A Message from Tom Ridge
Tom Ridge…..Darrell Hammond
Tom Ridge: Good evening. I’m Tom Ridge. Nearly six months ago, President Bush asked me to organize and lead a new federal agency, the Office of Homeland Security. Since that time, many of you have probably wondered just what this agency has been up to and what, if anything, we are doing to prevent terrorist attacks within our borders.
Tonight, I’m proud to unveil my agency’s new weapon in the War on Terror: the Homeland Security advisory system. It’s a simple five level system, which uses color codes to indicate varying levels of terrorist threat. The lowest level of threat is condition OFF-WHITE, followed by CREAM, PUTTY, BONE and finally NATURAL. It is essential that every American learns to recognize and distinguish these colors. Failure to do so could cost you your life. For those who may have questions, an excellent guide will be found on page 74 of the spring J. Crew catalogue.
Now, what precisely do these threat levels indicate? Condition OFF-WHITE, the lowest level, indicates a huge risk of terrorist attack. Next highest, condition CREAM: an immense risk of terrorist attack. Condition PUTTY: an enormous risk of terrorist attack. Condition BONE: a gigantic risk of terrorist attack. And finally, the most serious, condition NATURAL: an enormous risk of terrorist attack.
Many of you probably noticed that in the preceding chart, we used the term “Enormous risk of terrorist attack” twice. This was a mistake we didn’t catch in time and we’re trying to fix it.
So, there you have it. The Homeland Security advisory system. This took you six months, you might ask? Well, not exactly. We lost the first few weeks with moving back to D.C., finding office space, working out the phones, etc. Also, remember: I just missed being named Vice-President. Instead, I got this as a consolation prize. And you have to admit, it’s a pretty thankless job. So, perhaps in the first few months, there may have been some bitterness on my part that affected my job performance. But not anymore. Since Christmas, I have been totally happy and committed. One last point, at my request and effective immediately, the President has placed the nation on Condition TAUPE. More on that in the weeks and months ahead.
Thank you, and “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!“
Thanks to Elizabeth C. for this transcript!