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Bail appropriate for Kanahele

The Honolulu Advertiser
Thursday, November 9, 1995, page A20

By Brett White
Island Voices

The day after a federal court jury failed to determine the judicial fate of Nation of Hawaii leader Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele, I attended his press conference at the Halawa Correctional Facility.

Kanahele asked everyone to "tell the truth" about his comments. He laid out his feelings about why he should be granted bail pending any retrial on the charges against him.

Having interviewed him and having hung out with him on numerous occasions, I believe I know Kanahele just about as well as any of the mainstream media workers do.

It is implausible to me that any rational person could deem Kanahele a threat to the public safety. Any violent act that he may have committed years ago has long since been atoned for through his previous 11 month imprisonment and his subsequent spiritual awakening and rebirth. I place the chances of Kanahele ever again committing a violent act at exactly zero.

It is clear to me that the only threat the activist poses is a political one to the economic status quo enjoyed by the suborners and beneficiaries of one of the most corrupt land grabs ever perpetrated by America - the theft of the Nation of Hawaii.

Kanahele's detention is as classic an example of political imprisonment as America has seen in many years. The charges against him are ludicrous on their face and can be seen to be political in both nature and season when reviewed in even the most perfunctory manner.

I believe that federal agents - and their state lackeys - theorized that the arrest of Kanahele would do three things:

  • Silence the most powerful and troublesome sovereignty activist in modern Hawaiian history.

  • Send a warning message to other sovereignty promoters not to get "too radical and too uppity."

  • Leave Kanahele's followers fractured, without a leader, and vulnerable to absorption by proponents of the kind of sellout solution to the "sovereignty problem" that would best serve the preservation of business as usual.

    Government claims that its agents could not find and arrest convicted tax protester and political prankster Nathan Brown are nonsense. I saw Brown around Honolulu on numerous occasions - as did hundreds of other folks who know him - during the times that the feds say he was "hiding and being harbored" by Kanahele.

    As is typical when half-baked fascist tactics born of tyranny-based scheme are employed under color of law, the state and federal governments' intended goals have not been realized. Their tactics have merely created an icon of freedom to be heralded, and given birth to a semi-martyr in the eyes of Kanahele's supporters.

    With governments at all levels facing budget restraints, all working folks should hope that no more public money is squandered on the political prosecution of a man whose only real crime was in challenging what he now knows is not a mere paper tiger. It is time for America to do the right thing, the generous thing, if you insist and dismiss its complaint against Kanahele.

    Brett White is a conservative political and social commentator based in Honolulu.

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