By Johnnie Rosario
Winston Churchill was part of a vocal minority in the world that saw what Hitler was doing, and knew he needed to be stopped. First Hitler broke the World War I armistice that forbade its building of an army. Screw it, he thought; he built the world's first air force, too. That was before those German military airplanes dropped bombs on Buckingham Palace and throughout London. Before Hitler had slaughtered millions of people, here's what the world thought, circa 1937-1941:
America: We're not involved. Blind eye status is real.
Britain: We have our own problems, who cares about France?
France: We need evidence.
Guam: Boy, those Americans left quick, except this Tweed guy.
Last week Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives member Tina Sablan told Kandit News there "is enough probable cause" to begin an impeachment inquiry against Gov. Ralph Torres.
To the point of exasperation, Ms. Sablan was very clear in expressing a sentiment shared by many who are watching this political corruption scandal unfold: the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had enough probable cause to convince a federal judge to issue search warrants against the governor and his brothers should be more than enough to convince the CNMI House to do its job.
But the casino-related federal corruption scandal isn't the only thing that has been uncovered in recent weeks.
Evidence - strong, black and white evidence - of illegal spending by the governor and reimbursements to himself to purchase everything from Cheetos and diet coke to foie gras and a pair of Bose headphones is staring the members of the CNMI House in their faces.
There's the revelation that a Hong Kong and Bermuda based company owns land in the CNMI, which is in direct violation of its constitution. How did that happen? What about the people who have been skipped over by the homestead division of the Department of Public Lands; and those members of the CNMI Legislature and the governor's cabinet who have benefitted from leases and illegal subleases of these lands?
Even the French of 1937 would have looked upon the plunder of the Torres administration on the NMI and realized there was more than enough evidence to charge the governor with crimes and remove him from office.
What about the illegal sole-sourced contract with administration lackey Clyde Norita that several members of the Torres regime conspired to conceal from the public? How many more of these types of illegal procurements have happened at the expense of the CNMI taxpayers and of the rule of law?
Corruption isn't the only thing being uncovered. So are bodies. Three unexplained deaths in the last three weeks - all following the raids that are sure to bring about the fall of the Torres family and any of their cronies who have been involved in the plunder.
How can anyone with the ability to reason and with an ounce of conscience discount the heavy blizzard of fear caking the Commonwealth, considering the unsolved murders of people very much connected to the casinos and to the administration? In Saipan, you either raise your voice in support of its tyrant, or you risk swimming with the fishes. Your family member may lose their government job. You won't get a contract with the government. You may not even get a permit to do business if you so much as criticize the Torres administration.
Police corruption is real in the NMI. It is pervasive. Politicians and the corporate corrupt are known to rent the services of law enforcement to look the other way as crimes are committed, or to have those officers use the color of their authority to intimidate and to silence enemies.
These tactics - this scene - is straight out of Nazi, Germany.
The sad reality, is that for years people chalked up the arrogance and corruption of the political class to an attitude that, 'well, it's always been like this.' But has it? Has it really been this bad?
Many think not. They are awakening to their political slavery to an oligarchy and a tyranny that has plundered their Commonwealth, trampled upon their rights, and spread fear and despair everywhere. This is the hope of the people of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands: that more and more of them awaken from this nightmare and begin shouting at the monster until all their voices crush his dreams.
Dethrone him. Take him from his castle. Sweep up the trash that follows him. Put them behind bars. Reclaim your Commonwealth. Reclaim your lives.