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Is safety from nuclear attack a State or a Federal responsibility?

Federal responsibility in nuclear attack alerts is unclear, AP, By CALEB JONES, HONOLULU (AP) 18 Jan 18, — A timeline shows Hawaii officials botched efforts to immediately correct a false missile alert over the weekend, taking more than 20 minutes to contact federal authorities for approval they didn’t need and then taking another 15 minutes to cancel the alert that was sent to mobile devices statewide.

The astonishing error and dismal response has prompted both state and federal investigations and left one of the state’s U.S. senators wondering aloud if top brass at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency should be replaced.

“I think (Gov.) David Ige has a tough decision in front of him, and it’s his call,” Sen. Brian Schatz told reporters Wednesday. Either way, the state has a long road ahead in restoring the public’s confidence in the alert system, the Democrat said.

Nearly 40 minutes passed between the time Hawaii officials fired off the bogus alert about an incoming missile over the weekend and the moment the notice was canceled.

The confusion raises questions about whether any state should be solely responsible for notifying the public of such an event. The debate comes as North Korea claims it is testing weapons that could deliver a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile to Hawaii, Guam and even the U.S. mainland.

Hawaii is the only state in the nation with a pre-programmed alert that can be quickly sent to wireless devices if a ballistic missile is heading toward the U.S. FEMA said Hawaii did not require its approval to cancel the alert on Saturday.

U.S. Reps. Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard, both of Hawaii, have asked the House Armed Services Committee to hold a hearing on the issue.

They said in a letter to the committee Tuesday that it’s understandable for states to have primary jurisdiction over warnings for floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

“However, when it comes to matters of national security, including whether a ballistic missile has been launched against the United States, one must question whether any state emergency management agency is best suited for that role,” the letter says………

President Donald Trump did not make any public comments about the false alert on Saturday. He was at his golf club in West Palm Beach, accompanied by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Asked about the alert on Sunday, the president said it was “a state thing.”…….https://apnews.com/81a377f739c64036afd035e2d95c4576

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January 19, 2018 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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