When a Coup Is Not Yet a Coup
By Glenn Kessler
The diplomatic wheels sometimes turn more slowly at the State Department than other parts of the government. For several days, reporters have been asking State Department spokesman Ian Kelly whether the department's legal adviser had made a determination yet whether the Honduras military conducted a coup when it ousted President Manuel Zelaya and installed a new leader. The issue is an important because a determination that a coup has taken place would result in a cut-off of U.S. aid to the Central American country.
Today, Kelly was asked the question again and he responded that the answer was still under discussion. "Our legal advisers are actively assessing the facts and the law in question, which we take very seriously," he said. "And, of course, I'll let you know as soon as this determination is made."
Meanwhile, in an interview today with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, U.N. ambassador Susan Rice (who is technically part of the State Department) didn't dance around the question.
"This administration has been very clear that a coup is a coup. And there are no good coups and bad coups," she declared.
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