Imelda in Exile

She had it all, and lost it all—or did she? The author penetrated the Marcos hideout in Hawaii for a Vanity Fair exclusive.

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  1. Directly under my balcony at the Kahala Hilton hotel, porpoises frolicked in a pool. Beyond them, past the palm trees blowing in the breeze, a Secret Service man was patrolling the beach with a bomb-sniffing dog. Out in the calm Pacific, flanked by two more Secret Service men in bathing attire, Secretary of State George Shultz was enjoying a 6:30 a.m. swim. Two other Secret Service men, in blue blazers and beige slacks, carried walkie-talkies and stared back at the balconies of the hotel.

    After a few moments the secretary of state came out of the water, dried himself with a towel, and walked back to the hotel, encircled by his attendants, one of whom let his surveillance of the balconies flag long enough to observe the playful activities of the porpoises in the pool. In Honolulu on a two-night stopover, Mr. Shultz was on his way back to Washington from the summit meeting in Tokyo, via Manila, where he had called on the new president of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino. The previous day a reporter had asked him if he intended, while he was in Honolulu, to call on the former president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, and his wife, Imelda, who were in temporary residence less than two miles down the beach from the Kahala Hilton. “No!” the secretary of state had snapped.

    Later Mr. Shultz went further and publicly rebuked Ferdinand Marcos for using his safe haven in Hawaii as a base from which to foment difficulties for President Aquino’s government. “He is causing trouble...