Is John Kerry extorting another senator?
Before we get to that, here's the background on the important story that has been developing in Honduras, via Neal Boortz:
- Mel Zelaya was the President of Honduras.
- Zelaya has close ties with Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez.
- Zelaya emulated his buddy Hugo by attempting to change the Honduran constitution to allow him to hold office indefinitely.
- Zelaya's outrageous and brazen attempt to change the constitution by calling for a referendum was unconstitutional, but with some material support from Chavez, Zaleya was able to create a political crisis.
- In accordance with the rule of law, and with the overwhelming support of the Honduran people, the Honduran Supreme Court ruled Zaleya's efforts illegal and unconstitutional.
- The court issued an order to the Honduran military telling them not to do the logistical work associated with Zelaya's phony referendum.
- Zaleya and his cronies distributed phony ballots to the masses.
- Based on the Supreme Court's ruling, the Honduran attorney general said that the proposed referendum was illegal and said that he would arrest anyone attempting to carry out the election.
- Zelaya was arrested by the military and was escorted out of the country.
Here's a good rhetorical question: Does this sound like a military coup to you? Of course not.
You'd think the President of the United States of America would applaud the Honduran government for upholding the rule of law. You'd think Obama would shun Mel Zaleya. You'd think Obama would at least take a neutral position and refrain from "meddling" — as he did with Iran. But you would be wrong.
Obama levied sanctions on the impoverished nation in order to force the rightful government from power, and he revoked the visas of all the high Honduran officials to keep them from attending the recent UN summit...cutting them off from the international community. Leading Honduran businessmen have lost their American visas as well. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has met with Zaleya, and the Obama administration has given Zaleya every indication that they will continue to help him back to power.
Obama has justified his actions thusly:
“America supports now the restoration of the democratically-elected President of Honduras, even though he has strongly opposed American policies,” the president told graduate students at the commencement ceremony of Moscow’s New Economic School. “We do so not because we agree with him. We do so because we respect the universal principle that people should choose their own leaders, whether they are leaders we agree with or not. "
To investigate the situation in Honduras, Senator Jim DeMint, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, planned a congressional delegation trip to Honduras today (Friday).
At the last minute (on Thursday), John Kerry and Obama’s State Department blocked Senator DeMint’s planned fact-finding trip to Honduras.
Lefty bloggers are delighted:
"[DeMint] invoked Senate rules that allow a single Senator to “block” a vote on confirming various of President Obama’s diplomatic nominees, including those for US Ambassador to the Organization of American States, US Ambassador to Brazil and Undersecretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, because he doesn’t like the White House position against the Honduras coup. ...Good for Kerry for knocking DeMint on his ass with such a timely, karma-packed punch."
DeMint has issued the following statement:
“These bullying tactics by the Obama administration and Senator Kerry must stop, and we must be allowed to get to the truth in Honduras. Not a single U.S. Senator has traveled to Honduras to learn the facts on the ground. And the Obama administration won’t allow Honduran officials or even businessmen to come to the U.S., either. While this administration has failed to act decisively in Afghanistan, it is has no problem cracking down on a democratic ally and one of the poorest nations in Latin America.”
“Meanwhile, a thorough report from the Congressional Research Service directly contradicts President Obama’s snap decision about the legality of then-President Zelaya’s removal from office in June. Now, President Obama and Democrats’ blind support for this would-be dictator and friend of Hugo Chavez will prevent members of Congress from learning the truth first hand.”
Confirming the suspicions the lefty blogger quoted above, DeMint has indicated that Kerry's actions do indeed amount to retribution and extortion:
“They’re telling me if I will just let a couple of their nominations go through without debate or a vote, then they will let me go on the trip,” said Senator DeMint, speaking on the Mark Levin Show.
Interim Honduran President Micheletti once said he does not fear sanctions and that Honduras can get by without international aid. Let's hope he continues to stand firm.
Update I: Please see my related story on American Thinker.
Update II: A commenter took exception to the original title of my post: "Is John Kerry Blackmailing Another Senator?" There was some confusion about the definition of "blackmail."
black·mail: extortion or coercion by threats
Remember what DeMint said?
“They’re telling me if I will just let a couple of their nominations go through without debate or a vote, then they will let me go on the trip”
That sounds a lot like "extortion or coercion by threats" to me. But perhaps it would be a bit more accurate to describe this as a bribe, or extortion. Fine. Title changed.
Living in denial about definitions:
Update III: Kerry confirmed the extortion on Thursday, stating that when DeMint complies with Kerry's demands, "
LA Times: Honduras' non-coup
Under the country's Constitution, the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya was legal.
Congressional Research Service: The legal basis under the Honduran Constitution for President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales’s removal from office.
Obama imposes sanctions on impoverished nation of Honduras, despite loss of legal basis for doing so.
Please hang on Honduras. It's not just about you anymore.
John Kerry trying to hide truth to protect Zelaya, blocking our fact-finding trip to Honduras
Honduras Is Following Its Law and Constitution.
"I'm a U.S. and Honduran citizen and I'm appalled by President Barack Obama's position on the Honduran crisis."