(c) Copyright August 29, 2011 by
Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
All rights reserved
** PRELIMINARY NOTE: This essay, and a summary of it published in Hawaii Reporter online newspaper, was cited in various blogs which resulted in numerous comments both favorable and unfavorable. Keanu Sai wrote a diatribe in Hawaii Reporter filled with personal attacks against Ken Conklin, but which totally failed to respond to the points of history and logic in Conklin's essay. The entire collection of essays and comments has been assembled into a webpage: "Ken Conklin Ph.D. vs. Keanu Sai Ph.D. -- Dialog regarding a theory that Hawaii Queen Liliuokalani and U.S. President Grover Cleveland had executive agreements, still binding today, which would require the U.S. to disgorge Hawaii and recognize its continuing sovereign independence"
Below here is the detailed essay by Ken Conklin, which was then summarized in the article in Hawaii Reporter, producing a response from Keanu Sai in Hawaii Reporter and comments in other blogs.
David Keanu Sai has produced three major scams in Hawaii during a period of about 20 years. Each one provided fuel to feed the next. Each one was founded on a comprehensive but badly twisted view of Hawaiian history. Each one gave the appearance of intellectual insight and rigor, which dazzled hundreds of gullible people into spending thousands of dollars apiece on bogus legal documents and donations to "the cause" of Hawaiian sovereignty. Some people relied on Sai's theories to stop paying the mortgages on their homes, and eventually lost them. Innocent homeowners found that they were unable to sell their homes or refinance them because bogus documents had been filed at the Bureau of Conveyances which specifically targeted their property and placed a "cloud" on their titles.
The first scam became known as "Perfect Title" because it was based on Sai's claim that his historical research and his authority as self-proclaimed Acting Regent of the Kingdom of Hawaii could bring to perfection a property deed that would otherwise lack validity. According to Sai, transfers of land title after the 1893 overthrow of the monarchy were not valid because the overthrow was illegal and there were no lawfully constituted government authorities to certify such transfers throughout all the years from then to now.
The second scam became known as "World Court" because Sai and his zealous followers claimed that Keanu Sai and Lance Larsen had taken a case to the World Court at the Hague, which resulted in that Court confirming the continued existence of the Kingdom of Hawaii as an independent nation under a century-long belligerent military occupation by the United States.
The third scam is becoming known as "Executive Agreements" because it is based on Sai's claim that there were a pair of executive agreements between Queen Liliuokalani and President Grover Cleveland whereby Liliuokalani turned over her governing authority temporarily to President Cleveland, and then a few months later Cleveland promised to put her back on the throne in return for her promise to give amnesty to the revolutionaries who had overthrown her. According to Sai, an executive agreement between two heads of state has the same force and effect as a treaty, and remains binding on all successors of those heads of state. Thus President Obama is obligated to fulfill President Cleveland's end of the bargain with Liliuokalani by restoring the Kingdom of Hawaii to the powers it has always had, and continues to have, as an independent nation. Sai filed a lawsuit in federal court as a publicity stunt, comparable to the way he and Lance Larsen went to the "World Court."
Although the circus owner P.T. Barnum never invented the phrase erroneously attributed to him, Barnum's publicity stunts and the famous phrase nicely sum up Keanu Sai's intellectual malpractice and the way it has been used to raise money and generate crowds of adoring followers: "There's a sucker born every minute."
This essay is focused on the Executive Agreements scam, but also includes some information about the previous two scams and links to webpages about them. Here are the titles of each section of this essay:
1. Keanu Sai's "Executive Agreements" scam briefly described
2. How Keanu Sai's "Executive Agreements" scam is an extension of two previous Keanu Sai scams "Perfect Title" and "World Court"
3. The so-called "Liliuokalani Assignment"
4. The so-called "Agreement of Restoration"
1. Keanu Sai's "Executive Agreements" scam briefly described
David Keanu Sai claims there are two executive agreements between Hawaii's Queen Liliuokalani and U.S. President Grover Cleveland. Each alleged executive agreement is a document written by Liliuokalani plus a document or combination of actions and documents by Cleveland on the same or closely related topic.
Sai claims (incorrectly) that each pair of items is an offer and acceptance -- a legally binding contract -- between two heads of state, which has the same force and effect as a treaty and which remains binding on all Presidents who came after Cleveland, and all their appointed government officials. So Sai has filed a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, etc. demanding specific performance of these contracts.
But neither of these "executive agreements" is an actual single document or contract or agreement signed by both Liliuokalani and Cleveland. Rather, each "agreement" is the cobbling together of something written by Liliuokalani plus something else, written at a different time and place by Cleveland. As will be discussed below in detail, there was no actual contract or meeting of the minds in either of these two so-called "executive agreements." In the case of the "Liliuokalani Assignment" the "assignment" of executive authority by Liliuokalani to the U.S. was never presented to the U.S., and was never accepted by the U.S.; and in any case Liliuokalani no longer had any executive authority to assign to anyone after she was ousted from power. In the case of the "Restoration Agreement", the U.S. never offered to restore Liliuokalani to the throne (an action beyond the capability of the U.S.), but only offered to try to broker a deal between ex-queen Liliuokalani and Provisional Government President Sanford B. Dole -- the U.S. merely offered to be a mediator between two parties, but was never a party to the mediation.
There's a good analogy regarding how the assemblage of two documents does not create a contract or meeting of the minds. I have a collection of "dialogs" about the Akaka bill. In each "dialog" there's an essay published by one person favoring the Akaka bill together with an essay written by a different person opposing the Akaka bill, where the two (or more) essays were not published on the same date and perhaps also might not have been published in the same newspaper or other venue. The two or more parties to the dialog might have never actually met or conversed with each other, so it is rather contrived to use the word "dialog" for the cobbling together of essays on the same topic. See
According to Sai, the U.S. is obligated under both U.S. law and international law to carry out the two executive agreements by removing all U.S. military forces from Hawaii; by disgorging the State of Hawaii and liberating Hawaii to exercise once again the self-determination and powers of the independent nation it has always been; by granting full diplomatic recognition to Hawaii as an independent nation; by paying reparations to the descendants of Hawaiian Kingdom subjects for 118 years of illegal occupation; and by paying damages to Keanu Sai and all others who were fined or imprisoned under the illegal jurisdiction of the U.S. and/or its puppet the fake State of Hawaii. Of course those are the words of Ken Conklin summarizing Sai's beliefs, not the words of Sai himself. To read Sai's actual demands in his own convoluted words, see his lawsuit listed among the references from his website, linked at the bottom of this section of this essay.
The court dismissed Sai's lawsuit for technical reasons (political question theory) without ever reaching the merits of his arguments. That's what often happens in lawsuits about Hawaiian sovereignty, or civil rights lawsuits over how racially exclusionary entitlement programs violate the 14th Amendment -- defendants are usually successful in getting the case thrown out merely because the judicial branch of government must defer to the legislative branch on political issues, or because the defendant lacks the right to bring the case to court. In this essay I'm discussing the merits of Sai's arguments rather than legal technicalities such as "standing" or "political question."
What are the two executive agreements?
The first alleged executive agreement is called the Liliuokalani Assignment. On Liliuokalani's side, this agreement is Liliuokalani's letter of surrender in which she turned over her executive authority temporarily to the U.S. until such time as the U.S. would restore her to the throne. Sai is vague about Cleveland's side of that agreement. Sai clearly wants to claim that the U.S. accepted that assignment and agreed to govern Hawaii under Kingdom law until such time as the U.S. government in Washington could undo the overthrow of the monarchy. But Sai never quotes any statement by President Harrison, President Cleveland, Minister Stevens, Minister Blount, or Minister Willis that has any U.S. official agreeing to accept Liliuokalani's assignment of executive authority, or obligation to administer Hawaiian Kingdom law. Sai's belief that an occupying power is obligated under international law to govern according to the laws of the occupied nation is a modern invention, and in any case it does not apply to 1893 Hawaii because the U.S. was not an occupying power, and the Provisional Government and Republic of Hawaii were not U.S. puppet regimes. There are many reasons why the "Liliuokalani Assignment" was never an executive agreement with the U.S. or President Cleveland, including the fact that Liliuokalani no longer had executive authority after January 17, 1893 and the fact that Grover Cleveland did not become President until 6 weeks later. See section 3 of this essay for detailed analysis.
