Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

More on U.S. attack on Syria violating the U.S. Constitution & International law

Monday, April 16th, 2018

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/04/14/attacking-syria-thumbing-noses-at-constitution-and-law/

Attacking Syria: Thumbing Noses at Constitution and Law

 
It was a sad spectacle to see U.S. brass rubbishing the Constitution and trying to silence critics of the U.S. strike on Syria, says Ray McGovern in this commentary.
 

By Ray McGovern Special to Consortium News

The U.S. Constitution and international law suffered a stinging blow last night at the hands of an odd coalition that might be called Goldilocks and two moral dwarfs posing as Marine generals, together with a “Right Dishonorable” harridan and a young French poodle.

As was the case 15 years ago when the U.S. and UK launched a war of aggression against Iraq, the pretext was so-called “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) — this time the claimed use on April 7 of chlorine (and maybe the nerve agent sarin — who knows?) in Duma a suburb of Damascus.  And this time French President Emmanuel Macron was allowed to join, as junior partner, the gang that can’t lie straight.

The attacks by the Gang of Three came hours before specialists from the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were to arrive in Syria to study soil and other samples in Duma. The question leaps out: Why could the Gang not wait until the OPCW had a chance to find out whether there was such an attack and, if so, what chemical(s) were used?

 
Sentence First, Verdict Later
 
 

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis could only say that he believes there was a chemical attack and that perhaps sarin, in addition to chlorine, was involved. Serving until now as the only available “evidence” are highly dubious reports from agenda-laden “social media.”  What is clear is that the U.S./UK/French Gang wanted to strike before the OPCW investigators had a chance to ascertain what happened.  Hmm.  All the earmarks of “Sentence first; verdict afterwards.”

Mattis: Giving a new meaning to “flaming” on social media.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry made a habit of advertising how “extraordinarily useful” social media can be.  He got that right.  Of the main alleged “chemical attacks” by Syria — on August 21, 2013; April 4,2017; and April 7, 2018 — the primary, if not exclusive — source of information was the “extraordinarily useful,” but notoriously unreliable, “social media.”

 

Marine Martinets

Briefing the media last night, after Goldilocks had set the stage announcing “retaliation” for the (unproven) use of chemicals by the Syrian government, were two four-star Marine generals, one of them (Mattis) retired, who seem to have mistakenly thought that the Marine motto had been changed to “Semper Lie.”  It was a very sad spectacle.

In 1961, when I was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, I took a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.  Also drummed into the heads of us newly minted officers was the obligation to tell the truth — always.

I had assumed — apparently naively — that Marines took the same oath and obligation.  The attack on Iraq 15 years ago destroyed that assumption.  I will cite just two examples that scandalized me.

 

Hear No Evil, Speak No Truth, Get Rich Quick

Zinni: A relatively straight shooter who remained quiet nonetheless.

Marine Gen. Zinni was receiving an award at the Veterans for Foreign War convention on August 26, 2002, and decided to play Brer’ Rabbit as he listened to the main speaker, Vice President Dick Cheney, set the meretricious terms of reference for war with Iraq.

Zinni had been commander of CENTCOM and had retired two years before, but his continued role as fully cleared consultant had enabled him to stay up to date on key intelligence findings for Iraq.  Zinni later said he was shocked to hear Cheney’s depiction of intelligence (Iraq has WMD and is amassing them to use against us) that did not square with what he knew the accurate intelligence to be. “There was no solid proof that Saddam had WMD. … I heard a case being made to go to war,” Zinni told Meet the Press three and a half years later. (Emphasis mine.)

Earlier, Zinni enjoyed a reputation as a relatively straight shooter with a good bit of courage. And so, the question lingers: why did he not go public when he first heard Cheney’s lie?  THAT might have stopped the war.  What seems operative here, I fear, is an all-too-familiar conundrum at senior levels where people have been conditioned not to rock the boat, not to risk their standing within the Washington Establishment or their prospects for lucrative spots on the corporate boards of arms manufacturers.

Semper Fraud

 

Without the full cooperation of former Marine, Senator Pat Roberts (R, Kansas), who was Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee before, during, and after the attack on Iraq, Bush and Cheney would have had far more difficulty perpetrating that crime.  Because of Roberts’s participation in what easily qualifies as a criminal conspiracy, Bush and Cheney were able to run amok — until, finally, the Senate changed hands in 2006.

