Right Continues to Spin False Facts to Undercut Democracy in Honduras

World leaders have universally condemned the illegal and forcible coup executed in Honduras against the elected President.

Because the President is a leftist, the American right will say anything to justify the result.  They turn language on its head and call the President elected by the People a “Dictator” and refer to the coup leaders, including unelected judges and generals, as protectors of Democracy.

Recently, I’ve seen, including here in our comments section, the claim that the coup was justified because President Zelaya was set on holding an unconstitutional referendum allowing him to serve a third term.

These facts are false.

Zelaya was elected President in 2006 and the Honduran Constitution limits the President to one four-year term.  The vote Zelaya was seeking was a nonbinding consultation poll (Honduras has a law allowing elected officials like the President to conduct consultation polls) regarding whether there should be a referendum in November seeking to convene a Constitutional Convention to rewrite the Honduran Constitution.

A Presidential election was also scheduled for November of which Zelaya is not allowed to participate.  It was widely expected that if a new Constitutional Convention were held, a new Constitution would allow Zelaya to run again sometime in the future.  The fear of the coup leaders appears to have more to do with having the structure of Honduran government changed so that it is more responsive to the immediate will of the People rather than Constitutionally ensconced structures that are outside of simple majority rule.  Of course, there can be reasonable disagreements – like we have in this country – about where the lines limiting democracy are properly drawn and a debate – as apparently was happening in Honduras – as to the legitimacy of the existing Constitution.

But there can be no doubt that the Right is spinning its bullshit that Zelaya was pushing for an unconstitutional referendum to give himself a third term so that people in this country will confuse what Zelaya was really doing with our strongly held belief that a national executive be limited to two terms in office.  More, he was not acting in a fashion that was against Democracy.  Instead, those opposing he did so because they apparently felt he was seeking to much democracy.

44 Responses to “Right Continues to Spin False Facts to Undercut Democracy in Honduras”

  1. gcotharn says:

    Let me get this straight:

    You don’t know facts about what Zelaya was claiming until this morning, and you still don’t know what the “perilously vague” Zelaya is truly up to.

    Brilliant Barack doesn’t share facts about what Zelaya is claiming, and also cannot read the mind of the “perilously vague” Zelaya in order to ascertain what he is truly up to. Anyone heard any specifics of what specific parts of the constitution Zelaya wants changed? No. No one knows specifics.

    Hillary doesn’t share facts.

    Enter ALBERTO VALLENTE THORENSEN, serves on the board of the Norwegian SOLIDARITY Committee with Latin America. Anyone who serves on any commitee with “SOLIDARITY” in it’s name is suspicious. Alberto Vallente Thorensen spins his dubious tale, which I sadly wasted some of my life reading, and which screams out “perilously vague”. Why are major media not writing the story from Alberto Vallente Thorensen’s angle? Why does Zelaya need a guy living in NORWAY to get his story blogged? Because Alberto Vallente Thorenson’s angle still hasn’t been embraced or written by major media.

    Then you, Macswain, and HuffPo, and Daily Kos, and TPM Muckraker say: Alberto Vallente Thorenson speaks with the gravitas of Edward R. Murrow! Alberto Vallente Thorenson’s blog/letter/effort was not edited, is actually mostly opinion and unsupported claim, but by doggies Alberto Vallente Thorenson of the Norwegian Solidarity Commitee for Latin America is one wise and dependable SOB.

    Then you, Macswain, with the benefit of seeing Alberto Vallente Thorenson’s “perilously vague” letter/blog on a Thursday, thus throw out this headline:

    Right
    Spins False Facts
    to Undercut Democracy

    Seems to me the right is just as in search of facts as the left is. Seems to me that facts are quite elusive in this incident, and that Zelaya’s motives are “perilously vague”. To say the right is spinning is beyond laughable. You didn’t know of Alberto Vallente Thorenson’s take on matters until today. Brilliant Barack has not shared facts which support Zelaya, nor has Hillary, nor has much major media, if any. Of the couple of major media who seriously delve into the issue, this is typical, from UK Independent:

    President Zelaya was planning a referendum to give him power to alter the constitution. But the proposed alterations were perilously vague, with opponents accusing Mr Zelaya of wanting to scrap the four-year presidential term limit. The country’s courts and congress had called the vote illegal.

    This is an increasingly familiar turn of events in emerging democracies: an elected leader, facing the end of his time in office, decides that the country cannot do without him and resorts to dubious measures to retain power. The Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, won a referendum in February altering his country’s constitution and abolishing term limits. He now talks about ruling beyond 2030.

    The fact that Chavez is advising Zelaya, plus the fact that Zelaya’s constitutional goals are “perilously vague”, plus the fact that the best intellectual and media support Zelaya can find is a blog letter from ALBERTO VALLENTE THORENSEN of the Norwegian SOLIDARITY Committee with Latin America: all these tend to make me think twice about condemning the Honduran Congress and the Honduran Supreme Court and the Honduran Attorney General.

    If facts are in dispute, I’m willing to wait for facts to emerge. But your headline about the Right falsely spinning is horse manure.

    Further, just from a sanity standpoint – i.e. from a real world and not fantasy world standpoint: don’t you find it odd that Zelaya doesn’t specify what it is about the constitution he wants changed? Don’t you find it odd that Chavez – after inserting himself as President for Life via a similar vague “Constitutional” scam – is now advising Zelaya, is printing up ballots for Zelaya, is publicly advocating for Zelaya, is threatening to invade Honduras? Don’t you find it odd that yourself, HuffPo, Kos, TPM are immediately ready to throw in with Chavez and with ALBERTO VALLENTE THORENSEN and shout “Yes! Hugo Chavez and ALBERTO VALLENTE THORENSEN are wise men who know the truth!” Don’t you think it odd that Brilliant Barack, the greatest communicator since Reagan, is willing to throw in with Zelaya and Chavez and yet does not fully explain why?

    I find it odd. If Zelaya is a good guy who has been done wrong, then the reporting on this story has been amongst the most abominable in history. And Brilliant Barack’s communication to the American people has been similarly lacking and abominable. As has Hillary’s. The abominable reporting and abominable communication has wronged Zelaya at least as much as have the Honduran Congress, Court, and Attorney General.

    Note: I commented yesterday that Zelaya had served two termes as President. It looks like I was wrong, and Zelaya has served one term, which is the limit for holding that office in Honduras.

  2. Bruce says:

    Why not try to get at least a few facts right before you write an article. Did you write it just to get backlash from people who are living in Honduras and know what you are saying isn’t even close to the truth? Why bother?

  3. Bob Della Valle says:

    Not to be pedantic, but, are there such things as “false facts”??

  4. Kathy says:

    Bruce, there are thousands of people living in Honduras who took to the streets in protest after Velaya was overthrown and exiled. Do they know what the truth is?

  5. Marvin DelValle says:

    I am from Honduras…it is amazing that such small country is making such profound stand for democracy and respect for the rule of law and the international community with out any “facts: decided to be in the wrong side of history. The army, on a traditional “cup” stays in power, this time they were defending the constitution and peacefully handed power over to civilian authorities. We are not fans of the army in this country but for the first time we are very proud of how they conducted the transition and I can assure that many of us will come to see the army with new eyes. So will all due respect to must of you, don’t talk about the things you don’t know, or at least wait for all the “facts” to emerge.

  6. Kathy says:

    With all due respect to you as a Honduran, Marvin, a bloodless coup is still a coup. Every government official now has to know that if there is a political disagreement between political parties or points of view, the consequence will be the military kidnaping you at gunpoint in the middle of the night and putting you on a plane leaving the country.

    I don’t have to be Honduran to know that the word “transition” implies a peaceful, democratic transfer of power, and overthrowing someone by force and exiling them is neither peaceful nor democratic.

  7. gcotharn says:

    Octavio Sánchez, a lawyer, is a former presidential adviser (2002-05) and minister of culture (2005-06) of the Republic of Honduras. An excerpt follows. Mr. Sanchez writes more at this link at Christian Science Monitor:

    Under our Constitution, what happened in Honduras this past Sunday? Soldiers arrested and sent out of the country a Honduran citizen who, the day before, through his own actions had stripped himself of the presidency.

    These are the facts: On June 26, President Zelaya issued a decree ordering all government employees to take part in the “Public Opinion Poll to convene a National Constitutional Assembly.” In doing so, Zelaya triggered a constitutional provision that automatically removed him from office.

    Constitutional assemblies are convened to write new constitutions. When Zelaya published that decree to initiate an “opinion poll” about the possibility of convening a national assembly, he contravened the unchangeable articles of the Constitution that deal with the prohibition of reelecting a president and of extending his term. His actions showed intent.

    Our Constitution takes such intent seriously. According to Article 239: “No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform [emphasis added], as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.”

    Notice that the article speaks about intent and that it also says “immediately” – as in “instant,” as in “no trial required,” as in “no impeachment needed.”

    Continuismo – the tendency of heads of state to extend their rule indefinitely – has been the lifeblood of Latin America’s authoritarian tradition. The Constitution’s provision of instant sanction might sound draconian, but every Latin American democrat knows how much of a threat to our fragile democracies continuismo presents. In Latin America, chiefs of state have often been above the law. The instant sanction of the supreme law has successfully prevented the possibility of a new Honduran continuismo.

    The Supreme Court and the attorney general ordered Zelaya’s arrest for disobeying several court orders compelling him to obey the Constitution. He was detained and taken to Costa Rica. Why? Congress needed time to convene and remove him from office. With him inside the country that would have been impossible. This decision was taken by the 123 (of the 128) members of Congress present that day.

    Don’t believe the coup myth. The Honduran military acted entirely within the bounds of the Constitution. The military gained nothing but the respect of the nation by its actions.

  8. gcotharn says:

    Honduras News, in a post from May 2009 – – explains Zelaya had been contemplating this since at least November 2008:

    Zelaya first broached the topic on November 11, 2008. That day, the San Pedro daily La Prensa reported that the president had proposed that a fourth ballot box be installed at polling places on November 29, 2009. Honduran voting booths presently contain three ballot boxes: one to vote for the president, one for the congressional, and one for local mayoral candidates. Zelaya suggested installing a fourth box to vote on whether or not the electorate wanted to choose a National Constituent Assembly. According to Zelaya, this proposed body would draft a new Honduran constitution. Zelaya seeks a changed constitution which would allow him to run for reelection. On March 24, Zelaya upped the ante by announcing, via executive decree PCM-05-2009, that this national referendum would take place no later than June 28, and that it would be administered by the National Statistical Institute (INE)

    The Honduran constitution, which contains 375 articles, can be amended by a two-thirds majority vote in congress. However, there are eight “firm articles” which cannot be amended. These include presidential term limits, system of government that is permitted and process of presidential succession. Since the president has the ability to amend the remaining 368 provisions by means of a congressional majority, some have called into question what the president’s true intentions may be.

    Critics immediately labeled Zelaya’s action as a blatant and cynical attempt to extend his term limits. Some, such as Honduran political analyst Juan Ramon Martinez, argue that we are witnessing a concerted effort on Zelaya’s part to discredit some of the country’s key democratic institutions in order to possibly extend his rule. “There appears to be a set of tactics aimed at discrediting institutions…he has repeated on several occasions that democratic institutions are worthless and that democracy has not helped at all,” said Martinez.

    The president’s comments on a number of occasions have buttressed the grounds for this type of interpretation. He has stated several times that the constitution has been repeatedly violated by politicians and that it needs to be adapted to the new “national reality.” Zelaya has not precisely spelled out what changes would be necessary to make in order to adapt the country’s social contract to that new national reality. Zelaya announced on May 22 that the new constitution would include direct democracy initiatives such as popular referendums and recall elections. However, the current constitution already contains provisions for popular referendums and does not expressly prohibit recall elections.

  9. gcotharn says:

    Miami Herald:

    For weeks, Zelaya — an erratic leftist who styles himself after his good pal Hugo Chávez of Venezuela — has been engaged in a naked and illegal power grab, trying to rewrite the Honduran constitution to allow him to run for reelection in November.
    First Zelaya scheduled a national vote on a constitutional convention. After the Honduran supreme court ruled that only the country’s congress could call such an election, Zelaya ordered the army to help him stage it anyway. (It would be ”non-binding,” he said.) When the head of the armed forces, acting on orders from the supreme court, refused, Zelaya fired him, then led a mob to break into a military base where the ballots were stored.

    His actions have been repudiated by the country’s supreme court, its congress, its attorney-general, its chief human-rights advocate, all its major churches, its main business association, his own political party (which recently began debating an inquiry into Zelaya’s sanity) and most Hondurans: Recent polls have shown his approval rating down below 30 percent.

  10. gcotharn says:

    Now, let’s talk real world, and sanity:

    Given that Zelaya could have led the Honduran Congress in repealing 368 provisions of the Honduran Constitution, and was only prevented from repealing 7 provisions of the Honduran Constitution, I find it suspicious that Zelaya wanted to rewrite the Honduran Constitution.

    I find it suspicious that Zelaya did not try this rewrite until the final year of his Presidency.

    I find it suspicious that Zelaya was not specifying which of the 7 unchangeable Honduran Constitutional Articles he wished change around via rewriting the entire Constitution.

    I find the entire Chavez connection suspicious; I find it suspicious that Chavez is now threatening to INVADE Honduras.

    ALBERTO VALLENTE THORENSEN, of the board of the Norwegian SOLIDARITY Committee with Latin America, is a propagandist who misrepresented Zelaya’s actions in calling for the “nonbinding” election to decide about a “fourth ballot box”.

    What is sensible?

    Octavio Sanchez citation of Honduran Constitutional Article 239 makes sense:

    Article 239: “No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform [emphasis added], as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.”

    It is sensible that the Honduran Government continues in place, and acting according to the Honduran Constitution – including in appointing the properly Constitutionally mandated successor to Zelaya.

    It is sensible that Zelaya’s own political party has renounced him.

    Finally:
    This Zelaya threat is an existential threat to a free Honduran state just as much as the Civil War was an existential threat to the U.S.A; just as much as Chavez’ (anti?)Constitutional hijinks were an existential threat to a once democratic and now oppressed Venezuela.

    Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and jailed some of his critics. In grown up world, existential threats must be dealt with decisively. I mention this b/c a sketchy source reports the Honduran Government has declared some elements of martial law be enforced after sundown. Based on what I know of the plight of the Honduran Government, this does not bother me, and may in fact be sound and prudent policy.

    Based on everything known to this point, Barack is arrogantly and sloppily on the wrong side of this situation. The knee jerk leftist rush to defend Zelaya is … unwise, at best.

    If evidence emerges which indicates a coup inside the Honduran Government, I will stand up and say I am wrong, and that I support Zelaya. However, in the real world, in the sane world, in the world of shrewd adults: evidence strongly indicates Zelaya was attempting to overthrow the Honduran Government and appoint himself President for Life, a la Chavez. The left (HuffPo, Kos, TPM, CFLF) ought to look at the evidence, and acknowledge the evidence as it currently exists.

  11. gcotharn says:

    In San Pedro, newspaper La Prensahn has side by side photos of a demonstration for the government and a demonstration for Zelaya. The demonstration for the government is at least 15 times larger than the apparent 500-700 who are demonstrating for Zelaya.

    La Prensahn also reports:
    1. Costa Rica’s President Oscar Arias is opposed to Zelaya’s reinstatement.
    2. Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe is opposed to Zelaya’s reinstatement.
    3. Guatemala’s President Alvaro Colom is opposed to Zelaya’s reinstatement.

    Bloomberg quotes Supreme Court Justice Rosalinda Cruz saying the military acted according to a 15-0 arrest order issued by the Honduran Supreme Court:

    The arrest order she cited, approved unanimously by the court’s 15 justices, was released this afternoon along with documents pertaining to a secret investigation that went on for weeks under the high court’s supervision

    Cruz said the military decided to shuttle Zelaya out of the country for his safety and that of other Hondurans because riots would’ve erupted had he been held for trial.
    “If he had been allowed to stay in the country, there would’ve been blood on the streets,” she said.

    Although lawmakers were moving toward impeachment proceedings against Zelaya for trying to conduct the poll, the ouster allows him to portray himself as a “victim,” said Rafael Lopez, a senior Honduras adviser to the Washington-based International Foundation for Electoral Systems.

    David Matamoros, a member of Honduras’ Supreme Electoral Tribunal, also defended the military’s action.

