First Sitting of the International Commission of Inquiry on ‘Iolani Palace Grounds

The International Commission of Inquiry in Incidents of War Crimes in the Hawaiian Islands—The Larsen Case that stems from the Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom arbitration held at the Permanent Court of Arbitration from 1999-2001, will be holding its first hearing on the grounds of ‘Iolani Palace at the Kana‘ina Building on January 16 and 17, 2018.

The hearing will be closed to the public, but the proceedings will be live streamed on the Internet. At the core of these proceedings will be the unlawful imposition of American laws that led to the unfair trial, unlawful confinement and pillaging of Lance Paul Larsen, a Hawaiian subject and victim of war crimes committed against him by the United States through its armed force—the State of Hawai‘i. These war crimes were committed in 1999.

These two days will mark 125 years of the American invasion of the Hawaiian Kingdom on January 16th and the conditional surrender of the Hawaiian government by Queen Lili‘uokalani on January 17th calling upon the President of the United States to investigate the unlawful actions taken by its diplomat who ordered the landing of U.S. troops. While in the Palace, the Queen drafted the following conditional surrender to the United States:

After investigating the overthrow of the Hawaiian government, President Cleveland notified Congress on December 18, 1893, that the “military demonstration upon the soil of Honolulu was of itself an act of war.” Cleveland noted “that on the 16th day of January, 1893, between four and five o’clock in the afternoon, a detachment of marines from the United States steamer Boston, with two pieces of artillery, landed at Honolulu. 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.” He then concluded that by “an act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress, the Government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people has been overthrown.”

Under international law, when a Head of State concludes that an act of war was committed by its military on foreign soil it changes the state of affairs from a state of peace to a state of war. According to McDougal and Feliciano, authors of “The Initiation of Coercion: A Multi-temporal Analysis,” 52 American Journal of International Law (1958) p. 247, a state of war “automatically brings about the full operation of all the rules of war and neutrality.” And, according to Venturini, author of “The Temporal Scope of Application of the Conventions,” in Andrew Clapham, Paola Gaeta, and Marco Sassòli (eds), The 1949 Geneva Conventions: A Commentary (2015), p. 52, if “an armed conflict occurs, the law of armed conflict must be applied from the beginning until the end, when the law of peace resumes in full effect.”

Koman, author of The Right of Conquest: The Acquisition of Territory by Force in International Law and Practice (1996), p. 224, states that “the laws of war … continue to apply in the occupied territory even after the achievement of military victory, until either the occupant withdraws or a treaty of peace is concluded which transfers sovereignty to the occupant.” In the Tadić case, decision on the Defense Motion for Interlocutory Appeal on Jurisdiction (Appeals Chamber), October 2, 1995, §70, the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia indicated that the laws of war—international humanitarian law—applies from “the initiation of … armed conflicts and extends beyond the cessation of hostilities until a general conclusion of peace is reached.”

The political determination by President Cleveland, regarding the actions taken by the military forces of the United States since January 16, 1893, was the same as the political determination by President Roosevelt regarding actions taken by the military forces of Japan on December 7, 1945 in its attack of Pearl Harbor. On December 8, 1941, President Roosevelt notified Congress:

“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation… [and] since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

Both political determinations by these Presidents created a “state of war” for the United States under international law. Japan entered into a peace treaty in 1951, which came into effect the following year. However, there is no treaty of peace between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States. Consequently, the United States was bound by customary international law to administer the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom until a peace treaty has been negotiated. After Japan signed a treaty of surrender in 1945, the United States occupied Japan until 1952 whereby a military government was formed, with General MacArthur as its military governor, and who administered Japanese law and not American law.

The deliberate failure by the United States to administer Hawaiian Kingdom law has led to the unlawful imposition of American laws in the Hawaiian Kingdom that formed the basis of the dispute between Lance Larsen, a Hawaiian subject, and the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, Netherlands. The unlawful imposition of American laws within Hawaiian territory is the war crime of “usurpation of sovereignty” of the occupied State. And the failure to comply with the law of occupation in the administration of Hawaiian Law according to Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Convention, IV, is a war crime as well.

