After the Guardian reporter reached out to the U.S. Department of State and State of Hawai‘i Governor for comment on Jennifer Ruggles’ position that war crimes are being committed throughout the Hawaiian Islands and on the memorandum of the United Nations Independent Expert to State of Hawai‘i Judges stating that the Hague and Geneva Conventions obligate the United States to administer Hawaiian Kingdom laws and not the domestic laws of the United States, both offices gave no comment. If Hawai‘i was not an occupied State, but rather legally a part of the United States, and that the Hague and Geneva Conventions don’t apply to Hawai‘i, the State Department and the Governor’s office would have surely stated that. Instead they gave no comment. When a government agency gives no comment it would imply that they cannot deny the facts of the story.
Dr. deZayas statement that Hawai‘i is “formally” a part of the United States. Careful statement made because the word formally is defined as “pertaining to the outward aspect of something as distinguished from its substance or material.” Formally is not the same as legally.
Spokesman from the United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights stated “They are [Dr. deZayas’] own views.” This is true because it was his view as United Nations Independent Expert before his term expired in April 2018.
In his February 25, 2018 memorandum to the State of Hawai‘i, Dr. deZayas clearly stated, “currently serving as the UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, I have come to understand that the lawful political status of the Hawaiian Islands is that of a sovereign nation-state in continuity; but a nation-state that is under a strange form of occupation by the United States resulting from an illegal military occupation and a fraudulent annexation.”
The Guardian reported, “Keanu Sai, a political science lecturer at the University of Hawaii and member of the Hawaiian Kingdom provisional government, says the unilateral annexation of Hawaii by passing a law was tantamount to the US passing a law annexing the UK or any other country. Sai said: ‘You can’t pass a law annexing a foreign country.'”
When the United States Senate resumed its debate of senate bill no. 222 to provide a government for the Territory of Hawai‘i in 1900, there was an exchange between Senator William Allen of Nebraska and Senator John Spooner of Wisconsin that warrants special attention. Two years earlier, Senator Allen voted against the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands by congressional legislation.
During the debate on July 4, 1898, Senator Allen said, “The Constitution and the statutes are territorial in their operation; that is, they can not have any binding force or operation beyond the territorial limits of the government in which they are promulgated. In other words, the Constitution and statutes can not reach across the territorial boundaries of the United States into the territorial domain of another government and affect that government or persons or property therein (31 Cong. Rec. 6635).”
He continued to clarify, that the “power of acquiring additional territory, rests exclusively in the President and the Senate, that it is an executive power which in its very nature can not be exercised by the House of Representatives, and that the only method of exercising it is by treaty and not by joint resolution or act of Congress; and the case of Texas, when rightly understood, forms no exception to this rule; therefore an attempt to annex or acquire territory by act or joint resolution of Congress is in violation of the letter, spirit, and policy of the Constitution (id.).”
Consistent with his position in 1898, Senator Allen asserted on February 28, 1900, “I utterly repudiate the power of Congress to annex the Hawaiian Islands by a joint resolution such as passed the Senate. It is ipso facto null and void (33 Cong. Rec. 2391).” If the annexation was null and void, then there would be no need to debate senate bill no. 222 that would establish an American government on Hawaiian territory. Senator Spooner response to Senator Allen was “that is a political question, not subject to review by the courts (id.).” He then reiterated, “The Hawaiian Islands were annexed to the United States by a joint resolution passed by Congress. I reassert…that that was a political question and it will never be reviewed by the Supreme Court or any other judicial tribunal (id.).”
What did Senator Spooner mean that “it will never be reviewed by the Supreme Court or any other judicial tribunal.” He was referring to the “political question” doctrine. William Howard Taft acknowledged that Senator Spooner was “a great constitutional lawyer,” which is why he knew precisely what the political question doctrine was when he said it. Under this doctrine that was in use by American courts at the time, to include the United States Supreme Court, political questions were considered by the courts as factual determinations made by the executive and legislative branches. As such, these determinations, even if they were considered by the courts as unconstitutional, would bind the courts to accept them as conclusive. What Senator Spooner meant was no matter how illegal the annexation was, the American courts will have to accept it because Congress did it.
As an example, the U.S. Supreme Court in Williams v. Suffolk Ins. Co., 38 U.S. (13 Pet.) 415, 420 (1839) treated as binding on the court the executive’s determination that a given country was in control of foreign territory “whether the executive be right or wrong.” According to Nelson “an important branch of [the political question] doctrine operated to identify factual questions on which courts would accept the political branches’ determinations as binding.” See Caleb Nelson, Adjudication in the Political Branches, 107 Colum. L. Rev. 559, 592-93 (2007). Under this doctrine courts at the time did not question whether it had jurisdiction to resolve a political question “but rather enforced and applied the political branches’ determinations.” See Tara Leigh Grove, The Lost History of the Political Question Doctrine, 90 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1908, 1963 (Dec. 2015).
