National Holiday – Independence Day

November 28th is the most important national holiday in the Hawaiian Kingdom. It is the day Great Britain and France formally recognized the Hawaiian Islands as an “independent state” in 1843, and has since been celebrated as “Independence Day,” which in the Hawaiian language is “La Ku‘oko‘a.” Here follows the story of this momentous event from the Hawaiian Kingdom Board of Education history textbook titled “A Brief History of the Hawaiian People” published in 1891.

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The First Embassy to Foreign Powers—In February, 1842, Sir George Simpson and Dr. McLaughlin, governors in the service of the Hudson Bay Company, arrived at Honolulu George Simpsonon business, and became interested in the native people and their government. After a candid examination of the controversies existing between their own countrymen and the Hawaiian Government, they became convinced that the latter had been unjustly accused. Sir George offered to loan the government ten thousand pounds in cash, and advised the king to send commissioners to the United States and Europe with full power to negotiate new treaties, and to obtain aHaalilio guarantee of the independence of the kingdom.

Accordingly Sir George Simpson, Haalilio, the king’s secretary, and Mr. Richards were appointed joint ministers-plenipotentiary to the three powers on the 8th of April, 1842.

William RichardsMr. Richards also received full power of attorney for the king. Sir George left for Alaska, whence he traveled through Siberia, arriving in England in November. Messrs. Richards and Haalilio sailed July 8th, 1842, in a chartered schooner for Mazatlan, on their way to the United States*

*Their business was kept a profound secret at the time.

Proceedings of the British Consul—As soon as these facts became known, Mr. Charlton followed the embassy in order to defeat its object. He left suddenly on September 26th, 1842, for London via Mexico, sending back a threatening letter to the king, in which he informed him that he had appointed Mr. Alexander Simpson as acting-consul of Great Britain. As this individual, who was a relative of Sir George, was an avowed advocate of the annexation of the islands to Great Britain, and had insulted and threatened the governor of Oahu, the king declined to recognize him as British consul. Meanwhile Mr. Charlton laid his grievances before Lord George Paulet commanding the British frigate “Carysfort,” at Mazatlan, Mexico. Mr. Simpson also sent dispatches to the coast in November, representing that the property and persons of his countrymen were in danger, which introduced Rear-Admiral Thomas to order the “Carysfort” to Honolulu to inquire into the matter.

Recognition by the United States—Messres. Richards and Haalilio arrived in Washington early in December, and had several interviews with Daniel Webster, theDaniel Webster Secretary of State, from whom they received an official letter December 19th, 1842, which recognized the independence of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and declared, “as the sense of the government of the United States, that the government of the Sandwich Islands ought to be respected; that no power ought to take possession of the islands, either as a conquest or for the purpose of the colonization; and that no power ought to seek for any undue control over the existing government, or any exclusive privileges or preferences in matters of commerce.” *

*The same sentiments were expressed in President Tyler’s message to Congress of December 30th, and in the Report of the Committee on Foreign Relations, written by John Quincy Adams.

Success of the Embassy in Europe—The king’s envoys proceeded to London, whereAberdeen they had been preceded by the Sir George Simpson, and had an interview with the Earl of Aberdeen, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, on the 22d of February, 1843.

Lord Aberdeen at first declined to receive them as ministers from an independent state, or to negotiate a treaty, alleging that the king did not govern, but that he was “exclusively under the influence of Americans to the detriment of British interests,” and would not admit that the government of the United States had yet fully recognized the independence of the islands.

Sir George and Mr. Richards did not, however, lose heart, but went on to Brussels March 8th, by a previous arrangement made with Mr. Brinsmade. While there, they had an interview with Leopold I., king of the Belgians, who received them with great courtesy, and promised to use his influence to obtain the recognition of Hawaiian independence. This influence was great, both from his eminent personal qualities and from his close relationship to the royal families of England and France.

Encouraged by this pledge, the envoys proceeded to Paris, where, on the 17th, M. Guizot, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, received them in the kindest manner, and at once engaged, in behalf of France, to recognize the independence of the islands. He made the same statement to Lord Cowley, the British ambassador, on the 19th, and thus cleared the way for the embassy in England.

They immediately returned to London, where Sir George had a long interview with Lord Aberdeen on the 25th, in which he explained the actual state of affairs at the islands, and received an assurance that Mr. Charlton would be removed. On the 1st of April, 1843, the Earl of Aberdeen formally replied to the king’s commissioners, declaring that “Her Majesty’s Government are willing and have determined to recognize the independence of the Sandwich Islands under their present sovereign,” but insisting on the perfect equality of all foreigners in the islands before the law, and adding that grave complaints had been received from British subjects of undue rigor exercised toward them, and improper partiality toward others in the administration of justice. Sir George Simpson left for Canada April 3d, 1843.

Recognition of the Independence of the Islands—Lord Aberdeen, on the 13th of June, assured the Hawaiian envoys that “Her Majesty’s government had no intention to retain possession of the Sandwich Islands,” and a similar declaration was made to the governments of France and the United States.

At length, on the 28th of November, 1843, the two governments of France and England united in a joint declaration to the effect that “Her Majesty, the queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and His Majesty, the king of the French, taking into consideration the existence in the Sandwich Islands of a government capable of providing for the regularity of its relations with foreign nations have thought it right to engage reciprocally to consider the Sandwich Islands as an independent state, and never to take possession, either directly or under the title of a protectorate, or under any other form, of any part of the territory of which they are composed…”

John C CalhounThis was the final act by which the Hawaiian Kingdom was admitted within the pale of civilized nations. Finding that nothing more could be accomplished for the present in Paris, Messrs. Richards and Haalilio returned to the United States in the spring of 1844. On the 6th of July they received a dispatch from Mr. J.C. Calhoun, the Secretary of State, informing them that the President regarded the statement of Mr. Webster and the appointment of a commissioner “as a full recognition on the part of the United States of the independence of the Hawaiian Government.”

In Honor of Timoteo Ha‘alilio, A True Hawaiian Statesman

William RichardsBelow is a reprint of an article published in the Polynesian newspaper in 1845. The author is William Richards being one of the commissioners along with Timoteo Ha‘alilio and Sir George Simpson who were commissioned by King Kamehameha III with the purpose of securing the recognition of the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent State from Great Britain, France and the United States. Of the three, Ha‘alilio did not survive. He passed away on the ship The Montreal on his way home after departing Hawai‘i in 1842.

THE POLYNESIAN.
OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE HAWAIIAN GOVERNMENT.
HONOLULU, SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 1845.

HaalilioThe Montreal, from Boston, arrived off our harbor on Sunday last, at day break. Her ensign was noticed to be half-mast, and various conjectures began to circulate through the town, when William Richards, Esq., H.H.M.’s Commissioner to the U. States and Europe, whose arrival has been so long and anxiously awaited, landed and proceeded directly to the palace, where he immediately made known to their Majesties the melancholy news of the death of his fellow Commissioner, Mr. T. Haalilio, who died at sea on the 3d Dec. ult. The sad intelligence soon spread over the place; the flags of the men of war, merchant vessels, the consulates, batteries and other places, were immediately lowered to half-mast as a general expression of sympathy at the nation’s loss. Great hopes had been entertained both among Hawaiians and foreigners, of the good results that would ensue to the kingdom from the addition to its councils of one of so intelligent a mind, stored as it was with the fruits of observant travel, and the advantages derived from long and familiar intercourse in the best circles of Europe and the United States. A numerous band of personal friends to whom he had been endeared from his earliest intercourse by his sincerity of manners and peculiarly affectionate deportment, were earnestly looking to welcome him home. But above all, their Majesties, his intimate friends, the Governors, the other high chiefs and his widowed mother were awaiting his arrival with an earnestness of hope that the deepest affections of the heart can alone produce. The last tidings from him had been those of health. He was then soon to embark, and his speedy arrival to the shores and friends he loved so well, was anticipated without a doubt. So unexpected a termination of his existence, after having escaped the dangers of long and trying journe[y]s and voyagings, while as it were, on the very eve of again treading his native land, brings with it more than common anguish. It is not for us to life the veil and expose the scene which ensued at the palace upon the communication of the tidings. The whole court were there assembled. Those who had been suddenly deprived of their choicest hope when on the eve of its full indulgence, can alone estimate the bereavement.

It is satisfactory to know that every attention affection or sympathy could suggest, was afforded the deceased. Previous to our own departure from the United States, we were a witness to the deep interest and respect which Mr. Haalilio received in the refined society of Boston. But our already crowded columns will not allow us further to dilate. From Mr. Richards he received in all stages of his journey the most unremitting care, and towards the close of his life he was ever at his bed-side. Our readers will be able to glean from the brief memoir which follows this, prepared by Mr. R. some further insight into his life and untimely end. We say untimely, but man seeeth not as god seeeth.

Haalilio was born in 1808, at Koolau; Oahu. His parents were of respectable rank, and much esteemed. His father died while he was quite young, and his widowed mother subsequently married the Governor of Molokai, an island depend[e]nt on the Governor of Maui. After this death, she retained the authority of the island, and acted as Governess for the period of some fifteen years.