The second alleged executive agreement is called the Agreement of Restoration. Keanu Sai claims that Minister Willis, on behalf of President Cleveland, promised Liliuokalani that if she would agree to grant amnesty to the revolutionaries, then the U.S. will restore her to the throne. But in fact neither U.S. Minister Willis nor President Cleveland had any power or authority to restore her to the throne. They simply could not make such a promise, any more than Ken Conklin could promise to give the Haleiwa Bridge to a taxi driver who would take him there. Willis was merely offering himself to Liliuokalani as a mediator to try to broker a deal between Liliuokalani and Provisional Government President Dole, but only if she would agree to offer amnesty. Liliuokalani insisted she would behead the revolutionaries, so Willis never discussed the matter with Dole until Dole demanded to know what Willis was doing with Liliuokalani; but by then it was too late. For a more detailed analysis of why there was no Agreement of Restoration, see section 4 of this essay.
David Keanu Sai maintains a large website "The Hawaiian Kingdom" at
The website provides Sai's views on the history of Hawaii including numerous valuable documents from the Kingdom.
Here are some items written by Sai and posted on his website, related to his new "Executive Agreements" scam:
"The first executive agreement, called the Lili`uokalani assignment (January 17, 1893)" [see section 3 of this webpage for analysis]
"The second executive agreement, called the Agreement of restoration (December 18, 1893)" [see section 4 of this webpage for analysis]
Sai's 2008 Ph.D. dissertation "The American Occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom: Beginning the Transition from Occupied to Restored State." is at
Sai's explanation of how he became self-proclaimed Acting Regent, or Regent Pro Tem, of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and how that is related to the Perfect Title scam [and therefore also how it is related to the Executive Agreements scam], is at
Here's a typical announcement of a lecture Sai gave on August 29, 2011 as part of his book tour:
Here's an announcement and flyer for the launching of Sai's new book on September 4, 2011:
Sai's lawsuit against President Obama, and numerous U.S. officials, based on his theory of the Executive Agreements:
In connection with his lawsuit against U.S. officials, Sai also tried to add numerous foreign nations as defendants on account of the fact that they maintain consulates in Hawaii without the permission of the rightful Kingdom of Hawaii government. Sai sent friendly letters to the ambassadors of those nations, and to their local consuls in Hawaii, explaining why he was trying to add them as defendants. Ken Conklin then sent letters to them explaining why they have done nothing wrong. See "Helping foreign diplomats understand the history of U.S. sovereignty in Hawaii and the legitimacy of the relationship between their nations and Hawaii." at
2. How Keanu Sai's "Executive Agreements" scam is an extension of two previous Keanu Sai scams "Perfect Title" and "World Court"
David Keanu Sai has perpetrated three major scams in Hawaii during the three decades from the early 1990s to the present. The first two were the "Perfect Title" and the "World Court" scams, briefly described later in this essay and more thoroughly documented in other webpages as noted.
Sai's new scam, "Executive Agreements", began with his Ph.D. dissertation in Political Science in 2008; followed by his lawsuit against President Obama in 2010; a proposed resolution by the state legislature in 2011 based on his dissertation and lawsuit; a lecture tour in 2011 to promote his book. A big money-making aspect of Sai's new scam is his business relationship with a real estate firm helping clients avoid mortgage foreclosure by filing court documents showing that the property title rightfully belongs to the homeowners based on Sai's theories that the Liliuokalani/Cleveland executive agreements prove that title transfers (and hence mortgage contracts) after 1893 are not valid.
The new Executive Agreements scam is, in many ways, a revival of the old Perfect Title real estate scam. It is amplified by the World Court scam which allegedly established the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom as an actual government, and now further amplified by Sai's new claims regarding two so-called executive agreements from 1893.