Senator Spooner’s statement is not only telling but malicious. The federal government knew that the illegal annexation of Hawai‘i would be locked within the American political system under the political question doctrine and never see the light of day. This shows an intent on the part of the United States government to conceal the fact that the annexation of Hawai‘i by a joint resolution, as Senator Allen stated, was “ipso facto null and void.” The political question doctrine, however, would later be revamped by the United States Supreme Court in Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962) that would ironically unlock the door in exposing the prolonged occupation of Hawai‘i and the violations of international law.
Moving away from the courts accepting the factual determinations of the political branches as binding, the Supreme Court would now assert a revised doctrine where the courts would deny it has jurisdiction to address a political question because that decision has to be addressed by either of the two political branches—the executive or legislative, not the judicial branch. The issue would no longer be the acceptance of the factual determinations made by the executive or legislative branches, but whether or not the courts have jurisdiction to hear the case. It would now become a question of whether a case was justiciable or non-justiciable. In other words, under the traditional doctrine where the courts did not dismiss as non-justiciable but rather enforced the political branches determinations whether they were “right or wrong,” the courts under the modern doctrine would dismiss as non-justiciable because there exists a political question.
Today the invoking of the political question doctrine in cases that have been filed in federal courts come by way of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or done by the court’s own volition called sua sponte. Rule 12(b)(1) addresses subject matter jurisdiction, which is whether the court has jurisdiction to hear the case before it. Where a motion to dismiss on subject matter jurisdiction grounds would be filed is in a situation where a prosecutor is attempting to prosecute someone for murder in traffic court. A traffic court does not have subject matter jurisdiction to prosecute a murder case, another type of court does. Applying the modern political question doctrine, the American courts would be like the traffic court and say the proper jurisdiction is either with executive or legislative branches of government and not the courts.
Therefore, the court’s dismissal of the case because of a political question only addresses the jurisdictional question of whether the court can preside over the case and not the merits of the case. In fact, under the modern doctrine, when a court dismisses a case as a political question under Rule 12(b)(1), the court accepts as true the factual allegations in the complaint.
In 2008, the federal district court in Washington, D.C., dismissed a case concerning Taiwan as a political question under Rule 12(b)(1) in Lin v. United States, 539 F. Supp. 2d 173 (D.D.S. 2008). The federal court in its order stated that it “must accept as true all factual allegations contained in the complaint when reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1).” When this case went on appeal, the D.C. Appellate Court underlined the modern doctrine of the political question, “We do not disagree with Appellants’ assertion that we could resolve this case through treaty analysis and statutory construction; we merely decline to do so as this case presents a political question which strips us of jurisdiction to undertake that otherwise familiar task.” See Lin v. United States, 561 F.3d 506 (2009).
In 2018, federal judge Tanya S. Chutkan presided over Sai v. Trump—Petition for Writ of Mandamus, which sought an order from the federal court to compel President Trump to comply with the 1907 Hague Convention, IV, and the 1949 Geneva Convention, IV, by administering the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom as an occupied State. The case was filed on June 25, 2018 with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and assigned civil case no. 1:18-cv-01500.
The factual allegations of the complaint were stated in paragraphs 79 through 205 under the headings From a State of Peace to a State of War, The Duty of Neutrality by Third States, Obligation of the United States to Administer Hawaiian Kingdom laws, Denationalization through Americanization, The State of Hawai‘i is a Private Armed Force, The Restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, Recognition De Facto of the Restored Hawaiian Government, War Crimes: 1907 Hague Convention, IV, and War Crimes: 1949 Geneva Convention, IV.
On September 11, 2018, Judge Chutkan, on her own accord (sua sponte), issued an order dismissing the case as a political question. On the very same day the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia filed a “Motion for Extension of Time to Answer in light of the order dismissing this action,” but it was denied by minute order. Judge Chutkan stated, “Because Sai’s claims involve a political question, this court is without jurisdiction to review his claims and the court will therefore DISMISS the Petition.” By dismissing the complaint, the Court accepted “as true all factual allegations contained in the complaint.”
Under the traditional political question doctrine, the Federal Court would have accepted as true the annexation of Hawai‘i even though it wasn’t, but under the modern doctrine it accepted as true the “illegality” of the annexation as well as the violations of international law since the American invasion of the Hawaiian Kingdom on January 16, 1893.
For the first time since President Grover Cleveland, in his message to the Congress on December 18, 1893, presented the facts of the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government, the United States government, through its federal court in Washington, D.C., accepted “as true” the facts of the prolonged occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the commission of war crimes.