At the age of about eight years, Haalilio removed to Hilo on Hawaii, where he was adopted in the family, and became one of the playmates, of the young prince, now King of the Islands. He traveled round to different parts of the Islands with the prince, conforming to the various heathenish rites which were then in vogue. From that period he remained one of the most intimate companions and associates of the King.

At the age of about thirteen, he commenced learning to read, and was a pleasant pupil and made great proficiency. There were then no regularly established schools, and he was a private pupil of Mrs. Bingham. He learned to read English as well as Hawaiian, though at that period he did not understand what he read. He was taught arithmetic and penmanship by Mr. Bingham, and was early employed by the King to do his writing–not as an official secretary, but as an amanuensis or clerk. As be advanced in years he had various duties and employments assigned him, requiring skill and responsibility. Being associated with the King, he was always received into society with him, and thus enjoyed various advantages which he prized very much and improved in the best manner. He thus became acquainted with the usages of good society which he never failed to adopt as fast as he became acquainted with them.

To him also the King committed the charge of his private purse, which he held till the time of his embarkation. It thus became his duty to make most of the purchases required by the King, and he thereby had opportunity to become acquainted with the detail of mercantile business, of which he acquired a very commendable knowledge. His habits of business were many of them worthy of imitation even by the most enlightened. He was in a good degree systematic, and was extremely careful of every thing committed to this charge.

Besides acquaintance with mercantile transactions, he also acquired a very full knowledge of the political relations of the country. He was a strenuous advocate for a constitutional and representative government, and aided not a little in effecting those changes by which the rights of the lower classes have been secured. He was well acquainted with the practical influence of the former system of government, and considered a change necessary to the welfare of the nation.

The King and Chiefs could not fail to see the real value of such a man, and they therefore promoted him to offices to which his birth would not, according to the old system, have entitled him. He was properly the Lieutenant-Governor of the Island of Oahu, and regularly acted as Governor during the absence of the incumbent. It was expected also that he would succeed the present Governor in his office, had he outlived him. He was also elected a member of the council of Nobles, and materially aided that body in their deliberations. At the last meeting of the Legislature previous to his leaving the country, he was chosen President of the Treasury Board, and thus in a considerable degree he had control of the finances of the nation.

In the month of April, 1842, he was appointed a joint Commissioner with Mr. Richards, to the Courts of the U.S.A, England and France. He embarked on the 18th of July following on board the sch. Shaw, and arrived at Mazatlan Sept. 1st. While on the passage he often talked of home and friends with a tenderness and emotion that showed a high degree of sensibility and refinement. On his arrival at port, he was received with great hospitality. In crossing Mexico, he was deeply interested in noticing the peculiarities of the scenery, the character of the people, and the natural history of the country. Nothing escaped his observation; and the correctness and good sense of his remarks, rendered him not merely a pleasant but a profitable companion. After spending a fortnight at Vera Cruz, he was by the politeness of Capt. Newton received on board the U.S. steamer Missouri, about to sail to the mouth of the Mississippi. On board that vessel he had the company of Mr. Mayer, the U.S. Sec. of Legation at Mexico; and Mr. Southall, Bearer of Despatches, with whom he proceeded to New Orleans, and then by the mail route to Washington, where he arrived on the 3d of Dec. The results of his embassy there, are already before the public. After spending a month at Washington, and having accomplished the main objects of embassy there, he proceeded to the north, making a short stay of only two days in New York; but on his arrival in the western part of Massachusetts, was attacked by a severe cold, brought on by the inclemencies of the weather, followed by a change in the thermometer of about sixty degrees in twenty-four hours. Here was probably laid the foundation of that disease by which his short but eventful life has been so afflictingly closed.

He however so far recovered that he embarked for England in the steamer Caledonia, on the 2d of Feb. 1843, and arrived in London on the 18th of the same month, and was apparently at that time in perfect health. He immediately entered on the business of his embassy, and before six weeks had expired, had the happiness to receive from the Earl of Aberdeen, the official and solemn declaration that “Her Majesty’s Government are willing and have determined to recognize the independence of the Sandwich Islands under their present Sovereign.” He was also received and treated with high consideration by all persons of distinction to whom he was introduced. The Hon. Mr. Ellis; Sir Henry Pelly; the Earl of Selkirk; the Duke and Duchess of Sommerset; Sir Augustus d’Este, cousin of the Queen; the Lord Chamberlain; and the Mayor of London, were among the number of those from whom he received special attentions. While in Europe, as well as in the U.S.A., he made it a special business to visit and examine all objects of public interest which claim the attention of the traveller. The various manufacturing establishments, the museums, the hospitals, the prisons, the great works of architecture, the ancient palaces and cathedrals, the bridges, dockyards, and mausoleums of the dead,–the public schools and institutions of charity, and various religious establishments; all received his attention, and produced an influence on his mind which it was most interesting to witness.

After accomplishing the object of his embassy to England, he proceeded to France, where he was received in the same respectful manner as in England, and after carious delays, finally succeeded in obtaining from the French Government, not only a recognition of independence, but also a mutual guarantee from England and France that that independence should be respected. In Belgium he was honored with an interview with the King Leopold, and received the same recognition of independence as had been obtained from the other nations. The persons from whom he received special attentions in France, were M. Guizot; Count and Countess Gasparin; the Lafayette family; Count de la Bonde; Duke de Caze; Admiral Baudin; Duke de Broglie; the Baron Champloies; Count Pellet; Count Salvandy; M. de Toqueville; Lady Elgin, and others. In all the society he visited, he never failed to secure entire respect.

After spending about fifteen months in Europe, he returned to the U. S. A. in the Britannia, and reached Boston on the 18th of May ult. It should have been mentioned however, that while in Paris in June 1843, he was affected by a cold, rheumatic pains and coughs, which soon yielded to medical treatment, and his health again became good. But in Jan. last he was more seriously afflicted, being confined to his room, and mostly to his bed, for a period of more than four weeks. At this time his cough was very severe, the soreness of his breast great, and his symptoms in many respects threatening. He soon recovered, however, and on his arrival in the U.S.A. was in good health. He spent most of the summer in traveling. He visited Washington again, and proceeded to Wheeling, Va.; thence to Pittsburg, and on to Cleveland, Ohio, and down the lake to Buffalo, and Niagara Falls; thence through lake Ontario to Syracuse, Albany, and down the Hudson to New York.

He subsequently returned to Albany, and thence on through White-Hall and lake Champlain to Montreal in Canada. He returned through the interior of Vermont and New Hampshire to Boston, where he spent a few weeks, visiting the various places of importance in that vicinity; Cambridge, Charleston, Roxbury, Plymouth, Quincey, Newburyport, Andover, Lowell, and other places. It is impossible to describe the interest that he took in these visits, or the profit he appeared to derive from them.

But it is now time to revert to another trait in his character; I mean his religious views and affections.

But a few days after we embarked from the Islands, as he opened his trunk, I noticed the Hawaiian Bible lying in it, which he took and began to read. This was the commencement of a practice which he followed till his frame was too weak to follow it longer. Few if any days passed except when actually traveling or employed in important business, in which he was not seen reading that precious book. A few days previous to his death he told me he had read it twice through in course since he left the Islands, beside all his incidental reading. Besides the Scriptures, he read much in other books of a religious character, though his reading was by no means confined to nor was it principally religious books. After exhausting his Hawaiian library, he read considerable in English.

To show his feelings on the subject of prayer, I will mention, that after traveling in Mexico for a number of successive days, and every night being in the midst of company and bustle, without a possibility of retirement, we at last arrived at the hospitable dwelling of an E[n]glish gentlemen, who at bed time conducted us to a retired and pleasant chamber. Our host had scarcely left us when Haalilio turned his eyes and surveying the room for a moment said with an expressive countenance, “We have at last found a place where we can pray.” He showed that he was not a stranger to prayer. The apparent humility with which he made confession of sins, the fervency with which he asked Divine aid in the business of our embassy, and the tenderness with which he implored the blessing of Heaven on his friends and countrymen, early led me to feel that prayer with him was not a mere empty form. From that time down to the last sad hour of his life, I had evidence that in a good degree he kept the commandment.—”Be instant in prayer.” Many and many a night when he supposed me to be asleep, have I heard his voice or rather whisper, laying open his heart before his Maker.

By the deep interest which he manifested in a faithful observance of the Sabbath, he showed that he was not regardless of the Divine requisitions. While in France and Belgium, never a Sabbath passed in which he did not express his astonishment at the public, open, and constant violation of God’s holy day. On the contrary, while in England and the U. S. A. he as often expressed his admiration as he witnessed the stillness of the streets and the multitudes of those who thronged the house of God.

The illness which terminated his life commenced on the 13th of Sept. last, while in Brooklyn, New York. At first he merely complained of slight rheumatic pain, and indisposition to exercise. At the end of a week it suddenly increased and exhibited the usual marks of a cold. Medicine was promptly administered, and after keeping his room for a week, he was so much better as to leave it and take exercise in open air. But as he recovered from his rheumatism, I noticed an increase of cough, especially in the morning. To this I called the attention of the physician. He considered the cough as merely symptomatic, and giving a common cough mixture, predicted its early removal. On the 16th of Oct. he removed to Boston, and the first physicians of the city were immediately called. They pronounced his lungs sound, and his disease to be a slow fever. On the third day however, their opinion changed, and they thought his lungs affected, but not seriously. At their advice, and the advice of numerous other friends, he was removed to the Massachusetts Hospital, where every thing was done which science could prescribe, or medicine effect. But his disease made rapid strides, and his flesh wasted fast.

During the whole period of his illness he took a rational and correct view of his own case. He early discovered the danger of his symptoms, yet never appeared alarmed, nor renounced the hope of recovery, until a few days previous to his death. And in all circumstances he appeared calm and resigned, saying, “Father, not my will but thine be done.” While at the Hospital, I heard him whisper this in prayer, at the still hour of midnight, while he supposed I was asleep. On one occasion, I noticed him wiping the tear from his cheek, and went to his bedside to sympathi[z]e and comfort him. He immediately said, “I was not weeping for myself, but for you.” I inquired if he was not anxious to live and reach the Islands. He replied, “Not on my own account. I [s]hould indeed be glad to tell the chiefs and people what I have seen, and in their presence dedicate myself to God; but respecting myself I do not feel anxious.” The great subjects of those prayers which I overheard were confessions of sin, pleading for relief from suffering, imploring blessings on his mother, on the King and on his countrymen. He prayed also that he might live to reach the Islands; but this prayer was usually conditional, and ended with “Aia no ia oe”–it is with thee, or, they will be done. Before he came on board, he dictated a few affecting sentences to the King and Chiefs.–The second Sabbath we were at sea, he became convinced that he could not live, and gave farther charge to be delivered to the King and Chiefs. He expressed also a wish to be bapti[z]ed. On the evening of that Sabbath, while speaking of his pain and sufferings and immediate prospect of death, he added, “But this is the happiest day of my life. My work is done. I am ready to go.” He continued in the same general state of mind to the time of his departure. During the last few hours of his life he prayed several times, but I only understood one important sentence, which was nearly like this: “My Father, thou hast not granted my desire, once more to see the land of my birth, and my friends there, but do not, I entreat thee, refuse my request to see they kingdom, and my friends who are dwelling with thee.” At about four o’clock he slapped his arms about my neck, pulled my face down to his, and kissed me, then said, “Heaha ke koe?” What further remains? I replied, “Eternal life in Heaven, if you believe in Jesus. He will be your King, and angels will be your associates; there will be no groans there, no parting, no weakness, no anguish or pain, and no sin.” He replied, “That is plain; I understand it well; but I have no painful anxiety on that subject, and it was not to that that my question related. What further have I to do here?” I replied, “It is with the Lord; I know not: all your charges to me I have put down in writing, and shall faithfully deliver them according to your directions.” A little while after, he reached out his hand, took hold of mine and shook it with a smile, and then let go. At a quarter before seven, I perceived his again in prayer; but his voice soon died away, and I perceived that his end was near; and at seven, his spirit took its flight.

Doctoral Dissertation Defense – The Hawaiian Kingdom as a Power in the World

***UPDATE. Lorenz Gonschor successfully defended his dissertation. He will be graduating in May 2016 with a Ph.D. in political science. His committee members were comprised of Associate Professor Noelani Goodyear–Ka‘ōpua, Committee Chair, Professor John Wilson, Associate Professor Ehito Kimura, Assistant Professor Colin Moore, Professor Niklaus Schweizer, and Assistant Professor Kamana Beamer.

According to the Office of Graduate Education at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, all doctoral dissertation defenses are open to the public. Gonschor_Defense

Kanaka Express – Interview with Professor Schweizer

Kale Gumapac, host of Kanaka Express, interviews Dr. Niklaus Schweizer on history of the Hawaiian Kingdom and its impact today. Dr. Schweizer is a professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and has published books and articles on the history of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Dr. Schweizer also served as the Honorary Consul for the Swiss Confederation and is currently consul emeritus of the Consular Corps of Hawai‘i.

The Meaning of Hawaiian Independence in International Law

As the Hawaiian Kingdom approaches the celebration of its most important national holiday Lā Ku‘oko‘a (Independence Day) on November 28—Saturday, it is important to understand just what the term “independence” really means. Common misunderstandings are statements such as “independence advocates” or “people who want Hawaiian independence.” These statements assume Hawai‘i is not independent, where independence is a political aspiration and not a legal reality. It is also evidence of denationalization through Americanization that has nearly obliterated the national consciousness of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the minds of the people.

Patriotic Exercises_TH

In international relations and law, independence reflects the status of a State whereby the international community recognizes that only the laws of that particular State apply over its territory “independent” of other laws over other States and their territories. Only independent States are subjects of international law or members or the Family of Nations. In other words you can be a State, but not be independent, such as the State of New York, which once was an independent State but is no longer today.

After the American Revolution, the State of New York became an independent State along with the other former twelve British colonies, who were all member States of a political union called the United Stated States of America, which was a confederation since 1777. A confederation is a political union of independent States, such as today’s European Union, which is a commercial union of independent States.

Article 1 of the 1783 Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolution, specifically states, “His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and Independent States.” For the next six years, the international community recognized that only New York law applied over the territory of New York to the exclusion of any foreign States’ laws, such as the laws of Great Britain and France.

In 1789, New York would lose its independence of its laws when it chose to join an American Federation whereby all thirteen American independent States would relinquish their independence to a Federal government thereby creating the United States of America as the world knows it today. This is when the United States of America replaced the former thirteen independent States as the single independent State under international law. No longer being an independent State, New York has two separate laws that apply with equal force within its territory—United States Federal law and State of New York law.

When Great Britain and France jointly proclaimed on November 28, 1843 that both States recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom as an Independent State, it meant that only Hawaiian law would apply over Hawaiian territory, which signified Hawaiian independence. Even more surprising was that the Hawaiian Kingdom was the only non-European Power admitted into the Family of Nations with full recognition of its independence of Hawaiian law over Hawaiian territory.

1843 Declaration_p_1(color)

1843 Declaration_p_2(color)

Other non-European Powers such as Japan were not admitted as independent States into the Family of Nations until 1899, and since 1858, Japan had unequal treaties whereby independent States, such as the United States of America, applied their own laws within Japanese territory over their citizenry. Under the 1858 American-Japanese unequal treaty, American citizens could only be prosecuted in Japan under American law and tried by the American Consulate serving as the Court. The Hawaiian Kingdom also had an unequal treaty with Japan. Under the 1871 Hawaiian-Japanese Treaty, Hawaiian subjects in Japan could only be prosecuted under Hawaiian law by the Hawaiian Consulate in Tokyo.

Since the American occupation began, Hawaiian independence is at the core of the law of occupation. This means only Hawaiian law must be temporarily administered by the occupying State. No other law can be administered in an occupied State because it is independent. The laws of occupation would not apply if Hawai‘i was not an independent State.

In international arbitration between the Netherlands and the United States at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (Island of Palmas case) from 1925-1928, the arbitrator explained independence. Judge Huber stated, “Sovereignty in the relations between States signifies independence. Independence in regard to a portion of the globe is the right to exercise therein, to the exclusion of any other State, the functions of a State.”

Independence refers to “political” independence and not “physical” independence from another State. Oppenheim, International Law, Vol. 1, 177-8 (2nd ed. 1912), explains: “Sovereignty as supreme authority, which is independent of any other earthly authority, may be said to have different aspects. As excluding dependence from any other authority, and in especial from the authority of the another State, sovereignty is independence. It is external independence with regard to the liberty of action outside its borders in the intercourse with other States which a State enjoys. It is internal independence with regard to the liberty of action of a State inside its borders. As comprising the power of a State to exercise supreme authority over all persons and things within its territory, sovereignty is territorial supremacy. As comprising the power of a State to exercise supreme authority over its citizens at home and abroad, sovereignty is personal supremacy. For these reasons a State as an International Person possesses independence and territorial and personal supremacy.”

Occupation does not extinguish independence/sovereignty, but rather it is protected and maintained under international law. U.S. Army FM-27-10The Law of Land Warfare, acknowledges this. Chapter 6 covers occupation. Section 358 states, “Being an incident of war, military occupation confers upon the invading force the means of exercising control for the period of occupation. It does not transfer the sovereignty to the occupant, but simply the authority or power to exercise some of the rights of sovereignty. The exercise of these rights results from the established power of the occupant and from the necessity of maintaining law and order, indispensable both to the inhabitants and to the occupying force. It is therefore unlawful for a belligerent occupant to annex occupied territory or to create a new State therein while hostilities are still in progress.”

Academics Dispelling the Myths of the Hawaiian Kingdom through Research

An interview of Professor Niklaus Schweizer and Ph.D. candidate Lorenz Gonschor from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa by Kale Gumapac, host of the show The Kanaka Express. The interview is focuses on dispelling the untruths of the Hawaiian Kingdom that is a part of the research and classroom instruction at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

Fifteen Academic Scholars from around the World meet at Cambridge, UK

cambridge-logoFrom September 10-12, 2015, fifteen academic scholars from around the world who were political scientists and historians came together to present papers on non-European powers at a conference/workshop held at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Attendees of the conference were by invitation only and the papers presented at the conference are planned to be published in a volume with Oxford University Press.