The Perfect Title scam included Sai's close business relationship with a real estate firm that collected over half a million dollars in "title search" and "legal" fees by filing bogus warranty deeds at the state Bureau of Conveyances. Those new deeds were based on Sai's assertion that he had successfully appointed himself Regent Pro-Tem of the Kingdom of Hawaii. In his capacity as Regent Pro Tem Sai was thereby able to acknowledge, or confirm, land titles which otherwise would lack viability due to the absence of proper documentation of title transfers because no Hawaii government officials after 1893 had legal jurisdiction to certify those transfers on account of the allegedly illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Sai's theories were used to persuade clients to stop making monthly mortgage payments, whereupon the clients suffered foreclosure; and his theories were used by clients who took over other people's houses after claiming those other people were not the rightful owners. For detailed information about the Perfect Title scam, including a large collection of news reports and commentaries about victims of the scam and the felony prosecution and conviction of Sai and his business associates, see
The World Court scam began while Sai was still on trial for felony attempted grand larceny in the Perfect Title scam. Here's what happened in "World Court." Two friends agree that the Hawaiian Kingdom was illegally overthrown, and the annexation of Hawaii to the U.S. was done illegally. They agree that the laws of the Kingdom of Hawaii still are the rightful laws of Hawaii today. One of these friends, Lance Larsen, repeatedly gets arrested for driving a car in Hawaii while failing to have a license plate and drivers' license issued by the State of Hawaii. Larsen refuses to pay the fines, and continues to defy State law. He gets thrown in jail for 30 days. He claims the State of Hawaii is not the rightful government and has no jurisdiction over him. Meanwhile, his friend Keanu Sai claims to be the Regent Pro-Tem of the Kingdom of Hawaii, having followed the laws of the Kingdom to establish himself in that office. The two of them cook up a scheme whereby Lance will sue Keanu, as acting head of state, for failing to protect Lance, a subject of the Kingdom, against the illegal actions of an illegal State of Hawaii. And just to make it complete, Lance also sues the United States and all the other nations that had treaty relationships with the Kingdom, claiming that they also had a duty under their treaties to protect Lance against harrassment from an illegal invader.
Through various maneuvers Sai and Larsen end up agreeing to have their "dispute" settled by a panel of three arbitrators at the permanent court of arbitration for international business disputes at the Hague (Netherlands). Sai and his followers glorify this arbitration panel by calling it the "International Court of Justice at the Hague" as though it's the same court that presides over trials of war criminals and major boundary and jurisdictional disputes between nations. As in any arbitration, the "judges" are required to accept without question anything and everything which the plaintiff and defendant agree upon -- and in this case that includes hundreds of pages of false and twisted assertions about the history of Hawaii, the illegal overthrow of the monarchy, the illegal invasion and prolonged occupation of Hawaii by the U.S., and the assertion that the Kingdom of Hawaii has continuously remained the rightful, de jure government from 1810 through the present. The only dispute between Sai and Larsen is whether Sai must pay any damages to Larsen for failing to protect him against the illegal occupation by the U.S. and its puppet regime the State of Hawaii. In the end even the three arbitrators, who were each paid a fee of $10,000 by Sai/Larsen, cannot keep a straight face and dismiss the case on the grounds that the only real dispute is with the U.S. which is not a party to and not present at the arbitration. Sai then loudly proclaims that the International Court of Justice at the Hague has ruled that the Kingdom of Hawaii continues to exist and is under illegal belligerent military occupation by the U.S.
See a more detailed analysis of the World Court scam, including a sarcastic spoof entitled "Conklin vs. Santa Claus for Non-delivery of Presents; U.S. to pay damages to both" at
As part of the new Executive Agreements scam Sai has renewed his claim to be Regent Pro Tem of the Hawaiian Kingdom. His theories alleging a pair of executive agreements between Queen Lili'uokalani and President Grover Cleveland are being used by a real estate firm which is collecting large fees from ignorant victims, for land title "research" and documentation based on Sai's theories, in a manner very similar to what happened with the Perfect Title scam.
In summer 2011 people are reportedly paying $2900 to a real estate firm "Laulima LLC" which then gives them a slightly individualized printed standard document the size of a book which, the customers are told, they can submit in court as evidence that they own their property under the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom with no need to pay any mortgage to modern "owners" whose land title is not valid, due to the overthrow of the monarchy.
A Facebook page for Laulima Title Search & Claims LLC is at
In February 2011 Kale Gumapac, President of Laulima LLC, gave testimony in the Hawaii legislature regarding several bills under consideration concerning non-judicial foreclosure. Seven densely printed pages of testimony clearly show how the Laulima title search company is pursuing the same sort of claims made in the Perfect Title scam, and how those claims are now amplified by Sai's Executive Agreements scam. See
A Google search will show the intimate relationship among Keanu Sai, Kale Gumapac, Mahealani Ventura-Oliver, and many other Hawaiian sovereignty scammers; use the keywords: Gumapac Laulima Mahealani Ventura
Resolution HCR107 in the Hawaii legislature of 2011 was based on Keanu Sai's new Executive Agreements scam. As passed by the House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, it required a joint committee of the House and Senate to hold hearings under oath, with powers of subpoena and contempt, to propagandize on behalf of Sai's scam. See text and status of the resolution, and testimony submitted to the committee, at
3. The so-called "Liliuokalani Assignment"
There are many reasons why the "Liliuokalani Assignment" was never an executive agreement with the U.S. or President Cleveland. Here is a list of some of those reasons.
Liliuokalani claimed to be surrendering to the U.S. but actually surrendered to the local Provisional Government. The U.S. never accepted her "assignment" and might not have even known about it for a while. The U.S. (and all other nations) promptly gave de facto recognition to the Provisional Government, which meant that henceforth neither the U.S. nor any other nation could have entered into an "executive agreement" with a Liliuokalani who was now merely a private citizen and was no longer recognized as having any executive authority. Grover Cleveland did not take the oath of office as President until March, six weeks after Liliuokalani was ousted; so there could not be any executive agreement between Liliuokalani and Cleveland as Sai claims.
Let's consider those reasons in more detail.
Liliuokalani's surrender was not given to the U.S. at all. It was delivered to the office of the revolutionary Provisional Government under President Sanford B. Dole. There's no evidence how long it took before the U.S. became aware that Liliuokalani was claiming to surrender to the U.S.; and there's no evidence that the U.S. accepted that surrender or ever agreed to undo the overthrow. Liliuokalani clearly felt it was important for her surrender letter to be delivered to the Provisional Government, because otherwise she feared that the Provisional Government would launch attacks against her. She knew she had nothing to fear from the 162 U.S. peacekeepers, which is why she didn't bother to deliver any surrender to them.
On January 17, 1893 everyone already knew the results of the U.S. Presidential election of November 8, 1892. Incoming President Grover Cleveland (Democrat isolationist) was a personal friend of Liliuokalani, so she expected he would help her. That's why she claimed to be surrendering to the U.S. rather than to the Provisional Government that had actually won the revolution. Claiming to surrender to the U.S. was merely a shrewd political ploy by a savvy politician smart enough to know it's better to surrender to a far-away but powerful friend who will help to undo the surrender rather than to the closeup enemy who had actually defeated her.
What about the word "executive"? The revolution took place on January 17, 1893, when the U.S. President was Benjamin Harrison (Republican expansionist). Grover Cleveland did not take the oath of office until March, as was normal during that period of history. So any "executive agreement" which Liliuokalani made by way of her letter of surrender on January 17 was made with Harrison, not Cleveland. Harrison welcomed the Hawaiian revolution and was happy to submit the Provisional Government's proposed Treaty of Annexation to the Senate -- Harrison would never have entered into any Sai-style executive agreement with Liliuokalani. Indeed, after January 17 Liliuokalani no longer had "executive" authority.
Harrison's diplomatic representative in Hawaii was John L. Stevens, who was Minister Plenipotentiary with authority to make commitments on behalf of the United States. Stevens promptly recognized the revolutionary Provisional Government. Indeed, the local diplomatic representative of every nation which had a representative in Hawaii gave de facto recognition to Sanford Dole as President of the Provisional Government within two days after the revolution, as confirmed by their letters published in the Pacific Commercial Advertiser newspaper and also available on pp. 1103-1111 of the Morgan Report on the internet at
Local consuls have no authority to give permanent, de jure recognition to a new government. They can only give de facto recognition, which means that they officially acknowledge that the new government is in control and the nation that recognizes it will henceforth do business with the new government and no longer with the previous one.