On June 5, 2008 Roberts’s successor, Sen. Jay Rockefeller announced the completion of a five-year Senate Intelligence Committee investigation — a study that had been continually sidetracked by Roberts.  Rockefeller introduced the study’s bipartisan findings with these words: “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.”

Fellow Marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter found Roberts’s behavior shameful.  Ritter was unable to resist writing: “Semper Fraud, Senator Roberts.”

Against that background, it was particularly painful last evening to watch two Marine four-star generals peddling at the Pentagon a bogus casus belli for another unprovoked armed attack — this time on Syria.

Assad: Odd time to use chemical weapons.

Media people favored with a Pentagon pass were too timid to ask pointed questions about the evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, for some strange reason known only to him, picked a time of near victory to “use chemical weapons against his own people” on April 7.  No one asked why the rush to judgment; why the gang of three (the U.S., its aging British cousin, and its young French poodle) could not have waited just a day or two for UN inspectors to arrive and discover whether the so-called “chemical attack” amounted to a true casus belli, or a casus belly-laugh.

 
Following Orders

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford remind me of the generals of the Third Reich in “just following orders,” lying through their teeth about the pretext for attacking Poland — er, I mean Syria — as though the solemn oath they took was to the Fuehrer — er, I mean President — not the Constitution.  It seemed, at first, that President George W. Bush’s dictum still reigned at the Pentagon; i. e., “The Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper.” But President Donald Trump and Secretary Mattis did not go as far as Bush. No doubt under White House orders, Mattis dutifully recited the key tenet of constitutional scholar Dick Cheney’s dubious “unitary executive” theory; that is, that the President is somehow not bound by Article I (Section 8) of the Constitution.  That Article I section may have been in mothballs since the attack on Pearl Harbor, but remains a very important part of the Constitution.  And the U.S. has gotten into a peck of trouble by those —administrations and members of congress, alike — who have chosen to circumvent this key provision, which reserves to Congress the power to declare war.  Our Founders wanted this to apply, if a King — er, I mean President — got it into his head to attack another country.  Syria, for example.

At the beginning of his speech, Mattis employed this dubious variant, without the slightest demurral from those wishing to retain their Pentagon passes: “As our commander in chief, our President has the authority under Article II of the Constitution to use military force overseas to defend important U.S. national interests.”

Bush: ‘A goddamned piece of paper.’

Those interested should re-read Article II.  They will look in vain for anything like the Cheney/Mattis variant.  All that part of Article II says is: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.”

A Common Error With Budding Officers Too

An experience I had teaching a class at the Naval Academy in Annapolis 12 years ago suggests that students at U.S. military academies are led to think that Article II supersedes Article I. Lecturing to a third-year class of about 50 students about political/military events, I referred innocently to the solemn oath required of military personnel and asked what that oath was all about.  “Well, it is an oath to the President, of course,” said the first student who threw up his hand, with several others nodding assent.  I said that was quite wrong.  And it turned out to be like pulling teeth to find one student who knew that the oath was to defend the Constitution.

Last evening I found myself wondering what Attorney General Jeff Sessions thought of Mattis’s messing with Article I, Section 8.  For, not too long ago, there was one shining moment when Sen. Jeff Sessions did his best to challenge then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who pretended to be unfamiliar with the bedrock fact that the Constitution reserved to Congress the right to declare war.

Libya: Precedent for Syria

Sessions: Baffled.

At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 7, 2012, then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, pursued this key issue with Panetta. Chafing ex post facto at the unauthorized nature of the war in Libya, Sessions asked repeatedly what “legal basis” would the Obama administration rely on to do in Syria what it did in Libya.

Watching that part of the testimony, it seemed to me that Sessions, a conservative Southern lawyer, was not at all faking when he pronounced himself “almost breathless,” as Panetta stonewalled time after time. Panetta made it explicitly clear that the administration does not believe it needs to seek congressional approval for wars like Libya. At times he seemed to be quoting verses from the Book of Cheney.

Sessions: “I am really baffled … The only legal authority that’s required to deploy the U.S. military [in combat] is the Congress and the President and the law and the Constitution.”

Panetta: “Let me just for the record be clear again, Senator, so there is no misunderstanding. When it comes to national defense, the President has the authority under the Constitution to act to defend this country, and we will, Sir.”

If you readers care about the Constitution and the rule of law, I strongly recommend that you view the entire 7-minute video clip.

Constitutionally, the craven Congress is a huge part of the problem. Only a few members of the House and Senate seem to care very much when presidents act like kings and send off troops drawn largely by a poverty draft to wars not authorized (or simply rubber-stamped) by Congress.

A Chill on the First Amendment

Secretary Mattis devoted his last minute last evening to a careful reading of the following warning:

“Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime.  And, in an effort to maintain transparency and accuracy, my assistant for public affairs, Ms. Dana White, and Lt. Gen. McKenzie, Director General of the Joint Staff here in Washington, will provide a brief of known details tomorrow morning — we are anticipating at about 9:00 in this same location.”A warning not so sotto voce: Criticize the craven behavior of Mattis, Dunford, or the Gang of Three, and you will be “aligning” yourself “with the Assad regime.”

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years.

Friday, April 20 Earth Day Protest at Pohakuloa

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Aloha kakou,

PTA is having an Earth Day gathering on Friday, April 20! What a fraud! Celebrating Earth Day by bombing and contaminating the aina with lead, Depleted Uranium and a host of other military toxins. Protest at PTA main gate starting at 8:30. Protest 8:30-10:30. Carpool leaving from Komohana and Saddle rd. on Hilo side at 7:45AM

Please help pass the word? Mahalo.

Jim

Comments for the record of 106 Consultation on the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA)

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

To Dr. Julie M. Taomia Cultural Resources Manager US Army Garrison – Pohakuloa Hawaii julie.m.taomia.civ@mail.mil (808) 436-4280 Aloha Dr. Taomia,

The draft Pohakuloa Programmatic Agreement (PA) that says PTA contains no traditional cultural/religious properties (TCPs) is a lie, and a fraud.

Below are 9 points I want to submit for the record of the 106 Consultation process involving the Pohakuloa Training Area. I request a reopening of the 106 process so that people who were excluded, and others, can participate and more information can be shared to review and provide comments. I also want to say for the record that in my nearly 50 years of peace activism in Hawaii, dealing with many military commanders, Christopher M. Marquez, LTC, the present commanding officer of the Pohakuloa Training Area, is one of the most offensive, insulting, non-transparent, lack of good faith, officers I have ever met. He has done a great disservice to community/military relations in Hawaii.

As for the current draft PA, there are inadequate archeological surveys. Only 25% of the 133,000-acres of PTA has been surveyed. Traditional Cultural Sites have failed to be identified including the shrines identified on PTA in the article of Oct. 2014 by Patrick C McCoy of Pacific Consulting Services, Inc. entitled “A Re-examination of Kenneth P. Emory’s Theory of Necker Type Marae in the Summit Region of Mauna Kea, Hawaii: Many Marae….” See map in article with religious site on Pohakuloa. In short, the community has not been provided with a thorough archeological survey of Pohakuloa, known as — the “Land of the Night of Long Prayer,” the heavenly realm of unity between the three great mountains –Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai. Nor have we been presented a thorough picture of the true military impact from routine training to Pohakuloa. A prime example is we have been asking for more than a decade about the current number of live-rounds fired annually at PTA. Years back in the Stryker EIS 14.8 million live-rounds annually fired at PTA was noted. What is today’s figure? And provide a breakdown of the various rounds, live-fire and other types. In addition, few are aware that Global Strike strategic bombers B-52, B-1 and B-2 bombers from Louisiana, Missouri, and Guam have flown, and or continue to fly, non-stop bombing missions to Pohakuloa. Is this training for nuclear war? I can think of no greater religious desecration of sacred ‘aina, cultural and religious sites than to practice bomb for nuclear war. We have a right to know what is going on in the center of our island and what is taking place in our names to assess the true impacts. Has this sacred area of “the land of the night of long prayer” become a toxic waste dump with the land and water underneath contaminated with Deleted uranium (DU) and a wide range of other military toxins –lead, perchlorate, etc. ? When will this bombing and desecration stop? When will this contamination be cleaned up? When Will the illegal occupation by the U.S. of the independent neutral nation Hawaiian Kingdom end? What is the exit plan for the U.S. at Pohakuloa and other military sites in Hawaii?

Jim Albertini, president Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action April 15, 2018

#1.  Feb. 18, 2017 Video at Pohakuloa main gate

Feb. 18, 2017 Video at Pohakuloa main gate

Military Police Lieutenant G. Alexander refuses to accept hand delivery of letter to PTA base commander signed by at least 84 people.  He said to mail the letter.

#2.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS6U1u944fk&feature=youtu.be

Below is an email sent to PTA Commander C. Marquez on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 from Jim Albertini

#3.  Aloha Commander Marquez,
Below is a report on our gathering Saturday, Feb. 18th.  As noted, when we tried to hand deliver our signed statement with 4 pages of names, PTA Police Lieutenant G. Alexander told us he would not accept it for you and we had to mail it.  We will do that, but the refusal to even accept our respectful letter is further insult.  Reminds me of the Gospel readings of yesterday of Jesus under Roman occupation –  when you are slapped on the left check, turn the other cheek.  When the Roman soldier forces you to go one mile, walk the second mile, etc. and the ultimate — Love your enemies!   We will continue to do our best to walk the extra mile and love you in spite of your disrespectful, illegal and immoral actions. We remain firm in our belief. No lie can live forever. The arc of the universe bends toward justice.  Love, not violence, will have the final word.
Blessings to you.
Jim Albertini

Photo of Protect Pohakuloa ceremony at Pu’uhuluhulu

photo by Donna Grabow

Press Release on Protect Pohakuloa gathering held Sat. Feb. 18, 2017
further contact: Jim Albertini 966-7622 email ja@malu-aina.org 

Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email ja@malu-aina.org Visit us on the web at www.malu-aina.org 

     Seventy people gathered Sat. morning at 10:30 at the Pu’uhuluhulu ahu at the intersection of Saddle Rd and Mauna Kea  Access Rd.  Ceremony and prayers were offered for the healing of our air, land, and water; for  Pohakuloa, Mauna Kea, Oak Flat and Standing Rock and wherever people are suffering.  Besides Native Hawaiian (Kanaka Maoli) and other local residents present, native healers from inner Mexico joined in solidarity. Kumu Kalani Flores from Waimea lead the gathering ceremony and many people offered prayers and offerings, including chants and songs.  Some of the ceremony was live-streamed to Oak Flat and Standing Rock.  Following a pot luck lunch, twenty six people journeyed to Pu’u Koli, the very center of the island, for further ceremony and prayers seeking peace, aloha and the healing of our lands.  Pu’u Koli is located on the southern boundary of Pohakuloa.  Live firing from Pohakuloa could be heard during the ceremony.

     Following the  ceremony at Pu’u Koli, a delegation attempted to deliver the letter below  to the Pohakuloa Base Commander, Christopher M. Marquez LTC via the PTA main gate. The letter was signed by more than 80 people.  PTA Police Lieutenant, G. Alexander refused to accept the letter for Commander Marquez and said it would have to be sent through the US mail which will be done.  The letter speaks for itself.  Mahalo to all who were part of this gathering and who signed the letter.

To Christopher M. Marquez, LTC

Commanding Officer US Army Garrison Pohakuloa Training Area

P.O. Box 4607 Hilo, Hawaii 96720-0607

Office phone 808-969-2407, cell 808-228-6598

Christopher.m.marquez3.mil@mail.mil

Seeking PONO!

  
     We, the undersigned, are deeply offended by your repeated lack of good faith in responding to our Sept. 30, 2016 request, and several follow up requests, for religious access to the ahu at the base of Pu’u Ka Pele for ho’okupu and Makahiki ceremony.   We are also deeply offended by your failure, and that of other PTA commanders, to respond to questions submitted in writing about Depleted Uranium (DU) radiation contamination at PTA and other community concerns dating back to 2007, questions that were also presented to you in writing on Sept. 30, 2016.  Your repeated lack of good faith, and that of other PTA commanders,  hurts rather than improves military/community relations.

     We do not believe that you have the moral or legal right under the U.S. Constitution, and certainly not under Hawaiian Kingdom law, to prohibit religious practice and access to sacred sites at Pohakuloa.  The U.S. as an occupying power, has a legal duty to uphold Hawaiian Kingdom law and the right of religious practice and access under the law — Kanawai Mamala Hoe, which is also recognized in the Hawaii State Constitution.  Article 12, section 7 of the Hawaii State Constitution affirms the right of traditional religious practice. Religious practices are also protected by numerous international and human rights laws; too many to mention here and are cited in military manuals and handbooks that apply directly to military branches of the United States of America.

     Therefore, please immediately cease and desist from your illegal activities of blocking our right to religious practice and access. Please also know that we consider your ongoing  occupation and the bombing of Hawaii not only illegal, but the ultimate in religious desecration of our sacred ‘aina and we intend to hold you accountable.

For reply: Malu ‘Aina P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawaii 96760

Phone 808-966-7622. Email ja@malu-aina.org www.malu-aina.org

#4.  Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action

To Christopher M. Marquez

LTC, FA

Commanding Officer

U.S. Army Garrison

Pohakuloa Training Area

P.O. Box 4607

Hilo, Hawaii 96720 0607                                                                                                                                                                                                          September 30, 2016

Aloha LTC Marquez,

I read the Sunday, July 31, 2016 Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce (HICC) Activity Special Report, where there was a photo of a military drone and caption “Pohakuloa Advisory Council and MAC (Military Affairs Committee) members tour the Pohakuloa Training Area on page 13. Our organization would like to request a similar briefing and tour to that of the HICC. Among sites we would like to visit besides the drone field, and the launch pads for the Davy Crockett DU spotting rounds, is the ahu at the base of Pu’u Ka Pele to offer ho’okupu during Makahiki that I and many others, including the Kapele family from Kona and members of Royal Order of Kamehameha constructed quite a few years back. We would request a weekend visit during the month of November.

Mahalo for your assistance in this matter.

With gratitude and aloha,

Jim Albertini

President

Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action

P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown), Hawaii 96760

Phone 808-966-7622 Email ja@malu-aina.org www.malu-aina.org

#5.  Moanikeala Akaka amd others  blasting Pohakuloa commanders about lack of cultural reports, etc. on Pohakuloa
Nov. 2011

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15HosQNzcxo

#6. Jim Albertini and others testifying on Pohakuloa EA on Cultural Impacts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmw70hRQsx0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aNqJMg6Wgw&t=30s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsgSerjBxlw

#7.  formal complaint filed on 106 consultation over military Pohakuloa Training Area meeting May 18, 2017

To Office of the Executive Director
John M. Fowler, executive director National Historic Preservation  Advisory Council ( ACHP)

To Office of General Counsel
Javier Marques, general counsel    

To Cultural Resources Manager Dr. Julie M. Taomia US Army Garrison – Pohakuloa Hawaii
Aloha Kakou,

This is a formal complaint about citizens being turned away and prohibited from participation in a May 18, 2017 meeting in Hilo, Hawaii concerning 106 consultation involving the military Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA).  At the May 19th Kona meeting people were not turned away. The Hilo meeting was held at the County’s Aupuni Conference room and several people that our organization had extended the invitation to sent to me by Dr, Julie Taomia  were turned away.  It was very insulting and I hereby request that the meeting be redone and an open invitation to the community be extended. 

Below is a copy of the invitation that I received from Dr. Taomia that states that others are invited to participate. 

People sought to attend because May 11, 2017 e-mail announcing the May 18 meeting said “New parties are welcome to join the consultation…” And 36 CFR 800.2 (d)  (2) says agencies “must…seek public comment and input”.

To ensure the section 106 process will not be challenged, please hold another meeting as soon as possible but with at least two weeks advance notice.

Thank you

Jim Albertini, President Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 email ja@malu-aina.org visit us on the web at www.malu-aina.org sign up on our website to automatically receive our posts

The law says:

 

(d) The public. (1) Nature of involvement. The views of the public are essential to informed Federal decision making in the section 106 process. The agency official shall seek and consider the views of the public in a manner that reflects the nature and complexity of the undertaking and its effects on historic properties, the likely interest of the public in the effects on historic properties, confidentiality concerns of private individuals and businesses, and the relationship of the Federal involvement to the undertaking. (2) Providing notice and information. The agency official must, except where appropriate to protect confidentiality concerns of affected parties, provide the public with information about an undertaking and its effects on historic properties and seek public comment and input. Members of the public may also provide views on their own initiative for the agency official to consider in decision making. (3) Use of agency procedures. The agency official may use the agency’s procedures for public involvement under the National Environmental Policy Act or other program requirements in lieu of public involvement requirements in subpart B of this part, if they provide adequate opportunities for public involvement consistent with this subpart.

CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED Aloha, I am pleased to announce that we will be holding another consultation meeting for the development of a programmatic agreement for routine military training on Hawai’i Island. Two meetings are scheduled, one in Hilo and one in Kailua-Kona. We will continue discussion of routine military training, historic property identification, and potential effects to historic properties. We hope that you can join us at one of the venues or by calling in, as follows: Date: Thursday, May 18, 2017 Time: 5:30-7:30 pm Place: Aupuni Conference Room, 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 1, Hilo Call-in Line: 808-655-9988 Code: 0518# Date: Friday, May 19, 2017 Time: 5:30-7:30 pm Place: West Hawai’i Civic Center, Council Chambers, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona Call-in line: 808-655-9988 Code: 0519# Please note these are consultation meetings to fulfill the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act. Consultation topics will be limited to relevant issues as time is limited. The parties on this email have expressed an interest in participating in this consultation. New parties are welcome to join the consultation, but we will continue with the consultation and not start from the beginning. If I have inadvertently not included someone who should have been included, please share this information with them or provide me with their contact information so that I can forward this to them. Mahalo, Julie Dr. Julie M. Taomia Cultural Resources Manager US Army Garrison – Pohakuloa Hawaii julie.m.taomia.civ@mail.mil (808) 436-4280 CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED #8 Appeal to Reno Keoni Franklin, ACHP Aloha Mr. Franklin, I received your name from Dr. Alan Downer at the May 18, 2017 106 meeting in Hilo concerning the military Pohakuloa Training Area.  Dr. Downer said I should contact you for assistance.  Below is a copy of a statement with a partial list of signers (attached) that we sent the night before the May 18th meeting to military officials and hand delivered copies to everyone present at the meeting.  Also below is a copy of a complaint we filed on that May 18th meeting where people who came were locked out.  We have asked that the meeting be redone.  We hope you can assist us in this process to ensure community voices are heard.  Mahalo. — Jim Albertini, President Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 email ja@malu-aina.org visit us on the web at www.malu-aina.org sign up on our website to automatically receive our posts  

Aloha ‘Aina – Protect Pohakuloa

 

To Military officials, Julie Taomia, others listed and ccd in her May 11, 2017 email, county, state, and federal officials, news and social media.

Taomia Julie M CIV USARMY IMCOM PACIFIC (US) <julie.m.taomia.civ@mail.mil>

 Aloha Kakou,

  1. Mahalo for the invitation to the May 18 Hilo & May 19 Kona meetings but the short advanced notice of 1 week leaves little time for inviting others, arranging schedules, and preparing meaningful input.  This is a good faith effort in that direction nevertheless.  The last consultation meeting on Pohakuloa was Sept. 30, 2016 at Pohakuloa and no minute notes of that meeting have been posted to date. How Come?
  2. At the Sept. 2016 meeting a request was made in writing for religious ceremony access to the ahu built at the base of Pu’u Ka Pele during the coming Makahiki season from Nov. thru Feb. Numerous follow up requests were made as well.  No access for religious ceremony was granted. How come?
  3. At a Dec. 19, 2016 meeting at PTA which we thought was going to be a day of religious access, we were told that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) needed to be developed for access.  We said whatever SOP was good for the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce recent site visits should be good for us. At that Dec. meeting those of us who came for religious ceremony signed a statement on the spot and hand delivered it to PTA Commander Lt. Col. Chris Marquez, which said: “Right of Religious Practice.  We the undersigned do not recognize the U.S. military’s authority to prohibit religious access to Pohakuloa – the Land of the Night of Long Prayer.  It is the right of the people to practice their religion by placing ho’okupu on the ahu at the base of Pu’u K Pele.” It is now 8 months since our written request for religious access and No SOP has been developed to date and access continues to be denied.  How come?
  4. At the Dec. 19 meeting Julie Taomia said 1200 historic sites on PTA have been identified, since 1995 when the cultural section was established at PTA but less than 1/3 of PTA’s 133,000-acres have been surveyed for cultural and religious sites to date.  How come?
  5. On several occasions we have asked for a list and map of the known sites, especially the religious sites.  To date, nothing has been provided.  How come?

      In light of the above we call for the following:

  1. That a timetable be developed for the complete survey of cultural and religious sites for the entire 133,000-acre PTA, and that local Hawaiian authorities, not out of state universities and people be utilized in this effort.
  2. The current list and details with maps of the 1200 known sites, including the 7 religious sites, be released immediately.
  3. A SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for access to religious sites be developed immediately.  It is long overdue.

      Without such good faith efforts on behalf of PTA, there can be no moving forward on a possible programmatic agreement at PTA because people do not have the information relevant to consider moving forward.

      Furthermore, all PTA expansion plans being considered should be made public.  In the email announcing this consultation meeting, the Army stated, “Consultation topics will be limited to relevant issues as time is limited.”  Let’s be clear.  It is not the role of the Army to silence the community or dictate the topics that are relevant and to be discussed. The purpose of the consultation is to identify potential harm to historic/cultural/religious sites, including broad cultural/religious landscapes that encompass Po-haku-loa – The Land of the Night of Long Prayer.”  It is also the job of the Army to identify measures it can take to avoid the identified harms, or at least to minimize the harm.  To really be comprehensive, the programmatic agreement needs to have a MILITARY EXIT PLAN, a plan to clean up all toxins, including Depleted Uranium, UXOs, etc. a plan to restore the area to its pre-military use environment, and funding for Native Hawaiian education, health care in perpetuity in partial compensation for the damage done. We need to learn from Kaho’olawe.  Pohakuloa’s 133,000 acres is nearly Five Times the size of Kaho’olawe. This time we want a 100% commitment, (not a 10% commitment,) to clean up 100% of your mess.  It will be up to the Hawaiian people to determine when the job is done to their satisfaction not your satisfaction.

      Toward the long term goal of a demilitarized Hawaii, and the return of Hawaiian Kingdom Government and Crown lands, we specifically demand the following short-term issues be addressed:

  1. An assessment of the impact of past military training activities at Pohakuloa on cultural and religious sites – including the rubbish, UXO, and other toxins that have not been cleaned up in areas near identified known sites;  Also see recent Hawaii court ruling victory by Ku Ching and Maxine Kahalelio against the DLNR over Pohakuloa on failed clean up.
  2. That the entire Pohakuloa area –the Land of the Night of Long Prayer, the entire area known as the heavenly realm of unity between the three great mountains –Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai be designated as an historic site of cultural and religious significance.  This area to include all cultural and religious sites – including Pu’u, Heiau, shrines,  identified from oral tradition, cultural and religious practice.
  3. Identify how the present training activities including, what is it now — 15 million live-rounds fired annually?  What are the impacts to historic sites, cultural and religious resources and traditional practices?  Also include the impact of 2000 or 3000 pound inert bombs dropped from 30,000 feet by B-52, B-1 and B-2 bombers flying non-stop from Guam, Missouri, Louisiana, and perhaps places unknown.
  4. The military needs to recognize the importance of access to cultural and religious sites. The time for lip service is over.  Show you recognize the importance by opening access to sites for traditional cultural and religious practice NOW!

      Mahalo for your attention to these important concerns.

 (Signature list in formation)

Contact: Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O.Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawai’i 96760 Phone (808) 966-7622. Email:ja@malu-aina.org

To Office of the Executive Director John M. Fowler, executive director National Historic Preservation  Advisory Council ( ACHP)

To Office of General Counsel Javier Marques, general counsel    

To Cultural Resources Manager Dr. Julie M. Taomia US Army Garrison – Pohakuloa Hawaii Aloha Kakou, This is a formal complaint about citizens being turned away and prohibited from participation in a May 18, 2017 meeting in Hilo, Hawaii concerning 106 consultation involving the military Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA).  At the May 19th Kona meeting people were not turned away. The Hilo meeting was held at the County’s Aupuni Conference room and several people that our organization had extended the invitation to sent to me by Dr, Julie Taomia  were turned away.  It was very insulting and I hereby request that the meeting be redone and an open invitation to the community be extended.  Below is a copy of the invitation that I received from Dr. Taomia that states that others are invited to participate. 

People sought to attend because May 11, 2017 e-mail announcing the May 18 meeting said “New parties are welcome to join the consultation…” And 36 CFR 800.2 (d)  (2) says agencies “must…seek public comment and input”.

To ensure the section 106 process will not be challenged, please hold another meeting as soon as possible but with at least two weeks advance notice.

Thank you

Jim Albertini, President Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 email ja@malu-aina.org visit us on the web at www.malu-aina.org sign up on our website to automatically receive our posts

The law says:

 

(d) The public. (1) Nature of involvement. The views of the public are essential to informed Federal decisionmaking in the section 106 process. The agency official shall seek and consider the views of the public in a manner that reflects the nature and complexity of the undertaking and its effects on historic properties, the likely interest of the public in the effects on historic properties, confidentiality concerns of private individuals and businesses, and the relationship of the Federal involvement to the undertaking. (2) Providing notice and information. The agency official must, except where appropriate to protect confidentiality concerns of affected parties, provide the public with information about an undertaking and its effects on historic properties and seek public comment and input. Members of the public may also provide views on their own initiative for the agency official to consider in decisionmaking. (3) Use of agency procedures. The agency official may use the agency’s procedures for public involvement under the National Environmental Policy Act or other program requirements in lieu of public involvement requirements in subpart B of this part, if they provide adequate opportunities for public involvement consistent with this subpart. CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED Aloha, I am pleased to announce that we will be holding another consultation meeting for the development of a programmatic agreement for routine military training on Hawai’i Island. Two meetings are scheduled, one in Hilo and one in Kailua-Kona. We will continue discussion of routine military training, historic property identification, and potential effects to historic properties. We hope that you can join us at one of the venues or by calling in, as follows: Date: Thursday, May 18, 2017 Time: 5:30-7:30 pm Place: Aupuni Conference Room, 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 1, Hilo Call-in Line: 808-655-9988 Code: 0518# Date: Friday, May 19, 2017 Time: 5:30-7:30 pm Place: West Hawai’i Civic Center, Council Chambers, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona Call-in line: 808-655-9988 Code: 0519# Please note these are consultation meetings to fulfill the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act. Consultation topics will be limited to relevant issues as time is limited. The parties on this email have expressed an interest in participating in this consultation. New parties are welcome to join the consultation, but we will continue with the consultation and not start from the beginning. If I have inadvertently not included someone who should have been included, please share this information with them or provide me with their contact information so that I can forward this to them. Mahalo, Julie Dr. Julie M. Taomia Cultural Resources Manager US Army Garrison – Pohakuloa Hawaii julie.m.taomia.civ@mail.mil (808) 436-4280 CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED #9.  Hawaiian Cultural practitioner, Jimmy Medeiros, calling for May 18th and May 19th 2017  106 meetings in Hilo and Kona to be redone to allow all people who want to testify.

Aloha Julie  (June 2, 2017)

I agree we should have the meetings on both west Hawaii and east held 

Again to give those who wanted to speak a chance 

To testify make it complete have it on the entire island 

Both sides do it again let all the testimony be herd.

Thank you, Jim Medeiros

Sent from my iPhone

BZ gas used in Salisbury tested by US military in Waiakea Forest in 1960s

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

BZ gas used in Salisbury tested by US military in Waiakea Forest in 1960s

Lavrov: Swiss Lab Says ‘BZ Toxin’ Used in Salisbury, NOT Produced in Russia, Was in US & UK Service
By RT

 
The British government is deliberately pursuing the policy of destroying all possible evidence. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49220.htm
======

BZ was one of the chemical/biological weapons tested by the US in the Waiakea forest area, Hilo’s watershed back in the 1960s. The military got a lease of state lands along Stainback Highway to do “weather testing.” They lied. They were testing some of the most deadly weapons in the US arsenal.
Jim Albertini

Emergency Hilo Protest! No War on Syria!

Saturday, April 14th, 2018

Emergency Hilo Protest! No War on Syria! SUNDAY, APRIL 15TH 2-4PM HIGHWAY 11 FRONTING WALGREENS

Please pass the word.