Religious Right leader and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson offered a "clarification" to his fatwa against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez this evening — which included an apology so full of excuses as to have little value.
In the "clarification," Robertson says he ad-libbed the comment, which he said was made "In my frustration that the U.S. and the world community are ignoring this threat.
"Is it right to call for assassination?" Robertson said in a posting on his website. "No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him."
Robertson later took credit for giving the government something to think about. "(T)he incredible publicity surrounding my remarks has focused our government’s attention on a growing problem which has been largely ignored."
Robertson also compared himself with "(t)he brilliant Protestant theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer," who unsuccessfully stood up against the Nazis.
The "apology" came only hours after Robertson, on today's edition of The 700 Club, denied saying Chavez should be assassinated.
ROBERTSON: Wait a minute, I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our special forces should, quote, "take him out," and "take him out" can be a number of things including kidnapping. There are a number of ways to take out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted by the AP, but that happens all the time.
Perhaps some leaders on the right, who failed to condemn Robertson's original fatwa, quietly reached out to the televangelist. Or maybe Robertson just came to his senses, and the right can continue to ignore the fatwa, and hope this embarrassing episode fades quickly from center stage.
This article first appeared at Journalists Against Bush's B.S.