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Confirmation Hold on Valenzuela Ensured “Clean Hands” in His New Job

November 13, 2009

In an article yesterday, Laura Carlsen, suggests that the State Department sold out Honduran democracy in order to unfreeze the hold Sen. DeMint put on diplomatic post confirmations.  I doubt this.  I think the US had little to sell in that regard since Honduran democracy was never a priority. 

But, here is another angle you might want to consider.  The hold on Valenzuela’s confirmation prevented him from being in Honduras when Tom Shannon put the screws to President Zelaya last week and from being anywhere near the US’ decision to recognize the November 29th election without reinstatement of Zelaya.  Valenzuela’s lack of involvement in the questionable US role in Honduras allows him to come to his new job with clean hands.  More importantly, should there be any congressional inquiry in the future about the US’ shenanigans in Honduras, Valenzuela will have “plausible deniability.”

As of now, there is still a hold on Shannon’s confirmation to be ambassador to Brazil and maybe that will be lifted after the Honduran election takes place.  DeMint lifted his hold on Shannon’s confirmation at the same time he lifted the hold on Valenzuela.  But, retiring Florida Sen. Mel Martinez’ replacement, Sen. George Lemieux, placed a hold on it immediately thereafter.  This leaves Shannon in limbo as Valenzuela is in Shannon’s job now and Shannon has yet to hit the beaches of Ipanema.

For the State Department, the more daylight between Shannon’s duplicitous deeds in Honduras and his diplomatic post in the powerhouse of Latin America, the better.  I am sure that the Brazilian diplomats in Tegucigalpa have received an earful from Zelaya about what went down with Shannon.


  1. November 13, 2009 12:32 PM

    I think DeMint and the GOP played a bureaucratic trick on the Obama people. Valenzuela has been confirmed to Shannon’s job, but Shannon hasn’t been confirmed for the Brazil post, so you’ve got a little logjam with two guys with the same job. It’s a little bureaucratic pressure on Obama Mission Control to stay honest–or dishonest, as it were.

    • November 13, 2009 2:05 PM

      Hi Shaun:

      No doubt the GOP played a trick on the Obama folks by creating the logjam. I’m just not sure that the State Dept. squawked about the hold-up as strenuously as Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee.

      • November 14, 2009 7:46 PM

        The problem is that the Republicans are holding up everything, not just nominations for key diplomatic posts. And the US media backs them to the hilt.

        The DC bureau chief for the Associated Press is none other than Ron Fournier — a good friend of Bush’s chief “brain”, Karl Rove, and the guy who almost became John McCain’s official press secretary for McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. (Fournier apparently settled for being the ‘de facto’ press secretary, helping McCain far more from his AP position than he ever could in an official role with the campaign.)

        The influential online newsmagazine “The Politico” is owned, funded, and run by Republican operatives; Jonathan Martin has a long career as a Republican activist in Virginia and Connecticut.

        And of course there’s FOX “News”, Rush Limbaugh and the other hard-right radio hosts, as well as Sun Myung Moon’s Washington Times, which has lost around $2 billion since its creation but is propped up by Moon’s religio-business empire to serve as a propaganda tool and sheltered workshop for right-wing hacks.

        This is just off the top of my head.

        For more on how the right-wingers control the US media, I highly recommend spending some time over at Media Matters or The Consortium (or both). The Consortium in particular has detailed articles like this one on the plans of William Simon, former Nixon Cabinet member, to get revenge for Watergate by engineering a conservative takeover, not just of the media, but of colleges, research institutions, and pretty much any entity that is entrusted with explaining objective reality. By controlling these institutions, they hope to control our view of reality. Or at least they did, until the internet came and weakened traditional media as a whole.

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