Everything's suspicious in John Elway-narrated terrorism video

Recognizing the 8 Signs of Terrorism, a new video released yesterday by the Center for Empowered Living & Learning (CELL) in conjunction with the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference is an eight-minute plunge (well, six-and-a-half, with about ninety seconds' worth of credits) into a world where average-looking white people want to murder you and everyone around you. Even narrator John Elway isn't safe.

At the outset, the viewer is high above the earth, ominous music precipitating a perilous dive through space and clouds directly into the CELL headquarters -- a camera move that ends with a symbolic explosion. Elway, who's inside, is brave enough not to run for cover -- but he's certainly more somber than usual as he shares his memories of 9/11 as the World Trade Center explodes again. Back then, he couldn't believe something like the attacks could happen in America, but he understands now. "This is something we're going to have to deal with the rest of our lives," he warns.

Immediately thereafter, Channel 9 anchor Kim Christiansen shares the eight signs of terrorism identified by unidentified experts: surveillance, elicitation, tests of security, funding, acquiring supplies, impersonation, rehearsal and deployment. People witnessing imminent threats should dial 911; for other suspicious activities, they're urged to phone the Colorado Information Analysis Center, or CIAC. Because Elway and Christiansen pronounce the acryonym "kayak," staffers at Bass Pro Shops should start expecting some strange calls.

From there, the viewer is treated to step-by-step advisories about how to tell the difference between benign behavior and the threatening kind. For instance, a guy is shown taking photos at Red Rocks -- but he's shooting a security camera instead of the scenery. Bastard! We're told that elicitation -- essentially asking people about stuff -- can be done by males, females, by telephone or in person (apparently, hermaphrodites and e-mails are safe). A sample security test: A guy times how long it takes for a bag left on the light rail to be discovered. A funding example: A bald guy who looks like an extra in a Nazi movie tries to sell roadside paraphernalia that probably wouldn't pay for a handful of gravel. Regarding impersonation, someone dressed as a cop who doesn't act like one should raise a white flag: "If you see something that may be abnormal, or have a gut feeling that something's not right, call the CIAC," Christiansen urges. And if someone's actually deploying a terrorist attack, 911's the call. That last one was tough to figure out...

After all this Orwellian grimness, the makers of the video try to end their offering on a semi-upbeat note, albeit one with an ominous subtext. "It's a beautiful day here in Colorado," Elway says, "and there can be many more days like this with the help of people like you."

In other words, we're all going to die unless you spot the scofflaw and call the kayak. Or something like that.

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5 comments
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Rvere44
Rvere44

My opinion of John Elway just dropped 9 clicks on a scale of 1 to 10...  To try and belittle the public in a fear mongering commentary is just too much..

Anonymous
Anonymous

Strangely enough, the video goes out of it's way to insure that NONE of the "terrorists" are of middle-eastern decent ... how quaint.

h.a.eugene
h.a.eugene

Why was this video released just now, in 2009? This looks like threat-level "red"-style fear mongering that had a more proper home in the media universe of the early to mid 2000's. We're in threat level "yellow". It doesn't make any sense.

What on earth would compel the State of Colorado to make a video like this now, and not then? What are they so afraid of that's unique to 2009?

brian
brian

Whatever will ciac do on Halloween?

Aon
Aon

John Ellway and Kim Chrisitianson are behaving suspiciously, suspiciously similar to fascists and communists! They are acting like some kind of collectivist totalitarians. Yeah, we have to watch out for whites and blacks who buy gold and hawk merchandise for pennies, not well funded Arabs who are known to have, at least previously, been in the employ of the CIA. Go back to twirling batons Christianson.

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