Hawaii lawmaker demands release of full missile test recording

Hawaii lawmaker demands release of full missile test recording
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A Hawaii state lawmaker is calling on the state's governor to release all recordings related to a false missile alert that was sent to thousands of residents in January.

Hawaii News Now reports that state Rep. Gene Ward (R) is accusing Gov. David Ige's (D) administration of "stonewalling" an investigation into the false alarm it released a heavily redacted section of audio of the message heard by the state official who mistakenly sent the alert.

Ward added that claims the rest needed to be redacted for state security were "an insult to the intelligence of the people of Hawaii."

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But state officials say someone could use the redacted sections of the message to fool people into believing other false alarms.

"If that was released into the general public, someone could use the language to try to spoof the state warning point into thinking that a real event was in progress," said Lt. Col. Charles Anthony, a spokesman for the Hawaii Department of Defense.

In the 24-second audio clip, the words "exercise, exercise, exercise," and "this is not a drill" can be heard, interspersed with high-pitched beeps.

The former Hawaii emergency management employee who sent the alert told NBC News he was "100 percent sure that it was the right decision" to send the alert and that he believed an actual missile was inbound.

"I'm very remorseful about the incident," he said.

The false alarm led to the resignation of Vern Miyagi, the head of Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency, as well as the firing of the worker who sent the alert. State officials in Hawaii said during his firing that the employee had a history of confusing exercises for real events.

"We weren’t prepared to send out missile notifications," the employee told NBC News. "I think the military should do that."