January 15, 2018

False EBS Alarms then and now

Timothy Birdnow

In 1991 a disc jockey at the hard rock station KSHE in St. Louis caused a panic by fraudulently deploying the Emergency Broadcast System nuclear attack alert. John Ulett, who was also the public address announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals, was angry at callers who kept suggesting we use nuclear weapons on Iraq (this was just prior to the first Gulf War) and so set off a tone similar to that used by the EBS and followed that with a false claim of an attack. Ulett lost his job with the Cardinals but was never fired from the hippie station KSHE, despite the fact that he not only violated broadcast rules. But he apparently never paid a legal price. He was lucky; in 2015 the obama FCC fined iHeartCommunications one million dollars for a similar stunt. See, not only does an EBS alert scare the public in the listening area, but it automatically goes to other areas in a cascade effect, thus containing the damage becomes very difficult.

Were Ulett to do this today in the District of Columbia he would go to jail as inducing panic is a misdemeanor. That is true in mos states.

Which brings us to the point of this essay; during a recent emergency exercise in Hawaii a supposed "accidental button push" - pushed twice, I might add - led to a half hour of panic as the EBS alert went out warning of an immanent missile attack. As Conservative HQ points out:

"According to a timeline released by the state, the alert was triggered at 8:07 a.m. local time when, during an internal drill, an employee hit the wrong button. For 13 minutes it went uncorrected, until the emergency management agency sent an update on social media.

It took 38 minutes for state authorities to send a second message saying the alert was an error. Governor David Ige told CNN the false alarm was "a mistake made during a standard procedure at the changeover of a shift, and an employee pushed the wrong button.”

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Vern Miyagi said he took responsibility and officials would study the error and you’d think Hawaiians would be calling for Miyagi to fire the person who "pushed the wrong button,” but such is not the case."

End excerpt.


If you work for a Blue State you get a pass, even if what you do causes mass panic and confusion.

But was it an accidnt? I do not for a second believe that one button push can send this type of alert; it would be beyond grossly irresponsible.

Democrats amazingly are trying to blame Trump, despite the fact that it was under Clinton that the North Koreans obtained a nuclear weapon and under Obama that they developed missiles to deliver them.

So why isn't this fellow who screwed up so badly not being sanctioned?

Something smells here.

Either there WAS something that the test mistook or there was a political agenda at work or gross negligence. In any of these cases it is far beyond the pale, as emergency warnings are absolutely critical in something like a nuclear attack from North Korea (many people will survive a nuke hitting Honolulu with warning, though many will die as well.) I wonder how many people may have died in the ensuing panic? We'll never be told.

This suggests to me that Congress should act to strengthen the EBS system. It shold be a felony to misuse the alert tone, for instance. It should also be felonious to send out alerts so carelessly. We have to be serious if we want to protect Americans.

And if this is political? That is beyond despicable, causing mass panic to embarass the President and try to smear his foreign policy. In a case like this lives are literally at risk.

While there is no safe place where a nuke lands on top of you, it IS very important to have warning - if only fifteen minutes - if you are on the edge of the blast zone, and if you are outside in the fallout zone. Everyone is still thinking of the old Soviet arsenal of 10 plus megaton whoppers and not of a single smaller weapon like what the Norks can muster.

America has reached the point where it is unable to even defend itself because the Left sees no other enemy than conservatives. We have become two nations at war. A house divided cannot stand, and we are now as divided as the ancient Israelites and the Judaites. I fear we may end the same, only God never promised us an eternal kingdom.


There is some intelligent comment among the contributors in today's Day By Day site (as always), starting with "Kafiroon," laughing at people in the background of a newscast, running around as if there were actually a safe place to go in the event of a real nuke landing in 15 minutes. But my favorite was the contribution of "Unca Walt," who sounds like a veteran with years done in Hawaii, who explains just what to do in such an event, assuming that one might be in Pearl Harbor (a logical attack site).

Note also the person who wonders what might happen if this event were to take place in the future, when driverless cars were upon us -- how do you impress upon such a vehicle that we really need to GO FAST, NOW, in such-and-such a direction?

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 12:40 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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