Through the Freedom of Information Act, the AFSC Hawai’i recently obtained the contract between the Army Garrison Hawai’i and Annelle Amaral (W912CN-08-C-0051), the Army’s Native Hawaiian liaison in Hawai’i. The original contract and its eight modifications are worth $742,392 until August 15, 2010.
Download the contract and modifications here.
The statement of work states:
(a) Prepare a written Community Relations Plan (CRP) which shall present a clear, comprehensive and responsive program to present and explain the issues of the presence of the Army in Hawaii to the affected communities, neighborhood boards, special interest groups, resource agencies at all levels of government, and interested individuals.
(b) Represent USAG-HI leadership at community meetings with community groups to provide information to community on the Army’s positions, activities, accomplishments as they relate to Native Hawaiian issues and other concerns;
(c) Obtain outside points of view, opinions, or advice of noted community leaders, organizations, or experts to avoid too limited judgment on critical community and transformations issues, and provide feedback to USAG-HI leadership;
(d) Enhance USAG-HI’s understanding of, and develop alternative solutions to, complex community issues, and provide advice on Native Hawaiian issues and concerns, and propose a way-ahead;
(e) Provide training or workshops to USAG-HI or Army personnel on Native Hawaiian issues and concerns.
(f) Attend monthly USAG-HI command and staff meetings or special topic planning meetings. The SP shall attend meetings and serve as the subject matter expert and provide technical and functional advice and assistance on community support and related special project issues. Meetings will be held on the Islands of Oahu and Hawaii.
Her job is primarily to “fix” the Army’s community relations problem with Kanaka Maoli and organize a pro-military Native Hawaiian front. The “Native Hawaiian Covenant” and the Makua community leaders media event were examples of this tactic.
These are the same counterinsurgency methods used in Afghanistan and Iraq to try to win over a segment of the native population as a fig leaf of legitimacy for what is an illegal occupation. As is true for people around the world, no amount of community relations can change the basic historical truths and the material consequences of imperialism in Hawai’i. The Army cannot “P.R.” away a peoples’ hunger for justice.
As expected, the line of discourse has been “Can’t we all get along?”; “How can we have a win-win situation?”; “Can’t we have reconciliation?” The Army has acknowledged some of its past harm, and expressed an openness to listening and doing things better. But ultimately, the message is an appeal to support the troops, our loved ones in the military who need to train before they are put in harm’s way.
But there cannot be a real reconciliation without sincere and just resolution of the historical wrongs committed by the U.S. and its military in Hawai’i, or without addressing the immorality and illegality of the current policies/wars. As long as the military occupies hundreds of thousands of acres of Hawaiian national land and uses these lands to practice invading and waging wars against other countries, how can anyone seriously believe there can be reconciliation? The people of Hawai’i did not declare a war or launch an invasion of other peoples’ countries. The way to keep our loved ones safe is by keeping them out of the war.
In March, Annelle Amaral was quoted on KITV as saying
The only ones blowing things up is the military. Is the military “building bridges” by continuing destruction of sacred sites on land that was stolen from the Hawaiian Kingdom?
Some questions that emerge: Was this a congressional earmark or sole source (no-bid) contract? If so, who directed the earmark? Since the contract is listed as an “NHO award” (Native Hawaiian Organization), it was most likely awarded as a sole source contract, that is a contract that is awarded by the government without any request for proposals or competition, and an unlimited size award. Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Organizations are given special contracting privileges – called “Special 8A” under the minority contracting set-asides.
The community relations plan developed by the Native Hawaiian liaison must be released to the public. What advice was given to the Army to solve it’s problem with the Kanaka Maoli?
Annelle Amaral was on “First Friday” on 8/6/10, a live call-in program on ‘Olelo Community Television, Channel 53. The taped program will run on subsequent Fridays for the month of August. It is also available online on-demand: