I've complained about our failure to cut off funding to Honduras, and i've even suggested that it might have something to do with the Lanny Davis/Hillary Clinton connection. So now i need to eat crow:
The United States said on Thursday it was formally cutting more than $30 million in aid to Honduras but sidestepped the question of whether the Central American country's de facto leaders took power in a military coup.
The State Department also suggested it would not regard Honduras' November elections as legitimate unless ousted President Manuel Zelaya, arrested by the military on June 28 and flown into exile in his pajamas, was first restored.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said more than $30 million in aid was being cut to increase pressure on the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti to restore Zelaya before the scheduled elections.
The State Department also moved to revoke the visas of some of Micheletti's supporters but declined to give their names.
The one thing i'm not pleased about is the splitting of hairs over whether it can officially be called a coup:
However, the State Department was silent on whether it believed Zelaya was ousted by the military and said the circumstances around his ouster were "complicated" despite the fact that he was flown out of the country in a military plane.
"The Department of State recognizes the complicated nature of the actions which led to June 28 coup d'etat in which Honduras' democratically elected leader, President Zelaya, was removed from office," it said.
"These events involve complex factual and legal questions and the participation of both the legislative and judicial branches of government as well as the military," it added.
Asked why Clinton decided against formally declaring Zelaya's ouster a military coup, Crowley said: "Let's focus on what we're trying to do here. We are trying to see democratic constitutional rule restored in Honduras. That is our purpose."
He noted President Barack Obama had declared it a coup and Clinton had declared it a coup, but it was "not your garden variety military coup" because of the involvement of other branches of government.
If Republicans controlled congress and told the military to escort Obama out of the country and they complied, i don't think we'd have a problem calling that unconstitutional (unless they first impeached him and he refused to step down). But we're treating it like a coup, and i suppose that's what matters. A huge step beyond where we were on June 30th.