34 thoughts on “First Sitting of the International Commission of Inquiry on ‘Iolani Palace Grounds

  1. Unless the laws cited in this piece were passed to cover retroactive violations, they do not apply. What does apply is the Dec 1893 Executive Agreement between both heads of state–our Queen and Grover Cleveland–which can be construed as the Treaty of Peace. The act of war in January 1893 was resolved in Dec 1893. The non-compliance by those referred to as “rogue insurgents” by Grover Cleveland iare criminal acts of fraud, theft, treason and breach of int’l treaty of friendship, trade and commerce. The occupation and oppression that ensued and persists today is based upon criminality, rather than war. Remedies need to be pursued with that in mind.

  2. Kehaulani, You miss construed the facts and applicable law. No worries, the PCA and it’s commissioners are well qualified to apply the law. I’m certain they would not jeopardize their reputations with these proceedings if customary international law and humanitarian law was not applicable. If it wasn’t they would not convene the commission.

    • You’re funny, Kekoa. The facts are clear, your insults not so much. So, are you trying to convey that the Executive Agreement to restore the Queen to her throne and her country, our country, to its pre-overthrow peaceful existence was not a direct action taken to resolve the unauthorized act of war? History says it is. All I am saying, which you missed the first time around, is Keanu and his dream team need to take that into consideration when pursuing remedy, cuz the PCA, whose members were unaware of our true political status until it was brought to their attention, are well-appointed and can sift through all such intricacies. The insurgents and their affiliated high-ranking u.s. officials acted in opposition to their commander-in-chief in complee disregard of the law. Their actions, if construed and applied properly, can be added to the list of third party violations. In the future, please consder comments that others post prior to responding. Otherwise, you run the risk of removing the aloha spirit from this website, to educate one another, as opposed to degradate each other.

      • Kehaulani, I have to keep a sense of humor when dealing with nonsense that the Executive Agreement is a Treaty of Peace. Not to mention that you somehow believe laws have to be passed to cover retroactive violations. Read the Martens Clause and it should make sense in dealing with violations of humanitarian law but don’t get it confused with violations of national laws. You are conflating two different jurisdictions regarding violations of the U.S. officials and the insurgents.

        • I read your article with regard to the Martens Clause that you posted 3 hours after my reply to your “kekoa” comments for the article posted here. 2 hours later you return with more insults. Looks like someone needs a time out. In the meantime, it would benefit the others directly involved with this endeavor, which would ultimately benefit the people of this Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, to delve into the prospect of how the Executive Agreement rendered the act of war moot, and thereby served as a Treaty of Peace, and how that would impact this commission hearing. ‘Nuff said. Movin’ on…

          • “Nuff said. Movin’ on…” I don’t think so. You are saying the Executive Agreement rendered the act of war moot, and thereby served as a Treaty of Peace, and because of this it would directly benefit everyone in this endeavor. Well, let’s here your legal basis for such a statement, provide the precedence and the documentation. At least do that before going to time out.

          • Keahaulani, aloha. Please refer to HK’s blog, Who “Determines a State of War Exists in International Law” posted on April 18, 2017. The President, Grover Cleveland of the United States and it’s successors did not follow through with the two Executive Agreements of 1893; (1) to restore Queen Liliuokalani as the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Head of State, and (2) to administer Hawaiian Kingdom Law. Had the Executive Agreements been executed appropriately through international law, it would have become the Peace Treaty.
            BTW, you should know that it is through the efforts and diligence of “Keanu and dream team” that has brought us through indoctrination and international redress. It is through him and team that we have this blog and it is through him and team that we are receiving the education that allows us to correct the ignorance in order to speak truth about our true history.
            I ask that you refrain from bad mouthing the international recognized provisional government cabinet of the Hawaiian Kingdom and its Agent, David Keanu Sai.
            Mahalo, me kapu aloha

        • If it were indeed a “treaty of peace,” why didn’t “they” fold their tents and go on home, and let the previous “status quo” resume? Why are “they” still here?

          • Ku the thief always re-evaluates what he steals after her steals it and then determines who the value really belongs to. This thief has many accompanying him to spread the value of the theft with. It is still going on. The u.s. is a bully thief and would dare, as it is doing now, anyone from relieving him from the prize.

  3. The current presentation has the earmarks of a “sue-and-settle” agreement where there are no real adverse parties. Such litigious contrivances are not legally favored. The current panel actors, with all of their accolades, must certainly be aware of such partial and tainted proceedings. It is their personal and professional reputations that are at risk of self-inflicted degradation.

