Sorry boys and girls, but the days of Green and Blue are over. From now until whenever the War of Terrorism© is won, the United States will be in a constant state of Elevated Threat.
The Department of Homeland Security has updated the National Threat Advisory System, doing away with the five-tier system by removing the now-meaningless lower levels of Guarded and Low threat in favor of a two-tier system that merges the top two old alerts — orange and red — to create an even orangier red Imminent Threat Alert.
So, now there are two options for all of us to live in. There is either the lower Elevated Threat Alert, which means that there is a credible terrorist threat against the U.S., or the Imminent Threat, which means that there is credible information about, well, an imminent attack.
And while I am now mentally and existentially prepared for this elevated terror threat, it doesn't appear that NORAD or Northcom have gotten the memo. (Either that, or their IT guys haven't gotten around to updating their websites.)
Which does make you wonder just how vital this alert system actually is — especially when it appears that NORAD and NorthCom don't even agree on which threat level we are currently cowering under.
NORAD is currently flashing the mildly scary Orange level, while NorthCom is flashing the more whimsical Yellow level.
Perhaps this two-tier, scared and scarier system is a means of cleaning up such confusion.