CNMI Soap Opera Still Running Strong

April 28, 2013

With the exit of the CNMI's two most corrupt high ranking officials – former Governor N. Benigno Fitial and former Attorney General Edward Buckingham III– one would have expected the drama to subside. Ah, but no, the inane actions of officials keep the public tuned in as the outrage continues.

KSPN News reports that CNMI Attorney General Joey San Nicolas has subpoenaed the unpublished notes and recordings of Marianas Variety reporter Tammy Doty. For such a controversial action that is an assault on First Amendment rights, one would expect that the criminal case must be extremely serious.

Wrong. This is not about vital cases that scream for investigation and prosecution. Cases like the many unsolved CNMI rapes and murders, cases like a member of the DPS attacking a reporter at the airport, cases like a police officer brutally beating an innocent man; or the hundreds of other relevant cases that have gone unprosecuted to the detriment of the victims and the public.

No, this is about  Saipan resident Brian Kendall making remarks at the governor's office that were somehow interpreted as a "terroristic threat."

Some background from a previous Unheard No More! post:
During the last days of former governor Benigno Fitial's tyrannical rule, an outspoken Saipan citizen, Brian Kendall, was arrested after a visit to the Governor's Office Building. He was arrested for making alleged threats against then governor Fitial and charged with making a terrorist threat against the governor and disturbing the peace. 
It seemed clear to many at the time that it was a politically motivated and unjustified arrest. It seems clearer today. 
At the time of the arrest, Fitial's then adviser John Joyner went on KSPN News and publicly claimed that when Brian was at the governor's office building he made threatening statements. Brian Kendall said he did not threaten the governor. From the Marianas Variety
“I never said I was going to kill Fitial but I may have said ‘I’m surprised there’s not more armed public outrage at the governor’s back door,’ ” said Kendall.
In fact, as I wrote in a previous post, Fitial Reinforcing His Castle,  if Kendall actually made terroristic threats to the governor then he would have been immediately arrested. In fact, he was arrested the day after the alleged incident. He was arrested only after the police and Fitial thugs could coordinate the affidavits to justify the trumped up charges.
Now Joyner is admitting that he was coerced into making statements that ultimately led to Kendall's arrest. From the Marianas Variety:
Apparently, Joyner was “stunned” at the arrest of Kendall because he never told officers that Kendall directly threatened the life of Fitial as stated in the prosecution’s affidavit.  
In a round-robin telephone clarification campaign on Friday, Joyner himself phoned Kendall’s public defender Benjamin Petersburg and the prosecutor.  
During the conversations Joyner described a rash of interviews with police wherein they coached his language of the now debunked “terrorist” exchange in order to justify Judge David Wiseman’s signature on the arrest warrant.
The arrest of Brian Kendall appears to be one of the final vindictive acts from a flailing, narcissistic governor who was going down and wanted to take out anyone who he perceived as a contributor to his political demise.
It is shameful that the charges have not been dropped. More shameful that the OAG is attempting to use its authority to request protected notes and audio tapes from a newspaper and reporter to bolster what appears to be a weak case.

What is the OAG doing to assist with the extradition of former Attorney General, now fugitive Edward Buckingham?  What charges, if any, will the OAG file against former Governor Benigno Fitial?  Is this office too busy attempting to suppress the freedom of speech of citizens and reporters to go after the real criminals?


Anonymous said...

This is truly surprising, I did not even hear about this.
Most likely we will read it in the Tribune tomorrow and the in the MV next day.

But I thought that this case was dropped as Joyner even stated that certain things did not happen.

So now what is the motive? Is it to jeopardize Kendals's "public assistance" applications for food stamps and medicare if jailed his benefits will stop for him and his son?
Is it just to harass Tammy and the MV?
I thought that a reporters sources and private notes were protected under law.
Oh But this is the CNMI where laws only aplly as needed in regards to the Govt. and also by the same token disregarded by the CNMI Govt. when it warrants to their their favor.

Angelo Villagomez said...

Can they do that? I thought priests and reporters didn't have to report those things?

Anonymous said...

If suspected terror threats or any kind of threats of violence are made then priests and reporters must report it. The Variety skirts the edges of being a tabloid by allowing dozens of posers on their online newspaper forum. There are at least six identical IP addresses under six different alias. Some originate from PSS. I'm actually surprised that the Variety hasn't been sued to release all IP addresses. There are numerous slanderous accusations which have one purpose. Regarding Brian Kendall, the man was most likely off his medication and was just losing it.

Anonymous said...

So Anonymous @ 1:11 AM
Who are you? Some self appointed cyber nazi that would like freedom of speech to be destroyed? Curious to know how you have mangaged to get this IP info.

Wendy Doromal said...

6:54 I thought that 1:11's comment about IP addresses was interesting too. Only a person who has access to the MV's comments could determine the IP addresses. I have the ability to track IP addresses, location, etc. with site meter. I do not have the time to devote to tracking IP addresses and only check if there is a very inappropriate or racist comment.

Anonymous said...

BTW, there are programs that can be downloaded to "mask my ID".
You can chose from so many places to show your IP from there.
I use is often, mostly to screw up the tracking cooking and other things.
So I would not put much faith in IP address being subpenaed from MV even if it was possible.
There would have to be a very, very good reason to have the Feds do that.
I doubt if it would be possible for any NMI official to get that done.
BTW do the sites even retain this info anyway?

I also have program that is downloaded that also can track site IP during searches such as MV or this blog.

These programs are "ad-ons" for Firefox.