The theme of the conference was Non-European Powers in the Age of Empire. These non-European countries included Hawai‘i, Iran, Turkey, China, Ethiopia, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Madagascar. Dr. Keanu Sai was one of the invited academic scholars and his paper is titled “Hawaiian Neutrality: From the Crimean Conflict through the Spanish-American War.”

Cambridge Conference Attendees 2

Many of these scholars were unaware of the history of the Hawaiian Kingdom and its “full” membership in the family of nations as a sovereign and independent state. What stood out for them was the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom because it was only the government that was illegally overthrown by the United States and not the Hawaiian state, which is the international term for country. The belief that Hawai‘i lost its independence was dispelled and that its current status is a state under a prolonged American occupation since the Spanish-American War.

What was a surprise was that the Hawaiian Kingdom was the only non-European Power to have been a co-equal sovereign to European Powers throughout the 19th century. All other non-European Powers were not recognized as full sovereign states until the latter part of the 19th century and the turn of the 20th century. During this time European Powers imposed their laws within the territory of these countries under what has been termed “unequal treaties.”

Since 1858, Japan had been forced to recognize the extraterritoriality of American, British, French, Dutch and Russian law operating within Japanese territory. According to these treaties, citizens of these countries while in Japan could only be prosecuted under their country’s laws and by their country’s Consulates in Japan called “Consular Courts.” Under Article VI of the 1858 American-Japanese Treaty, it provided that “Americans committing offenses against Japanese shall be tried in American consular courts, and when guilty shall be punished according to American law.” The Hawaiian Kingdom’s 1871 treaty with Japan also had this provision, where it states under Article II that Hawaiian subjects in Japan shall enjoy “at all times the same privileges as may have been, or may hereafter be granted to the citizens or subjects of any other nation.” This was a sore point for Japanese authorities who felt Japan’s sovereignty should be fully recognized by these states.

Emperor MeijiWhile King Kalakaua was visiting Japan in 1881, Emperor Meiji “asked for Hawai‘i to grant full recognition to Japan and thereby create a precedent for the Western powers to follow.” Kalakaua was unable to grant the Emperor’s request, but it was done by his successor Queen Lili‘uokalani. Hawaiian recognition of Japan’s full sovereignty and repeal of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s consular jurisdiction in Japan provided in the Hawaiian-Japanese Treaty of 1871, would take place in 1893 by executive agreement through exchange of notes.

Lili‘uokalani_3By direction of Her Majesty Queen Lili‘uokalani, R.W. Irwin, Hawaiian Minister to the Court of Japan in Tokyo sent a diplomatic note to Mutsu Munemitsu, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs on January 18, 1893 announcing the Hawaiian Kingdom’s abandonment of consular jurisdiction. Irwin stated:

“Her Hawaiian Majesty’s Government reposing entire confidence in the laws of Japan and the administration of justice in the Empire, and desiring to testify anew their sentiments of cordial goodwill and friendship towards the Government of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, have resolved to abandon the jurisdiction hitherto exercised by them in Japan.

It therefore becomes my agreeable duty to announce to your Excellency, in pursuance of instructions from Her Majesty’s Government, and I now have the honour formally to announce, that the Hawaiian Government do fully, completely, and finally abandon and relinquish the jurisdiction acquired by them in respect of Hawaiian subjects and property in Japan, under the Treaty of the 19th August, 1871.

There are at present from fifteen to twenty Hawaiian subjects residing in this Empire, and in addition about twenty-five subjects of Her Majesty visit Japan annually. Any information in my possession regarding these persons, or any of them, is at all times at your Excellency’s disposal.

While this action is taken spontaneously and without condition, as a measure demanded by the situation, I permit myself to express the confident hope entertained by Her Majesty’s Government that this step will remove the chief if not the only obstacle standing in the way of the free circulation of Her Majesty’s subjects throughout the Empire, for the purposes of business and pleasure in the same manner as is permitted to foreigners in other countries where Consular jurisdiction does not prevail. But in the accomplishment of this logical result of the extinction of Consular jurisdiction, whether by the conclusion of a new Treaty or otherwise, Her Majesty’s Government are most happy to consult the convenience and pleasure of His Imperial Majesty’s Government.”

On April 10, 1894, Foreign Minister Munemitsu, responded, “The sentiments of goodwill and friendship which inspired the act of abandonment are highly appreciated by the Imperial Government, but circumstances which it is now unnecessary to recapitulate have prevented an earlier acknowledgment of you Excellency’s note.”

This dispels the commonly held belief among historians that Great Britain was the first state to abandon its extraterritorial jurisdiction in Japan under the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Commerce and Navigation, which was signed on July 16, 1894. The action taken by the Hawaiian Kingdom did serve as “precedent for the Western powers to follow.”

Dr. Sai encourages everyone to read his paper “Hawaiian Neutrality: From the Crimean Conflict through the Spanish-American War” that was presented at Cambridge, which covers Hawai‘i’s political history from the celebrated King Kamehameha I to the current state of affairs today, and the remedy to ultimately bring the prolonged occupation to an end.

Were There Two American Occupations of Hawai‘i or Just One?

Camp McKinley 1898

There is a fundamental question regarding the American occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom that rests on two positions. The first proposition is that the American occupation began on January 17, 1893 at the time of the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian “government” and ended when American troops were ordered to vacate Hawaiian territory on April 1, 1893 by Presidential investigator James Blount. And that a second American occupation began on August 12, 1898 during the Spanish American War which has lasted to date. The second proposition is that the American occupation began on January 17, 1893 and has remained a belligerent occupation ever since.

What is fundamental and crucial in precisely determining this question of occupation is that occupation triggers the law of occupation, which follows an invasion. When occupation comes to an end so do the laws occupation. This is separate and distinct from the laws and customs of war triggered by an invasion, and the law of occupation that mandates the occupier to provisionally administer the laws of the occupied State under Section III (Articles 42-56) of the 1899 Hague Convention, II, which was later superseded by Section III (Articles 42-56) of the 1907 Hague Convention, IV, and the 1949 Geneva Convention, IV.

At the center of occupation is “effectiveness.” In other words, territory is only occupied when it comes under the effective control of a foreign state’s military. For without effectiveness, the occupier would not be able to carry out the duties and obligations of an occupier under international law in the administration of the laws of the occupied State.

Although an invasion of territory would trigger the laws and customs of war on land, it does not simultaneously trigger the laws of occupation, because the invasion may be transient and ongoing. But when the invader becomes fixed and establishes its authority it triggers the laws of occupation. Article 42 of the 1899 Hague Convention, II, which was considered customary international law at the time, states that, “Territory is considered occupied when it is actually place under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation applies only to the territory where such authority is established, and in a position to assert itself.” Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Convention, IV, is relatively the same except for minor changes in wording.

At first glance, Article 42 refers to the presence of a “hostile army.” So if we were to look at the U.S. troops that were present in Honolulu on January 17, 1893, we need to determine at what point were they in a position of established authority. In his message of December 18, 1893, President Cleveland apprised the Congress that when U.S. troops landed in Honolulu on Monday January 16 it was an invasion. Cleveland stated, “The men, upwards of 160 in all, were supplied with double cartridge belts filled with ammunition and with haversacks and canteens, and were accompanied by a hospital corps with stretchers and medical supplies. This military demonstration upon the soil of Honolulu was of itself an act of war.” Cleveland further states that, “the military occupation of Honolulu by the United States on the day mentioned was wholly without justification, either as an occupation by consent or as an occupation necessitated by dangers threatening American life and property.”

The question, however, from a strictly legal standpoint, did the U.S. troops establish its authority under the law of occupation, and, if so, to what extent did this authority extend regarding territorial control. The troops were occupying a very small defensive position between two buildings—Music Hall and Arian Hall, on Mililani Street. Cleveland explained to the Congress,

Cleveland“The United States forces being now on the scene and favorably stationed, the committee proceeded to carry out their original scheme. They met the next morning, Tuesday, the 17th, perfected the plan of temporary government, and fixed upon its principal officers, ten of whom were drawn from the thirteen members of the Committee of Safety. Between one and two o’clock, by squads and by different routes to avoid notice, and having first taken the precaution of ascertaining whether there was any one there to oppose them, they proceeded to the Government building almost entirely without auditors. It is said that before the reading was finished quite a concourse of persons, variously estimated at from 50 to 100, some armed and some unarmed, gathered about the committee to give them aid and confidence. This statement is not important, since the one controlling factor in the whole affair was unquestionably the United States marines, who, drawn up under arms and with artillery in readiness only seventy-six yards distant, dominated the situation.”

US troops 1893

Cleveland was not explaining an occupation that would invoke the law of occupation, but rather an invasion and regime change. But on February 1, 1893, the United States diplomat, John Stevens, declared the Hawaiian Islands to be an American protectorate. So from a position of international law it would be February 1 that would trigger the duty and obligations of the law of occupation because it would appear that this date is where the United States gained effective control of foreign territory and established its authority over it.

However, if you add to the mix the so-called Provisional Government it presents a very different picture. First, the President told Congress that the provisional government was neither a de jure government, which is the lawful government, nor a de facto government, which by definition under international law is a successful revolution. A de facto government has to be in effective control of all the governmental machinery of the government it is revolting against, before it can be considered de facto, because when it is not it is still in a state of revolt and the treason statute would apply. This is why the United States of America was not considered a de facto government until after King George III signed the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783, that ended the seven year revolt. When the British colonies declared their independence on July 4, 1776 they became insurgents who committed treason to the British government.

Cleveland addressed this requirement of international law when he stated to the Congress, “That it was not in such possession of the Government property and agencies as entitled it to recognition is conclusively proved by a note found in the files of the Legation at Honolulu, addressed by the declared head of the provisional government to Minister Stevens, dated January 17, 1893, in which he acknowledges with expressions of appreciation the Minister’s recognition of the provisional government, and states that it is not yet in the possession of the station house (the place where a large number of the Queen’s troops were quartered), though the same had been demanded of the Queen’s officers in charge. Nevertheless, this wrongful recognition by our Minister placed the Government of the Queen in a position of most perilous perplexity. On the one hand she had possession of the palace, of the barracks, and of the police station, and had at her command at least five hundred fully armed men and several pieces of artillery. Indeed, the whole military force of her kingdom was on her side and at her disposal, while the Committee of Safety, by actual search, had discovered that there were but very few arms in Honolulu that were not in the service of the Government. In this state of things if the Queen could have dealt with the insurgents alone her course would have been plain and the result unmistakable. But the United States had allied itself with her enemies, had recognized them as the true Government of Hawaii, and had put her and her adherents in the position of opposition against lawful authority.”

The insurgents seized control of the de jure Government of the Queen under the protection of U.S. troops, and thereafter compelled everyone in Government to sign oaths of allegiance. By unlawfully seizing the reigns of government in violation of international law, it does not transform itself into a de jure government. It is a state of emergency born out of a violation of international law. Therefore, if the so-called Provisional Government was not a government at all, but rather enemies of the State who committed high treason under Hawaiian law, then what would it be classified as for the purposes of international law since the United States was its creator. Yes it could be called a puppet of the United States, but this does not mean anything under international law and the law of occupation.

Under international law, the Provisional Government would be classified as an American “militia” illegally established on Hawaiian territory by the United States. Article 1 of the 1899 Hague Convention, II, states, “The laws, rights, and duties of war apply not only to armies, but also to militia and volunteer corps fulfilling the following conditions: 1. To be commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; 2. To have a fixed distinctive emblem recognizable at a distance; 3. To carry arms openly; and 4. To conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.” This Article remained unchanged in the 1907 Hague Convention, IV.

There can be no doubt that the American militia called the Provisional Government began to be in effective control as a result of U.S. intervention, but this effectiveness did not reach its peak on January 17. It was a gradual escalation of effectiveness that began to grow from the city of Honolulu to the outlying government offices on the outer islands. But when the U.S. diplomat established protectorate status on February 1, this could be definitive as to when the law of occupation was triggered. Up to this point it was an invasion and not an occupation for the purposes of international law. Although U.S. troops departed Hawaiian territory on April 1, 1893, the American militia maintained itself through the hiring of mercenaries from the United States.

On July 4, 1894, the American militia changed its name to the Republic of Hawai‘i and continued to have government officers and employees sign oaths of allegiance under threat of American mercenaries who continued to be employed by the insurgency. The proclamation of the insurgents stated, “it is hereby declared, enacted and proclaimed by the Executive and Advisory Councils of the Provisional Government and by the elected Delegates, constituting said Constitutional Convention, that on and after the Fourth day of July, A.D. 1894, the said Constitution shall be the Constitution of the Republic of Hawaii and the Supreme Law of the Hawaiian Islands.”

On April 30, 1900, the U.S. Congress by statute changed the name of the American militia called the Republic of Hawai‘i to the Territory of Hawai‘i. The Territorial Act provided, that “the laws of [the Republic of Hawai‘i] not inconsistent with the Constitution or laws of the United States or the provisions of this Act shall continue in force,” and that “all persons who were citizens of the Republic of Hawaii on August twelfth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States and citizens of the Territory of Hawai‘i.”

On March 18, 1959, the U.S. Congress again by statute changed the name of the American militia called the Territory of Hawai‘i to the State of Hawai‘i. The Statehood Act provided that all “Territorial laws in force in the Territory of Hawaii at the time of its admission into the Union shall continue in force in the State of Hawaii, except as modified or changed by this Act or by the constitution of the State, and shall be subject to repeal or amendment by the Legislature of the State of Hawaii.” The State of Hawai‘i today is an American militia and not a government.

Therefore, when we add the American militia that was formerly called the Provisional Government, the Republic of Hawai‘i, the Territory of Hawai‘i and now the State of Hawai‘i, into the equation and not just the physical presence and effective control of U.S. troops whether in 1893 or 1898, international law would recognize the beginning of the belligerent occupation to be February 1, 1893, which continues to date. The American occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom is the longest ever in the history of international relations that emerged since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.

Dr. Sai to Present at the University of Cambridge, UK

From September 10-12, 2015, the United Kingdom’s University of Cambridge’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Science and Humanities will be holding an academic conference “Sovereignty and Imperialism: Non-European Powers in the Age of Empire.” From the conference’s website:

Soverignty and Imperialism Conf“In the heyday of empire, most of the world was ruled, directly or indirectly, by the European powers. On the eve of the First World War, only a few non-European states had maintained their formal sovereignty: Abyssinia (Ethiopia), China, Japan, the Ottoman Empire, Persia (Iran), and Siam (Thailand). Some others kept their independence for a while, but then succumbed to imperial powers, such as Hawaii, Korea, Madagascar, and Morocco. Facing imperialist incursion, the political elites of these countries sought to overcome their political vulnerability by engaging with the European powers and seeking recognition as equals.

The conference ‘Sovereignty and Imperialism: Non-European Powers in the Age of Empire’ will explore how diplomats, military officials, statesmen, and monarchs of the independent non-European states struggled to keep European imperialism at bay. It will address four major aspects of the relations of these countries with the Western imperial powers: armed conflict and military reform (Panel 1); capitulations, unequal treaties, and subsequent engagement with European legal codes (Panel 2); royalty and courts (Panel 3); and diplomatic encounters (Panel 4). Bringing together scholars from across the world, the conference will be the first attempt to provide comparative perspectives on the non-European powers’ engagement with the European empires in the era of high imperialism.”

Dr. Keanu SaiDr. David Keanu Sai was 1 of 15 scholars from across the world that was invited to present their research and expertise that centers on non-European States. Dr. Sai’s research focuses on the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent and sovereign state and its continuity to date under an illegal and prolonged occupation by the United States of America since the Spanish-American War. He will be presenting a paper titled “Hawaiian Neutrality: From the Crimean Conflict to the Spanish-American War.” The following is Dr. Sai’s abstract for his paper:

“Only a decade since the Anglo-French proclamation of November 28, 1843 recognizing the Hawaiian Islands as an independent and sovereign State, the Hawaiian Kingdom would find itself being a participant State, during the Crimean conflict, in the abolishment of privateering and the formation of international rules protecting neutral goods. This set the stage for Hawaiian authorities to secure international recognition of its neutrality. Unlike States that were neutralized by agreement between third States, e.g. Luxembourg and Belgium, the Hawaiian Kingdom took a proactive approach to secure its neutrality through diplomacy and treaty provisions by making full use of its global location, which undoubtedly was double-edged. On the one hand, Hawai‘i was a beneficial asylum, being neutral territory, for all States at war in the Pacific Ocean, while on the other hand it was coveted by the United States for its military and strategic importance. This would eventually be revealed during the Spanish-American War when the United States deliberately violated the neutrality of the Hawaiian Islands and occupied its territory in order to conduct military campaigns in the Spanish colonies of Guam and Philippines, which was similar, in fashion, to Germany’s occupation of Luxembourg and the violation of its neutrality when it launched attacks into France during the First World War. The difference, however, is that Germany withdrew after four years of occupation, whereas the United States remained and implemented a policy of ‘denationalization’ in order to conceal the prolonged occupation of an independent and sovereign State. This paper challenges the commonly held belief that Hawai‘i lost its independence and was incorporated into the United States during the Spanish-American War. Rather, Hawai‘i remains a State by virtue of the same positive rules that preserved the independence of the occupied States of Europe during the First and Second World Wars.”

New Zealand News: United States Occupation of Hawai‘i

Te Karere New Zealand Television (NZTV) covers the illegal occupation of Hawai‘i by the United States. For the past week Dr. Keanu Sai has been meeting with tribal and political leaders in an act to raise awareness and gain support from Māori and New Zealanders on the illegal occupation of Hawai’i by the United States of America.

During his visit to New Zealand, Dr. Sai has met with Members of Parliament, a Cabinet Minister of the New Zealand government, Political Party Officials, Academics, and Tribal Leaders regarding the prolonged occupation of Hawai‘i by the United States. Dr. Sai brought to their attention the recent decision by the Swiss Federal Criminal Court specifically naming the State of Hawai‘i Governor Neal Abercrombie, Lt. Governor Shan Tsustui, the director of the Department of Taxation Frederik Pablo and his deputy Joshua Wisch, and the CEO of Deutsche Bank, Josef Ackermann.

