This is not a drill

Not Hawaii (yet)

Nothing to see here, just someone “clicking the wrong thing” and thereby causing the kind of confusion that leads to a nuclear apocalypse:

An early-morning emergency alert mistakenly warning of an incoming ballistic missile attack was dispatched to cellphones across Hawaii on Saturday, setting off widespread panic in a state that was already on edge because of escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.

The alert, sent by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, was revoked 38 minutes after it was issued, prompting confusion over why it was released — and why it took so long to rescind. State officials and residents of a normally tranquil part of the Pacific, as well as tourists swept up in the panic, immediately expressed outrage.

The official explanation?

The mistake occurred during a shift-change drill that takes place three times a day at the emergency command post… “Someone clicked the wrong thing on the computer.”

LOL. So what is it? A case of this? Or is there some other explanation?

It’s good that the FCC is investigating. Will the person who did this be identified and held accountable? I’m not holding my breath.

Mr. Rapoza said he did not know if anyone would be disciplined for the mistake. “At this point, our major concern is to make sure we do what we need to do to reassure the public,” he said. “This is not a time for pointing fingers.”

I’m sure the public agrees with that sentiment, and will find it greatly reassuring that no heads will roll, because we all know that putting a better “process” in place is more effective than holding people personally accountable for their colossal screw-ups.

But wait! No need to worry, because it was totally an accident and the employee in question feels really, really bad about what happened. And he will be… counseled. Counseled, I tell you!

A Civil Defense employee is set to be retrained after a shocking blunder on Saturday morning, when a mistaken alert warning of an inbound ballistic missile sent thousands fleeing for shelter.

The false alarm was caused by a Hawaii Emergency Management Agency employee who ‘pushed the wrong buttons’ during an internal drill timed to coincide with a shift handover at 8.07am. The all-clear phone alert was not sent until 38 minutes later.

Incredibly, officials said the employee who made the mistake wasn’t aware of it until mobile phones in the command center began displaying the alert.

‘This guy feels bad, right. He’s not doing this on purpose – it was a mistake on his part and he feels terrible about it,’ said EMA Administrator Vern Miyagi in a press conference Saturday afternoon.

Miyagi, a retired Army major general, said the employee had been with the agency for ‘a while’ and that he would be ‘counseled and drilled so this never happens again’ – but stopped short of saying whether there would be disciplinary measures.

Honestly, it’s getting harder to distinguish between fact and fevered imagination these days. Eerie times.

What was this incident so dangerous? In short, first-strike instability:

Had the turmoil unfolded during a major crisis or period of heightened threats, North Korean leaders could have misread the Hawaiian warning as cover for an attack, much as the Soviets had done in 1983. American officials have been warning for weeks that they might attack North Korea. Though some analysts consider this a likely bluff, officials in Pyongyang have little room for error.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *