More than four years after the federal multihued homeland security advisory system started, the gauge has rarely budged from its yellow “elevated” status, says the Newark Star-Ledger. When it has moved from the middle of the five tiers, it has only gone up, to orange. That has led critics to call the system everything from useless to silly. Some call for its abolition. The idea the arrow might swing to blue and “guarded” or green for “low risk” is dismissed by most experts as a utopian fantasy. “The green day would come when virtually all the terrorist organizations have been subdued and we’ve got harmony with all the potential terror countries that are out there,” said Charles Wise, an Indiana University professor who specializes in homeland security. “It’s certainly nowhere in our foreseeable future,” he added.
David Klinger, a former Los Angeles police officer, terrorism expert, and criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, likewise sees no likelihood of a green day, at least in the next few decades. “it seems that there is only one of two ways that we could get there: either the knucklehead Islamo-fascists give up or we give up and acquiesce to their designs. Neither seems very possible now,” he said. Last month, a House subcommittee unanimously approved legislation to strip the system of its color coding and replace it with a regionalized system to provide specific warnings to public officials, law enforcement, and the public when threats arise.