    He said Zelaya originally called the vote a plebiscite, then, when that was barred, shifted to describing it as a poll, creating uncertainty as to its legal standing and his intent. No government agency was willing to conduct the vote, he said. All the ballots and equipment for the illegal poll were flown in on a Venezuelan plane, he said. The court ordered the materials confiscated.

    You should acknowledge the evidence of Zelaya’s guilt as it currently exists. The evidence might change, yet that becomes increasingly doubtful as time goes on.

    This is Barack FUBAR, and reveals Barack as … well, you can decide for yourself. But, that you like Barack does not invalidate the facts of Barack FUBAR as they currently exist, and as they build – on this issue – with each passing day.

  12. gcotharn says:

    I cannot believe that none of you bloggers have acknowledged the evidence aligned against Zelaya.

    How did defending Zelaya become an important aspect of being on the American left? None of us had ever heard of Zelaya last week. Does a couple days of defending Zelaya mean a left person must defend Zelaya forever? irregardless of the emerging evidence of his guilt? Are you guys so threatened, so fragile, so insecure, that you cannot change an opinion you just formed on Monday? Can you not be flexible as damning evidence appears? Are you that brittle? that fixated? that much in denial? Come ON! COME ON! Think like a shrewd human being, and not like a petulant child. The evidence of Zeyala’s guilt is plain to see, for those who have eyes. Come ON!

    And, for goodness sake: think, for once, of the Honduran people. Do you want the people living under the thumb of Zelaya? as the Venequelan people live under the thumb of Chavez? Standing up for the Honduran Government is standing up for the rule of law, for human rights, for freedom and democracy for the Honduran people. Come ON! Are you more interested in pounding the American right with false charges about spin; or are you more interested in standing for what is right, and in standing for human beings in Honduras whose freedom is imperiled?

    I guess it’s not impossible that magic evidence of Zelaya’s innocence will emerge. However, the chances of that are becoming slimmer by the hour. Honor demands that you acknowledge the evidence of guilt which exists at this time. Your honor is at stake. Reclaim it!

    Macswain – you especially. I thought we would almost surely agree on this issue once facts became apparent to all of us. I didn’t count on your refusal to acknowledge facts as they became apparent. Do you not realize I would have condemned the Honduran Government if the evidence were different? I still will, except the chances of evidence turning that direction now look remote. Your honor is at stake. Your self-respect is at stake. Just take a deep breath and acknowledge the evidence as it currently exists. Please.

  13. gcotharn says:

    Miami Herald:

    ”We know there was a crime there,” said Inestroza, the top legal advisor for the Honduran armed forces. “In the moment that we took him out of the country, in the way that he was taken out, there is a crime. Because of the circumstances of the moment this crime occurred, there is going to be a justification and cause for acquittal that will protect us.”

    Blogger La Gringa has photos, and says this:

    please don’t report Chavez’s disinformation! Please be responsible. I have watched CNN 18-20 hours a day HERE IN HONDURAS since 7:30 am Sunday morning when I woke up.

    Our constitutional rights have not been revoked. We simply have a curfew which is only necessary because of the violence and vandalism being committed by pro-Zelaya protesters, assisted by thugs being imported from Nicaragua and Venezuela. Just last night they bombed a KFC in Tegucigalpa.

    According to independent public polls, anywhere from 87 to 92% of the population are in favor of continuing the curfew.

    Please look at these photos WHICH CNN WILL NOT SHOW YOU, and tell me if this looks like a repressed people. Please, please, please!

    People of the world should be more worried about the bias and censorship in their own media. You are not getting the truth. Why?

  14. gcotharn says:

    Hunter Smith is in Tegucigalpa and blogging at Honduras Abandoned:

    I am being told that Manuel Zelaya will be returning to Honduras this weekend, with a strong belief that it will be Sunday. There is speculation as to whether he will be flown in or snuck into the country in an unmarked vehicle so that he is not arrested immediately upon arrival. His supporters worry about his return, fearing for his personal safety. Others are wondering why the US is not supporting the actions of Honduras. They cannot understand why the US is condemning the actions of their government, claiming that democratic procedures must be followed, even though they have followed their constitutional process.
    […]
    Regarding the demonstrations that occurred within Honduras yesterday, July 2nd, here is a list of numbers attended according to the July 3 issue of El Heraldo:

    Number of Protesters for the New Government:

    Tegucigalpa – 55,000
    Choluteca – 25,000
    San Pedro Sula – 50,000

    Number of Protesters against the New Government:

    Tegucigalpa – 3,000

    El Heraldo continues by stating that the reoccurring themes within the rallies in favor of the new government were that the protesters were in favor of democracy, asked for peace within the country, and respect of the law. Also, downtown Tegucigalpa is now being plagued with graffiti against the new government.

  15. Kathy says:

    Macswain – you especially. I thought we would almost surely agree on this issue once facts became apparent to all of us. I didn’t count on your refusal to acknowledge facts as they became apparent. Do you not realize I would have condemned the Honduran Government if the evidence were different? I still will, except the chances of evidence turning that direction now look remote. Your honor is at stake. Your self-respect is at stake. Just take a deep breath and acknowledge the evidence as it currently exists. Please.

    I’m not Macswain, but here is my answer to the above:

    Gcotharn – you especially. I thought we would almost surely agree on this issue once facts became apparent to all of us. I didn’t count on your refusal to acknowledge facts as they became apparent. Do you not realize I would have condemned Zelaya and his supporters if the evidence were different? I still will, except the chances of evidence turning that direction now look remote. Your honor is at stake. Your self-respect is at stake. Just take a deep breath and acknowledge the evidence as it currently exists. Please.

  16. gcotharn says:

    Kathy,

    Evidence, please.

    What evidence – measured against the evidence of Zelaya’s guilt – instead persuades you of Zelaya’s good intention? Is your entire argument built upon the single assertion that Zelaya’s arrest was illegal?

    As I show above, the Honduran Supreme Court unanimously disagrees with you, and asserts the legality of Zelaya’s arrest, and Supreme Court Justice Rosalinda Cruz is quoted in Bloomberg explaining why, and former Honduran Government Official Octavio Sanchez wrote the article in Christian Science Monitor explaining why.

    Second, I do show where a Honduran military lawyer: Inestroza, agrees the Zelaya arrest was illegal as conducted, yet nevertheless believes the arrest was morally justified by the emergency of the moment, and by the articles of impeachment which where being constructed against Zelaya, and which have subsequently been announced(along with criminal indictments). Inestroza would agree with a formulation frequently attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “the Constitution is not a suicide pact.” * Inestroza would agree with Thomas Jefferson:

    “[a] strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means.”[1]

    The United States built prominent memorials to Abraham Lincoln and to Thomas Jefferson. Some persons in the government of the United States believed Lincoln and Jefferson did the right thing, as the Honduran Inestroza would agree.

    Do you suspect, based on your human shrewdness and your life experience: Zelaya was plotting and acting to get himself elected President for Life? If the Honduran Government had not arrested Zelaya, how do you predict the situation would have played out?

    * BTW, re the Civil War, it’s been frequently contended, and I agree, that the Southern States had every legal right to Secede from the United States, and that therefore the United States action in the Civil War was legally unjustified(and thus, according to CFLF normal reasoning about such situations: U.S. action in the Civil War amounted to genocide against citizens of the Southern States). Even Lincoln appeared to agree, in these remarks from 1848:

    “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better.”

  17. gcotharn says:

    Evidence
    Evidence
    Evidence
    Mounting
    of Zelaya’s guilt; of Zelaya’s intentions to be President for Life

    Where is mounting evidence of his good intent?
    Where is ANY evidence of his good intent?

    HondurasNews.com: Zelaya Massive Expenditures On Perks; Zelaya Massive Expenditures In Attempted Vote on Fourth Ballot Box

    Aside from canceling all of Zelaya’s government backed credit cards (before which, he had spent 80,000 dollars in less than five days), terminated also was the leasing of 50 luxury vehicles and 61 cellular phones with a credit of over 47,500 lempiras, and over 100 bank accounts, all backed by Honduran government funds.

    The chancellor of Honduras confirmed that Mel Zelaya ordered the withdrawal of 40 million lempiras from the Central Bank of Honduras.

    When the investigations were made at the presidential house, black garbage bags filled with thousands and thousands of dollars were found, as well as in almost every drawer.

    Investigations documented over 600 million lempiras worth of expenditures that Zelaya had spent on his quest to hold the “opinion poll” to allow the fourth vote.

  18. Kathy says:

    Is your entire argument built upon the single assertion that Zelaya’s arrest was illegal?

    Yes.

    Enter ALBERTO VALLENTE THORENSEN, serves on the board of the Norwegian SOLIDARITY Committee with Latin America. Anyone who serves on any commitee with “SOLIDARITY” in it’s name is suspicious. Alberto Vallente Thorensen spins his dubious tale, which I sadly wasted some of my life reading, and which screams out “perilously vague”. Why are major media not writing the story from Alberto Vallente Thorensen’s angle? Why does Zelaya need a guy living in NORWAY to get his story blogged? Because Alberto Vallente Thorenson’s angle still hasn’t been embraced or written by major media.

    Is your entire argument based on the assertions that “solidarity” is a bad word and that the major media haven’t written about him?

    Evidence
    Evidence
    Evidence
    Mounting
    of Zelaya’s guilt; of Zelaya’s intentions to be President for Life

    Present the evidence of Zelaya’s intentions, please.

    Where is mounting evidence of his good intent?
    Where is ANY evidence of his good intent?

    Where is evidence of ANY intent other than his intent to ask Honduran voters to say whether they wanted a constitutional assembly to discuss the possibility of extending term limits?

    Why was Zelaya abducted at gunpoint and exiled from Honduras, instead of being arrested and given a legal trial, if there is so much evidence of his evil intentions?

    Do you realize how hysterical you sound?

  19. gcotharn says:

    Kathy,

    I’ve spent 11 comments linking to evidence and citing evidence. You pretend those comments – and that evidence – does not exist in the comments just above in this comment thread. Whatever your reasons for pretending: you are promoting fantasy over reality.

    If you want to speculate that new evidence of Zelaya’s good intentions might become known over time, that is fine. However, honor demands that you acknowledge the heft, depth, and width of evidence which currently points to Zelaya’s intention to evade the Presidential term limit.

    If you want to argue that the evidence of Zelaya’s guilt is thin, then you can try to show reasons why that is so. However, honor demands that you acknowledge that no remotely comparable heft, depth, and width of evidence exists which points to Zelaya having virtuous and just intention.

    You request: “Present the evidence of Zelaya’s intentions, please.”

    The most powerful evidence (and by no means the only evidence – see comments above) is that Zelaya could have Constitutionally and lawfully led the Honduran Congress in changing or eliminating 368 articles of the Honduran Constitution. The 27 year old Honduran Constitution has already had 121 of it’s articles lawfully changed or amended. There are only 7 articles of the Honduran Constitution which cannot be changed without rewriting the entire Constitution. One of those 7 unalterable articles is about Presidential term limit, i.e. about Presidents serving only 1 term.

    Zelaya has not specified which of the 7 unalterable provisions he wanted changed, and why. If he wants to rewrite the entire Constitution for virtuous and just purposes, you would think he would specify what and where those virtuous and just purposes are. All we get from Zelaya is: trust me.

    The Honduran Constitution information comes from the quoted part of the Honduran News article in the comments above us, and from the Christian Science Monitor article which is linked in the comments above.

    You ask: “Where is evidence of ANY intent other than his intent to ask Honduran voters to say whether they wanted a constitutional assembly to discuss the possibility of extending term limits?”

    From the Bloomberg article in the comments above, referring to Honduran Supreme Court Justice Rosalinda Cruz:

    The arrest order she [Justice Cruz] cited, approved unanimously by the court’s 15 justices, was released this afternoon along with documents pertaining to a secret investigation that went on for weeks under the high court’s supervision.
    […]
    David Matamoros, a member of Honduras’ Supreme Electoral Tribunal, also defended the military’s action.

    He said Zelaya originally called the vote a plebiscite, then, when that was barred [the Honduran Supreme Court ruled that only the Honduran Congress could call such an election], shifted to describing it as a poll, creating uncertainty as to its legal standing and his intent. No government agency was willing to conduct the vote, he said. All the ballots and equipment for the illegal poll were flown in on a Venezuelan plane, he said. The court ordered the materials confiscated.

    From a Miami Herald quote in the comments above:

    After the Honduran supreme court ruled that only the country’s congress could call such an election, Zelaya ordered the army to help him stage it anyway. (It would be ”non-binding,” he said.) When the head of the armed forces, acting on orders from the supreme court, refused, Zelaya fired him, then led a mob to break into a military base where the ballots were stored.

    His actions have been repudiated by the country’s supreme court, its congress, its attorney-general, its chief human-rights advocate, all its major churches, its main business association, his own political party (which recently began debating an inquiry into Zelaya’s sanity)

    From Honduras News quote in comments above:

    Honduran political analyst Juan Ramon Martinez [says] we are witnessing a concerted effort on Zelaya’s part to discredit some of the country’s key democratic institutions in order to possibly extend his rule. “There appears to be a set of tactics aimed at discrediting institutions…he has repeated on several occasions that democratic institutions are worthless and that democracy has not helped at all,” said Martinez.

    Read the quotes in the comments above. Click on the links. Zelaya has been seeking a method for a second Presidential term since at least November of 2008.

    You ask: “Why was Zelaya abducted at gunpoint and exiled from Honduras, instead of being arrested and given a legal trial, if there is so much evidence of his evil intentions?”

    As to why he was abducted at gunpoint: in the CS Monitor article quoted above, Octavio Sanches makes a case for the legality of his arrest based on his violation of the Honduran Constitution. All 15 members of the Honduran Supreme Court obviously agree that Zelaya’s arrest was lawful. The Honduran Attorney General has argued that Zelaya’s arrest was lawful.

    If Zelaya’s arrest was unlawful, it still might be prudent and moral, based the importance of maintaining Honduras as a constitutional democracy, and according to the beliefs of such great thinkers as Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson(as explicated in the comments above).

    As to why Zelaya was taken out of the country: I can’t remember where, but I read a Honduran military official saying they could not imprison Zelaya in Honduras without running a risk of rioting and resultant injury and property damage. I don’t defend his exile to Costa Rica(as opposed to his imprisonment). Yet, were I the head of the Honduran military, I might have made the same decision. Honduras is neither Canada nor Candyland. Imprisonment of a figure like Zelaya would undoubtedly be problematic.

  20. gcotharn says:

    One more thing: ample evidence exists of the Honduran Government’s good intentions. They have gone to great lengths to follow the law:

    Supreme Court investigation of Zelaya;
    15-0 Supreme Court vote for arrest (which the Honduran Government argues is legal);
    Articles of impeachment;
    Proper criminal indictments.

    The Honduran Government is going through with the election in November. No one has suggested the election results will be rigged. The new Honduran President has announced he will not stand for election in November, but instead will oversee a proper election.

    The Honduran Government is standing up for Constitutional Democracy. Think about that. Their actions constitute a powerful statement of their virtuous and just intent; of their lack of corrupt intent.

  21. JohnHolmes says:

    Kathy is trying to defend the seemingly indefensible at this point … struggling in the quicksand of purposeful ignorance while sinking deeper in her lack of intellect and credibility … ignoring the evidence for the sole purpose of defending the Democrat Party Line and backing Obama.

    I suppose she still believes in Obama’s “Transparency in Government” and his ban on Lobbyists as well …

  22. gcotharn says:

    John,

    That’s the truth. This is one of the clearest examples of denial I’ve ever seen; one of the clearest examples of: if it doesn’t fit the narrative/movie playing in my head, then it doesn’t exist”; one of the clearest examples of creating an alternate fantasyland to mentally reside in. The thing that amazes me: this is not left-dogma of long standing which Kathy is defending and which Macswain is refusing to repudiate. This is left dogma since last Monday! A few days back, no one had ever heard of Mel Zelaya. Now they are defending him to the death. Craziness.

    If you continue on in this blog, you will do so without me. I’m unlikely to be back to join with you in defense of sanity. There’s no delicate way to put this: I don’t think this type of psychological denial, and this type of wallowing in fantasy, is worthy of my time. And I don’t think it’s worthy of your time, either. Best luck, and I pray that your good luck will occur elsewhere, in a more worthy venue, such as working in your yard, or coaching Little League, or doing any activity in which your soul can soar – b/c conversing with these guys is not the best bet to be such an activity.

