Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Who’s guarding the palace? Who’s guarding the State Capitol?

by Larry Geller

Governor Lingle has been deflecting criticism of the state’s role in protecting the Iolani Palace (an obligation it has to all the people of Hawaii, including the original people). She has focused on the HPD response issue, which is certainly important, while avoiding discussion of the lack of preparedness by the state itself.

In an interview, Lingle said, "This was the second incident, but this one involved a more serious situation. There's been a history of this issue -- long before I even became the governor -- there's been this jurisdictional issue and I just wanted to make certain that there was an unconditional assurance to me, to the people of the island of Oahu , that it doesn't matter whose property you're on, when there's trouble you call HPD we're going to get a response." [Officials discuss palace security, Star-Bulletin 8/20/2008]

The State Capitol is adjacent to Iolani Palace, and in my observation, security is just as lax.

I’m not advocating turning the State Capitol into a prison, but these days, and in particular while the Governor herself is involved with questionable ties with the Indonesian military, shouldn’t the state look at what measures need to be taken to be sure that any visitor to the State Capitol remains safe?

Suppose, just suppose, a FedEx truck drove down the ramp and parked in the loading area while the Governor was addressing the Senate. Now, suppose the driver left the van to deliver a package.

Now suppose instead of delivering a package, he caught a taxi and left the scene.  And then, suppose that the FexEx truck blew up.

Goodbye senators, goodbye governor.

Simpler (no truck needed), suppose someone walked into the Governor’s office (or a legislator’s office) with a gift. Say, a carved wooden horse with wheels. Nice horse. Kind of heavy, but nice horse… then bang!

When you go into a courtroom there is security at the entrance. Nothing for Iolani Palace, nothing for the State Capitol, either.


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