About Lee Boyland
Boyland earned a degree in nuclear engineering, then entered active duty as
an officer in the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps. A graduate of the U.S. Navy’s
Explosive and Nuclear Ordnance Disposal Schools, Boyland was assigned to the
Defense Atomic Support Agency in Albuquerque, NM. A member of DASA’s Nuclear
Emergency Team responsible for nuclear weapons accidents, including the
rendering safe of armed nuclear warheads, he had access to the design
details of every nuclear and thermonuclear warhead developed by the United
States through the Mark 63 warhead. His duties took him to the Nevada Test
Site on many occasions. After leaving the Army, he designed conventional and
special ordnance, and demilitarized chemical weapons at Rocky Mountain
Arsenal and Tooele Army Depot. He made the transition to hazardous waste
management by applying aerospace combustion technology to incineration of
Agent Orange. He is the author of
The Rings of Allah and
Behold, an Ashen Horse, which received critical acclaim by the
Military Writers Society of America.
According to the Honduran Constitution, President Manuel Zelaya cannot
run for reelection. The president, with a congressional majority, can
amend 368 of the 375 articles of the
Honduran Constitution. Unfortunately for President Zelaya, the ones
he can’t amend include term limits, system of government that is
permitted, and process of presidential succession. Amending these pesky
articles requires a National Constituent Assembly.
President Zelaya has shown disdain for Democracy.
Juan Ramon Martinez, a Honduran political analyst, said,
"...[President Zelaya] repeated on several occasions that democratic
institutions are worthless and that democracy has not helped at all.”
Term limits are such an annoyance to would be dictators, and Zelaya
decided to change the constitution. His methods followed the path used
by Hugo Chavez when he transformed Venezuela into a leftist dictatorship
by rewriting its constitution. Chavez’s election was challenged. The
European Union refused to send observers, and the Organization of
American States (OAS) team leader, Fernando Jaramillo, complained about
intimidation tactics against the population. Chavez demanded that
Jaramillo be recalled and he was.
Chavez invited the Carter Center to observe, and former President Jimmy
Carter was welcomed warmly by Mr. Chávez upon his arrival in Venezuela.
Exit polls showed Chavez was losing the vote decisively. But in the
middle of the night, minority members of the National Electoral Council
were kicked out of the election command center. Shortly thereafter, with
Carter’s apparent approval, Mr. Chávez claimed victory. There was never
a credible audit of the paper ballots against the tallies in the voting
machines. Venezuelan patriots begged for help from the outside world,
but the OAS and the U.S. found it impossible to endorse or reject the
results, and thereby blessed the charade.
Zelaya’s first attempt to follow Chavez’s lead was made on November 11,
2008 when he ordered installation of a fourth ballot box for the
November 29, 2009 elections. Traditional elections have three ballot
boxes: one for the president, one for congress, and one for local
mayoral candidates. The fourth ballot was to vote on whether or not the
electorate wanted to choose a National
Constituent Assembly. According to Zelaya, this proposed body
would draft a new Honduran constitution which would allow him to run for
Last year, Zelaya joined the Venezuelan-sponsored Alternativa
Bolivariana para las Americas (ALBA), a "fair trade” and social justice
bloc tirelessly being pushed by Caracas, which promotes economic and
political ties between like-minded left-leaning Latin American nations.
Both Venezuela and Bolivia have presidents who expect to be reelected
for additional terms.
Zelaya issued executive decree,
PCM-05-2009 which required the National Statistical Institute to
hold the national referendum by June 28, 2009. Elections were scheduled
for June 28th Since the decree is secret, its exact contents are
unknown. The Supreme Court ruled the referendum unlawful. Zelaya ordered
Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, chief of armed forces of Honduras to
distribute the ballots.
Velásquez refused and Zelaya fired him for refusing to help with the
Backed by Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, and Hugo Chavez, Zelaya attempted
to hold the referendum by distributing the ballots in defiance of the
Supreme Court ruling declaring the Sunday June 28th referendum illegal
and ordering all election material confiscated. On Thursday, June 25th,
President Zelaya and thousands of citizens
stormed a Honduran air force base to rescue ballots that the
military had refused to distribute. The controversial ballots said, "Do
you think that the November 2009 general elections should include a
fourth ballot box in order to make a decision about the creation of a
National Constitutional Assembly that would approve a new Constitution?"
Voters could vote YES or NO.
The Supreme Court was joined by the Attorney General and the National
Congress in requesting Zelaya’s resignation. The National Congress
unanimously voted to accept his letter of resignation, which Zelaya
The Supreme Court ordered Zelaya’s arrest on June 26th for treason,
abuse of authority, and other charges. He was arrested and deported to
Costa Rico on June 28th. Zelaya’s attempt to circumvent the constitution
followed the path taken by his biggest supporter, Hugo Chavez.
Unfortunately for Zelaya, the Honduras government knew the plan.
Immediate support by other leftist "presidents” with visions of lifetime
terms is understandable. Condemnation by democratic leaders is puzzling.
The OAS suspended Honduras on Saturday, July 4th. Some called it a coup
d’état, but a coup occurs when the military ousts the government and
takes over. This did not happen in Honduras. The government not only is
still in place, but has approved of the military’s actions and appointed
an new president in accordance with the constitution.
On Monday, the day after the coup, President Obama said, "We believe
that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the
president of Honduras, the democratically elected president there.”
After Obama’s long delay in making a statement about Iran’s flawed
election, one has to wonder at the speed in which he supported Zelaya.
U.S. Congressional Representative José Serrano (D)NY introduced
H.J. Res. 5:, Proposing an amendment
to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second
article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of
terms an individual may serve as President.
Thomas Jefferson thought term limits for the president to be a good
idea. "If some termination to the services of the chief magistrate be
not fixed by the Constitution or supplied in practice, his office,
nominally for years, will in fact become for life; and history shows how
easily that degenerates into an inheritance. Believing that a
representative government, responsible at short periods of election, is
that which produces the greatest sum of happiness to mankind, I feel it
a duty to do no act which shall essentially impair that principle; and I
should unwillingly be the person who, disregarding the sound precedent
set by an illustrious predecessor, should furnish the first example of
prolongation beyond the second term of office," Thomas Jefferson: Reply
to the Legislature of Vermont, 1807.