Okay, “fired” probably isn’t the technical term for it. The worker in question actually submitted his resignation. But do we really think this was a decision he arrived at on his own? Unlikely at best. But the Washington Post reports that the letter of resignation was accepted by the boss and he’s no longer working there. (I’ll repeat the fact that we don’t actually know the worker’s gender, but I’m going with “he” by default. My apologies if this turns out to be a woman.)
But there’s another, somewhat more disturbing angle to this story, which started out as terrifying but has grown more and more bizarre since the original incident. This wasn’t the first time that this particular worker had been in trouble for “confusing” drills with real-world threats. And he’s been a “source of concern” to HEMA management for a decade. (Washington Examiner)
Hawaii Gov. David Ige, a Democrat, apologized for the incident and said it was a “terrifying day when our worst nightmares appeared to become a reality.”
The report from Hawaii officials found that the employee who sent out the false alert earlier this month “has been a source of concern” to other workers “for over 10 years,” according to the Washington Post.
The worker also mixed up real-world scenarios and drills “on at least two separate occasions.”
Allahpundit already looked at the alarming claim that the worker allegedly believed there was a missile heading their way when he “pushed the wrong button.” That’s disturbing enough. But to find out that he confused the real world with some dystopian hellscape fantasy twice before and was still the person responsible for operating that warning system means the fault for this debacle shifts to his superiors.
From the beginning, there were some other, more benign possibilities under discussion. Maybe he was new on the job and wasn’t used to the routine. Perhaps the computer system is poorly designed with a confusing interface making it easy to screw up like that. But now we know that he had been there for at least ten years and had made this sort of error before. Presumably, it never got all the way to the stage of sending out the alert or we’d have known about it, but it was obviously close enough for them to record the incidents.
Knowing all that, how is it that he was still allowed to run that alert software? Surely the complete freakout which followed the false alarm can’t have taken them by surprise. They had to know what a complete disaster that would lead to, right? Couldn’t the worker have been given some other duty in the chain of command which didn’t leave him at the keyboard when the final Go/No Go decision was made?
The worker’s careeer there may be over but the investigation clearly isn’t. If his is the only head to roll I’ll be surprised. Somebody was in charge of this operation and knew there were problems at that work station. And they’re probably going to have to be held accountable.