    The Commission or panel of inquiry has a limited use and purpose when (1) there is an irreconcilable difference between the parties such that they cannot come to any sort of agreement; (2) when protracted negotiations between the parties drag on and lead to no concrete solution. The two parties are alleging that a third party State is responsible for certain acts and omissions that preceded the Hague Convention 0f 1907. Thereafter, the two parties allege that the third non-party actor committed a prohibited act or acts as against later Conventions and other international agreements. The United States, in the matter presented, is alleged to be the third non-party State but is not a party to and has not consented to the arbitration proceedings. The three limited questions for the panel. do not appear to meet the threshold use of such Hague Convention Commissions.

    • OMG get over yourself. The indispensable third party rule does not apply to fact finding. The parties to the action have mutually agreed to resolve their differences through fact finding and it’s only binding upon them and no other (third) party. Get a grip dude.

    • Thank you for your comment, Kealii. All legitimate concerns and statements, which would behoove Keanu them to take into consideration. Do you know if their citations–Hague 1907 / Geneva 1949 were designed to address retroactive violations?

      • Kehaulani/Kekoa I think it is appropriate at this time considering the situation that you and all others who desire to let your personalities shout out make another choice that one of letting our cultural principles rule. The consequences of your participation as I see it and have taught it is not Lokahi which is what we have desired for generations. Ke ala Lokani

        • Jerry, I agree that pono is the way to go but I won’t sit idle when I perceive someone is trolling this site. Either they provide the legal precedent and citations for their claims or don’t make the claim.

  4. For those interested, here is a source of scholarship for many aspects of international law. . For those trying to understand the situation faced by Hawaiians. By ‘Hawaiians” here I mean nationals of the state, the Kingdom of Hawaii, created by Hawaiians as part of their self-determination. It was a state recognized as a member of the family of nations. Of course the information has value to all. Cheers.

    • SteveLaudig, Aloha and Mahalo for the link. The ICRC mentioned an alleged occupation of Hawaii in one of it’s War Reports several years ago. Hopefully a favorable Commission Report regarding our occupation would light a fire under their okoles to follow through and update their War Report from an alleged occupation to an factual occupation. It seems no one wants to ruffle the U.S. feathers until it’s their last resort.

  5. Sharing:

    FACT: President Cleveland notified U.S. Congress on the 18th. of December 1893, that the “Military demonstration upon the soil of Honolulu was of itself an act of War.”

    F/F (Fast Forward) FACT: President Clinton’s Apology To The People of Hawai’i for The American’s Past Invasion and Illegal Take over of the Kingdom of Hawai’i.

    FACT: President Obama….Being born and raised in Hawai’i is well versed in this Historic Past Inequities of the U.S. Congress and their “Joint Resolution,” to illegally acquire the Hawaiian Archipelago Islands as known as The Kingdom of Hawai’i.

    FACT: The “BALL,” gets dumped into the Hands of President Trump who will ultimately, ” Right the Wrong that ALL The President’s of the United States of America since President Cleveland have Openly Failed to do.” OR … “He will be counted as yet another “War Crime Contributor, in the Eye’s of The FREE World.”

    • Dan Obama could not legally be the president of the u.s. subject to their own requirements of the position. Hawaii was not and is not a “state” within the u.s, except within the egos of the american…there is no treaty of annexation!!

  6. “Do you know if their citations–Hague 1907 / Geneva 1949 were designed to address retroactive violations?” One of the difficult aspects of IL is that one cannot, without reflection, carry common law, or even daily, understandings of law, into the discussion . Retroactive doesn’t apply if all that is being done is a statement of what the law is at the time. New law was not created, it’s existence was noted and a statement as to its form was agreed upon by the delegates. Restatement is not creation. Cheers. Here is an example from Law of War, 1910. “Article 1

    The Contracting Powers recognize that hostilities between themselves must not commence without previous and explicit warning, in the form either of a reasoned declaration of war or of an ultimatum with conditional declaration of war.”

    The powers are not ‘creating’ law but recognizing the existence of law and while providing a statement of the law.

    So the ‘doctrine’ of ‘ex post facto’ which prevents after the fact criminalization of behavior which the person writing the post I’m referring to would be applying a doctrine to a situation that it doesn’t apply to. Using a hammer when a screwdriver is the proper tool. It is a complicated area with specialized language and mis-takes are not hard to make. Cheers.

    • this issue was subsequently and more thoroughly addressed in the Martens memo from earlier. This is a subtle, complicated, and complex area which doesn’t lend itself to simplistic characterizations as a basis for comprehension and not to rapid fire internet twitterish patter. And the principle of charity should be a guide to the conversation even if one may falter occasionally.

