December 09, 2014

Hawaii Under Martial Law was like ‘Military Dictatorship’ (1941-1944)

HAWAII — Islanders suffered under nearly three years of martial law from 1941-1944; so oppressive that it was later described by a federal judge as a “military dictatorship.”  All manner of civilian liberties were replaced by oppressive military orders enforced by American soldiers.
The dark period of Hawaiian history began on December 7, 1941, with the massive
surprise attack of Japanese bombers on the U.S. Naval Base Pearl Harbor.  The air raid successfully sunk or grounded 18 ships and killed 2,403 Americans.
As the smoke billowed from the harbor, Lieutenant General Walter Short met with Territorial Governor Joseph Poindexter to convince him to declare martial law.  Being coerced through tactics discussed below, Gov. Poindexter reluctantly ceded power to the military — temporarily, or so he thought.
In declaring martial law, all forms of civilian law were suspended.  An entire new system of justice and order was instituted and controlled at the absolute discretion of Lt. Gen. Short — the newly declared “Military Governor” of the islands...
(Interesting little piece of American history that has pretty much been wiped clean and sent down the memory hole. First I've come across this - Scorp)


Anonymous said...

There was a constitutional declaration of war, so the only constitutional provision that kicks in is that the federal government can quarter troops in citizens' homes without their consent.

A separate authorization by Congress of the suspending of habeas corpus is necessary in order to not have to bring civilian suspects to trial within a certain time.

Other than that, any other limitations have to be in accordance with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which allows for no martial law to exist for the civilian population of any State, even during wartime.

Anonymous said...

The Jews have really inflated the housing market in Hawaii, forcing the poor islanders to move to California

Scorpio said...

Housing prices aren't exactly cheap in California.

Christopher Marlowe said...

Hawaii wasn't a state until 1959. At the time of WW II Hawaii was a US Territory.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that, Chris, but that strengthens what I'm saying even more, since the States have their own Constitution, and the governor has certain powers that wouldn't be limited by the federal Constitution, but as a U.S. territory, the federal Constitution would solely apply, and it would be held to full account for honouring the Bill of Rights, whereas the Supreme Court hasn't incorporated all of the Bill of Rights against the States, in part or full.

The difference is that until Hawaii became a State, the Supreme Court had no original jurisdiction over any cases, so the federal government could essentially railroad any court challenges by limiting federal court jurisdiction and procedure.