The proper venue for resolving the violations of international law is not with the executive or legislative branches of the United States government, but rather international bodies, which will include the International Commission of Inquiry in Incidents of War Crimes in the Hawaiian Islands—The Larsen Case (Hawaiian Kingdom – Lance Paul Larsen) under the jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. These proceedings stemmed from the Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom arbitration.
The United States has admitted to the violations of international law. Drawing from the Miranda warning, “Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.”
Council member Jen Ruggles released a letter today that she had sent to Governor Ige, every mayor, and every county taxation department in the State of Hawai‘i regarding “War crimes of pillaging committed against Protected Persons by the State of Hawai‘i and its Four Counties.”
The letter begins by stating, “To my dismay, I have become aware of Hawai‘i’s status as a nation-state, under international law, which has been under an illegal occupation by the United States since it, by its own admission, illegally overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom government on January 17, 1893.” Referring to President Cleveland’s 1893 address to the U.S. Congress where he declared U.S. had committed “an act of war” against the Hawaiian Kingdom, she writes, “these acts of war created a state of war between itself and the Hawaiian Kingdom…International law bound, and still binds, the United States to adhere to the law of occupation.”
Ruggles also referred to the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, Dr. Alfred de Zayas’ memorandum sent to Hawaii State judges this past February which stated Hawai‘i was “under a strange form of occupation by the United States resulting from an illegal military occupation and a fraudulent annexation.”
“After reading Dr. de Zayas’s memorandum,” Ruggles wrote, “I attempted to verify his claim of ‘a fraudulent annexation.’ It became apparent to me that there is no clear U.S. constitutional basis for the enforcement of United States law on Hawaiian Kingdom territory…As a Council member, I have come to understand that legislation is limited to the territorial jurisdiction of the law-making body. The U.S. Congress has no constitutional authority, nor any authority under international law, to unilaterally annex a foreign country by a joint resolution.”
Ruggles also noted that according to international law definitions, what is called the “State of Hawai‘i” is, in fact, an “organized armed force.” “The State of Hawai‘i cannot, therefore claim to be a lawful government because its only claim to authority derives from U.S. congressional legislation that has no extraterritorial effect,” Ruggles wrote, “The ‘State of Hawai‘i’ meets the jus in bello—the laws of war definition of an organized armed group acting for and on behalf of the United States within the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom.”
According to Ruggles, because there is no evidence that Hawaii was ever legally made apart of the United States, the laws of occupation apply. These laws would include the Hague and Geneva Conventions, which are U.S. ratified treaties. According to Title 18, section 2441 of the United States Code, any breach to these treaties constitute “war crimes.”
Article 64 of the 1949 Geneva Convention mandates that the laws of the occupied territory must remain in force. Ruggles says these laws include the 1882 Hawaiian Kingdom Act To Consolidate and Amend the Law Relating to Internal Taxes which consists of poll, school, dog, horse, mule, road, and real and personal property taxes. Ruggles asserts that the State of Hawaii and the four counties collection of money from protected persons is a form of pillaging.
Black’s Law dictionary defines plunder as to “pillage or loot. To take property from persons or places by open force, and this may be in course of war…The term is also used to express the idea of taking property from a person or place, without just right.” The U.S. ratified Hague and Geneva Conventions specifically prohibit pillaging.
“This letter serves to give you both knowledge, and ‘awareness of the factual circumstances that established the existence of an armed conflict’ between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States, the application of the HCIV and GCIV, and the protection afforded aboriginal Hawaiians as protected persons,” Ruggles wrote, “Therefore, you must cease and desist from committing these war crimes unless the State of Hawai‘i transforms itself into a Military Government recognizable under international law”
Council member Ruggles concluded the letter with an excerpt from a report Dr. Keanu Sai had provided Governor Ige’s Chief of Staff, Mike McCartney in 2015 titled “Report on Military Government.” According to the report, the State of Hawaii is obligated to comply with U.S. Army Field Manual FM 27-5 and establish a military government to work with the acting Hawaiian Kingdom Government to provisionally serve as the administrator of the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
During Ruggles’ October Town Hall she explained how she is doing her job “as mandated by her oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution that says treaties are the supreme law of the land through putting every agent of the United States in Hawaii concerning the rights of protected persons on notice for violations of the Hague and Geneva Conventions.”
Ruggles confirmed Governor Ige, Mayor Kim, Mayor Arakawa, Mayor Caldwell, Mayor Carvalho, Linda Chu Takayama, Lisa Miura, Mark Walker, Nelson H. Koyanagi, Jr., and Ken Shimonishi all received her letter on November 19th, 2018.
