Saturday, July 09, 2011

Lack of Integrity over Buildup

Guthertz to Pfannenstiel: There Appears to be a Lack of Integrity in Navy's Dealing With Guam on Buildup

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2011 10:55
Written by Kevin Kerrigan
Thursday, 07 July 2011 09:24
Guam News

Guam - Senator Judi Guthertz has written to Assistant Navy Secretary Jackalyne Pfannenstiel about her concerns over what Guthertz believes to be an apparent "lack of integrity in the U.S. Government in its dealing with the people of Guam regarding the military buildup."

In her letter, the Senator, who Chairs the Legislature's Buildup Committee, cites the contradiction between a U.S. State Department cable and the Department of Defense's Environmental Impact Statement.

READ Senator Guthertz's letter

The July 2009 cable is from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to the U.S. State Department. It was leaked by Wikileaks.

The cable reports on a meeting DoD's former Japan Director Suzanne Basalla had with Japanese Officials during which Basalla is reported to have told Japanese officials that "while the political value of the 2014 target completion date is clear, the United States has been very frank with Japan that the date is increasingly unrealistic ... The U.S. side looks forward to discussing with Japan ways in which to best manage ‘beyond 2014’ messaging.”

4 months after this cable was sent to the Department of State, the Department of Defense released its draft EIS based upon the 2014 completion date which predicted 79,000 new residents on Guam by 2014. "The residents of Guam were alarmed by this and other numbers" writes Guthertz to Pfannenstiel, adding that "the negative reaction that resulted led to much community division."

In light of what the leaked cable reveals, Guthertz calls the November 2009 release of the draft EIS "false and purposefully un-updated" and blames the EIS for leaving "our community confused and divided."

And she asks "Why was it that the Japanese were told in July of 2009, but it was kept secret from the people of Guam - fellow American citizens - until the release of the Record of Decision in July of 2010?"

The Senator also writes that if the leadership of the Guam military buildup were to appear before the Guam Legislature's Ethics Committee she believes that they "would be found guilty of gross ethical violations."

"This is not the way to treat American citizens. The Americans living in Guam deserve to know the truth about the military buildup plan at the same time, if not sooner, than a foreign government."

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