Category Archives: Media

Claims of war crimes on Kauai

My Civil Beat column this week tackled another bizarre case created by David Keanu Sai, the political scientist who has been promoting his theory that the annexation of Hawaii by the U.S. never happened, and spinning out fictional accounts of what he claims are the results of that failed annexation.

Here’s the column lead:

It’s quite a story.

A Swiss citizen living with his family in a rural part of a peaceful, far-away island becomes a victim of war crimes perpetrated by an occupying power, his property pillaged and plundered, and his family home lost to a criminal fraud involving a cabal of government and corporate officials, while he lives in fear of retaliation for filing a war crimes complaint with his government.

It sounds like the product of an overly imaginative novelist.

But those alleged war crimes supposedly took place in Kilauea on the north shore of Kauai over the past five years, according to a criminal complaint filed with the Federal Attorney General in Berne, Switzerland, in January 2015.

The complaint was filed on behalf of a Swiss citizen living on Kauai who is, according to Sai, a the victim of war crimes.

Based on Sai’s theory that modern land titles in Hawaii are defective and essentially worthless because they were not done under the law of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the complaint argues that the Kauai man and his family have lost all the equity in their home and are left holding worthless property.

But I was able to identify the man, Yoshiko l’Hote, who is president of the Kilauea Neighborhood Association. State business registration records show he is also the agent for a new nonprofit organization, `Aina Ho`okupu o Kilauea, formed to manage the Kilauea Community Agricultural Center, a 75-acre agricultural park complex.

State real estate records show l’Hote and his wife own the home in Kilauea identified in the complaint. Far from being worthless, real estate records show it has almost doubled in value in the five years since they bought it.

Other evidence of war crimes? Well, l’Hote paid taxes to the state and federal governments, and Sai pointed to the taxes as evidence of “the war crime of pillaging under the guise of taxation.”

I reached l’Hote by phone and asked him about these rather ludicrous but serious allegations. He declined to comment, and referred these questions to Keanu Sai, who I was unable to reach. But he certainly didn’t sound like a man who had suffered a series of war crimes, that’s for sure.

Even though the complaint was dismissed in short order by Swiss authorities, Sai–who also claims the titles of Acting Minister of the Interior and chairman of the Council of Regency of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government–and his Hawaiian Kingdom Government were quick to claim a victory, claiming that the court recognized that an 1864 treaty between Switzerland and the Hawaiian Kingdom is still in force.

There’s nothing in the court decision to support this false conclusion, but that didn’t stop the Hawaiian Kingdom website from loudly proclaiming Swiss recognition of the long ago treaty. In fact, the whole Swiss complaint would have been unknown except that it was widely promoted by Sai’s Hawaiian Kingdom website and through press releases.

Some of the comments on the Civil Beat column are worth noting.

One reader wrote:

This is the man who convinced my friends and neighbors that they shouldn’t be paying their mortgage and because of that they were kicked out of their home. They made their own choices of course but you can’t trust anything he says.

He was likely referring to Sai’s role in the Perfect Title mess back in the 1990s, when Sai was convicted of attempted theft for his role in the Perfect Title scandal.

Another reader, Z Aki, wrote:

I know international law and I have been saying pretty much the same thing that Mr. Lind is now saying. In fact, I did multiple write-ups that have – in great detail – analyzed Sai’s misrepresentation of a number of events. I have provided this information to Sai – both to his face and in the comments of his blog.

Sai’s response, as you well know, was in the form of TWO attempts to have me expelled from William S. Richardson School of Law. Instead of engaging in scholarly discourse, Sai threatens other Kanaka Maoli with actions that would ruin lives.

That got my attention, so I dug around a bit. Apparently Aki had disputed an earlier claim by Sai about a different court case. Aki argued that either Sai was ill informed about the law, or was lying when he said that a state court had ruled that the Hawaiian Kingdom still exists.Rather than tackle the argument, Sai threatened.

Here’s what Sai wrote:

“In response to Zuri Aki’s inflammatory and malicious postings on this blog accusing me of lying is not only untrue, but is clear evidence of criminal acts of libel. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, libel is defined as “A method of defamation expressed by print, writing, pictures or signs. A false and unprivileged publication,” which attempts “to blacken a person’s reputation.” Under Hawaiian Kingdom law, libel is a crime, but under U.S. law it’s civil tort.

Mr. Aki is a naïve student whose irresponsible diatribe has just implicated three or more professors at the law school in this criminal act. These three professors are David Cohen, Diane Desierto, and Carole J. Peterson. This is not only a criminal matter, but also a university matter because I am also a faculty member of the University of Hawai‘i Windward Community College.

On January 30, 2015, I wrote a formal complaint to the Dean of the Law School, but he chose not to hold these three professors and Mr. Aki accountable. This failure to do so is what led to the ultimate commission of the crime of libel. I will be initiating proceedings in a timely fashion and before the proper authorities.”

It’s funny that Sai raises the issue of libel.

In the complaint filed with the Swiss government, Sai alleged that several current or former state officials, cited by name, are guilty of war crimes, and in another section accused the person who notarized the deed to Mr. l’Hote’s Kilauea property of criminal fraud.

Those are far closer to libelous accusations than disputing Sai’s historical arguments.

Former UH volleyball player blasts old rumor as BS

Former UH volleyball star, Lily Kahumoku, now Lily Olteanu, has gone public to deny a rumor that she had been impregnated by then-football coach June Jones while she was a student athlete.

The possibility that Jones might return to UH brought caused the old rumor to resurface and drew Olteanu’s public comments.

Last week, Big Island blogger Damon Tucker published two emails from Olteanu, one dating back to 2011, in which she tackles the rumor head on, calling it “bullshit.”

For years, these rumors have hurt my family and loved ones. On countless occasions I thought about “clearing the air” on my own forum in one of my blogs. But I never did, it’s a Catch 22. If I say it never happened, which it didn’t (I don’t even know Coach Jones personally), there will be crazies out there who will still think whatever they want.

She added: “It simply isn’t fair that my family has suffers over something like this.”

Read Damon Tucker’s blog post on the matter (“Lily Kahumoku Speaks Out About Coach June Jones Allegations“).

Then see Maui Now’s long interview with Olteanu, for more of her story (“Former UH Volleyball Standout Lily Sets Record Straight“).

Wanted: Charismatic Hawaii experts and guides

Here’s an email I received yesterday about an unusual opportunity to share what you know about Hawaii.

If you’re at all interested, act quickly because the email says they are interviewing this week!

My name is Linda Latortue and I work in Development for an award winning television production company based in NYC. We produce programs for a variety of networks including Hawaii Life on HGTV, Odd Mom Out on Bravo and This American Life on Showtime. I am writing to you now about a new project we’re developing about Hawaii travel and lifestyle. I am hoping that you will be able to provide some insight and help connect us to the best candidates for this project.

We’re searching for charismatic Hawaii experts and guides, people who always know the inside info on the best sites, hidden gems and must eats around town, to serve as hosts for a potential series. I’ve pasted our casting announcement below with more information. Please let me know if anyone comes to mind or if you’re able to spread the word about this project. We’re on a tight timeline and interviewing potential hosts this week!

I look forward to hearing back from you!


Casting Announcement

CASTING: Passionate Hawaii Experts for Fun & Adventure Show

Are you a Hawaii resident? Do you know all of the gems and must-sees?
Are you passionate about Hawaii lifestyle and culture?

An award winning production company is searching for charismatic Hawaii experts — professional or not — to host a potential new series about Hawaii travel and adventure.

We’re looking for the folks who are credible and extremely passionate about everything Hawaii has to offer. Whether it’s the best eats, must-see sights or the hidden gems only a resident would know, we’re looking for a Hawaii insider who wants to share their knowledge with a TV audience.

Potential candidates can be tour guides, concierges, or just passionate Hawaii citizens (of any island!) but all candidates must be vivacious, youthful and comfortable on camera. All participants must at least 18 years old to apply.

To be considered, please email the following:

Full Name:

Contact info (email/phone):


How long have you lived in Hawaii?

What are your favorite Hawaii hangouts and activities?

Why do you think you’re a great fit? Please provide a short bio.

