This is maddening. In a July 1, 2009, State Department “Background Briefing,” an unidentified “Senior Administration Official One” responded to a reporter’s question/statement that “earlier this week, Secretary Clinton gave us to understand that you were holding off on a determination on whether [the removal of President Zelaya] was indeed a military coup. . . . that the Legal Advisor’s Office has begun the process of determining whether [the removal] was a military coup . . .” by saying:
In regard to the first question, both the President and the Secretary have described events in Honduras as a coup, which they certainly were once the current claimant to the presidency swore – was sworn in before the congress after the forcible removal of the legal and constitutional president, Mel Zelaya.
Fine, so “this is properly classified as a military coup, right?
“Senior Administration Official One” again:
Well, I mean, it’s a golpe de estado. The military moved against the president; they removed him from his home and they expelled him from a country, so the military participated in a coup. However, the transfer of leadership was not a military action. The transfer of leadership was done by the Honduran congress, and therefore the coup, while it had a military component, it has a larger – it is a larger event.
. . . as I believe it was answered earlier, the review is ongoing.