“The NEA will publish an article that documents the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1893, the prolonged occupation of the United States in the Hawaiian Kingdom and the harmful effects that this occupation has had on the Hawaiian people and resources of the land.”
Puna Council Member Jen Ruggles received confirmation that Hawaii’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, (FBI), Special Agent in Charge, Sean Kaul, received her letter reporting Queen’s Hospital and Hawaii Circuit Court Judges for alleged war crimes Monday. Ruggles opened the letter by writing, “To my dismay, I have become aware of Hawai‘i’s status as a nation-state, under international law, which has been under an illegal occupation by the United States since it, by its own admission, illegally overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom government on January 17, 1893.”
Ruggles made reference to a memorandum released by the United Nation Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner that she says, caused her to look into the issue of potential war crimes more seriously. Ruggles says the memorandum uses the terms “plundering,” “enabling,” and “colluding,” and that she could not take it lightly. In her report to the FBI, she also referred to an article published by the National Education Association in April this year which concluded Hawaii is illegally occupied and that the laws of war apply. The NEA is America’s largest union in the United States with over 3 million members. The Hawaii State Teacher’s association is Hawaii’s chapter.
According to Ruggles, war crimes are felonies and she is legally obligated to report felonies under Title 18 United States Code §4 “Misprision of a Felony” which reads that any person, “having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.” Ruggles says the FBI’s primary responsibility is to investigate federal crimes. Ruggles also cc’d the International Criminal Court located in the Hague, Netherlands.
Ruggles said, “if the FBI has evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom does not exist as an independent nation State that has been in an unjust state of war with the U.S. since 1893, and that war crimes and the international crime of genocide as defined under federal law have not taken place, I want to see that evidence. If not, then the FBI is obligated to immediately initiate a criminal investigation.”
Last month Ruggles had sent a letter to Queen’s Hospital explaining how it appears they are committing war crimes against protected persons by abrogating their original charter which mandated free health care to aboriginal Hawaiians. Ruggles also sent a letter to every Hawaii State Circuit Court Judge outlining how foreclosures violate the rights of protected persons in Hawaii, (including Americans), and constitute war crimes.
Ruggles wants to be clear that she is not advocating for those who borrowed money from the lender to disregard their debt owed. As she stated in the letter to the judges, “The lender is protected under the loan title insurance policy that was purchased by the borrower as a condition of the loan. As such, there is no reason to have any foreclosure proceedings in the first place because the defects in titles have rendered all mortgage liens invalid.” According to Ruggles, a defect in title is a covered risk in the loan title insurance policy, and, as such, the lenders should file an insurance claim to have the insurance company pay off the debt owed since the borrower was required to purchase the insurance policy to protect the lender as a condition of the loan.
During Ruggles’ last town hall she announced that she would be “putting every agent of the United States on notice concerning the rights of protected persons.”
Informs judges that foreclosure proceedings appear to be in violation of Article 46 of the Hague Convention, IV and Article 47 of the 1949 Geneva Convention, IV
Council member Ruggles released a letter today that she says she sent to all Hawai‘i Circuit Court judges meant to advocate on behalf of protected persons in foreclosure proceedings.
Ruggles says “Article 46 of the Hague Convention IV provides that ‘Private property cannot be confiscated,” and article 47 of the Geneva Convention IV provides, “Pillage is formally forbidden.”
Ruggles referred to the United Nations Human Rights Independent Expert, Dr. Alfred deZaya’s memorandum that had been sent to Hawaii State Judges in February of this year that stated, “The State of Hawaii courts should not lend themselves to a flagrant violation of the rights of the land title holders and in consequence of pertinent international norms. Therefore, the courts of the State of Hawaii must not enable or collude in the wrongful taking of private lands, bearing in mind that the right to property is recognized not only in U.S. law but also in Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights…”
Ruggles wrote that “The ‘wrongful taking of private lands’ by lenders, through the circuit courts of the State of Hawai‘i under foreclosure proceedings, appears to be the war crime of pillaging and that the courts appear to be complicit in a war crime by enabling and colluding ‘in the wrongful taking of private lands.’
Before lenders loan money they require the borrower to mortgage their real estate as collateral to secure the repayment of the loan. In order for the lender to accept the mortgaged property as collateral, the lender requires the borrower to also purchase a loan title insurance policy for the protection of the lender. The title insurance covers the full debt owed under the promissory note.
“As an agent for the United States I am bound ‘to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances,’ and, therefore, call upon you to cease and desist ‘in the wrongful taking of private lands’ from protected persons that are under foreclosure,” Ruggles wrote, “the lender is protected under the loan title insurance policy that was purchased by the borrower as a condition of the loan. As such, there is no reason to have any foreclosure proceedings in the first place…”
Ruggles finished the letter by stating, “This letter serves as knowledge and ‘awareness of the factual circumstances that established the existence of an armed conflict’ between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States, the application of the HCIV and GCIV, and the protection afforded to protected persons.”
