Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Honduras Coup, Act IV, Day 5/updated

Posted by Charles II on September 25, 2009

Light posting if any.

Father Ismael Moreno, who runs Radio Progreso, has received death threats.

Wired and the Guardian have the skinny on the LRAD acoustic weapon.

Update2: The coupista press is completely delusional. The police deny there was a gas attack on the embassy even though there’s testimony from all sorts of people that they suddenly got sick with serious symptoms and then elevated levels of hydrogen cyanide are found. The statement from Susan Rice ordering the dictatorship to stop harassing the embassy mentioned and otherwise ignored. Several articles saying if they can just have elections, everything will be fine.

Radio Globo: Dona Leticia says the police are being so aggressive because they have been shown to be impotent.
Update: Al Giordano has confirmation of the use of LRAD and telephone jamming equipment used against the Brazilian embassy. As for the reports of chemical warfare, he states that “a medical doctor testified that two of the people staying inside the embassy displayed symptoms of bleeding from the nose or the stomach, and that a larger number of them displayed symptoms of nausea, throat and sinus irritation and related problems that can be caused by neuro-toxic gases used in chemical warfare that are also prohibited by international treaties.”

Patricia Rodas named the companies that she says supplied the poison gas used against the Brazilian embassy: Alfacom and Intercom, owned by Yehuda Leitner. I don’t find them immediately. While these may just be import/OEM companies, it is very bad that so many (unconfirmed) fingers are pointing toward Israel as the source of banned technology.

TeleSur filed a protest against the assault on its reporters at the Brazilian embassy.

Nell reminds us that Susan Rice didn’t have any trouble turning her back on a massacre before.

(Via RAJ), The Honduran regime is reportedly attempting to create “facts on the ground” by tossing some kind of chemical weapon into the Brazilian embassy. The reported symptoms (reported here as dizziness, stomach and throat pain, vomiting and bleeding; diarrhea and headaches have also been reported) could be tear gas, but sound different to me. I remember the attack on Radio Globo. That sounds like a dry run for this. The weapons in this case were thrown from a helicopter and, in addition, a water truck sprayed something into the embassy. Vos el Soberano says that a Professor Mauricio Castellanos did an analysis of residue and found ammonia (used as the base for pepper spray) and hydrogen cyanide. This sounds very incomplete to me.

Radio Globo: Government announcement- Medical people from Red Cross International and Honduras and Andres Pavon have been allowed to enter the Brazilian embassy. The government denies using anything dangerous. (argh: Radio Globo has a university professor doing grammar… “haya” not “haiga.”)

If you want to understand how ugly and sick the American media is, look at these two (one, two) pieces mocking Zelaya for saying that they are targeting him with toxic agents and high frequencies. These people are mentally morally ill.

Six thousand resistance people marched by the embassy. The American Association of Jurists, National Lawyers Guild and others have issued a report. From Jennifer Moore at Upside Down World (via Adrienne)

Mexico’s weathervane, Carlos Fuentes, has now declared that the coupistas have “lost their compass.” This is at least a 90 degree turn from his last stance, that neither Zelaya nor Micheletti were any good, and more like a 180.

It’s interesting to see how different people approach the question of the legality of the expulsion of Manuel Zelaya. RAJ write two (count ’em, two) blockbuster posts on the topic, burning the candle at both ends. The first of these reviews an analysis by Armando Sarmiento that appeared first at Quotha (and now here). The focus there is on separation of powers. On 5/7/03, the Supreme Court declared it illegal for the Congress to interpret the Constitution, which makes sense. That’s what courts are for. When a Congress wants to “interpret” a law, it legislates to amend or repeal the law. Since the Congress had previously renounced the power to impeach, that left no clear process by which a president might be removed from office. Nor did the Congress bother to clean up this legislative problem before proceeding to declare that Manuel Zelaya was no longer president. RAJ extended that analysis by pointing out that the session on June 28th was a “special session” and could not have been used to “interpret” the law. [One might add it was particularly extraordinary because certain congressmen weren’t allowed to attend]. And the agenda did not include constitutional “interpretation.” The second post decimates the recent CRS report by pointing out that it relies on one golpista. It also unearths a number of lies put out by the coupistas.

By contrast, my diagnosis of the question of the legality begins from the issue of due process. As with any rarely-used constitutional procedure, we expect imperfections and the imperfections would not necessarily discredit the process. Clearly the Legislature and the Supreme Court wanted Zelaya out of office. Between them, they had the power to bring him up on charges. But they did not have the power to convict him without a hearing in which he could respond to the charges! Consider for a moment what constitutes basic due process: (a) a complaint against the defendant is brought before someone who knows the law (a grand jury, a judge, or at least a policeman), (b) evidence is gathered to see if the complaint is valid, (c) assuming the complaint appears to be supported, the person is arrested, (d) the person is tried, and (e) a competent tribunal passes judgment as to his guilt. There may be additional steps and circumlocutions, but for anything more complicated than a traffic ticket, these are the necessary steps. In the Zelaya case, step (a) was accomplished. But step (b) was rushed through in 48 hours, step (c) was accomplished in a completely unacceptable manner, and steps (d) and (e) were skipped entirely.

9 Responses to “Honduras Coup, Act IV, Day 5/updated”

  1. Nell said

    I took on one of those Herald pieces just after it hit the net, in the comments section of a blog I don’t frequent. The blogger walked back his mockery a few baby steps, but held firm on the wiiiild and crazeeness of … wait for it … the allegations of Israeli advisors.

    Ironic, no?

    • Charles II said

      Thanks for pointing it out. I gave his mockery a swift kick in the a–. I’m furious at the Herald for that piece– the NY Times was almost as bad. These mocking articles were published on the very day that the UN ordered the coupistas to stop the harassment.


  2. I don’t think you all read my post very carefully. My point was primarily that such statements by Zelaya (and yes, as presented (perhaps mis-represented) by the the Miami Herald, were not going to do him any favors in terms of international public opinion, which is rather important to his situation.

    You might want to read what I have written on the situation (quite a bit, as it happens) before jumping to conclusions. While I suppose one could take exception to the post title, but I never accused Zelaya of being crazy. In the post I wrote (before any steps back, baby or otherwise:

    the part about being threatened with death and believing that he might be killed is actually likely and reasonable, respectively. AS, btw, is the sore throat from toxic gases, given that the Honduran military has been using tear gas on pro-Zelaya crowds outside the Brazilian embassy. Now, Israeli mercenaries with high-frequency radiation, a tad less reasonable, shall we say.

    Now, this hardly strikes me as accusing him of being crazy. (And yes, I will read the story that you linked in the the comments).

    The irony is that I have been quite critical of the coup and usually am being attacked in the comments for that.

    • Charles II said

      My reply at Taylor’s blog, crossposted:

      Dear Mr Taylor,

      With regard to your post on my blog: I understand from your post that you think that people like you and Frances Robles are very clever and that Mr. Zelaya is not very smart, maybe “cracking up.” Meanwhile, on the Field, people are checking Frances Robles’s quotes and discovering that she seems to have shaved them that her article is fiction. And people are discovering that many of Zelaya’s complaints that she mocks (the sonic harassment, the use of chemical weapons) might in fact be true!

      Now, as to my asperity tonight, it has been reported that an eight year old child choked to death on the tear gas that Frances Robles got such a laugh out of. Confirming this is difficult because the same dictatorship that has already been indicted for massive human rights violations is willing to lie to cover up its cromes [crimes].

      I really should be more patient with pompous jackasses. I will try harder.

      But not tonight.

      • I still don’t think that you are reading what I am writing very carefully at all. For example, in the portion of the post I quoted above, I acknowledge that that the use of tear gas was wholly consistent with Zelaya’s statements.

        And I see no cause in calling names. I am simply trying to engage in dialog, but you seem uninterested in that.

        My point remains, however, that Zelaya needs to be careful what he says and how he presents himself, as the situation is rather politically sensitive at the moment.

      • The real irony is that you are mad at Robles (and me, I guess) for focusing on one specific element from the interview, and yet that is exactly what you are doing to me: focusing on one part of my post (and my comment) and ignoring the rest, so as to make the point you want to make.

      • Charles II said

        I am delighted to give you the last word.

  3. Nell said

    Now, Israeli mercenaries with high-frequency radiation, a tad less reasonable, shall we say.

    Not so coincidentally, that’s the very part of the article for which Robles has not yet produced a direct quote from Zelaya to back up. The evidence isn’t all in, but it seems likely that it was manufactured by the method of sticking together things he did say at different points and leaving out all the qualifiers.

    In comments at Al Giordano’s, a reader who has been corresponding with the reporter about the article points out that she has not produced the quote in four replies to him. Al has been checking out the story with the president himself.

    This smear job is going to look particularly nasty in light of the actual attacks to which Zelaya, his family, and their colleagues have been subjected.

    • Charles II said

      I didn’t see your comment before posting. But, yes. Al says that Robles also left out words like “rumored” or “alleged” which might have made it clear that he is considering reports judiciously.

      Why can’t reporters just.give.the.facts? Why do they have to tart up their reports to make them tell some kind of morality tale? Why do they have to push out their prejudices at us, like overaged roues and divas preening? It’s indecent.

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