TEGUCIGALPA -- The military officers who rushed deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya out of the country Sunday committed a crime but will be exonerated for saving the country from mob violence, the army's top lawyer said.The military lawyer explains that because of the circumstances, however, the armed forces will [hopefully] be acquitted.
In an interview with The Miami Herald and El Salvador's elfaro.net, army attorney Col. Herberth Bayardo Inestroza acknowledged that top military brass made the call to forcibly remove Zelaya -- and they circumvented laws when they did it.
''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."
This comes on the heels of the Honduran Deputy Attorney General Roy David Urtecho saying yesterday that, "There were events that don't comply with the law."
Ironically, on July 4th of all days, conservative Americans cheer these criminal acts as the resolve of a people desperate for freedom [from a leader that they, themselves, elected] and make tragically misguided comparisons to our forefathers.
As the entire world joins together to condemn this act as a threat to democracy, it seems only fitting that the
I'll let Digby have the last word...
For the last several years, many people have been saying that the president has to do whatever's necessary to keep the country safe. That's what both Bush and Obama say to justify something like preventive detention and that's what the Honduran military says it was doing when it deposed a democratically elected president. (Cap'n Ed called it a "military impeachment.") And it seems to me that people are beginning to accept this idea --- when it comes to national security, the president and the military must not be limited by such prosaic concerns as the constitution. Someone might get hurt and that must be prevented at all costs.
Once again, I think we have to ask why, as an individual American, that logic wouldn't then apply to other things. Why should the government be hindered by the rule of law at all when lives are at stake? The police and the FBI and the DEA and the ATF and Homeland Security and the Border Patrol and any of the other agencies in the vast security state apparatus should not be hindered in their jobs to keep Americans safe any more than the president is hindered in keeping America safe from terrorists. Certainly, I can't understand how you could take a chance that someone like Charles Manson or Tim McVeigh or some sociopathic gang member might be released back onto American streets, but the mere possibility that a terrorist suspect could be free anywhere in the world precludes them even having a trial. It makes no sense.
Implicit in the constitution is the understanding that we cannot be safe from all dangers --- and that one of the gravest dangers to our safety is a government which does not respect civil liberties and the principles of democracy. This "protect at all costs" mentality stands that on its head. Once you say that the government doesn't have to adhere to the rule of law for the good of the country, the whole thing loses its meaning --- and unpredictable things start to happen. Like "military impeachments."