(Published in Oiwi Files, Jan/Feb 2006 issue)

Two Key Misconceptions Regarding Hawaii and Sovereignty

(Excerpted from, Who Shall Be Sovereign? a book in progress by Leon Siu)

Much of the discourse on Hawaiian sovereignty is being skewed by two generally held misconceptions. Clearing up these misconceptions could provide a better understanding and, hopefully, present a just resolution to the problem.

The following analysis addresses those two misconceptions.

Misconception #1 – “Hawaii is a part of the United States.”

The truth is: the current government, the “STATE OF HAWAII,” (allegedly a part of the United States) resulted from a series of unlawful acts stemming from the 1893 unlawful overthrow of the recognized, peaceful, civil government of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The United States government has twice officially acknowledged (in 1893 and again in 1993) that its participation in the unlawful overthrow of a friendly, neutral nation was an unprovoked unlawful act of aggression. It violated international laws as well as U.S. laws, and of course, Hawaiian Kingdom laws.

In law, a current condition is not lawful if it resulted from an initially unlawful action. A government formed by an unlawful takeover is an unlawful government. Subsequently, in Hawaii, the various forms of “governments” (interim, provisional, republic, territorial, state) that derived from the initial unlawful overthrow of 1893, cannot be considered as lawful, even today, 112 years later.

To illustrate: Suppose someone stole your car, forged documents and sold it to someone else. Does that new “owner” own the car? Suppose the new “owner” then gave it to someone else. Does that new, new “owner” own the car? Now suppose the original thief confesses to the crime about how he unlawfully obtained (stole) the car. Who owns the car now? Is it the person most recently in possession of the car, or you, the person from whom it was initially stolen?  Of course, according to common sense and common law, the answer is: You! Since the title of the car never lawfully changed hands to anyone else, you are still the lawful owner.

In a world of written constitutions and laws, the principle is the same whether it involves a car or a nation. Stolen property is stolen property. Something that is stolen is not the property of the final recipient, no matter how many times it may have changed hands, no matter how many “ownership” papers are created and no matter how insistent the final recipient is.

Although the Hawaiian Islands is currently “possessed” (occupied) by the United States, a look at the facts shows that at no time did lawful title to the Hawaiian Islands actually transfer from the Hawaiian Kingdom to the United States.

To continue the analogy, the thieves who stole the Hawaiian Kingdom “car” fenced it to the United States, who has been driving it as its own. When confronted about the legality of their possession, they begrudgingly let the noisiest native Hawaiian drive the car around the block once in awhile. These concessions are the native Hawaiian “entitlements.”

The U.S. and its puppet government, the State of Hawaii, have been masterfully playing a game of conceal and control. When things get a little too hot, they make patronizing concessions, “entitling” native Hawaiians to so-called “benefits.” When we grovel and beg for these benefits, we Hawaiians do two things: we debase ourselves, and worse yet, we concede the premise that the U.S.’ control of our nation and our people is lawful.

The overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom violated the Hawaiian Constitution, the Law of Nations, and the U.S. Constitution. According to the governing principles embodied in those documents, the only lawful means to peacefully change a government is through the consent of the people. There was no consent of the people for the 1893 overthrow, nor for the 1893 establishment of a Provisional Government for Hawaii, nor for the 1894 Republic of Hawaii, nor for the 1898 Annexation to the U.S. (which, by the way, was not even ratified by the U.S. according to U.S. law). And finally, since the 1959 plebiscite for “statehood” did not conform to the criteria legally required by international law, the vote constituted fraud and thus, “the State of Hawaii” was never ratified!

Not only was the initial act of the overthrow unlawful, at every juncture, illegal and fraudulent methods were employed by the original thieves (and the United States) to conceal the fact that “title” had never lawfully changed hands. Therefore, since title had not changed hands, according to international law, the Hawaiian Islands are still under the jurisdiction of its last lawful government, Ke Aupuni o Hawaii Nei, the Hawaiian Kingdom.

International law also identifies the roles of the United States and the “STATE OF HAWAII.” According to international law, the United States’ presence in Hawaii can best be classified as a “belligerent occupation.” “Occupation” – because the U.S. is occupying Hawaii (a foreign country); and “belligerent” – because the U.S. is forcibly imposing its own laws on this foreign country. The “STATE OF HAWAII” is an illegal puppet government created by the United States in order to enforce U.S. law on Hawaiian soil.

Thus, even though outward appearances may seem peaceful and benevolent, below the surface, the Hawaiian Kingdom is technically under hostile military occupation by the United States. This can best be seen in the law-enforcement and judicial system of the State of Hawaii that routinely sets aside the U.S. Constitution and lawful procedures in order to suppress the political dissent of Hawaiian nationals.