  23. gcotharn says:

    Also, John, I want to acknowledge that my counsel to you ended up being misguided. I said: be patient, let the facts and evidence emerge, then you and me and Macswain will surely agree about what the U.S. ought to do or say regarding Honduras. What I didn’t count on was this: Macswain would refuse to acknowledge facts and evidence as it emerged.

    It’s not that new facts or new evidence of Zelaya’s good intent might not emerge – though that looks EXTREMELY UNLIKELY at this point. It is, rather, that Macswain refuses to acknowledge the evidence as it currently exists.

    This is dishonorable action on his part, or it is psychological denial. Or, I guess it could be mental illness. Take your pick. At any rate, my counsel ended up being ineffective. I salute your instinct in the situation. It was correct from the beginning.

  24. JohnHolmes says:

    Repeatedly I’ve said to CFLF tabloiders: “You are what you hate” … meaning fascist, mean-spirited, hateful, ignorant, closed minded … I like pointing out their hypocrisy … it’s fun. This site epitomizes the divide in today’s politics.

    ….. all the things CFLF repeatedly says of the Right … can be found in their own work.

  25. gcotharn says:

    Projection. Exactly. It’s rampant, and they are blind to it.

    You mentioned “you are what you hate”. I think, in many cases, these bloggers are blind to the fulfillment and satisfaction which could be theirs, but which they are missing out on in life. There’s a lot of anger here, and not so much joy. I’ve been reading here for over a year. I sense the anger and the lack of fulfillment and joy in their words, and in the spaces of their reasoning and thinking. Some of it may be frustration. Ultimately, leftist principles do not hold up to examination against human nature. That’s got to be confusing, and frustrating. Whatever is the source, the anger is part of the reason that continuing to visit here would not be so good for my soul.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A note of apology: I was typing fast at 1:13 pm, and slung off a ref to mental illness. That was over the line. I retract, and apologize.

  26. yes, I’ve noticed the good intentions of the coup perpetrators, declaring curfews, rounding up protesters, shooting them in some instances, seizing media outlets from their owners, blocking the signals of CNN and Telesur . . . all hallmarks of a regime with good intentions towards the populace.

  27. gcotharn says:

    Richard Estes,

    I’m not sure “coup” can be properly linguistically associated with “maintaining the existing democratic government”. Consider if this meets the definition of coup: We are keeping this existing government in place so the Honduran people can continue to govern themselves exactly as they have for the previous 27 years.

    Merriam Webster Online definition:

    coup de’ etat: a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics ; especially : the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group

    Was this truly: “a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics”? Or, was this justified policing?

    This does not fit the definition. Zelaya ignored the SC ruling that he could not conduct his election. Zelaya thus was committing treason, and deserved arrest. Zelaya led a mob to break into a building and seize ballots which the SC had ordered to remain under lock and key. Zelaya thus committed, at minimum, the criminal act of burglary, and deserved arrest (at gunpoint, natch). Zelaya’s arrest was a justified police action. The sudden, decisive exercise of force occurred when Zelaya’s mob broke into the building and stole the ballots.

    Does maintaining civil order in a volatile environment, i.e. rumors of imported thugs from Nicaragua plotting to vandalize, constitute “a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics”? I think not. The sudden decisive exercise of force in politics would be generated by the Nicaraguan thugs, and not by the police attempting to maintain civil order.

    The entire characterization, “coup”, skews reality.

    Re “shooting them in some instances”

    This is typical Utopian horse manure and/or leftist public relations strategy: try to discredit something b/c it’s implementation is imperfect.

    Second, your implication is that the Honduran Government condones the shooting of Honduran citizens who are protesting. Not true.

    Third, it is vehemently disputed that the shooting victim was killed by Honduran Police or Honduran troops – both of which where armed only with rubber bullets. Also, the caliber of bullet which killed the victim was not a caliber used by the military. Hunter Smith is on the ground in Honduras, was at the airport when the murder happened, and has detail at his blog, Honduras Abandoned. Here, he translates from the newspaper “El Heraldo”:

    The Minister of Defense Adolfo Lionel Sevilla said this afternoon that the bullet that killed a young man at the demonstration Sunday in the Toncontín airport did not come from a military weapon.

    According to the experts, the bullet that took the life of a young 19 year old, was not from a military caliber. The report reveals that the direction the young man died does not coincide with the trajectory of the direction of the bullet from the armed forces.

    Ramón Custodio: army used rubber bullets

    The National Commissioner of Human Rights, Ramón Custodio, said this Monday that the military did not cause the death of the young man that passed away yesterday during the disturbances that happened at the airport in Tegucigalpa.

    “Whoever shot wanted this person to die”, said the Commissioner of Human Rights Ramón Custodio and adding that the military elements used rubber bullets to drive away protesters who caused destruction in the international airport.

    The supporters of removed President Manuel Zelaya tried to enter the Southern air strip, knowing of the arrival of the ex governor, who was traveling in a Venezuelan plane.

    Custodio said that an investigation is due before blaming the Honduran military for the death of a young man, identified as Isis Oved Murillo, 19.

    In this incident, where there also was the use of tear gas, 11 people were injured.

    The spokesman of the Secretary of Security Héctor Iván Mejía assured this Monday that one person lost their lives from yesterday’s disturbances, and not two as cited by some international agencies.

    From the public relations from the Hospital Escuela, Helga Flores said nine of the injured were discharged from the hospital this Monday.

    She explained that all that were checked in had slight blows “from wood, rocks, and hits from the crowd.” She confirmed that noone had gun shot wounds.

    It’s not true that the signal from CNN was blocked. As to curfews, et al: Honduras is not Canada. I suspect you have led a sheltered life, and harbor Utopian assumptions. From the quoted comments in the comment thread above, blogger La Gringa:

    please don’t report Chavez’s disinformation! Please be responsible. I have watched CNN 18-20 hours a day HERE IN HONDURAS since 7:30 am Sunday morning when I woke up.

    Our constitutional rights have not been revoked. We simply have a curfew which is only necessary because of the violence and vandalism being committed by pro-Zelaya protesters, assisted by thugs being imported from Nicaragua and Venezuela. Just last night they bombed a KFC in Tegucigalpa.

    According to independent public polls, anywhere from 87 to 92% of the population are in favor of continuing the curfew.

    Please look at these photos WHICH CNN WILL NOT SHOW YOU, and tell me if this looks like a repressed people. Please, please, please!

    People of the world should be more worried about the bias and censorship in their own media. You are not getting the truth. Why?

    As to Telesur, that is a Hugo Chavez propoganda network. More from La Gringa’s Blogicito:

    As crazy as this may sound, CNN is using feeds from Hugo Chávez’s Telesur network. Telesur have stooped to using a Zelaya impostor in a supposed phone-in interview with the Telesur reporter.

    There is no question that it is not Zelaya and I am shocked that the announcers on CNN in Atlanta, who have talked to him so many times do not recognize that. The man has a Venezuelan accent according to El Jefe and sounds nothing like Mel Zelaya.

    How can we hope to combat this misinformation when it is being perpetrated by the largest news provider in the world?

  28. Kathy says:

    Greg! You are still here! Did you decide your soul was not in imminent danger after all?

  29. gcotharn says:

    Kathy,

    I want to rebut any lies about Honduras, until this post fades from the front page. I remain flabbergasted at your lack of grace in this matter, and at your lack of concern for the Honduran people, as demonstrated by your refusal to acknowledge evidence of events.

    It’s the same with your lack of grace about Iran, and with your lack of concern for the Iranian people. I didn’t expect this from you. It is unattractive.

    All of us have ugliness within us. To acknowledge it, to ourselves – to embrace the reality of it – is to take a step towards wisdom; is to take a step towards some liberation from the ugliness.

    Arthur Miller:

    I tried to die near the end of the war. The same dream returned each night until I dared not to go to sleep and grew quite ill. I dreamed I had a child, and even in the dream I saw it was my life, and it was an idiot, and I ran away. But it always crept onto my lap again, clutched at my clothes. Until I thought, if I could kiss it, whatever in it was my own, perhaps I could sleep. And I bent to its broken face, and it was horrible…but I kissed it. I think one must finally take one’s life in one’s arms.”