Ruggles sent the letters via certified mail and that she’s verified every judge across the islands received her letter on the Big Island and Oahu on September 25th, Kauai on September 26th, and Maui on September 27th.
Council member Ruggles will be holding a town hall on October 15th at 6pm at the Kea‘au Community Center to discuss this letter, among others that she is working on.
(BIVN)– The Hawaiʻi County Council again heard testimony from “protected persons” in support of absent Puna councilmember Jen Ruggles on Wednesday.
Hawaiian Kingdom subjects and advocates, as they have in the past, told the council to “cease and desist from legislating” until the county’s Corporation Counsel can assure the governing body that they are not incurring criminal liability under U.S. and international law. Ruggles’ council seat has sat empty during meetings as she awaits an opinion from Corp Counsel.
On September 24, Ruggles held a community meeting in Keaʻau to explain her ongoing absence from council, and to show her constituents how she came to understand the Hawaiian Kingdom still exists as a state in continuity that is under a “strange form of occupation” by the United States.
During the Keaʻau meeting, and in a subsequent media release, Ruggles announced she was putting Queen’s Health Systems on notice, saying that changes to the hospital’s charter since 1909 “appear to violate article 47 and 50 of the Geneva Convention IV.” Ruggles said she called upon the Chief Executive Office of the Queen’s Health System, Mr. Art Ushijima, and the “Board of Trustees to comply with the 1859 Charter and to admit aboriginal Hawaiians, as that term was understood under Kingdom law, for medical care free of charge. Failure to do so [would] appear to constitute war crimes under Article 47 and 50 of the [Geneva Convention, IV].”
Ruggles said, “as an agent of the the United States as defined under the Hague Convention and whistleblower, it is my duty to hold individuals and other officials of the State of Hawai‘i and the United States government accountable for apparent violations of the Hague and Geneva Conventions and the rights of civilians within the occupied territory under the title of protected persons.”
Ruggles’ fellow Hawaiʻi County Councilmembers weighed-in on the situation in recent news articles. A “perplexed” Hilo councilman Aaron Chung told the Hawaiʻi Tribune-Herald he found it very confusing that Ruggle’s “would use her title in the County Council to advance a particular position.”
The West Hawaiʻi Today reported on October 2 that Council Chair Valerie Poindexter said she was “not going to fund the office if she’s not going to do any more legislative work,” and has refused Ruggles’ request to hire a council aide to fill the position recently vacated by one of Ruggles’ two staffers.
Testifiers took aim at Poindexter on Wednesday. Kale Gumapac told the chair to “please be aware that by impeding Councilwoman Ruggles in anyway only provides more evidence for ‘War Crime’ charges against you with no statute of limitation.”
Council member Jen Ruggles released a letter she sent last week notifying Queen’s Health Systems of the illegal and prolonged occupation of Hawai’i and how it appears it may be violating the rights of protected persons in Hawai’i. She stated that she, as an agent for the United States, which is an occupying Power, and one who took an oath to support the constitution of the United States, is bound to uphold the 1907 Hague Convention, IV, and the 1949 Geneva Convention, IV, and ensure respect for the conventions in all circumstances.
In her letter Council member Ruggles referenced a February 25, 2018 communication from United Nations Independent Expert, Dr. Alfred M. deZayas, to the State of Hawai‘i judges in which he stated:
“I have come to understand that the lawful political status of the Hawaiian Islands is that of a sovereign nation-state in continuity; but a nation-state that is under a strange form of occupation by the United States resulting from an illegal military occupation and a fraudulent annexation. As such, international laws (the Hague and Geneva Conventions) require that governance and legal matters within the occupied territory of the Hawaiian Islands must be administered by the application of the laws of the occupied state (in this case, the Hawaiian Kingdom), not the domestic laws of the occupier (the United States).”
The U.S. Senate ratified the Hague and Geneva Conventions making both of these treaties part of federal law under Article VI of the federal constitution and which must be faithfully carried out in territory that the United States is occupying. As a whistle blower, Council member Ruggles sees it as her duty to hold individuals and other officials of the State of Hawai‘i and the United States government accountable for violations of the provisions of the Hague and Geneva Conventions and the rights of civilians within the occupied territory under the title of protected persons.