In these meetings, Dr. Sai explained:

As my fellow countrymen and women are awakening to the stark reality that we’ve been under an illegal and prolonged occupation by the United States since the Spanish-American War, 1898, there are profound economic, legal and political ramifications that transcend Hawai‘i. My country was seized by the United States for military interests, and the belligerent occupation was disguised through lies and effected through a program of denationalization—Americanization—in the schools at the turn of the 19th century.

This revelation is reconnecting Hawai‘i to the international community and its treaty partners regarding the violations of rights and war crimes committed against the citizens and subjects of foreign states who have visited, resided or have done business in the Hawaiian Islands. My country’s treaty partners include Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, the United States, and the United Kingdom, to include Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu, as member states of the Commonwealth Realm.

The State of Hawai‘i has evaded a precise definition of standing in international law because it has pretended to be a government within the territorial borders of the United States, when in fact it is a private organization operating outside of the United States. The U.S. Congress created the State of Hawai‘i in 1959 by a Congressional Act, but since Congress has no extra-territorial effect it could not vest the State of Hawai‘i with governmental powers outside of its territory in an occupied state. According to the laws and customs of war, the State of Hawai‘i is defined as an Armed Force of the United States, which pretends to be a government.

As an Armed Force, the State of Hawai‘i is presently operating from a position of no lawful authority, and everything that it has done and that it will do is unlawful. From the creation and registration of commercial entities, the collection of tax revenues, the conveyance of real estate, to judicial proceedings, the State of Hawai‘i cannot claim to be a government de jure. This has the potential of generating catastrophic economic, legal and political ramifications in foreign countries, and the mandate for some of these countries, which includes New Zealand (International Crimes and International Criminal Court Act 2000), is to prosecute war crimes committed in the Hawaiian Islands under universal jurisdiction.

Her British Majesty Queen Victoria was the first to recognize Hawaiian independence in a joint proclamation with the French on November 28, 1843, and subsequently entered into a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation on July 10, 1851. In 1893, my country maintained a Legation in London, and two Consulates in the cities of Auckland and Dunedin, and the United Kingdom maintained a Legation and a Consulate in Honolulu. These Consulates were established in accordance with Article XII of the 1851 Hawaiian-British Treaty, which provides:

“It shall be free for each of the two contracting parties to appoint consuls for the protection of trade, to reside in the territories of the other party; but before any consul shall act as such, he shall, in the usual form, be approved and admitted by the Government to which he is sent; and either of the contracting parties may except from the residence of consuls such particular places as either of them may judge fit to be excepted. The diplomatic agents and consuls of the Hawaiian Islands, in the dominions of Her Britannic Majesty, shall enjoy whatever privileges, exemptions and immunities are, or shall be granted there to agents of the same rank belonging to the most favored nation; and, in like manner, the diplomatic agents and consuls of Her Britannic Majesty in the Hawaiian Islands shall enjoy whatever, privileges, exemptions, and immunities are or may be granted there to the diplomatic agents and consuls of the same rank belonging to the most favored nation.”

The New Zealand Government’s recent creation of the New Zealand Consulate General in Honolulu was established by virtue of Article 16 of the 1794 Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation between Great Britain and the United States, also called the “Jay Treaty,” and not the Hawaiian-British Treaty. Therefore, the New Zealand Consulate in Honolulu stands in direct violation of the Hawaiian-British Treaty, and therefore is unlawful. This year, the Swiss authorities were faced with the same circumstances. In a decision by the Swiss Federal Criminal Court Objections Chamber this year, the Court concluded that the 1864 Hawaiian-Swiss Treaty was not cancelled and that the Swiss Consulate in Honolulu is unlawful. These decisions stemmed from war crime complaints filed with Swiss authorities by a Swiss expatriate residing in Hawai‘i and a Hawaiian subject. I represent both men in these proceedings.

The Court specifically named the CEO of Deutsche Bank and high officials of the State of Hawai‘i as alleged war criminals for committing the war crime of pillaging. Allegations of war crimes can only arise if there is an international armed conflict, and the evidence acquired by the Swiss Attorney General that was provided to the Court clearly established that an international armed conflict does exist between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States. According to customary international law, an international armed conflict is not limited to states engaged in hostilities, but also the military occupation of a state’s territory even if it occurred without armed resistance, i.e, Common Article 2, Geneva Conventions.

Report of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs – Annexation of Hawai‘i

ANNEXATION OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

(House Committee on Foreign Affairs Report to accompany H. Res. 259, May 17, 1898 (House Report no. 1355, 55th Congress, 2d session)

May 17, 1898.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. Hitt, from the U.S. Congress House Committee on Foreign Affairs, submitted the following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. Res. 259.]

The joint resolution (H. Res. 259) provides for the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States. The proposition is not new either to the Government of the little Commonwealth in the Pacific, to the United States, or to other nations. It has been apparent for more than fifty years that so small and feeble a Government could not maintain its independence, and that it must ultimately be merged into a greater power. It has been repeatedly seized and Honolulu occupied, and has repeatedly made overtures to the United States to be united with us. In 1829 the French commander, Laplace, seized Honolulu and held it for awhile, after forcing upon the government a harsh treaty. In 1843 it was seized by the British commander, Lord Pawlet, but subsequently released by Great Britain upon the remonstrances of other powers. It was again seized by the French in 1849 and held for a considerable time, but was evacuated after diplomatic pressure from England and the United States.

In 1851 the King, pressed by his perplexities with France and England, delivered to our commissioner a deed of cession of the islands to the United States, to be held until a satisfactory adjustment had been reached with France, and failing that, permanently. In 1854 our Secretary of State, Mr. Marcy, authorized the negotiation of an annexation treaty. The King made a draft satisfactory to him and modifying the one proposed, but before the conclusion was reached he died. In 1893 a treaty was negotiated between our government and that of the Hawaiian Islands for the annexation of the islands to the United States. No word of protest was uttered by any other government. This treaty, while pending before the Senate, was withdrawn by the President, a change of administration having taken place. Again, June 16, 1897, a treaty of annexation, similar in provisions to the joint resolution now proposed, was agreed to by the government of Hawaii and duly ratified by their Senate.

There is, therefore, no undue pressure on the part of the United States as a greater power; no surprise of any one; no possibility of objections by other governments. It is simply the obvious result of the natural course of events through a long period of years thus completed with the cordial consent of the sovereign powers of both Governments. The only question involved is whether the proposed possession of the Hawaiian Islands would be advantageous to the United States.

THEIR STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE.

Recent events In the existing war with Spain have called public attention to what has long been discussed by military and naval authorities—the inestimable importance to the United States of possessing the Hawaiian Islands in case of war with any strong naval power. They lie facing our Pacific coast. Their strategic importance is vastly increased by the fact that they are separated by thousands of miles from any other and more distant group in the northern Pacific Ocean and are the only group facing our coast. In the possession of an enemy they would serve as a secure base for attacking any and all of our Pacific coast cities. In our possession they would deprive the enemy s fleet of all facilities for coaling, supplies, or repairs, and speedily paralyze all his naval operations. The first object of an enemy attacking us on that side of the Republic would be to secure these islands, and in their present condition their possession would fall to the stronger naval power.

The leading nations—England, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the United States—have each a Pacific Squadron. Every one of these squadrons is stronger than ours save that of Spain, which is the weakest. Had the war in which we are now engaged been with any of the other powers they might have worsted our fleet and seized the Hawaiian Islands, which are not now defended by any fortification or cannon, thus exactly reversing our recent good fortune at Manila. They would then have had a convenient base for supplies, coal, and repairs, from which to actively harry and devastate our coast. But were we in complete possession of the Hawaiian Islands and they properly prepared for defense (which eminent officers of the Army and Navy stated to the committee could be done at a cost of $500,000), our fleet, even if pressed by a greatly superior sea power, would have an impregnable refuge at Pearl Harbor, backed by a friendly population and militia, with all the resources of the large city of Honolulu and a small but fruitful country. Holding this all important strategic point, the enemy could not remain in that part of the Pacific, thousands of miles from any base, without running out of coal sufficient to get back to their own possessions. The islands would secure both our fleet and our coast.

GENERAL SCHOFIELD’S VIEW.

As General Schofield stated to the committee—

“The most important feature of all is that it economizes the naval force rather than increases it. It is capable of absolute defense by shore batteries, so that a naval fleet, after going there and replenishing its supplies and making what repairs are needed, can go away and leave the harbor perfectly safe to the protection of the army. * * * The Spanish fleet on the Asiatic station was the only one of all the fleets we could have overcome as we did. Of course, that cannot again happen, for we will not be able to pick up so weak a fellow next time. We are liable at any time to get into a war with a nation which has a more powerful fleet than ours, and it is of vital importance, therefore, if we can, to hold the point from which they can conduct operations against our Pacific coast. Especially is that true until the Nicaragua Canal is finished, because we can not send a fleet around from the Atlantic to the Pacific.”

The same eminent and experienced soldier, when asked whether it would be sufficient to have Pearl Harbor without the islands, said we ought to have the islands to hold the harbor; that if left free and neutral complications would arise with foreign nations, who would take advantage of a weak little republic with claims for damages enforced by warships, as is frequently seen. If annexed we would settle any dispute with a foreign nation; that we would be much stronger if we owned the islands as part of our territory, and would then also have the resources of the islands, which are so fertile, for military
supplies; that if we do not have the political control they may become Japanese, and we would be surrounded by a hostile people.

Admiral Walker, who has had long experience in the waters of the Hawaiian Islands, emphatically confirmed the views of General Schofield, especially that it would cost far less to protect the Pacific coast with the Hawaiian Islands than without them; that it would be taking a point of vantage instead of giving it to your enemy.

RISK OF DELAY.

We must face the future in dealing with this proposed annexation. It is impossible for the Republic of Hawaii to maintain a permanent existence preserving in force the influences which are now in the ascendant there and which are cordial and friendly to the United States. Of its mixed population of 109,000 a powerful element is Japanese—24,407—of whom 19,212 are males, almost all of them grown men, for they are not divided as ordinary populations are in the usual proportions of men, women, and children. They are a far stronger element of physical force than the native race, which has diminished until there are now only thirty-odd thousand, of whom, by the usual proportions of population, there are not over 8,000 grown men. The native Hawaiian race cannot in any contingency control the island. It must fall to some foreign people.

The Japanese are intensely Japanese, retaining their allegiance to their Empire and responding to suggestions from the Japanese officials. Very many of them served in the recent war with China. The Japanese Government not long ago demanded of the Hawaiian Government, under their construction of a treaty made in 1871, that the Japanese in the Hawaiian Islands should have equal privileges with all other persons, which would include voting and holding office. This claim was made when a flood of Japanese subjects, under the supervision of the Government of that country, of from 1,000 to 2,000 per month, were being poured into the Hawaiian Islands, threatening a speedy change of the Government into Japanese hands, and ultimately to a Japanese possession. The demand was resisted by the little Republic and a treaty of annexation with the United States arrested it for a time.

Japan protested earnestly to our government against that treaty, but our Secretary of State refused to consider their protest; yet the Japanese government has not withdrawn its demand on the Hawaiian Government, and is waiting to renew and press it with more energy and success if annexation to the United States s rejected by this Congress. It could then in a few months throw many thousands of Japanese subjects into the Hawaiian Islands, completely overwhelming all other influences.

By a clause in our reciprocity treaty with the Hawaiian Islands we have right to establish and maintain a coaling and repair station in Pearl Harbor, which is about 8 miles from the city of Honolulu, and capable of being made one of the best harbors in the world, easily fortified to make it impregnable from the sea. It is the only harbor of such a character in the whole group. We have thus far done nothing toward taking possession, fortifying, or opening the channel into the harbor, so that it is at present utterly useless, but capable of infinite possibilities.

The grant of this harbor to our Government is a part of a reciprocity treaty. After that treaty had been ratified, but before the ratification had been exchanged, the Hawaiian minister and the Secretary of State of the United States exchanged notes which declared that our rights in Pearl Harbor would cease whenever the reciprocity treaty was terminated. That treaty may be terminated upon one year’s notice by either party. It grants advantages in our markets to Hawaiian trade, and concedes to us not only the use of Pearl Harbor, but excludes any other nation from leasing a port or landing, or having any special privilege in the Hawaiian Islands, without the consent of the United States.

With the Japanese element in the ascendant and the Government under Japanese control the treaty would be promptly terminated, and with it our special rights. This would be the first step taken by that active and powerful Government toward the complete incorporation of the islands into the Japanese Empire, and their possession as a strategic point in the northern Pacific from which her strong and increasing fleet would operate. The Japanese Government is now friendly, but that would be the manifest dictate of enlightened self-interest to a wise Japanese statesman.

Annexation, and that alone, will securely maintain American control in Hawaii. Resolutions of Congress declaring our policy, or even a protectorate, will not secure it. The question of a protectorate has been successively considered by Presidents Pierce, Harrison, and McKinley in 1854, 1893, and 1897, and each time rejected because a protectorate imposes responsibility without control. Annexation imposes responsibility, but will give full power of ownership and absolute control.

AMERICAN COMMERCIAL INTERESTS.

The commercial interests of the United States, according to the declarations of our most eminent public men, would be promoted and secured by the union of the two countries. In those islands is an American colony numbering over 3,000 persons, who own practically three-fourths of all the property in the country, and, under the fostering Influence of the reciprocity treaty, trade with the United States has so increased that we now consume almost all Hawaiian exports. The people of the islands purchase from us three-fourths of all their imports, and American ships carry three-fourths of all the foreign trade of the island. American influence is ascendant in the Government, and the character of the American statesmen there in power was forcibly described by Mr. Willis, our minister to Hawaii, who was sent there by Mr. Cleveland in a spirit of hostility to them, but who was a truthful, honorable man, in these words: “They are acknowledged on all sides to be men of the highest integrity and public spirit.”

Hawaiians of American origin are energetic, intelligent, and patriotic, and are holding that outpost of Americanism against Asiatic invasion. If annexation be rejected and foreign influence gets control of the islands, our interests and commerce will fall away. The American in Hawaii looks to the United States to make purchases and there he desires to send what he exports. The Japanese merchant very naturally buys all he can in Japan, and will turn all trade there that is in his power. Our trade with the Hawaiian Islands last year amounted to $18,385,000, and with annexation practically the whole trade with the Hawaiian Islands would come to the United States, and would rapidly increase.

We have now the larger part of the shipping business, 247 American ships being employed in carrying Hawaiian trade in 1896, which would be promoted and increased by annexation. Its past prosperity has depended upon the reciprocity treaty, and if that were abrogated by a party adverse to American interests gaining control this business, like all other American interests, would fall off.

ANNEXATION WOULD END FOREIGN COMPLICATIONS.

In the struggling interests that have recently come into play in the Pacific the separate existence of the Hawaiian Government is liable at any time to raise complications with foreign governments, as in the case mentioned above of the recent interposition of Japan. An independent feeble government is a constant temptation to powerful nations, in the stress of contending interests, to intermeddle and disturb the peace. Once incorporated into the territory of the United States, all this is done away.

CHARACTER OF THE POPULATION.

While the character of the comparatively small population of the Hawaiian Commonwealth is a minor consideration as compared with the transcendent importance of the possession of that strategic point in the Pacific, it may be briefly considered. It is a mixed population, 24,407 Japanese and 21,616 Chinese, or together nearly one-half of the entire 109,020 on the island; but after annexation the Asiatic element would be reduced. The contract system would be terminated, and United States restriction laws as to immigration would be applied. The Hawaiian penal code (paragraph 1571) would gradually send back the Chinese laborers. This annexation joint resolution forbids further Chinese immigration, and under it those now in Hawaii can not come to other parts of the United States. Our recent treaty with Japan, to go into effect next year enables the United States to regulate the immigration of Japanese laborers. The supply being cut off, the number of Asiatics remaining in Hawaii would be very rapidly reduced by natural causes, which are plainly shown by the movements of the Asiatic population in past years; for since 1893, though the flood of Japanese coming in has been strong, the departures each year have been half as many as the arrivals. Like the Chinese, when they have accumulated a moderate competence, the craving for home takes them back. The enormous excess of men coming shows on its face that they do not come to Hawaii to establish homes. The Hawaiian laws exclude them from homestead rights.

These constant and powerful causes operating, if annexation were carried out the Asiatic proportion of the population would rapidly diminish. There is a large element of what are called Portuguese—15,191—but of these, who are a quiet, laborious population, over 7,000 have been born there, educated in the public schools, and speak English as readily as the average American child. They are a useful, orderly people, and rapidly assimilate the American ideas and institutions which now prevail on the islands.

The British element, 2,250, the German, 1,432, and others of European origin, probably 1,000, are elements with which we are perfectly familiar in our own country, which readily sympathize and blend with our own people. They will naturally adhere and cooperate as against Asiatic influence. The native Hawaiian race is decreasing from year to year by some mysterious law which has been in operation for a century. It is reasonable to suppose that within ten years after annexation the inconsiderable population of these islands will not differ widely in character from that of many parts of the United States.

Some effort has been made to that our beet-sugar Industry would be retarded by the admission of Hawaii and the free admission of its sugar product. Raw Hawaiian sugar is now admitted free of duty under the reciprocity treaty. There is so little of it, altogether amounting to not one-tenth of our consumption, that it can not affect the general price of sugar one-tenth of a cent a pound. There are but 80,000 acres of natural sugar-cane lands In Hawaii, and they are all under cultivation, unless it be possibly some that might e irrigated by pumping water from 150 to 600 feet.

There would be one difference after annexation as to the restriction upon Hawaiian sugar. At present, under the reciprocity treaty, all unrefined Hawaiian sugar is admitted free of duty, but not refined sugar. After annexation both refined and unrefined would be admitted free and sugar-refining interests in this country may object to annexation.

It has been objected that the constitution does not confer upon Congress the power to admit “territory,” but only “States.” The same objection was raised to the acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, because there was nothing in the Constitution expressly authorizing such admission by treaty, and Jefferson himself, who made the purchase, shared the doubt. But we have made eleven such acquisitions of territory, and the courts have sustained such action in all cases. Texas was annexed by a joint resolution of Congress similar to the one proposed now. The island of Navassa, in the Caribbean Sea, and many others have been made territory of the United States under the act of August 18, 1856, authorizing American citizens to take possession of unoccupied guano islands. They are United States territory, subject to our laws. So Midway island in the Pacific, 1,000 miles beyond Hawaii, was occupied, and Congress appropriated $50,000, which was expended trying to create a naval station there. The principle is that the power to acquire territory is an incident of national sovereignty.

