Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Thu, Jul 01 2004

First Aid In Security

I was doing some research earlier, and I found myself on a page linking to the Department of Homeland Security site. I took a look at the DHS page that reports (someone's idea of) the current level of threat advisory. The page also includes very broad indications of what security measures are taken at each level. It also features a link to a .pdf entitled Citizen Guidance on the Homeland Security Advisory System, and it mentions the fact that this guide was developed with input from the Red Cross.

Think about that for a moment. They don't mention (or link to) the CIA, FBI, National Guard, American Border Patrol, Center for Disease Control, or Boy Scouts of America (although it's certainly possible that any or all of these groups may have contributed valuable information).

The Red Cross is probably the one organization on the planet that can show up almost anywhere, at any time, and be accepted and trusted to do the right thing with a minimal threat to anyone else. They help humanity survive in a crisis. They deliver water, food, medical supplies and shelter to people affected by war, epidemics and natural disasters. They got their people in to visit Saddam Hussein. Could even the governor of your state get in to visit Saddam Hussein? The Red Cross is a very interesting force to be reckoned with, in very quiet ways I'll bet most of us never even thought of.

Some years ago, a man (who has since passed away) told me about his activities with a volunteer ham radio group, and said that their work with the Red Cross afforded them special consideration in the event of certain situations. He said that in a true hands-on-the-missile-buttons kind of emergency, if martial law was to be declared in our country, those who served with the Red Cross would be able to move about freely in ways the rest of us might not be able to do. I never researched his claim. I thought about what he said, on 9-11. I thought about what he said again this morning, when I saw the DHS web site, with its special mention of the Red Cross.

posted at: 11:58 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

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