Council member Ruggles came to learn that the Queen’s Hospital was formed as a corporation on June 20, 1859. Article One of the Hospital’s Charter provides for the establishment of a permanent hospital for the “treatment of indigent sick and disabled Hawaiians, as well as such foreigners and others who may choose to avail themselves of the same.” It was understood, at the time, that the term ‘Hawaiians’ meant aboriginal Hawaiians, both pure and part. Under the Charter, the Hawaiian Monarch served as President of a Board of Trustees comprised of ten persons to be appointed by the government and ten persons to be elected by corporation shareholders.
The government appropriated funding for the maintenance of the hospital.
In 1900, George W. Smith, a Trustee of Queen’s Hospital, stated in an article published by the Pacific Commercial Advertiser that “Queen’s Hospital is, from the nature of its charter, a quasi-private institution. When it was chartered it was provided that all Hawaiians of native birth, should be treated free of charge. Foreigners were to be treated by payment of fees.”
No other country or government in the world at the time is known by her to have had such a system of government subsidized health care for a majority of its national population which was free of charge. The Soviet government followed this practice in 1920, but that was due to the political theory of communism. After the Second World War, in 1948, the British government followed suit, which, like the Hawaiian Kingdom, was not a communist State. The Nordic countries followed with Sweden in 1955, Iceland in 1956, Norway in 1956, Denmark in 1961, and Finland in 1964. The United States has never subsidized health care free of charge.
After pressure to sever the Hawaiian government’s interest in Queen’s Hospital and to no longer admit native Hawaiians free of charge, the Board of Trustees, with the approval of Territorial Governor, Walter F. Frear, amended the Charter. In 1909, the phrase in the original 1859 Charter “for the treatment of indigent sick and disabled Hawaiians” was replaced with “for the treatment of sick and disabled persons.” The change was made secretively. The only news coverage it received at the time was in one newspaper, the Evening Bulletin, which made no mention of the change of servicing aboriginal Hawaiians free of charge. Under the title of “IS APPROVED TRUSTEES REDUCED,” the Bulletin wrote,
“By the new amendment to their character, the application for which was approved by Governor Frear this morning, the number of trustees of Queen’s Hospital will be reduced from twenty to seven members. The responsibility of the government trusteeship will also cease with the new articles of incorporation.”
By 1939, Victor Stewart Kaleoaloha Houston, a former Congressional delegate for the Territory of Hawai‘i, “was presenting lectures at various Hawaiian Civic Clubs castigating Queen’s Hospital for ignoring Native Hawaiians’ medical needs and reneging on the promises of the original charter. In newspapers the main themes of Houston’s one man challenge to Queen’s practices was set out for the public by these questions: What ever happened to free medical care for Hawaiians and what is Queen’s doing with the Queen Emma Trust monies?”
Gradually aboriginal Hawaiians were denied health care unless they paid, and as time went on, this provision of the Queen’s Hospital charter was nearly forgotten. In 1967, the name of Queen’s Hospital was changed to the Queen’s Medical Center. In 1985, the Queen’s Health Systems with a Board of Trustees was established as the parent company of Queen’s Medical Center along with Molokai General Hospital, North Hawai‘i Community Hospital, Queen Emma Land Company, Queen’s Development Corporation, and Queen’s Insurance Exchange. Under Queen’s Health Systems there are four hospitals—The Queen’s Medical Center, The Queen’s Medical Center – West O‘ahu, Molokai General Hospital, and North Hawai‘i Community Hospital—and seven health care centers in Hawai‘i Kai, Hilo, two in Honolulu, Kapolei, Kaua‘i and Kona. I will refer to the corporation by its original name, the Queen’s Hospital.
Hawaiian subjects of aboriginal blood, both pure and part, are protected persons whose rights during the U.S. occupation are protected under the Geneva Convention. Council member Ruggles sees that it is also her duty as a whistle blower and agent for the United States to ensure that their rights are respected and enforced. According to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, “Today, Native Hawaiians are perhaps the single racial group with the highest health risk in the State of Hawai‘i. This risk stems from high economic and cultural stress, lifestyle and risk behaviors, and late or lack of access to health care.” The ‘lack of access to health care’ is what troubles Council member Ruggles knowing that the Queen’s Hospital was specifically established, under Hawaiian Kingdom law, to provide for their health care, free of charge.
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross Commentaries, Article 47 of the Geneva Convention means that “changes made in the internal organization of the State must not lead to protected persons being deprived of the rights and safeguards provided them. Consequently it must be possible for the Convention to be applied to them in its entirety, even if the Occupying Power has introduced changes in the institutions or government of the occupied territory.” Furthermore, under the provisions of Article 50 of the GCIV regarding preferential measures for children’s medical care, in this case with the Queen’s Hospital, the occupying State “who occupied the whole or part of a territory where such measures are in force, cannot on any pretext abrogate them or place obstacles in the way of their application. This rule applies not only to preferential measures prescribed in the Convention but to any other measures of the same nature taken by the occupied State.”
