Retire "Agent Orange"?

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Should the federal government retire its color-coded terrorist threat warning system? That's the theme of an op-ed piece, "Damage From the Alert System Is Alarming," written by Edward N. Luttwak at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies that appeared in Monday's Los Angeles Times. Labeling the current five-color warning system as "useless," Luttwak decries the bureaucratic tendency for government to cover itself by using the warning system whenever it perceives a terror threat. He notes that, "Nothing prevents the implementation of the security measures associated with each threat level, without any need to broadcast frightening yet meaningless warnings to the public." Doing away with the system would probably be a good idea, at least from the private aviation industry' view point. Every time an orange, or "high," alert level is declared, the next thing that happens is a clamp-down on general and business aviation's access to the airspace, especially around Washington, D.C. It's enough to make one wonder if the tail isn't wagging the dog.