Military Backpedals on Free-Speech Facebook ban: reinstates “comment” option for peace activist Jim Albertini

Military Backpedals on Free-Speech Facebook ban: reinstates “comment” option for peace activist Jim Albertini

Press Release For Immediate Release 4PM Monday, May 17, 2021 further contact: Jim Albertini 966-7622

Jim Albertini, president of Malu Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action believes he has won a small,but important, Free Speech battle with the military. The Military has Backpedaled on its Free-Speech Facebook ban and has reinstated a “comment” option for peace activist Jim Albertini on the Pohakuloa Training Area Facebook page. Albertini discovered a few weeks ago he was unable to “comment” on the government run Military Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) Facebook page found at the link below.

Pohakuloa Training Area Facebook:

May 2021 was not the first time Albertini was censored by the military from being able to comment of the government PTA Facebook page. It happened in March of 2019 when Albertini wanted to comment on the upcoming Experience Pohakuloa Day events surrounding Earth Day, when PTA invites school children from schools all over the island to come to the bombing base. Albertini is concerned about the extensive contamination on PTA from a host of military toxins, including Depleted Uranium (DU) radiation, which the military downplays. DU oxide particles are formed when the DU metal is burned after being hit with high explosives. The tiny DU oxide particles can be carried long distances by the wind and if inhaled can stay in the body for decades causing a wide range of cancers. When Albertini tried to raise concerns for the health and safety of the children by a respectful post, his post was banned. When he raised free speech concerns he was reinstated, but after the Experience Pohakuloa Day event in Mid April 2019. Albertini said It appears it’s OK to desecrate and contaminate the land through military bombing, but not OK to criticize the bombing, or raise concerns about possibly endangering the lives of children on a government run, taxpayer funded, Facebook page.” Below is something I also wanted to post in 2019

Decades from now will the same be said about Depleted Uranium (DU) oxide at Pohakuloa, etc. ?  Not only poisoning its own soldiers but our Big island community as well?

U.S. finally admits Agent Orange residue poisoned its own soldiers

Albertini said “Let’s hope this is the last time citizens will be censored on government run social media accounts. It is important for all government officials (The military included) to respect the right of dissent. Free Speech and a Free Press are the foundation of a democratic society.”

Below are two links from the American Civil Liberties Union on the responsibilities of government officials with respect to citizen rights on government social media accounts.

ACLU information on the responsibilities of government officials with respect to their social media accounts:

ACLU letter sent to Governor Ige in early 2019 that provides ACLU’s views on this issue:

Applies to Military banning critical comments from it’s official government Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) Facebook page

Below is the recent email exchange between Jim Albertini and PTA Public Affairs Officer Mike Donnelly

To Mike Donnelly, PTA Public Affairs Officer      May 12, 2021 < > 

Aloha Mike,

I noticed recently when I went to the official Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) GOVERNMENT Facebook page, that I am not allowed to comment on PTA Facebook posts.  I know of at least one other friend who also is NOT provided a “Comment” option of the PTA Facebook page.  Other people are allowed to comment.

This looks like government censorship to me and a violation of US First Amendment free speech rights. 

Please immediately provide a “Comment” option for all people, myself included, on the PTA GOVERNMENT Facebook page.


Jim Albertini

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


From: Monday, May 17, 2021 at 1:12PM


Aloha Mr. Albertini: Mahalo for your correspondence. We are sorry if you are having trouble commenting on PTA Facebook posts. Please know that as this site represents Pohakuloa Training Area, a subunit of the U.S. Army, therefore it is not an open forum for others to post as they may wish. We have explored your specific case and you should be able to comment. Thank you for your patience, and please read and be familiar with the USER Agreement at . See “Additional Information”. Mahalo and Warmest Aloha, Mike —————————- Michael O. Donnelly Public Affairs Officer US Army Garrison Hawaii at Pohakuloa Training Area Building 93, Room 1 MM 35 Highway 200 Hilo, Hawaii 96720 Desk: (808)-969-2411 DSN: 469-2411 Cell: (808)-824-1474