  30. gcotharn says:

    Kathy,

    Something else you might allow to marinate, from Pope Benedict’s recently released Caritas in Veritate:

    “Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived…Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love.”

    More from Benedict:

    “Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom and of the possibility of integral human development.”

  31. Kathy says:

    I want to rebut any lies about Honduras, until this post fades from the front page. I remain flabbergasted at your lack of grace in this matter, and at your lack of concern for the Honduran people, as demonstrated by your refusal to acknowledge evidence of events.

    It’s the same with your lack of grace about Iran, and with your lack of concern for the Iranian people. I didn’t expect this from you. It is unattractive.

    All of us have ugliness within us. To acknowledge it, to ourselves – to embrace the reality of it – is to take a step towards wisdom; is to take a step towards some liberation from the ugliness.

    Your arrogance, presumption, and mental rigidity know no bounds. I will try to hasten the post’s “fading” from the front page, at which point you can leave with a clear conscience.

  32. gcotharn says:

    Me, Arthur Miller, and Pope Benedict walk into a bar.

    Bartender: “Gentlemen, your arrogance, presumption, and mental rigidity know no bounds.”
    Arthur Miller: “What an ugly and illogical statement.”
    Pope Benedict: “That’s the truth.”
    Me: “Three beers, please. Um … in unopened bottles.”

  33. Kathy says:

    Gcotharn, to Richard Estes:

    Re “shooting them in some instances”

    This is typical Utopian horse manure and/or leftist public relations strategy: try to discredit something b/c it’s implementation is imperfect.
    […]
    As to curfews, et al: Honduras is not Canada. I suspect you have led a sheltered life, and harbor Utopian assumptions.

    Gcotharn, to me:

    I remain flabbergasted at your lack of grace in this matter, and at your lack of concern for the Honduran people, as demonstrated by your refusal to acknowledge evidence of events.

    It’s the same with your lack of grace about Iran, and with your lack of concern for the Iranian people. I didn’t expect this from you. It is unattractive.

    You don’t give two flying fucks about the Honduran people. Or the Iranian people.

    Me, Arthur Miller, and Pope Benedict walk into a bar.

    Arthur Miller was a strong liberal with many left-leaning friends. He was accused of being a Communist sympathizer during the McCarthy era, he broke with former friends like Elia Kazan who betrayed friends and colleagues at the witch-trial hearings, he wrote “The Crucible” in response to McCarthyism, and he stood up against all forms of ideological extremism all his life.

    I really don’t think that you can afford to associate yourself, even fictionally, with Arthur Miller, Greg. It’s very unlikely that, were he alive now, he would be supporting the Honduran military against the man whom the Honduran people chose to lead them in totally democratic, fair elections. I would stop acting like you admire Arthur Miller, Greg. People might start to think you’re a follower of… well, you know, Mr. Hugo Chavez.

    Just a friendly warning.

  34. gcotharn says:

    Am I precluded from admiring some things Arthur Miller wrote? some thoughts Arthur Miller had? Is it illogical that I consider some of Arthur Miller’s opinions to be misguided, and some of Arthur Miller’s opinions to be interesting, wise, even inspired?

    Was Arthur Miller so small minded and ungracious that he could not have enjoyed a couple of beers and a couple of laughs with me and Pope Benedict? For that would be very small-minded, indeed. I guess I will go back and kick fantasy inside-the-joke Greg‘s ass for being a presumptuous bastard. I don’t know why the heck fantasy inside-the-joke Greg believed he could disagree with many of Arthur Miller’s opinions and yet still love Arthur Miller and still share some beers with him.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    re “two flying fucks”

    Your Honduran premise is: if a military person goes against orders and unjustly kills a protester, then whatever cause that particular military force is supporting is therefore proven unjust. I disagree.

    Further, the jury is still out on whether or not that protester was murdered by a Honduran soldier. Honduras says the soldiers had rubber bullets. Honduras says the caliber of ammunition used in the murder has never been used by Honduran military. We do know one protester smeared blood on himself and then rushed to get before cameras and interviews. The blogger at Honduras Abandoned personally observed this. We do know of evidence (inconclusive, but indicative) that Chavez sent agitators to the airport with intention of riling emotion against the Honduran Government. Is is beyond Chavez’ capabilities to kill an innocent for propaganda purposes?

    I don’t understand your point re Iran. If it has to do with supporting the Iranian people via not supporting them in cyberspace, I disagree.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You are, in today’s post quoting Inestroza, misinterpreting what Inestroza is saying in the Miami Herald article. I recognize this b/c I read the same article, and quoted some of the same quote you used, and tried to link (above, July 3 @5:33 PM) but apparently put in the wrong link.
    Anyway, I also initially misinterpreted what Inestroza is saying.

    Inestroza is not saying Zelaya’s arrest was illegal. Inestroza believes Zelaya’s arrest was perfectly legal. Inestroza is saying Zelaya’s deportation broke the letter of the law, yet was justified by circumstances, and therefore the military officers who took the action will not be convicted of crimes. If you carefully read the article which you linked to in today’s post, it contains evidence of Zelaya’s guilt and zero evidence of Zelaya’s innocence; it contains more evidence of the Honduran Government’s good intention than of the Honduran Government’s bad intention. Perhaps you were fooled by the headline (which would have been composed by an editor)?

  35. gcotharn says:

    here’s a link to evidence which seemingly indicates Chavez was conspiring to create the airport protest which resulted in the murder: http://ferdsblog.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/smoking-gun-of-vennie-imperialism/</a.

    Also: could Chavez be partially motivated by desire to force removal of a U.S. Military base in Honduras? I don’t know, but it seems plausible. http://ferdsblog.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/huevos-drogas/

  36. Kathy says:

    Greg,

    Am I precluded from admiring some things Arthur Miller wrote? some thoughts Arthur Miller had?

    Not at all. But you were the one who spent several very long comments making up all kinds of unsubstantiated and inaccurate accusations against Zelaya, and justifying his overthrow and exile from Honduras, on the basis of his left-wing politics and associations. Clearly, a coup does not become justifiable or legal simply because the target of the coup is a leftist and has leftist friends and colleagues. And I could not understand why you were using Arthur Miller to buttress your extreme rantings about how monstrous and evil Zelaya and Chavez are because they have left-wing beliefs, when Arthur Miller himself was left-wing.

    Or, put a bit differently, if Arthur Miller’s wisdom and talent are obvious to you despite the fact he was on the left pollitically, perhaps the same is true of Zelaya and Chavez, and other leftist thinkers.

    Was Arthur Miller so small minded and ungracious that he could not have enjoyed a couple of beers and a couple of laughs with me and Pope Benedict?

    Absolutely not. It’s you who might be too small-minded to enjoy such a moment with Arthur Miller, if he were still alive. After all, he was left-wing politically, and you seem to think that left-wing thinkers are thuggish, propagandists with strong criminal tendencies. I have never gotten the impression from you that you believe any left-wing thinker has anything to say or to contribute that is worth listening to.

    You are, in today’s post quoting Inestroza, misinterpreting what Inestroza is saying in the Miami Herald article.

    In your opinion. I read the entire article, too.

    Inestroza is saying Zelaya’s deportation broke the letter of the law, yet was justified by circumstances, and therefore the military officers who took the action will not be convicted of crimes.

    Yeah, he hopes and believes. The point is, he is admitting the coup was illegal, but that’s okay in his mind because the end — again in his opinion — is a good one, and the end justifies the means. It’s entirely possible — even probable, if Zelaya is not restored to his rightful position as president — that the military officers who “took the action” will not be convicted of crimes. That doesn’t mean they did not commit crimes. And on what basis you believe that the probability of the military officers being exonerated means that they actually did nothing wrong, illegal, or criminal, is beyond me. I guess you believe that the end justifies the means, too.

    If you carefully read the article which you linked to in today’s post, it contains evidence of Zelaya’s guilt and zero evidence of Zelaya’s innocence; it contains more evidence of the Honduran Government’s good intention than of the Honduran Government’s bad intention.

    Actually, it contains no such thing. “Guilt” and “innocence” are legal concepts that can only be factually demonstrated to be present or absent in the context of a legally prescribed, constitutionally guided process. That did not happen in this situation. The Honduran military, Supreme Court, and legislature acted outside of the law, and they know it.

