshals added to random flights.

[5] Middle Easteners: individuals who trace their ancestry to either Iranistan, Iraqia, Saudi Arabawait, or Afghanipak; or to Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina. This is yet to be clarified.

Yellow - Significant Risk: This means that the Risk is Significant and people should take Caution. Yellow is the middle light on a traffic signal. It means that when going through the light that comes after Yellow (i.e., Red), there is a Significant Risk of running down a Presbyterian. Yellow = Significant.

The following events might be expected, which may, or may not, be of terrorisimal origin:

  • ' Slowdowns of traffic on major interstates;
  • ' Price-gouging at gasoline pumps;
  • ' Threats on critical food distribution networks (e.g., Dunkin' Doughnuts, KFC, McDonalds) [Note: Check into lawsuits against fast food restaurants. Query trial lawyer association ties with Al-Quaida Al Queda Al Gore bad people.]
  • ' Major television ads accusing SUV owners of supporting terribleism;
  • ' Any other bad things that may be blamed on the "Axles of Evilness" but can't be disproved, so we can say what we want and justify budget increases.

Yellow indicates no hint or rumor of threat. However, it means that because something has already happened, then "something might happen somewhere, maybe to someone or something." Guidelines are:

  • ' General population: "Don't worry. Be happy. Go shopping. Don't go through Yellow lights. If you do, watch out for Presbyterians."
  • ' Airport security: No more pointy or cutty (i.e., "sharp") objects are allowed. Screeners will require card-carrying AARPers to partially disrobe[6] in order to prove the existence of artificial joints, metal plates, prosthetics, etc. Highly suspect passengers include: the wheelchair-bound, three-year-olds with high-heeled sneakers, wearers of underwire bras[7], trial lawyers, mothers with bottled white fluids (usually claimed to be "breast milk") and people with fat wallets[8]. All passengers of Middle Eastern ethnicity are to be excluded from "random" searches per anti-profiling mandates. Baggage screeners are no longer allowed to nap at posts, but may catch a few Z's in the nearest broom closet, provided a message is left at security checkpoints for passengers to wait at the checkpoint until the metal detector is manned personned. A "Don't Fly"[9] list will be maintained by the TSA listing all current and former members of potentially terrariumist organizations (e.g., known anarchists, Green Party activists, Libertarians, Nuns for Peace, Mothers Against Dyslexia (DAM), etc.) not allowed to fly. They may, however, stand on the tarmac and flap their arms.
  • ' State and Local Police: One officer must remain in a patrol car at all times. Officers may take turns in the doughnut shop as long as the patrol car does not remain out of service for more than three hours in eight.
  • ' Federal Government: Request budgetary increases in every critical security program, including the mohair subsidy, the tobacco subsidy, and the corn for ethanol program. Establish a new "cost-effective" KGB SS Department of Homeland Security that will require "no budget increase," but will simply be formed of dozens of agencies already on the payroll, with "no need for a budget increase." TSA concludes training of 40,000 baggage screeners. Sky Marshal re-training will include: How to Spray the Cabin with Your 15-Shot Glock Without Hitting Hydraulics or Middle Eastern People; How to Stay Awake and Sane on Back-to-Back Five-Hour Flights; How to Remain Anonymous While Wearing a Navy Suit/Blue Tie Combo That Screams "FEDERAL AGENT."

[6] Disrobement of AARPers must be limited to partial. No one wants to look at a totally disrobed old person.

[7] See training on "Passenger Groping for Fun and Profit."

[8] Ibid. Whatever that means.

[9] The "Don't Fly" names will be provided by FBI, CIA, DEA, ATF, IRS, FDA, SEC, FEC, GE, IBM, NAACP, KKK, etc. Listed passengers querying as to their inclusion on the "Don't Fly" list will be told to refer their requests to the agency that provided their names. When they query what agency provided their names, they are to be told that information is classified in the interest of "national security."

Orange - High Risk: This means that the Risk is High. Oranges grow on Trees, which are High. Orange = High.

The following terrainism events might be expected:

  • ' All of the above;
  • ' Some of the above;
  • ' None of the above, but some other bad stuff;
  • ' Stuff we haven't thought of, but probably was in a Hollywood movie last year;
  • ' Increased "chatter" by Regis and ______ (fill in blank), Connie Chung, and Larry King.