  7. Why all the namunamu war crime has been committed, NO Treaty of Annexation, Ku’e: The Hui Aloha ‘Aina Anti-Annexation Petitions 1897 – 1898 is the evidence of the “truth” singed by the citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The petition called for the restoration of the constitutional monarchy and to secure our continued existence as an independent nation. 38,000 signatures were collected and Hawaiians at that time were less then 40,000 that is impressive. Petition was delivered to the United State Congress. Petition was stored and hidden by the United States. So what does that tell us about the United States?

    The US National Archives was contacted and responded that no search would begin without a record group (catalog) number. Through the determination of Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell the petition became part of the Tribunal records in the Testimony of several Kanaka Maoli speakers.

    In 1996 the petition surfaced through the efforts of Noenoe Silva and she was able to locate the petition in the archives in Washington DC. Finally in 1997 a complete copy of all 566 pages arrived in the Hawaiian Kingdom. From 1898 to 1996, 98 years the petition was hidden from the true history of the illegal overthrow.

    It is sad when politics, greed and coverup to hide the “truth” for the benefits of the United States is supported by immigrants, carpetbaggers and untruthful people who knows the historical knowledge of our Queen Lili’uokalani locked up and prisoned in the Iolani Place by insurgents supported by the United States Navy to steal a nation.

    It does matter how one looks at the situation of the Hawaiian Kingdom wrong is wrong period. Our Queen was humble for the Kanaka Maoli was ready to fight and there would have been blood shed for the United States Navy did initially initiate a war against the Hawaiian Kingdom by positioning with weapons with intent to kill. In Life the “truth” will surface for one knows when he commits a crime and knows he is guilty, he will make an attempt to bet the rap. When one is honest and admit to the crime he gains the respect from everyone. The United States have a bottomless history of genocide and war crimes towards aboriginal natives from their own land.

    • Maika`i, Leighton and mahalo Piha for the mana`o. I read and express mahalo to Akua for your perception and the same perceptions of our Kupuna and Kahuna who return the mana`o from the past. Your cultural morality is the mea makamae.

    • Thank you Leighton for using the correct definition of this counrty. Hawaiian Kingdom, not the Kingdom of Hawaii. I don’t recall Queen ever calling the country the Kingdom of Hawaii.

    • You tell ’em braddah Leighton. Whatever the outcome we will be pulling security at the hearing January 17, 2018. And Pegi said she is going to come and look for you there (-:

      • Aloha David, have you been contracted by the AHKG or the PCA to provide security or are you just showing up without a contract?????

        • Nah, I misunderstood our Kalaimoku (Royal Order of Kamehameha I) who said we are providing security when we were at a meeting. What he meant was, he is president of a security firm and his company is providing security gratis. Leighton is in the Order so I must have confused him also. Kala mai.

  8. So, if the fact finding commission finds favorably for Larsen, does that mean that through the process of its “fact finding,” it will also find favorably for Hawaii in regards to the ICJ, which previously shut the acting government of/for Hawaii out of that court?
    Thanks in advance for any info!

  9. December 7th, 1941, a day who’s circumstances could not have existed if one action was carried out 48 years earlier.

    Has yet to happen to this present day, but if happened when it was supposed to, it is a promising fact 3,000 American soldiers would be alive today (or would have at least lived their life) and the USS Arizona would not be where it is now

  10. Iolani, very good point and it is the most important point to impress on the international community. The U.S. military bases in Hawaii are direct violations of the Laws of Occupation and the only reason for the attack on Pearl Harbor and all future attacks. The enemies of the U.S. have already publicly stated that Hawaii is targeted for nuclear attacks. I believe it is in everyone’s interest to see this occupation come to an end. It is what is required under the law and all countries can get behind what is lawful. Not to mention it would be an added bonus for some countries to have a diminished U.S. advantage in the Pacific. A neutral Hawaii is no longer a threat to them and removes us from being a target for nuclear attacks. A win win for everybody. Well maybe not everybody.LOL

  11. Exactly, kekoa! One action could have changed history as we know it! I only can imagine the history that could have occurred should what was supposed to happen, happen. The H.K.Government would still be in power and our island nation under their reign would continue to flourish, Hawai’i could possibly be ruling the Pacific along with the Japanese, and Daniel Inouye would just be another Hawaiian born of Japanese immigrant parents.

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