The acquisition of these islands does not contravene our national policy or traditions. It carries out the Monroe doctrine, which excludes European powers from interfering in the American continent and outlying islands, but does not limit the United States; and this doctrine has been long applied to these very islands by our Government. As Secretary Blaine said, in 1881—

“The situation of the Hawaiian Islands, giving them strategic control of the north Pacific, brings their possession within range of questions of purely American policy.”

The annexation of these islands does not launch us upon a new policy or depart from our time-honored traditions of caring first and foremost for the safety and prosperity of the United States.

The committee recommend the adoption of the resolutions.

Swiss Federal Criminal Court Hears Case on War Crimes Committed by United States in Hawai‘i

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 19, 2015

Swiss Federal Criminal Court to Hear Objection on War Crimes Committed by United States Officials and Deutsche Bank in the Hawaiian Islands

HONOLULU—A Swiss citizen and a Hawaiian subject from the Hawaiian Kingdom filed an objection with the Swiss Federal Criminal Court Objections Chamber in Bellinzona, Canton of Ticino, on April 1, 2015. The identity of the Hawaiian subject is Mr. Kale Kepekaio Gumapac, but the identity of the Swiss citizen is being kept confidential for safety reasons. Both appellants are residents of the Hawaiian Islands and are represented in these proceedings by Dr. David Keanu Sai through powers of attorney. Dr. Sai is a political scientist whose research and expertise centers on the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent and sovereign State.

“During the Spanish-American War in 1898, the United States has belligerently occupied the Hawaiian Kingdom being a neutral State,” says Dr. Sai. “As a result of the prolonged occupation of a neutral country, the United States is responsible for the commission of war crimes that have been committed for over a century on a monumental scale. The war crimes committed against the two appellants include pillaging, unfair trial, unlawful confinement and unlawful appropriation of property.”

The initial war crime complaint was filed with the Swiss Attorney General’s office in Bern on December 22, 2014 by Gumapac alleging war crimes have been committed against himself by Deutsche Bank for the pillaging of his home, whose Chief Executive Officer at the time was a Swiss citizen and resident of Zurich. Deutsche Bank’s pillaging of Gumapac’s home was carried out by State of Hawai‘i Deputy Sheriff Lieutenant Patrick Kawai, which also led to his unlawful arrest.

Click here to download war crimes report. The exhibits for Mr. Kale Gumapac identified in the war crimes report can be downloaded here: Exhibit #1, Exhibit #2, Exhibit #3, Exhibit #4, Exhibit #5, Exhibit #6, Exhibit #7, Exhibit #8, Exhibit #9-A, Exhibit #9-B, Exhibit #9-C.

The second complaint was filed with the Attorney General’s office on January 22, 2015 by the unnamed Swiss citizen alleging the war crimes of pillaging and unlawful appropriation of property under the guise of taxation that were committed against himself between 2006 and 2013 by the self-declared State of Hawai‘i and the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“The State of Hawai‘i has no lawful authority in the Hawaiian Islands because Congress created it by a Congressional law in 1959, which has no effect outside of U.S. territory.” said Dr. Sai. “It is also a direct successor of the provisional government of 1893 and the so-called Republic of Hawai‘i of 1894, both of which the United States determined were self-declared. So a self-declared entity is not a government that can lawfully tax people, and the IRS can only tax their own citizens who reside in a foreign country. It can’t tax the entire population of a foreign country. This is a war crime.”

The complaints were given criminal case number SV.15.0101-MUA and assigned to Federal Prosecutor Andreas Muller of the Center of Competence of International Crimes, an agency of the Office of the Attorney General that is empowered to prosecute war crimes.

Prosecutor Muller officially notified Dr. Sai in a letter dated February 3, 2015 that he completed his criminal investigation into the alleged war crimes and concluded there are no war crimes being committed in the Hawaiian Islands. Dr. Sai received the report (German) (English translation) on March 23, 2015. Both the Prosecutor’s notification and the report were in the German language. Prosecutor Muller stated to Dr. Sai that his decision could be appealed to the Swiss Criminal Court Objections Chamber within 10 days after receiving the report.

In his report, Prosecutor Muller specifically cites the 1898 Congressional joint resolution of annexation as the means by which the Hawaiian Islands was annexed. He also stated that there was an agreement of annexation between the United States and the self-declared Republic of Hawai‘i. Prosecutor Muller further stated that Congress created the State of Hawai‘i in 1959 and that Switzerland officially recognizes that Hawai‘i is a part of the United States and maintains a Consulate in Honolulu.

However, according to Dr. Sai, there is a clear contradiction in the Prosecutor’s report. In the beginning of the report, Prosecutor Muller stated that Hawai‘i was officially recognized as being a part of the United States, but later he stated that the 1864 treaty between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the Swiss Confederation was not cancelled. Article 13 of the treaty states that in order to terminate the treaty, either the Swiss government or the Hawaiian Kingdom government must notify the other in writing of its intention to terminate. There is no record that the Swiss government or the Hawaiian government provided any notice of termination.

“A treaty is a contract between States and in this case it is a contract between the Swiss State and the Hawaiian State,” said Dr. Sai. “A treaty is not a contract between governments because governments represent States and are not the States themselves. Should a government be illegally overthrown, as is the case for Hawai‘i, the contracting State, being the Hawaiian Kingdom, would still exist and therefore the treaty would still be in effect. When the Japanese and German governments were overthrown at the end of World War II, their treaties with other countries were not cancelled.”

Another way a treaty could be canceled under international law is where one of the contracting States ceded its sovereignty to another State by a treaty. This absorption of one of the contracting States into another State would have effectively replaced the former treaty with the treaty the absorbing State would have with the other contracting State. In other words, if the Hawaiian Kingdom were annexed by the United States under international law, then the United States-Swiss treaty would have replaced and therefore cancelled the Hawaiian-Swiss treaty. This is what occurred to the 1848 Hawaiian-Hamburg treaty and the 1854 Hawaiian-Bremen treaty when both of these States joined the German Empire in 1871. Both treaties were cancelled when Germany entered into a treaty with the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1879.

Dr. Sai said, “If the Prosecutor was convinced that a domestic law of the American Congress could annex a foreign State and terminate its existence under international law, he wouldn’t conclude in an official report that the Hawaiian-Swiss Treaty was not cancelled. He would have stated that the Hawaiian-Swiss treaty was cancelled and replaced by the United States-Swiss treaty. That was clearly not the case.”

Dr. Sai, who is a political scientist that specializes in international relations, said that it is proper diplomatic etiquette that governments must presume that other countries would not violate international law. This presumption, though, is rebuttable if there is convincing evidence that the country has violated international law. “So the Swiss government probably approached the American Embassy in the city of Bern and asked the United States how did it annex the Hawaiian Islands,” stated Dr. Sai. “And when the American government said they passed a law in Congress to annex Hawai‘i, the Swiss government would have to take it at face value and assume that under American law, Congress has the ability to annex a foreign country.”

Since Dr. Sai received the official report by the prosecutor on March 23, Swiss law would allow the objection to be mailed from Hawai‘i no later than April 2. FedEx received the appeal in Honolulu on April 1 from Dr. Sai, and on April 8 it was delivered to the Swiss Criminal Court Objections Chamber in the city of Bellinzona, Canton of Ticino. Dr. Sai received confirmation that the court is in receipt of the objection and the case has been assigned reference no. BB.2015.36-37 (German) (English translation).

In a letter (German) (English translation) dated April 9, 2015, the Clerk of the Federal Criminal Court notified the Federal Prosecutor that the court is in receipt of the objection and has requested the Prosecutor to furnish the Federal Criminal Court right away with the records in this matter with an index of the records.

“The appeal to the Swiss Criminal Court Objections Chamber is the perfect forum to provide the rebuttable evidence that the United States has violated international law,” said Dr. Sai. “Our appeal centers on four points: first, United States Congressional laws are not a source of international law and therefore cannot annex a foreign country; second, there is no agreement between the United States and the self-declared Republic of Hawai‘i; third, Switzerland acknowledges the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom as contracting State in the Hawaiian Swiss-Treaty; and, fourth, the United States cannot deny the existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom because a criminal court of the so-called State of Hawai‘i recognized the existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom by a ruling on evidence on March 5, 2015.”

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CONTACT: Dr. David Keanu Sai
Phone: (808) 383-6100
Email: keanu.sai@gmail.com

Interview with Dr. Keanu Sai on Washington Times’ Story on China and the Hawaiian Kingdom

In this interview with host Kale Gumapac, Dr. Keanu Sai provides comment on his recent trip to Switzerland regarding war crimes and the recent newspaper story published in the Washington Free Beacon and the Washington Times titled “Hawaiian Independence Movement Attracts Chinese Interest: Restoration of kingdom could end U.S. military presence” on February 10, 2015.