Orange may indicate a potential hint or rumor of threat, maybe. It means that "something definitely might happen somewhere, maybe to someone or something." Guidelines are:

  • ' General population: "Don't worry. Be Happy. Don't eat oranges. Buy three days worth of groceries. Stock three days worth of water. Buy enough duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal a standard three-bedroom house and make it air-tight, but don't worry, be happy."
  • ' Airport security: All elderly passengers, all young passengers, all middle-aged white male passengers, all pregnant female passengers, all nursing mothers are highly suspect. Random searches will be expanded to cover 97 percent of passengers, and will be conducted by Middle Eastern screeners only. If there are insufficient Middle Eastern screeners employed, temporary screeners may be drafted from the ranks of the passengers (i.e., people named "Muhammed," "Ali," or "Floyd"). Baggage screeners may no longer nap away from their posts, but may nod off, provided they lie down on the baggage x-ray belt, thereby preventing passengers from passing through an unmonitored checkpoint.
  • ' State and Local Police: To maintain heightened patrols and police presence, all patrol cars to be issued a variety of doughnuts at the beginning of each shift, in an amount not to exceed two dozen per officer, but not the kind with the little sprinkles on them.
  • ' Federal Government: KGB SS Department of Homeland Security to request a budget increase to pay "moving expenses" of all employees who are being "moved" to DHS from their current agencies. TSA concludes training of 50,000 baggage screeners who failed the first time. Retraining includes giving test answers to screeners immediately in advance of tests. New Sky Marshals being hired to replace those leaving for more exciting work, such as coding medical records. Due to shortage of manpower personpower, Sky Marshals will be trained in subsequent years. Issuance of ammunition will be pending training.

Red - Severe Risk: This means the Risk is Severe. Red is the color of a Severe sunburn. Red = Severe.

The following terroristical events might be expected:

' Really bad stuff, but we don't know what until it happens, if it does. Then we'll know and we will let everyone else know, unless we keep it a secret.

Red indicates "something definitely might happen somewhere, maybe to someone or something, here or abroad, somehow, but we're keeping it a secret to protect people, unless it really happens and they find out on CNN, then we'll issue a statement that it happened." Guidelines are:

  • ' General population: "Don't worry. Be happy. Wear sunscreen. Avoid shopping centers, sports stadiums, highways, back roads, city streets, enclosed spaces, open spaces, crowds, and being alone. Plasticate your entire yard. Duct tape your dog. Shrink wrap your kids."
  • ' Airport security: "Fly naked" rules in effect. Disposable gowns and thongs (the footwear kind) to be issued to all passengers at disrobing points. Baggage screeners to remain awake, but encouraged to close eyes at disrobing stations. Middle Easterners may, of course, be allowed to fly completely dressed. Since they will not be busy disrobing, they are encouraged to assist in the disrobing of other passengers. All airport terminals are encouraged to add more clothing stores to arrival concourses, as there will be an immediate upsurge in demand. [Note: Buy Gap and Banana Republic stock.] Baggage screeners issued No-Doze.
  • ' State and Local Police: Assault rifles and riot gear issued to officers on doughnut shop duty. Forces doubled by mandating two 12-hour shifts. Heavily-armed presence to be maintained at strategic locations: Bridges, tunnels, KFC, McDonalds.
  • ' Federal Government: Upon any event which could be categorized as an attack (may include "Acts of God" if they can be determined to be "Acts of Allah") the administration hands Congress a summary (title and one paragraph) of Bill of Rights Recision Act Presidential Guaranteed Succession Act Homeland Security Enhancement Act and urges immediate passage to protect the Fatherland Motherland Homeland. Congress passes without reading, being reminded of passage of Patriot Act I, also without reading. Congress recesses. Congresspersons go on fact-finding missions to friendly countries (Cancun, Aruba, Hawaii). President takes vacation in Crawford, TX[10]. Sky Marshals issued ammunition.

[10] Pronounced "tecks."

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Joseph S. Bommarito's picture
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Joseph Bommarito was a freelance writer who lived in Georgia.  He passed away on January 3, 2005.  Comments can be sent to his wife Sally.