July 16, 2009

US Lobbyists with Clinton Ties Hired to Defend Honduran Coup Regime: Lanny Davis, Democracy Now, July 15, 09


Supporters of the coup in Honduras have begun hiring advisers and lobbyists with close ties to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an attempt to strengthen support in Washington for the coup. A Honduran business group has hired lobbyist Lanny Davis, who served as White House counsel for President Bill Clinton. The coup government has also hired Bennet Ratcliff, a public relations specialist with ties to former President Bill Clinton.

...I want to turn first to Ken Silverstein to this issue of the lobbying. President Obama has condemned what happened in Honduras and said Zelaya should be reinstated. And yet, talk about what’s happening in Washington, DC, when it comes to lobbying for the coup regime in Honduras right now, Ken.

KEN SILVERSTEIN: Well, basically, the coup leaders have decided that they need support in Washington. This is a critical issue, because they are desperately trying to get legitimacy for overthrowing an elected government. And if they can get support in Washington, then they have hopes that they may be able to remain in power and to fend off the return of Zelaya.

Now, they’ve hired—their chief guy here is Lanny Davis, who used to work for President Bill Clinton. He was legal counsel. And he offered advice on the campaign finance scandals and the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and on and on and on. He’s basically a mouthpiece for the Clintons. He has very, very close ties to Hillary Clinton, of course, and, no doubt, he’ll be using his ties to the Clintons and to the Democratic Party, the Democrats in Congress, to try to win support for the coup government.

AMY GOODMAN: And go on from Lanny Davis, on to who else?

KEN SILVERSTEIN: Well, I mean, Davis really is the guy—I think the primary guy they’ve hired, the one who’s got the most influence. And I would point out about Davis is that he has a track record. It’s sort of ironic. I’ve seen bloggers say, “Gee, how could Lanny Davis do this? You know, it’s so surprising, this Democrat.” Well, there’s very little Lanny Davis won’t do for money, actually. I mean, he has a long track record of working for very, very difficult—is the polite way of putting it—clients. He has worked for dictators in the past. In 1999, when he was at Patton Boggs, one of the big law firms here, he worked for a Kazakh front group, just as he’s working for a Honduran front group now. He worked for a Kazakh front group that was acting on behalf of President Nazarbayev, and Lanny Davis was out there trying to convince the world that Nazarbayev was a democratic reformer who was really trying to bring democracy to Kazakhstan. Well, guess what. That was ten years ago. And guess who’s president of Kazakhstan right now. President Nazarbayev, one of the most corrupt leaders around the world. So Davis has a long track record of working for these people...

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