In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, an Army radar base on the northern tip of Hawaii suddenly noticed a target echo, larger than they had ever seen before. They promptly notified a lieutenant at the Intercept Center: “Large number of planes coming in from the north, three points east.” Upon receiving the notification, the man in charge ignored the warning, assuming it was the scheduled arrival of six US B-17 bombers. The radar base had neglected to say just how large the target echo had been, and the warning went unheeded. Instead of six friendly B-17s, those blips on the radar were several hundred Japanese aircraft, which 55 minutes later began destroying the US fleet at Pearl Harbor.
Sometimes we hear people saying “Ignorance is bliss.” While this might be true for a moment, the fact is, the truth eventually comes out. What is more, like the US Military on Hawaii on December 7, 1941, I have found that ignorance, and especially deliberate neglect, only makes matters worse.
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