Knowing of this problem of the United States’ unlawful occupation of Hawaii, two options are presently being pursued:

Option One: In the name of justice, restore the sovereign nation, the Hawaiian Kingdom; it’s people, its lands, its lawful government and international standing. The various Hawaiian independence groups are pursuing this option.

Option Two: Ignore the facts and allow the United States to continue its fraudulent, unlawful occupation of Hawaii. The supporters of the “Akaka Bill” are pursuing this option.

Misconception #2 –  Only native Hawaiians were wronged.

In the late 19th Century, the Hawaiian Kingdom was a progressive, literate, flourishing, peaceful independent country and an active, full-fledged participant in the Family of Nations. Hawaii conducted trade and enjoyed diplomatic relations with all the leading nations of the world — including the United States.

Domestically, Hawaii had a constitution, a bi-cameral legislative body, a judicial system, session laws, penal codes, a police force, immigration laws, an excellent public education system and all the departments necessary to govern and provide services for the people of this country.

The forceful overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893, displaced a country’s government and its lands, not the members of an ethnic group. It was the Hawaiian Kingdom — a nation — that was overthrown, not the aboriginal people — the kanaka maoli (what the U.S. and the STATE OF HAWAII insist on calling, “Native Hawaiians”). Yes, kanaka maoli were harmed by the loss of their nation, but so were many non-aboriginal subject/citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom: Asians, Caucasian, Polynesians and so forth. This is a crucial point. When a nation is stolen, all the citizens of that nation are deprived of their country, not just the aboriginal people.

Both occupying governments, the U.S. Federal and its puppet, the STATE OF HAWAII, either assert or presume in their laws and policies, that the overthrow of 1893 affected only “native Hawaiians.” By purposefully limiting their culpability to “native Hawaiians,” the U.S. carefully conceals the scope of the problem, presenting it as an internal, localized, racial problem, rather than the violation of a sovereign nation.

As long as people buy this fraudulent “native Hawaiian” scenario, their perception of the situation (and whatever quest for remedy) will be skewed along racial lines rather than that of nation-hood. This tactic, used deliberately by the U.S. and the STATE OF HAWAII, creates confusion and division among the people of Hawaii (“divide and conquer”). Race-based programs deflect attention from the real issue of a stolen nation, and fosters insincere, token remedies, doomed to failure.

As an example: the Office of Hawaiian Affairs was created by the State of Hawaii under this false premise. While it is laudable to want to help native Hawaiians who have been wronged by the overthrow, it is a mistake to exclude from recourse and redress, other Hawaiian nationals who were also injured by the loss of their country.

If you were of Japanese ancestry and was born in Canada your nationality would be Canadian. If you were Chinese and born in California, you would be an American national. One’s nationality is determined by the nation of birth or of choice (by a willful act of naturalization), not by one’s ethnic background or bloodline.

At the time of the overthrow, there were many people from different origins and ethnic groups who called Hawaii home. Many of them were naturalized citizens and enjoyed the benefits and responsibilities as citizens/subjects of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Those who were citizens of Hawaii in 1893 were also injured when their nation was summarily taken and occupied by a foreign government, without their consent and, in fact, over their vociferous protests.

Their descendants, should they choose to assert their lawful birthrights, have legitimate claim to the return of their country and Hawaiian Kingdom citizenship and a stake in matters of reconciliation, redress and restitution involving the Hawaiian Kingdom.

In Summary

In 1893, the Hawaiian Kingdom, a progressive, literate, flourishing, peaceful, neutral nation, was seized by a group of malcontents desiring full economic and political control of these islands. The illegal insurrection was aided by the United States, betraying its forty-year-old treaty of friendship, commerce and peace with the Hawaiian Kingdom. Fueled by the forces of “manifest destiny,” ambition, the Spanish-American War and cultural and racial prejudices, the United States illegally “acquired” Hawaii from the illegal rebel government in 1898.

Stealing property is unlawful. Accepting possession of stolen property is unlawful. Governments created as a result of an initially unlawful act are also unlawful. Therefore, regardless of its disguise as a “state” within the United States of America, the “STATE OF HAWAII” is unlawful. This also means that though seriously impaired, the lawful, sovereign entity, the Hawaiian Kingdom, still exists!

Therefore, the presence of the United States and its imposition of U.S. domestic laws on the people, the territories, the economy, the natural resources and the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom, constitute a “belligerent occupation.” This type of occupation is patently illegal according to international law.

Justice demands that stolen property must be returned to the original owner. This applies to nations as well. If justice is to be served, the United States must withdraw and return the Hawaiian Kingdom to all the people of the Hawaiian Kingdom, not the people of an ethnic group deviously identified by the U.S. as “native Hawaiians.”