Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for January 20th, 2010

Honduras Coup, Act VI, Day 51

Posted by Charles II on January 20, 2010

Light posting continues.

Eight people were gunned down in Gualaco, Olancho by heavily-armed assassins dressed as police and soldiers. [Who, of course, might very well be police and soldiers.] Five were killed at 4:30 PM: Lucio José Rivera Tejada (17), his rancher-father Lucio Rivera (42); bodyguard and cousin Armando Ferrera Tejada (25); and bricklayers Byron Brand Ramírez (22); Manuel Bonilla and brother Wilmer Bonilla. These were apparently seized and executed in cold blood. Then at 4-5 AM, Gregorio Antúnez Oliva (35) was killed and a number of his family wounded. Fredy Francisco Alonso Mendoza (39) and a friend were also murdered.

HondurasCoup2009 links to the OAS Report on Human Rights Violations during the Honduras Coup. The catalogue of severe human rights violation apparently only covers events through September. Just a few excerpts:

Along with the loss of institutional legitimacy brought about by the coup d’état, during its visit the Commission confirmed that serious human rights violations had been committed, including killings, an arbitrary declaration of a state of emergency, disproportionate use of force against public demonstrations, criminalization of public protest, arbitrary detention of thousands of persons, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, poor detention conditions, militarization of Honduran territory, an increase in incidents of racial discrimination, violations of women’s rights, severe and arbitrary restrictions on the right to freedom of expression, and serious violations of political rights.

Since the coup d’état in Honduras, the Commission has received information to the effect that numerous human rights defenders were in danger. Some human rights organizations filed complaints with the Commission about the means being used by the State to harass human rights defenders. These techniques included the institution of police and judicial inquiries, arbitrary detentions, assaults, intimidation, surveillance and stalking.

Officials in the judicial branch were also affected by the coup d’état. The “Asociación de Jueces por la Democracia” [Association of Judges for Democracy] reported transfers, removals from the bench, and appointments not made according to legal procedure. It also told the Commission that those officials in the judicial branch who opposed the coup d’état were threatened, attacked and unlawfully detained. Others judicial authorities were subjected to disciplinary action and other forms of harassment.

HondurasCoup2009 also links to a report in Proceso Digital in which Pretendisent Porfirio Lobo signed an agreement with the president of the Dominican Republic in which Zelaya will be allowed to leave the Brazilian embassy and Lobo will form a government of national reconciliation and unity (with whom, besides Cesar Ham, is unclear).

I don’t think I was aware that the Honduran Congress had actually agreed to amnesty the coup leaders, although it was obvious they would. They have [correction, 1/21/10: The amnesty has apparently NOT been granted. CCTV is the only outlet reporting this and Honduras Coup2009 says that amnesty has not been granted. Yet.]:

The Honduran Congress has approved a decree to grant amnesty to those involved in last June’s military coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya, local media reported Friday.

The decree, approved on Wednesday night, will ensure the safety of post-coup leader Roberto Micheletti as well as that of his family.

Seventeen ministers and vice ministers of the de facto government, the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, Jorge Aviles, and General Prosecutor Luis Rubi will also be amnestied.

El Libertador has an interesting editorial. They say that the dictatorship is stronger than ever, that it has its grasp on Pretendisent Lobo. I think it’s an open question how much Lobo is a member of the coup and how much he’s a pawn of it.

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | 2 Comments »

Two Kinds Of Terrorists, Two Kinds Of Reactions

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 20, 2010

AP Photo/Steve Helber

While the Republicans were putting on their show trial questioning of various Obama Admininistration figures concerning How Awful It Is that the Underpants Gnome, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was being tried in a civilian court as a criminal as opposed to being tried in a military court as an enemy combatant or whatever, the Virginia authorities caught a guy named Christopher Speight.

Who’s he? Oh, nobody in particular, just someone who likes to wear military outfits, collect gobs of explosives, and kill people:

Bomb technicians discovered a “multitude” of explosives Wednesday at the home of a man suspected in the shooting deaths of eight people, and crews were detonating the devices as more details about the gunman came to light.

Christopher Bryan Speight, a 39-year-old security guard, surrendered to police at daybreak Wednesday after leading authorities on an 18-hour manhunt following the shootings at a house in rural central Virginia where deputies found a mortally wounded man and seven bodies.

The victims were four adults, three teenagers and a child. They were identified as 16-year-old Ronald Scruggs; 15-year-old Emily Quarles; 43-year-old Karen and Jonathan Quarles; 38-year-old Dwayne and Lauralee Sipe; 15-year-old Morgan Dobyns; and 4-year-old Joshua Sipe.

So why aren’t the Republicans insisting that this guy — who has very likely killed eight more people than Abdulmutallab ever will — be tried in a military court as a terrorist or enemy combatant? It wouldn’t be because he’s not only a white guy, but likely a white conservative Christian guy, would it?

Posted in Constitution, hypocrites, Obama Administration, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, terrorism | Comments Off on Two Kinds Of Terrorists, Two Kinds Of Reactions

Joe Conason Asks: What Would The GOP Do?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 20, 2010

Answer: They certainly wouldn’t retreat or give up. In fact, their past history shows that if anything, they would double down.

Oh, and by the way: Taking advice from Lanny Davis, who is apparently moonlighting from his job of paid lobbyist for the Micheletti coup faction in Honduras, is not conducive to electoral success.

Posted in abortion, Democrats, health care, Honduras, Republicans | Comments Off on Joe Conason Asks: What Would The GOP Do?

Credo Action Has A Petition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 20, 2010

Since the 60-vote Senate is now gone, so is any justification for not using reconciliation to pass decent health care reform.

Credo Action is sending a petition to the White House and Senate Democratic leaders to urge them to use reconciliation. Sign it and tell your friends!

The bank account you save will be your own. Here’s the full text of the Credo letter:

Subject: Message from Massachusetts: Pass a public option with 51 votes

Dear Friend,

The voters of the ultra-Blue state of Massachusetts have decided to elect Scott Brown, a conservative Republican to the Senate in a special election. With the election of a Republican senator from Massachusetts, the Democrats’ so-called “filibuster proof” majority in the Senate is officially dead.

The loss of Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat sends a clear message that the Senate health care bill does not go far enough. While the message might be lost on the power brokers within the Democratic Party, the message of the Massachusetts special election is clear.

Voters did not elect President Obama and a Democratic supermajority in the House and the Senate so that health care reform could be written by the likes of Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson.

I signed a petition telling President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid that the Senate must use reconciliation to pass a better health care bill with a strong public option. I hope you’ll follow the link below and take action, too.

Go and do.

Posted in health care | 1 Comment »

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