Council member Ruggles stated that the changes to the charter since 1909 violate the Hague and Geneva Conventions. In light of these violations, she called upon the Chief Executive Office of the Queen’s Health System, Mr. Art Ushijima, and the “Board of Trustees to comply with the 1859 Charter and to admit aboriginal Hawaiians, as that term was understood under Kingdom law, for medical care free of charge. Failure to do so [would] appear to constitute to constitute war crimes under Article 47 and 50 of the [Geneva Convention, IV].”
Council member Ruggles alerted Mr. Ushijima to the fact that there “seems to be a direct nexus of deaths of aboriginal Hawaiians as ‘the single racial group with the highest health risk in the State of Hawai‘i [that] stems from…late or lack of access to health care’ to the crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Genocide Convention was also ratified by the United States Senate, and, like the Hague and Geneva Conventions, are a part of United States federal law.
(BIVN)– A community meeting organized by Puna councilwoman Jen Ruggles to explain her ongoing absence from council drew a standing room-only crowd to the Keaʻau Community Center on Monday night.
Ruggles declared on August 21 “that she had come to understand that she may be in violation of her oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution and may be incurring criminal liability under both U.S. federal law and international law,” a media release stated. “Through her attorney, Stephen Laudig, she formally requested the County Office of Corporation Counsel provide her a proper legal opinion.”
Laudig was present at the meeting, as was Dr. David Keanu Sai, a scholar and expert in international law. Sai has also served as the lead agent for the Hawaiian Kingdom in international arbitration proceedings before the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, Netherlands.
Using a power point presentation projected onto the community center wall, Ruggles walked constituents through her understanding of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a state in continuity that is under a “strange form of occupation” by the United States. Ruggles shared letters she received that prompted her to make her decision, and took questions from the audience.
In an earlier media release, Ruggles said she intended “to educate her constituents on their rights as protected persons under U.S. and international law, and share what work she has started to continue to represent and advocate on behalf of her district.”
The article below was printed on page 14 of The Pacific Commercial Advertiser on July 31, 1901 in Honolulu. It is a window into a time of colliding legal systems and the Queen’s Hospital would soon become the first Hawaiian health institution to fall victim to the unlawful imposition of American laws. Queen’s Hospital was established as the national hospital for the Hawaiian Kingdom and that health care services for Hawaiian subjects of aboriginal blood was at no charge. The Hawaiian head of state would serve as the ex officio President of the Board together with twenty trustees, ten of whom were from the Hawaiian government.
Since the hospital’s establishment in 1859 the legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom subsidized the hospital along with monies from the Queen Emma Trust. With the unlawful imposition of the 1900 Organic Act that formed the Territory of Hawai‘i, American law did not allow public monies to be used for the benefit of a particular race. 1909 was the last year Queen’s Hospital received public funding and it was also the same year that the charter was unlawfully amended to replace the Hawaiian head of state with an elected president from the private sector and reduced the number of trustees from twenty to seven, which did not include government officers.
Article 55 of the Hague Convention provides, “The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the [occupied] State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.” The term “usufruct” is to administer the property or institution of another without impairing or damaging it.
Despite these unlawful changes, aboriginal Hawaiian subjects, whether pure or part, are to receive health care at Queen’s Hospital free of charge. This did not change, but through denationalization there was an attempt to erase. Aboriginal Hawaiian subjects are protected persons as defined under international law, and as such, the prevention of health care by Queen’s Hospital constitutes war crimes.
Collision Between the Charter and the Bill Making the Grant for Period.
The Board of Health has a very delicate question to consider at its meeting this afternoon—one which places the Queen’s Hospital in a very queer situation.
The Legislature at its last session made an appropriation for the Queen’s Hospital of $40,000, to be used in the next biennial period. This was in line with the previous policy of the Government in making appropriation for the hospital, similar appropriations being made at the same time to other like institutions. There was, however, one very peculiar incident in connection with the appropriation made for the Queen’s Hospital. In the past the sum of $20,000 had always been given to the hospital for the biennial period, and Governor Dole recommended that the Legislature make the usual appropriation. Instead that body appropriated just double the amount asked, or $40,000.
Attached to the bill, however, was a rider providing that no distinction should be made as to race in the care of patients at the hospital. The appropriation was also placed in the hands of the Board of Health for proper payment and the Board now finds itself in a rather peculiar predicament.
The Queen’s Hospital was founded in 1859 by their Majesties Kamehameha IV and his consort Emma Kaleleonalani. The hospital is organized as a corporation and by the terms of its charter the board of trustees is composed ten members elected by the society and ten members nominated by the Government, of which the President of the Republic (now Governor of the Territory) shall be the presiding officer. The charter also provides for the “establishing and putting in operation a permanent hospital in Honolulu, with a dispensary and all necessary furniture and appurtenances for the reception, accommodation and treatment of indigent sick and disabled Hawaiians, as well as such foreigners and other who may choose to avail themselves of the same.”
