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Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa

Representing the 1st District of Hawaii

Congresswoman Hanabusa’s Statement on Release of False Missile Alert Communications

June 26, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa issued the following statement today after the state released redacted communications related to the January 13 false ballistic missile alert. 

“We need an independent federal investigation looking into this complete failure of our emergency alert system to ensure the state followed the law and complied with state and federal regulations. I plan to propose to the rest of the delegation that we call for an independent investigation by one of the federal agencies’ Office of Inspector Generals. We need to establish the facts. Despite the Federal Communications Commission and state probe, it is very clear we do not really know what happened or how and why HI-EMA and the state administration managed the response in the aftermath.  These heavily redacted records hardly restore the public's trust in government. Five months after our residents and visitors suffered through 38 minutes of chaos and uncertainty, these emails raise more questions. Clearly, there was  confusion and misinformation surrounding the ballistic missile alert process and officials raised serious concerns about an inability to recall any false alarm. These records reveal that Governor Ige's office collaborated with Maj. Gen. Arthur “Joe” Logan on his testimony before a Congressional panel looking into the false alert. The delegation was given the impression that the testimony was independent. How much of that testimony and state investigation was affected by the administration? We need answers because we cannot allow the kind of environment outlined in these documents, warning officers sleeping on the job or watching movies, to exist at HI-EMA or among government officials who are responsible for notifying the community in the event of an emergency,” said Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa.