The largest newspaper in the occupied Hawaiian Kingdom marked the kickoff for the TMT blockade on March 26 with an online poll asking whether or not readers support the intervention.

The final score at the end of this 24-hour poll was 53 percent in favor of the blockade and 47 percent against it. More than 4,600 votes were gathered by this self-selected survey. Although not a scientific poll, the sample size is significantly larger than average for this daily feature of the newspaper.

The arrest of 31 subjects and supporters of the Hawaiian Kingdom on April 2 triggered international media attention. In the United States, most news organizations circulated the two reports from the Associated Press, both of which made sure to omit the legal status of the Hawaiian Islands as a nation-state which remains under prolonged, illegal occupation since August 12, 1898.

Big Island resident Kalae Kauwe draped in Hawaiian flags as hula halau dance near the Mauna Kea visitors center. 10 april 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Big Island resident Kalae Kauwe is draped in Hawaiian flags as hula halau dance near the Mauna Kea visitors center.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Consequently, most Americans remain under the mistaken impression that Hawaii is annexed, as influenced by the systematic pastime of Occupation denial and distortion uniformly practiced by corporate news media in the U.S. This phenomenon represents a deliberate refusal to look at the raw data regarding Hawaiian sovereignty, which has become common knowledge in the Occupied Kingdom.

Throughout its history, the United States has entered into a total of nine treaties of cession over a period of 168 years (1783-1951). The first six of these nine treaties annexed the territories from which all 49 states and Washington, D.C., were admitted to the American Union, known as the United States, during the first 84 years of its history (1783-1867). The consistent adherence to this procedure by the U.S. represents customary international law. Furthermore, the two failed attempts to pass a treaty of cession in the U.S. Senate, in 1893 and 1897, clearly demonstrates the intent by the U.S. to maintain compliance with this international custom.

Hence, the joint resolution passed by U.S. Congress in 1898, used as a measure to seize Hawaii during the Spanish-American War, was in violation of this self-evident pattern of customary international law. Consequently, Hawaii came under U.S. occupation and not annexation. According to the laws of occupation, the U.S. was required to end its occupation of Hawaii at the end of the Spanish-American War. Instead, the U.S. Occupation of Hawaii, prolonged to the present day, is illegal. Additionally, it is the longest military occupation in modern history, which means there is no historical precedent to suggest that it is not near or passed its expiration date.

The feigned annexation of Hawaii by joint resolution in 1898 was not the end of U.S. adherence to the customary international law of territorial annexation through bilateral treaty of cession. Merely five months after unilaterally seizing Hawaii, the U.S. picked up where it left off by annexing Guam, Philippines, and Puerto Rico through the 1898 Treaty of Paris. This was the seventh treaty of cession that the U.S. entered across a total of 115 years up to this point. The pattern continued such that the U.S. acquired a total of six territories by entering into three treaties of cession over a period of 61 years (1898-1951), following its seizure of Hawaii by joint resolution.

American Samoa is the only other territory ever acquired by the U.S. through a joint resolution of Congress instead of a treaty of a cession ratified by at least two-thirds of the U.S. Senate. However, not for the same reason as Hawaii.

The Indian Appropriation Act of 1871 marked the end of treaties being entered into by the United States with Native American tribes. Furthermore, the Island of Palmas arbitration in 1925 established a legal precedent that a state can only enter into a treaty with another state, and not with a non-State tribal group. Since the territorial cessions of American Samoa to the United States, in 1900 and 1904, were by chiefs rather than states, this prevented the United States from using the treaty process reserved for the U.S. Senate. Consequently, a joint resolution of U.S. Congress was used to ratify these bilateral territorial cessions.

What makes Hawaii different is that Congress entered a joint resolution with a puppet government that it had installed in 1893, which did not have the consent of the people governed. Therefore, it was a unilateral seizure of territory by joint resolution, whereas the joint resolution annexing American Samoa was not due to an inability to obtain two-thirds approval of the U.S. Senate. In other words, American Samoa is legitimately annexed to the United States, albeit a non-self-governing territory according to the United Nations. This further isolates Hawaii as the single historical anomaly of customary international law, unprecedented by comparison to the 57 states and territories legitimately ceded to the United States throughout its history.

The score bears repeating: 56 territories annexed by nine treaties of cession, and the unique annexation of American Samoa, compared to Hawaii being the lone territory seized by joint resolution—all in a span of 168 years. Hawaii is chronologically sandwiched between six of these treaties of cession, along with the 50 territories they annexed prior to the Newlands Resolution, and the remaining three treaties of cession, along with the six territories they annexed plus American Samoa.

If one looks objectively at the raw data shown above, customary international law regarding territorial annexation by the United States becomes self-evident, and it logically follows that Hawaii is occupied. However, alleged annexation of Hawaii by congressional joint resolution is also in violation of the U.S. Constitution, which does not enumerate territorial annexation as a power of U.S. Congress.

Instead, Congress only has the power to admit states from territory annexed by way of treaty, which in turn requires ratification by a supermajority of the U.S. Senate. Consequently, the Newlands Resolution of 1898, the Organic Act of 1900, and the Statehood Admission Act of 1959, are domestic laws that are constitutionally restricted to the borders of the entire 49 United States. Since occupation and annexation are mutually exclusive, Hawaii is not inside of the United States. By analogy, hijacking an airplane does not transfer ownership title to the hijacker.

Additionally, 88 out of the 90 members of the U.S. Senate, of the 55th Congress, argued in 1898 that annexation of Hawaii by joint resolution was unconstitutional. Conversely, only two senators argued that annexation by joint resolution was constitutional. Therefore, for someone today to insist that the alleged annexation of Hawaii by joint resolution is somehow constitutional, is to believe that 98 percent of the 55th U.S. Senate misinterpreted the U.S. Constitution in 1898, and therefore didn’t know what they were talking about.

When faced with the evidence, the world eventually accepted the reality that the Earth is spherical and that the planets in our solar system revolve around the sun. Likewise, now faced with the unequivocal evidence that Hawaii is occupied and has never been annexed, people will have to let go of the long-held myth that Hawaii is part of the United States. A nation-state taken over by another nation-state is either occupied or annexed, but cannot be both simultaneously.

In summary, without a treaty of cession, Hawaii is not annexed to the United States. Without annexation, Hawaii was never admitted to the United States. Without admission, Hawaii cannot be called a state of the United States. What you have instead in Hawaii is an occupant government masquerading as a state.

The evidence debunking the fairy tale of Hawaii as the “50th State” is so conclusive that it is logically only a matter of time before the paradigm shift completes its natural course.

Furthermore, the cognitive dissonance that this involves is being accelerated on an unprecedented scale by the TMT standoff on Mauna Kea.

Therefore, how much longer can the world continue looking the other way and pretend that Hawaii is annexed — rather than occupied — by the United States? How much longer can the corporate news media — especially in the United States — continue this cover-up by omission?

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About the Author

  • Keokani Marciel
    Keokani Marciel is a lifelong aloha ʻāina (Hawaiian patriot) and kanaka ʻōiwi (aboriginal Hawaiian) who holds a B.S. in Nutrition Science from the University of California at Davis, and an M.S. in Exercise Science from California University of Pennsylvania. In 2008, Keokani made a career change to mathematics education, and is currently studying to pass his second actuarial exam. With his background, he brings a quantitative and scientific emphasis to discussion regarding the legal status of Hawaii as an occupied nation-state.