    Your Honduran premise is: if a military person goes against orders and unjustly kills a protester, then whatever cause that particular military force is supporting is therefore proven unjust. I disagree.

    That is not my premise, but (a) I don’t think that’s an accurate description of what happened; and (b) your tone with regard to the tear gassing, and possibly responsibility for shooting, angry but basically peaceful protesters was, to my perception, very callous. And it seems unjust to me that you should accuse me of not caring about Hondurans, or Iranians, when it seemed to me that you were expressing such a cruel and indifferent attitude toward brutal treatment of Honduran supporters of Zelaya.

    Honduras says the soldiers had rubber bullets.

    Okay, and that may or may not be true. Neither one of us knows for sure.

    Honduras says the caliber of ammunition used in the murder has never been used by Honduran military.

    Ditto. And consider also the possibility that Honduras has already committed an arguably illegal and inarguably ill-advised and overly confrontational action (i.e., the coup), so their claims are also to be greeted with some skepticism.

    We do know one protester smeared blood on himself and then rushed to get before cameras and interviews. The blogger at Honduras Abandoned personally observed this.

    That is a highly conclusive and biased interpretation of behavior (if it happened at all) that is subject to several differing explanations. One cannot take either one blogger’s or one protester’s claims as ironclad proof.

    We do know of evidence (inconclusive, but indicative) that Chavez sent agitators to the airport with intention of riling emotion against the Honduran Government.

    We do? What evidence? How does Chavez send “agitators” to the Honduran airport? By remote control?

    I don’t understand your point re Iran. If it has to do with supporting the Iranian people via not supporting them in cyberspace, I disagree.

    I am responding to your statement about my supposed lack of concern for the Iranian people.

  37. gcotharn says:

    Rather than respond to the Zelaya evidence I linked in 5 different news accounts(or more), you claim I made stuff up about Zelaya, then fail to point to something I made up. Evidence, please. Failing to acknowledge or address evidence is pattern with you, as is launching flak (in lieu of evidence).

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Inestroza believes Zelaya’s arrest was legal. Inestroza does not believe a coup occurred. Inestroza believes a deportation occurred, and “Article 24 of Honduras’ penal code will exonerate the joint chiefs of staff who made the decision, because it allows for making tough decisions based on the good of the state, Inestroza said.” Inestroza’s point is clear. If you read it differently, then you have misinterpreted.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Guilt does not strictly refer to legal guilt. Merriam Webster: “Guilt … 2 a: the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously”.

    Further, throughout this thread, I have carefully referred to “evidence as it exists”, and have not referred to conclusive evidence, and have not referred to evidence which is irrefutable or which is beyond a reasonable doubt. It is misguided, at best, for you to imply that I have referred to anecdotal evidence as being either absolutely true, or in some way dispositive.

    That said, at this point, if one looks at the totality of evidence as it exists: Zelaya is almost certainly guilty of trying to overturn the Honduran Constitution, of trying to extend his Presidential term, of trying to either a) limit Honduran democracy or b) overthrow Honduran democracy. It’s difficult, at this point, to envision circumstances which might show Zelaya to be innocent.

    You have a different opinion. Your opinion is so misguided that you ought be embarrassed to claim it. Maybe you have been too busy to look at the totality of the data. Or, maybe the movie in your head (which is telling you what is happening) is so loud and so vivid that it obscures the data which exists (data I have carefully pointed to in the comments above; data which is not matched – and cannot be matched – by evidence of Zelaya’s good intent, as evidence of Zelaya’s good intent does not exist in the public sphere at this time).

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You write: it seems unjust to me that you should accuse me of not caring about Hondurans, or Iranians

    This has a ring of authenticity which I appreciate.
    Re Honduras: you believe the arrest was illegal, yet you can only believe this b/c you are really, really, really, really ignoring available data which points to Zelaya’s guilt and to the arrest being legal. Why would you so blatantly ignore this data?
    –I suspect you care more about being right than you do about Honduran people.
    –I suspect you care more about protecting your self-image as a virtuous person(virtuous via your righteous political beliefs) than you care about the Honduran people.
    –I suspect you care more about supporting Obama than you care about a struggling Honduran people who are on the brink of losing their democracy, as the Nicaraguan people recently lost their democracy.

    If there is another explanation for your ignoring of the data, please share.

    Iran is pretty much the same story: you are more wed to your political beliefs than to compassion for the Iranian people. Your political beliefs integral to your self esteem and self image as a virtuous and worthy person. Your political beliefs tell you Iranians are happy b/c Khamenei (figuratively) keeps the trains running on time; your political beliefs tell you most Iranians – reasonable people they – cannot be so very unhappy over a tiny matter such as self-determination and freedom from oppression. Your political beliefs are so important to your conception of yourself that the sacrifice of Iranians who are risking their lives really doesn’t sink in with you at a bone deep level. Oh, you see it. You sort of intellectually acknowledge it. But it doesn’t sink in at a human level; at a gut level. Your psychological defense mechanisms prevent it from doing so. Amending your political beliefs – even in face of the evidence which even today is risking life and health in the streets of Iran – amending your political beliefs would be too painful and too threatening. You would have to rethink who you are as a person who is walking this Earth. That is a threatening thing to do. You are not up to it.

    Which, btw, is not to raise myself above you. I, also, am not up to many things, and am cowardly in many areas, and am ashamed of my weakness and cowardice.

    Now, could my speculation be wrong? Absolutely. I would love it if you would prove me wrong. Honest to God, it would make me very happy to be wrong, b/c I have love for you, and I would be very happy if you have strength and courage beyond what I have observed.

    The way to prove me wrong is to explain why you ignore the data and evidence which indicates Zelaya’s nefarious intention(such as the evidence I pointed to on July 5 @ 8:14PM); to explain why you fail to champion an Iranian people who are protesting in the fashion of Gandhi and MLK.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    re: your complaint about my “tone”
    Complaining of written “tone” is so ethereal as to be useless. Can you point to a specific aspect of my reasoning which indicates my “cruel and indifferent attitude towards … brutality”? If you can, I will address it.

    I do not think it heartless to acknowledge the truth that soldiers are going to commit war crimes. This has been true throughout world history. I do not believe the commissions of war crimes necessarily invalidate the pursuit of larger objectives. I specifically do not believe a single murder (if it indeed was committed by the Honduran Military) invalidates the objective of protecting the Honduran Constitution and of protecting self-determination for the Honduran people.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Re: Evidence that Chavez sent agitators to the airport: I linked to this evidence today, July 9 @ 12:19 PM, in a comment which is awaiting moderation.

    The blog at that link discusses (in other blogposts – especially in “Chavez Chess”) a possible reason for Chavez’ aggressive actions in Honduras: Chavez wants an American military base in Honduras closed. The closing of the American base would especially smooth the way for smugglers who fly illegal narcotics through the area – smuggling flights which Chavez allegedly profits from. Already, today, Nicaragua’s Ortega has publicly called for the U.S. to close it’s military base in Honduras.

    However, Chavez enthusiasm for Zelaya is, actually, peripheral to the main issue, which is Zelaya’s own actions and words – which actions and words you ought take a hard look at before making further pronouncements of Zelaya’s innocence.

  38. Kathy says:

    Evidence that Chavez sent agitators to the airport….

    Of course this was after Manuel Zelaya was ousted from the presidency — to which office he had been elected in free and fair elections — and exiled from the country. Whether you call that a coup, or use some other euphemistic language, the point is, it was illegal, unconstitutional, inappropriate, undemocratic, and a very dangerous, divisive, and unnecessarily confrontational way to handle a political disagreement. You can talk about guilt, innocence, communism, socialism, Chavez, leftist thugs, and outside agitators from now until the cows come home, and the central issue will STILL be the coup and all of the totally predictable violence and escalation that has come from that.

    However, Chavez enthusiasm for Zelaya is, actually, peripheral to the main issue, which is Zelaya’s own actions and words – which actions and words you ought take a hard look at before making further pronouncements of Zelaya’s innocence.

    Wrong. The main issue is that Velaya’s right-wing political enemies in the Honduran government handled their ideological differences with him by staging a military coup instead of using the democratic, legal processes set up to handle such disagreements.

    In case it’s not completely plain to you by now (which it probably is not), I don’t give a fig for Zelaya or his politics or his guilt or innocence. I simply don’t care about him one way or the other. What I care about is the rule of law. If Zelaya were Micheletti and Micheletti were Zelaya and the same events had occurred, I would still be saying the coup was illegal.