Under this construction all native Hawaiians have been cared for without charge, while for others a charge has been made of from $1 to $3 per day. The bill making the appropriation for the hospital by the Government provides that no distinction shall be made as to race; and the Queen’s Hospital trustees are evidently up against a serious proposition.
Under the provisions of the Organic Act the Legislature has no power to give a subsidy to any institution and, under the construction likely to be placed by the Board of Health of the intentions of the Legislature, the Queen’s Hospital must be placed under the control of the Government before it may receive the appropriation of $40,000.
“I can see no way out of the difficulty at present,” said Secretary [George W.] Smith of the board of trustees for the Queen’s Hospital when his attention was called to the matter yesterday afternoon. “The hospital has been receiving regular stipulated amounts from the Government, generally $20,000 for each biennial period. This year when the Governor asked for a statement of the condition of the hospital’s finances it was handed to him, and he recommended that the Legislature make the usual allowance. I do not know they gave us $40,000 instead of the usual amount. There was a rider placed on the bill, however, to the effect that no distinction should be made as to race. The appropriation was also placed in the hands of the Board of Health. Formerly it was the custom for this money to be placed into the hands of the Minister of Finance and by him paid over quarterly directly to our treasurer. Why the change was made at this time I do not understand.”
“I do not see myself how the hospital could be placed in the hands of the Government, even if we wished to do so. The Government now has ten members upon the Board and also the presiding officer. Under our charter we are compelled to treat native Hawaiians free of charge, and I do not see how it can be changed. Then again we have in our hands $36,000 in trust funds which cannot very well be given over to the Government except in violation of the terms of the trust. Taken all around it is a very delicate question, and it is to be hoped that it may be settled without the loss of appropriation to the hospital. The hospital now treats free all soldiers and sailors and also the members of the police force.”
The matter will be discussed at this afternoon’s meeting of the Board of Health, though it is hardly likely that the matter can be definitely settled at this time. A joint meeting of the Board of Health and the trustees of the Queen’s Hospital will probably be held, at which the matter will be talked over before final action is taken.
(BIVN)– In lengthy public testimony before the Hawaii County Council meeting got underway in Hilo on Wednesday, Hawaiian Kingdom supporters spoke out in support of absent councilwoman Jen Ruggles, and demanded the council “cease and desist” legislative activity.
Ruggles’ seat was empty as the councilmember from Puna announced she would “refrain from legislating” until the county’s corporation counsel can provide a “proper legal opinion” that will assure her that she “is not incurring criminal liability under international humanitarian law and U.S. law.”
Ruggles’ recent decisionwas not on the Wednesday’s council agenda for discussion, so testifiers seeking to support Ruggles’ position spoke on other matters, such as Bill 160 – a measure that amends the County Code of Ethics by requiring that officials “provide accurate and factual information to the public” to the best of their knowledge.
Public testifiers – both Hawaiian Kingdom subjects as well as American citizens – identified themselves as protected persons as defined under Article 4 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention. Many read from similarly worded written testimony.
“I too have come to learn that the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as an independent and sovereign State that has been under an illegal and prolonged occupation by the United States since January 17, 1893,” stated Kale Gumapac, who testified in Hilo. “I am also aware that the United Nations Independent Expert Dr. Alfred deZayas sent a memorandum to members of the State of Hawai‘i judiciary which stated ‘international laws (the Hague and Geneva Conventions) require that governance and legal matters within the occupied territory of the Hawaiian Islands must be administered by the application of the laws of the occupied state (in this case, the Hawaiian Kingdom), not the domestic laws of the occupier (the United States).’ And according to Amnesty International, war crimes are crimes that violate the laws or customs of war defined by the Hague and Geneva Conventions.”
“Article 43 of the Hague Regulations and Article 64 of the Fourth Geneva Convention obligates the United States to administer Hawaiian Kingdom law, not United States law,” Gumapac continued. “This deliberate in failure by the United States to administer Hawaiian kingdom law has led to grave breaches under Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and international humanitarian law. which constitutes war crimes committed against me as a protected person.”
Gumapac finished with a statement that was often repeated by others speakers on Wednesday. “This body illegally enacts United States laws in violation of the Hague and Geneva Conventions and as a victim of war crimes that stem from this unlawful legislation, I demand that this body immediately cease and desist,” Gumapac said.
Multiple testifiers spoke for roughly two hours before the Hawaii County Council closed public comment and went ahead with the scheduled agenda.