Please include a few RECENT pictures of yourself.

“Bloom County” is back!

I happened to be in the car with NPR on the radio for an item from “Fresh Air” on the return of “Bloom County” after 25 years (“‘Bloom County’ And Opus The Penguin Return After A 25-Year Hiatus“). This time around, it appears on Facebook, bypassing the newspaper world altogether.

The broadcast piece includes a fabulous interview with “Bloom County” creator, Berkeley Breathed.

He tells of being attacked by the professional “editorial cartoonists,” who tried to get his 1987 Pulitzer prize revoked. After all, “Bloom County” appeared on the comic pages, not the editorial pages.

He also tells of the trials of being syndicated, which he describes as having 1,200 editors, one at each of the newspapers that carried the comic strip.

BREATHED: It’s relevant because I’m doing the same comic strip now without any editing whatsoever. And I would say that in 1985, I had 1,200 editors, each of them having a different agenda, each of them having a different audience, every single one of them feeling that they had the right to edit and to – I wouldn’t say censor – but manipulate the material. You know, the editor of The Salt Lake City Tribune had a different agenda than the editor of the Boston Herald. And they would be perfectly happy and editing and rewriting each strip as they felt necessary, which left some very funny strips out there. There needs to be a book of the various versions of my comic – of each comic – the more controversial ones as it appeared in papers around the country.

And, finally, he comments on the new relationship with readers in the new digital world.

The digital world has allowed me a connection with my reader that I’d never had before. I wrote every single cartoon strip in isolation in a dining room in an Iowa City farmhouse. I didn’t meet the people who read my material. The fan letters were mostly answered by professional people that’d done them for a living. And I didn’t have any daily connection with their response to my work. So the cartooning was just an abstraction. It was an income. It was making me famous. It was allowing me to go and do other things that I’d wanted to do. But I didn’t have a relationship with my audience. And every artist should have it.

You can listen to the “Fresh Air” piece or read the transcript, and of course go to Facebook for the renewed strip.

Critics hit mainstream reporting of Afghanistan hospital bombing

Mainstream reporting on the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan by U.S. warplanes is being soundly attacked for obscuring our responsibility for the deaths of patients and doctors.

CNN and the NYT Are Deliberately Obscuring Who Perpetrated the Afghan Hospital Attack,” is the way Glenn Greenwald framed the issues today at The Intercept. He accuses both news outlets of using passive phrasing and open avoidance to obfuscate the fact that the hospital was hit in a series of U.S. bombing runs.

Greenwald cites a featured CNN story which reported the incident this way:

Aerial bombardments blew apart a Doctors Without Borders hospital in the battleground Afghan city of Kunduz about the time of a U.S. airstrike early Saturday, killing at least 19 people, officials said.

“The United States said it was investigating what struck the hospital during the night,” CNN said.

Here’s Greenwald’s take on it.

We’re bravely here to report that these two incidents perhaps coincidentally occurred at “about” the same time: There was a hospital that blew up, and then there was this other event where the U.S. carried out an airstrike. As the blogger Billmon wrote: “London 1940: Civilians throughout the city were killed at about the same time as a German air strike, CNN reports.”

The entire article is designed to obfuscate who carried out this atrocity. The headline states: “Air attacks kill at least 19 at Afghanistan hospital; U.S. investigating.” What’s the U.S. role in this incident? They’re the investigators: like Sherlock Holmes after an unsolved crime.

The Intercept ran a second piece by Greenwald, “The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital: From Mistake to Justification.”

This is a must read, as it lays out the view that the attack on the hospital may have resulted from the medical organization’s policy of treating all patients without regard for their politics. It’s their humanitarian mission, one that has apparently irked U.S. and Afghan military officials for years. Greenwald quotes a news report of a 2009 raid on the same hospital by U.S troops, driving a conclusion that this latest deadly attack on the hospital was likely intentional.

And the watchdog group, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), has a similar story (“Media Are Blamed as US Bombing of Afghan Hospital Is Covered Up“).

FAIR uses the website,, to trace the changes in the NY Times story and headline about the hospital bombing. Interesting reporting and a potentially very useful website.