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Archive for September 4th, 2009

Honduras Coup, Act III, Day 43/updated

Posted by Charles II on September 4, 2009

Update2: Via Narconews, more dissident opinion slips into a mainstream newspaper. Historian Dana Frank in the San Jose Mercury:

In the face of these crimes, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton need to stop equivocating and not just withdraw aid but also immediately withdraw the U.S. ambassador, freeze the bank accounts of the oligarchs running the coup and immediately restore President Manuel Zelaya to his full powers.

Update: The State Department did a briefing yesterday on ultra-doublesecret background that they are apparently trying to hide in the Friday newshole. So, let’s see what they’re trying to bury.

  • “we continue to press both sides to reach an agreement within the Arias framework” [emphasis added]
  • “if you read the Arias proposal…it does call for President Arias to return to office” [this may in fact be the goal of inserting Arias into this process. He is trying to have a Constitutional Convention and he might be trying to allow himself an extra term.]
  • Suspended funds are $9.4M USAID, $8.96M from various State funds, $11M MCC, and $1.7M “security-related funded”
  • Elise Labott of CNN urges the “Senior Administration Officials” to go on the record, because they’re not saying anything that they aren’t saying publicly. And she asks what steps they expect Zelaya to take. Senior Administration Official One responds by circling around the “verification commission,” dispensing large amounts of BS. Senior Administration Official Two actually says something sensible, suggesting he is a career diplomat: this is about the collective defense of democracy, he says.
  • Tim Padgett of Time asks an intelligent question: if this had been declared a military coup, what other aid would have been cut off.
  • How assistance is restored does not depend on how it was terminated.
    Seventy million is still going in [but the math makes no sense. He says $200 million was in the pipeline, of which $100M was going to the government and $30M was suspended, so we’re missing $100M]
  • Amazing: Monica Showalter of Investors Business Daily asks a very good question. “I get the sense that everyone is pulling away… The IMF has resumed lending. The OAS has said that we’re going to now focus on coup prevention.”
  • So, there’s no obvious reason why the press is allowing them to remain anonymous. Any guesses on who the officials are?

    Ginger Thompson, NYT:

    Senior administration officials said she was sending a “powerful signal” of their commitment to the restoration of democracy in Honduras…

    Some outside the Obama administration, however, wondered whether it was much of a signal at all, saying that formally terminating the money would not have much of a practical effect because the aid had been suspended immediately after the coup.

    Zelaya on Radio Globo (the sound is fuzzy and I’m missing about every third word): Guatemala signifies the great values of this community. The indigenous peoples. Want to avoid contagion of the coup to the region. We are willing to sign off on the Arias plan anytime in Tegucigalpa. Announcer: President Colon will not recognize the coup or anyone elected under the coup.

    Magbana at Honduras Oye links a press release by JINSA urging the US not to declare this a military coup. Why is JINSA interested in this issue, since Honduras and Israel are not exactly regional allies? Magbana jumps to the conclusion that it’s related to reports of Israeli commandos– and it may be. But I look at the boards (leadership and advisory) and I see Republicans. The only Democratic names that pop out are Woolsey and Solarz. And when I look at the pattern of donations for Mark Broxmeyer, I see tons of money to Republicans and crumbs to Democrats. So, I would predict that this is more about business interests than international ones.

    Communicaciones Via Campesina on TR-Honduras reports the murder of Ismael Padilla, 45 years of age, a bus owner and member of the resistance.
    My wrists are starting to give out, so I may end up calling this a short day.

    The State Department held a PJ Crowley Pinata party, in which the press pummeled him for an explanation for why Hillary Clinton did not declare the coup to be a military coup. He either pushed off to the next briefing or offered to get back to the reporter, meaning that the answer would not appear on the record, a number of questions. The questions he didn’t answer included:

  • How can you claim that the money has been terminated if the statutory authority to terminate the MCC money resides solely and exclusively with the MCC board of directors, of which the Secretary is a member but not the sole one? There are eight members of it, so how can you say it’s been terminated if the board hasn’t voted?
  • And here are the responses to why Hillary didn’t call it a military coup:

  • Well, but the Secretary, in terminating the aid, did not have to reach that conclusion.
  • What the Secretary has tried to do throughout this process is we take steps that we believe apply – send the right message, apply the right pressures, trying to yield the proper outcome.
  • I’m not going to parse complex facts and judgments here. The Secretary did not have to make that determination to take the action that she has taken.
  • We will – in order to restart aid at some point in the future, we will have to go through some sort of deliberative process, but that process will be based on our assessment of whether democratic constitutional rule has been restored to Honduras through a process that we believe is free, fair and transparent.
  • The key difference is that the aid that we have suspended is now terminated, which means it’s, in essence, for the moment, lost to Honduras.
  • Well, but the difference here is that it is the process by which aid will need to be –…– restarted in the future.
  • [Responding to the question”… it doesn’t have to go through Congress, is what you’re saying, to reinstate the aid…?”]: We– right.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Latin America | 2 Comments »

    Friday Cat Blogging

    Posted by MEC on September 4, 2009

    Pretty in profile.


    Posted in Friday Cat Blogging, Lady Lightfoot | 6 Comments »

    Friday Morning Minnesota News Roundup

    Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 4, 2009


    — The Rev. John K. Erbele, the pastor of a new local branch of a Montana-based Evangelical church was busted in a prostitution sting the other day. Ooops.

    — Speaking of prostitution stings, Peter Hong — the guy who as Rod Grams’ chief aide was known as “Senator Hong” because he did all the intellectual heavy lifting for the former Channel 9 news anchor — was sentenced after being caught in his own prostitution bust last summer:

    Former Republican political consultant Peter Hong was sentenced Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court to six days in jail and $750 in fines and fees after he was convicted last month of soliciting sex.

    District Judge Margaret Marrinan also ordered Hong, 42, to attend “john school” — a daylong class where participants hear from law enforcement officers, health-care professionals and a “survivor” of prostitution.

    — Speaking of family-values types exposing their feet of clay: Pat Kiley, a prominent local conservative Christian radio jock on KSTP, is at the center of a scam that bilked several of his followers and listeners out of millions of dollars.

    Posted in abuse of power, religion, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples | 3 Comments »

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