by Andrew Walden
American Samoa Congressional Delegate Eni Fa'aua'a Hunkin Faleomavaega, Jr has been found. According to a source in the media, he is "convalescing in Utah at his home."
Rep Faleomavaega had a medical emergency of undisclosed type on a flight from Honolulu to Pago Pago October 21, 2013. He was subsequently medevac'd to Tripler. At last report November 16, Faleomavaega was “moved from Tripler... and will return to either Utah or Washington DC, as he undergoes further rehab.” No subsequent coverage established which of the two locations Faleomavaega was transported to or what his condition is.
Today's revelation came in a Radio Australia interview with Talanei.com Editor Monica Miller. In the midst of denying that her media outlets are engaged in a "cover-up" of Faleomavaega's illness and whereabouts, Miller unwittingly proved the opposite. By revealing the Delegate's current location in Utah, not Washington, DC -- Miller demonstrated that Talanei and is affiliated radio station KHJ-FM have been withholding information from their readers and listeners.
It gets better. Miller exposed her own coverup immediately after complaining, "the Hawaii Free Press, they call themselves investigative reporters, but they don't really do much investigating."
"Investigating" was required until a source--Miller--was forced to cough up the information. American Samoa was being bamboozled by stenography journalism. Samoa News and Talanei have been pretending Faleomavaega was in Washington DC doing his job by repeating phony Congressional news releases as if they were independent news stories. This became crystal - clear when Faleomavaega became a no-show at videotaped hearings and other recent events.
Even today, just as Miller was making her accidental revelations to Radio Australia, a Samoa News article quotes Faleomavaega expressing thanks for inclusion of a American Samoa National Guard unit in the recent House budget bill. Clearly written to create the illusion of normal Congressional functioning, the article gives no mention of Faleomavaega's illness, and no explanation of whether the statement was delivered verbally, was written from his bed in Utah, was written by staff acting with or without his knowledge, or whether readers should take the statement as a sign that Faleomavaega had recovered.
No coverup? It seems that ghoulish American Samoa Democrats need to exploit Faleomavaega for their own political benefit even as he lays stricken.
Perhaps inspired by the corrupt American Samoa Government's notorious 2009 tsunami debacle (after 34 Samoans were killed, CNN discovered that emergency siren funds had earlier been wasted on 'tvs and leather chairs') the FBI spent the first six months of 2012 rounding up corrupt officials in American Samoa. Several are now incarcerated in Federal Prisons.
Obviously they missed a few.
Samoa News elects to print a December 13 letter to the editor from Phillip Swett. A Newport, Oregon resident who identifies himself as a long-time crony of Faleomavaega, Swett implicitly threatens the life of the anonymous author of the ABCDEFG Blog--which has contributed its reporting to HawaiiFreePress.com. Swett writes: "I am violently annoyed that some 'allegedly anonymous' site is criticizing him during his time of suffering. What low-down, self-serving, nasty person would stoop that low? Shame, shame on them and may God have no mercy on their souls."
On December 17, a former Faleomavaega staffer, Line'-Noue Memea Kruse, chimes in with her support for Swett's letter.
American Samoans not connected to Faleomavaega's political machine have a different view. Tellingly, they are also a lot less likely to identify themselves.
In an October 24 post, one explains: "He gave us the crappy LBJ (Medical Center) but he is too good for it himself. Interesting."
Another asks: "So we medivac every grandmother and grandfather when sick? Eni deserves the same services at LBJ that everybody else receives. Turn that plane around and receive the same great benefit fitting for a Congressman at LBJ just like everybody else. What's the matter, does this special elitist deserve better service than the rest of us? Reap what you sow people, reap what you sow."
Political Corruption in American Samoa: