From Green To Red In Two Minutes
There's a color-coded alert system
at the White House, much like the terror alert system instituted
three years ago by the Department of Homeland Security. The
relatively new system at the White House is geared specifically
toward terror threats in the nation's capital.
On Wednesday, when a Cessna 150 violated the ADIZ, coming within
three miles of the White House, the alert system was quickly
ratcheted up from green to yellow, orange, then red.
According to White House spokesman Scott McClellan, this is the
1159: White House occupants were warned a small
aircraft was within 15 miles, triggering a Yellow Alert.
1201: In spite of repeated warnings from ATC,
the aircraft continued into the ADIZ, now within ten miles of the
White House. The alert level was raised to Orange. The White House,
Capitol, Supreme Court and US Treasury Department were evacuated.
Vice President Dick Cheney, First Lady Laura Bush and former First
Lady Nancy Reagan were whisked to an undisclosed location.
1203: Undeterred by
intercepting F-16s scrambled from Andrews AFB, along with a DHS
UH-60 Black Hawk, the aircraft continued its approach to the White
House. The alert level was raised to Red, indicating a terror
attack was imminent.
1211: After firing four flares, the
intercepting F-16s were finally able to turn the offending C-150
west. The alert level was lowered to Yellow and those who had been
evacuated were allowed to return to the White House, Supreme Court,
Capitol and Treasury. The aircraft came within three miles of the
White House, according to McClellan, before it was turned away.