What do they take us for, stupid?
It's quite the indicator of just how mediocre the State Department has been that they think they can bluff their way through the various mixed signals they're responsible for. From Tyler Bridge's story posted yesterday in the Miami Herald:
The U.S. State Department helped broker a deal that called for the Honduran Congress to vote on whether to allow Zelaya to finish his term. But once Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon made televised comments last week that seemed to remove pressure from Washington, Honduras' Congress has made no plans to vote on whether to enact the agreement.Needless to say, this may be the first election anywhere, anytime, in which the legitimacy of a highly dubious electoral scenario is validated ex ante by the U.S. government.
Shannon said last week that the deal meant that the Obama administration would accept the outcome of the Nov. 29 presidential and congressional elections, regardless of whether Zelaya was back in power.
... Shannon made his comments last week to CNN en Español. State Department spokesman Charles Luoma Overstreet in an e-mail to McClatchy questioned the widespread interpretation of what Shannon said and sent a transcript of the interview that left out the relevant quotes. The actual transcript shows Shannon twice confirming that the U.S. would respect the outcome of the elections no matter whether Zelaya were restored.
A senior State Department official declined to discuss Shannon's statements Monday, saying instead, ``What we're trying to do is get the parties to follow the accord. . . . If the accord is not implemented fully, that will affect international perceptions.''