February 5, 2013
Last Friday Saipan citizen Brian Kendall went to the governor's office and while there he ranted about the governor's ongoing corrupt and unethical behavior. Apparently after some thought on the part of the governor and his staff, Kendall was arrested at his house a day later and charged with disturbing the peace and with making a "terroristic threat" on the governor. Kendall denies making threats.
Governor-King Fitial appears to be using the faux threat as a way to garner sympathy and as an excuse to reinforce his castle. It appears that he wants to keep backdoor deals and meetings with questionable figures (like Willy Tan) secret, while also keeping the media and challengers at bay.
The Saipan Tribune reported:
Friday's incident at the governor's office wherein a man allegedly made “terroristic” threats against Gov. Benigno R. Fitial put to light a longstanding concern that the building does not meet U.S. Department of Homeland Security's security standards for state and territorial chief executive offices, press secretary Angel Demapan said yesterday.I am seriously doubtful that there was any real "terroristic threat." The dance of words that the governor's advisor, John Joyner, uttered in a KSPN interview suggest that there was no "terroristic threat." Furthermore, if a "terroristic threat" was made at the governor's office, then the governor's DPS, government-paid bodyguard certainly should have made an immediate arrest. He did not.
Then again, the governor's bodyguard, Captain Jermaine Nekaifes appears to be more adept at aiding and abetting the escape of a fugitive and helping the governor to escape from the press then at carrying out the duties of a police officer.
Nekaifes probably knew that Mr. Kendall's rant did not rise to a threat. After all, Nekaifes made a similar statement. When confronted by a reporter at an October 2012 GOP strategy meeting, Nekaifes said to Marianas Variety reporter Tammy Doty, "I thought you died, too bad."
Nekaifes' words, like Kendall's, likely did not rise to the level of a direct threat. Saying someone should die or wishing someone should die is likely considered by most more of a personal expression than a threat.
However, there is a difference between such words uttered by a citizen to a "friend" (as Kendall described Joyner) in a government office and such words uttered by a police officer directly to a citizen. Kendall's hearsay remarks were not made directly to the governor, but Nekaifes remarks were made directly to Doty. Certainly in any legitimate police force an on duty, uniformed officer uttering those words to a citizen would have been suspended or fired.
If Governor Fitial wants to secure the governor's office building, he should not use a citizen's expression of displeasure with his unethical and illegal acts as an excuse. Recent actions by the governor suggest he wants the building reinforced so that he can keep the presence of the media and anyone who is not drinking the Fitial kool-aid completely under his control.