De facto recognition meant there could not possibly be any executive agreement with Liliuokalani after the revolution of January 17, because she no longer had executive authority. At no time did the U.S. or any other nation ever withdraw de facto recognition from the Provisional Government or return such recognition to Liliuokalani. On the contrary, when the permanent Republic of Hawaii was established in July 1894, it received full-fledged de jure recognition as the rightful government, in the form of letters to President Dole, received during the following 6 months, personally signed by emperors, kings, queens, and presidents of at least 20 nations on 4 continents in 11 languages (including a letter of recognition from President Cleveland!). Those original letters are in the state archives. Photographs of them can be seen at
As part of the World Court scam Keanu Sai published essays claiming that the Republic of Hawaii had never been recognized either de facto or de jure. For a point by point rebuttal of some of Sai's essays, along with analysis of the significance of the letters of recognition of the Republic, see
Sai clearly wants to say that Cleveland IN EFFECT said (although he never actually said anything like this) "Queen Liliuokalani, I accept the authority you have temporarily given to me and I will carry out my obligation under international law to govern Hawaii according to the laws of the Kingdom until such time as your executive authority is returned to you." Of course those are not the actual words of President Cleveland; but only the words which I imagine Sai wishes Cleveland had written. Those are not even the words of Keanu Sai; but only the things I imagine Sai wishes Cleveland had said.
It's disappointing that Sai is so vague about Cleveland's side of the alleged agreement which Sai calls the "Liliuokalani Assignment." Liliuokalani's protest letter is very clear that she is surrendering her executive authority to the U.S. (temporarily, until such time, etc.). But there are never any words from President Harrison, President Cleveland, Minister Stevens, Minister Blount, or Minister Willis to say that the U.S. is accepting that assignment of executive authority.
Indeed, it's very important to note that the Queen's letter of surrender was NOT delivered to Minister Stevens nor to any other U.S. official. The Queen's letter was delivered to President Sanford B. Dole of the revolutionary Provisional Government, and was time-stamped when it was received in that office. There is no evidence that any copy of it, or any information about it, was ever given to any U.S. official on January 17, 1893 or during the several days thereafter. And even if Minister Stevens or other U.S. officials found out about it, there is absolutely no evidence that they agreed to accept Liliuokalani's surrender or assignment of authority or demand for U.S. efforts to return her to power. It takes two sides to make a contract, or an executive agreement. Liliuokalani had no right or power to impose any obligation on the U.S. without agreement by the U.S. She had no right to claim she was surrendering to the U.S. when in fact she delivered her letter of surrender to the local Provisional Government of Hawaii -- the revolutionaries who had actually defeated her.
In the American Revolution of 1776, the British had the good sense to surrender to the Americans who had actually defeated them, rather than to the French who had helped finance the revolution, trained the American troops, and supplied thousands of soldiers and dozens of battleships of their own. Imagine if the British had chosen instead to surrender to the superior power of the French, until such time as the French would undo the revolution?
As a matter of fact, the American revolutionary war took more than five years to win. The war was won only after the French greatly increased their support for the Americans. At the end, the French navy blockaded Chesapeake Bay to prevent the British from bringing in supplies or troops for the final battle of Yorktown; and during October 1781 thousands of French troops fought side by side with the American rebels.
On October 19, 1781, at surrender field near Yorktown, a country lane was turned into a surrender gauntlet. French troops lined up along one side and American rebels lined up on the other side. The entire British military slow-marched through this gauntlet, their fifes playing "The World Turned Upside Down." General Cornwallis was ill, and sent his second-in-command General Ohara. Ohara offered his surrender sword to the French! But the French knew better than to accept it. This day belonged to the American rebels. After the French refused to accept the surrender sword, it was then presented to the American, General George Washington.
Thus, in the American revolution the British monarchy tried to surrender to the French, whose massive military forces had been absolutely essential in making the revolution succeed. But the French had the good sense to refuse the surrender and to make the British surrender to the American rebels. In the Hawaiian revolution, the Americans had played a very small role, sending in only 162 troops off a single ship, not to fight but merely to protect American property and to prevent rioting and arson. The Queen should never have been allowed to submit a letter surrendering to the U.S. and should have been required to surrender to the local revolutionaries who had actually defeated her.
At the time of the overthrow, the queen said, "I yield to the superior force of the United States of America ... I do, under this protest and impelled by said force, yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representatives, and reinstate me in the authority which I claim ..."
It could be argued that the U.S. Government did, in fact, "undo the action of its representatives" -- it fired John L. Stevens from his position with the U.S. Government and stripped Captain Wiltse of his commission as a Naval Officer. However, since the Provisional Government was primarily the creation of forces inside Hawaii, the U.S. Government had no authority to declare it null and void. The Provisional Government had such a solid and independent grip on power that even President Grover Cleveland was unable to restore the ex-queen to the throne. When President Cleveland's emmisary Minister Willis ordered the Provisional Government to restore the Queen, PG President Sanford B. Dole wrote a lengthy and strongly-worded refusal. Clearly, it was an internal revolution inside Hawaii, even though 162 outside troops guarded U.S. property and remained in bivouac to be available if needed as a buffer to prevent violence or arson against innocent civilians.
To make it seem that Cleveland actually accepted Liliuokalani's offer and made an executive agreement with her, Sai seems to rely on the fact that Cleveland appointed James Blount as Minister Plenipotentiary With Paramount Powers to investigate the U.S. role in the overthrow of the monarchy. Sai might rely on the fact that Blount removed the U.S. flag from where it had flown alongside the Hawaiian flag on the government building; and Blount ordered the few remaining U.S. peacekeepers to leave Hawaiian soil [and by those two actions Blount in effect removed from Hawaii any appearance of U.S. authority or jurisdiction]. To make it seem that Cleveland actually accepted Liliuokalani's offer of an executive agreement Sai might rely on the fact that Blount's successor Albert Willis, carrying out instructions from Cleveland, met with Liliuokalani on at least two occasions and offered to restore her to the throne if she would agree to certain conditions regarding amnesty for the revolutionaries. But it's all speculation. There is no evidence that Cleveland accepted the assignment of executive power over Hawaii which Sai claims was offered through Liliuokalani's February 17 protest letter.
4. The so-called "Agreement of Restoration"
The second alleged executive agreement is called the Agreement of Restoration. Keanu Sai falsely describes President Cleveland's side of the so-called agreement as being a promise offered repeatedly in November and December of 1893 by Minister Willis on behalf of President Cleveland that if Liliuokalani will agree to grant amnesty to the revolutionaries, then the U.S. will restore her to the throne. But in fact neither U.S. Minister Willis nor President Cleveland had any power or authority to restore her to the throne, and did not make any such promise that he could or would do so. Willis simply asked Liliuokalani whether she would be willing to grant amnesty if she were restored, and she said no. Willis was offering himself as a mediator to try to make a deal with Provisional Government President Dole. Willis was offering to take Liliuokalani's (hoped-for) offer of amnesty to Dole and ask Dole to resign based on her pledge of amnesty. Willis could not and did not promise Liliuokalani that the U.S. would put her back on the throne; he only asked her whether she would grant amnesty if Willis could persuade Dole to step down based on such a pledge.
In his abstract summarizing the Agreement of Restoration, on the front page of
Sai says that Liliuokalani's side of the agreement was that she eventually did agree to grant amnesty. "... after several additional meetings with Willis she accepted the conditions of restoration and she signed a declaration on December 18th 1893, which was forwarded to Secretary of State Walter Gresham on December 20th. The Congress was notified of this agreement on January 13th 1894 by Presidential message. Therefore, by virtue of this executive agreement, the President, and his successors in office, remain legally bound to restore the Hawaiian Kingdom government and to return the executive power to Hawaii’s chief executive."
But no. That's clearly wrong. Willis, Gresham, and Cleveland did not own Hawaii. And President Dole was not a lackey or puppet of the U.S., Willis, or Grover Cleveland. They had neither the authority nor the power to force Dole to step down and to put Liliuokalani back on the throne. The most that the U.S. could be said to have pledged was that if Liliuokalani would agree to amnesty then Willis would act as mediator and present her amnesty offer to Dole and ask Dole to step down. Willis did indeed send a strongly worded letter to Dole on December 19, 1893 ORDERING Dole to step down,
and Dole sent a blistering reply in a letter on December 23 saying, basically, HELL NO.
Thus we see that the U.S. kept its end of the bargain by trying to broker a deal, but the U.S. lacked the power to make the deal happen because the U.S. was not in control of Hawaii and the Provisional Government was not a puppet regime (as shown by Dole's strongly worded letter refusing to obey the orders given by Minister Willis on the explicit authority of President Cleveland). The U.S. could not promise to restore Liliuokalani to the throne any more than Ken Conklin could promise to give the Haleiwa Bridge to a taxi driver who would agree to take him there.
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