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National Briefing / Washington, D.c.

Color-coded alert system reviewed

July 15, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The Obama administration has begun a review that could spell the end of the color-coded terrorism advisories, long derided by late night TV comics and portrayed by some Democrats as a tool for Bush administration political manipulation.

It's not likely the review will plunge an alert system into the dark altogether, but everything short of that is on the table, according to one administration official familiar with the plans.

The alert system assigns five colors to terror risk levels. Green signals a low danger of attack, and red warns of a severe threat. It was put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and was designed to help emergency responders prepare.

But it's been the butt of late-night television comics' jokes and criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike for being too vague.

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