  39. gcotharn says:

    I’m glad you care most about the rule of law.

    Zelaya broke the law (burglary, treason, and at least 13 other violations which Honduras has indicted him for) and violated the Honduran Constitution. If you care about the law, then you are happy the law was enforced and Zelaya was arrested. If you care about the law, and you are acting without prejudice, then you will quit thinking and speaking in generalities, and instead look at the specific data.

    If you look at the specific data, you will see this began as a political disagreement, yet Zelaya morphed it into treason, and ousted himself from office, via violating Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution:

    Article 239: “No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform [emphasis added], as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.”

    In other words, by proposing to change this law, Zelaya constitutionally and immediately ousted himself from office.

    Bloomberg:

    The arrest order she [SC Justice Rosalinda Cruz] cited, approved unanimously by the court’s 15 justices, was released this afternoon along with documents pertaining to a secret investigation [of Zelaya] that went on for weeks under the high court’s supervision.
    […]
    David Matamoros, a member of Honduras’ Supreme Electoral Tribunal, also defended the military’s action.

    He said Zelaya originally called the vote a plebiscite, then, when that was barred [the Honduran Supreme Court ruled that only the Honduran Congress could call such an election], shifted to describing it as a poll, creating uncertainty as to its legal standing and his intent. No government agency was willing to conduct the vote, he said. All the ballots and equipment for the illegal poll were flown in on a Venezuelan plane, he said. The court ordered the materials confiscated.

    Miami Herald:

    After the Honduran supreme court ruled that only the country’s congress could call such an election, Zelaya ordered the army to help him stage it anyway. (It would be ”non-binding,” he said.) When the head of the armed forces, acting on orders from the supreme court, refused, Zelaya fired him, then led a mob to break into a military base where the ballots were stored.

    His actions have been repudiated by the country’s supreme court, its congress, its attorney-general, its chief human-rights advocate, all its major churches, its main business association, his own political party (which recently began debating an inquiry into Zelaya’s sanity)

    Here we have Zelaya leading a mob in a burglary. Burglars deserve to be arrested at gunpoint. Further, carefully consider which party(s) is demonstrating fidelity to Constitutional process and to rule of law, and which party (hint: Mel Zelaya) is not.

    The available data has your opinion stone cold exposed as illogical and uninformed. I don’t believe you have both read and considered the above quotations and the above data. If you had, you would then have apologized and commented upon how embarrassed you are at your own actions. That you have not read and have not considered the above data is the circumstance which drives my speculation that – at best – you are in denial about the current risk to the freedom of the Honduran people. Why would you not read and fairly consider the above data? That is also a good question.

  40. Kathy says:

    If you care about the law, then you are happy the law was enforced and Zelaya was arrested.

    Wait a minute. You mean, Zelaya was charged, tried, and convicted in legal democratic proceedings subject to due process?

    Whoa, that would make me happy. But in sad reality — not so much.

    I want to rebut any lies about Honduras, until this post fades from the front page.

    Okay, Greg, you are good to go (please).

    I hope you appreciate all the hard work I did to make this happen for you.

  41. gcotharn says:

    You write: “Wait a minute. You mean, Zelaya was charged, tried, and convicted in legal democratic proceedings subject to due process?”

    The Honduran Supreme Court, in a 15-0 decision, ordered the Honduran Military to arrest Zelaya. The action of the Honduran Supreme Court was completely legal, and displayed fidelity to the Honduran Constitution. Zelaya’s arrest was ordered by the Honduran Supreme Court, in accordance with Honduran Law. In this situation, there was no legal requirement to try him and to convict him before ordering his arrest.

    These circumstances are what you, so far, refuse to look at or acknowledge (and the Obama Administration also refuses to acknowledge this, and also chooses to speak in generalities [and even in probabilities], and deliberately chooses to avoid the specifics of the situation).

    The military decision to deport, while questionable, arguably was legal under Honduran Penal Code 24.

    But, the decision to deport pales next to the legal arrest order. If Zelaya had not been deported, he still would not now be in power as President of Honduras. He would instead be incarcerated and out of power. The key data are the Honduran Supreme Court’s investigation of Zelaya (documents from which have been made publicly available), and the Honduran SC’s subsequent arrest order (which has also been made publicly available).

    Question: Why did the Honduran SC act, rather than waiting a couple of days for impeachment proceedings to be completed?

    Answer: Zelaya had to be arrested early Monday morning, as he had scheduled the illegal “poll” for Monday during the day. The Supreme Court followed Honduran law and ordered Zelaya arrested.

    Kathy, I cannot overemphasize how strong is the evidence indicating Zelaya’s guilt, if you will only read into it. The most damning evidence, to me, is that Zelaya could have led the Honduran Congress in changing or eliminating 368 articles of the Honduran Constitution, and was only constitutionally barred from changing 7 articles of the Honduran Constitution – one of which was the article concerning Presidential term limit.

    Use you head here. It is extremely foolish to claim Zelaya had innocent intention for Honduras; and foolish (at minimum) to claim the Honduran Government was trying to evade the responsibilities of Constitutional governing. The Honduran Government was and is desperately trying to save Constitutional Government in Honduras. Barack gaffed by speaking before he had sufficiently investigated, and now Barack is politically unwilling to back down and admit the truth. You don’t have to be like Barack Obama. You’re a smart person. You can look at data and tell truth about what the data indicates.

  42. gcotharn says:

    Maybe I haven’t drilled down to the center of the legality of the Honduran SC arrest order:

    The SC had ruled that conducting even the “poll” was illegal, and had ordered the ballots confiscated and kept under lock and key.

    Zelaya, via stealing the ballots, via conspiring with compatriots to illegally conduct the “poll”, had thus broken Honduran law, and deserved arrest.

    It was on this basis that the SC ordered Zelaya’s arrest.

    Now, had Zelaya been deposed, would he have been allowed bail, and thus allowed to return to office? Never! Zelaya’s action constituted grave danger to the Honduran nation. Bail denied, absolutely. Zelaya would have never made another decision as President of Honduras; would have been impeached and convicted, then criminally tried and convicted, and would have stayed inside a prison cell for a long time. The only exception would have been if Zelaya were hanged for treason.

    So, I hope this drills down to the bottom of why the Honduran SC, via ordering the arrest of Zelaya, was acting in accordance with Honduran Law. If Zelaya disagreed with the SC’s decision regarding his poll, he ought to have fought the decision through legal means, or through political/electoral means which complied with the Honduran Constitution; as opposed to fighting the SC decision through illegal means.

    The SC had ruled that the Honduran Congress could order a national poll on the question of whether Honduras should write a new Constitution. If this was Zelaya’s true goal, he could have rallied support for such an order – either now in future – in the Honduran Congress.

    I hope this extra explanation helps. God knows I’ve done my best.

  43. La Gringa says:

    “I hope this extra explanation helps. God knows I’ve done my best.”

    Yes, you have. You have much more energy than me.

    I saw Zelaya on his propaganda channel the day after the Supreme Court decision say, “This poll won’t be stopped! Only God and the Virgin Suyapa can stop me!” Maybe that’s why it took the army to get rid of him. It’s a mistake to look at this as if Honduras was the same (or should be the same) as the US. It isn’t so civilized. Even if Honduras had an impeachment clause in their constitution, which they don’t, it probably still would have taken the army to get him out. He wouldn’t have gone down without a fight.

    I would invite Kathy to watch this video. Of course, she could say that the army was behind the scenes pointing guns at the people to make them march in the pro-government demonstrations, but look at their faces.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da9etL5uqy8

  44. Kathy says:

    I watched the video. I wouldn’t say that the army was behind the scenes pointing guns at the people to make them march in the pro-government demonstrations. I looked at their faces. They look happy.

    I think that the video is a tremendous promotional piece. The production values are gorgeous. I love the music: “Ode to Joy” is one of my favorites. I will admit that I cannot get a truly satisfying sense of what, when, why, where, or how any of the scenes are happening, because they are all still shots edited together to create an overall message, but perhaps that’s a minor quibble.

    Do you have any actual live footage of actual events with the sounds that were being made at the event itself? As much as I do love Beethoven, it’s a bit difficult to get any sense of actual real events as they happened from this one.

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