Skip to comments.The Disappearing Case Against John Bolton
Posted on 05/11/2005 8:53:13 AM PDT by conservativecorner
Senator George Voinovich has told people that he did John Bolton a favor by agreeing to a Democratic demand to delay the committee vote on his nomination to be United Nations ambassador a few weeks ago. This is chutzpah, since Voinovich waltzed into the committee unprepared and rolled out after an hour of Democratic table-thumping. His buckling gave the Democrats additional time to dump every possible accusation on Bolton's head. But Voinovich is right in this sense: With the passage of time, the case against Bolton is looking ever weaker.
During that fateful committee meeting, Sen. Joseph Biden cited a letter from Melody Townsel, who accused Bolton of abusing her in a Moscow hotel room, as if the letter might be the dynamite to blow up Bolton's nomination. We don't hear so much about Townsel anymore, since her credibility has been shaken. By her own account, she is an extremely liberal and vocal Democrat. In her own interview with the Foreign Relations Committee staff, she qualified her most lurid accusations, saying she felt chased by Bolton rather than actually was chased by him in the hotel, as she had alleged previously. A man named Kirby Jones who was supposed to corroborate her tale of Bolton throwing things at her and generally acting like a madman provided no corroboration whatsoever in his committee interview. Others involved at the time have said there was no way any such things could have happened in the hotel without their knowing about it. So it is little wonder that Democrats have dropped talk about Bolton's abusive behavior and instead claim that he routinely distorted intelligence.
This has been a vexing process and one deeply unfair to John Bolton.
This charge, too, is meritless. Bolton in many ways was a model consumer of intelligence as undersecretary of State for arms control. He read everything, but never accepted anything without asking probing questions. Intelligence is not received from on high. It is almost always subject to interpretation, and if Bolton brought (appropriately) hawkish assumptions to his reading of the data, some of the analysts with whom he clashed brought different assumptions. The fact is that even Bolton's critics agree that the things he said in public were supported by the intelligence. Take his controversial Cuba biological-weapons speech to the Heritage Foundation in 2002. Bolton critic and former State Department bureaucrat Carl Ford used nearly identical language in describing the state of Cuba's bioweapons program. Former intelligence officials Jamie Miscik and Robert Hutchings have said in interviews with the committee that Bolton's oft-criticized testimony before the House international-relations committee about Syria and WMDs was cleared by the intelligence community.
The charge that Bolton sought to have people who disagreed with him fired has similarly fizzled. The most-discussed instance involves an analyst named Christian Westerman, who engaged in subterfuge while trying to undermine Bolton's Cuba speech, but wasn't fired or even reassigned as a result. Bolton had these sort of clashes because he was the State Department's foremost Bush loyalist, working in a hostile bureaucratic environment. Lawrence Wilkerson, who was Colin Powells chief of staff at State, has said that invariably when other department officials came to see him about a problem, it had to do with Bolton. Good. We wouldn't have expected anything different, and if there had been more Boltons at the State Department, perhaps it wouldn't have been the sullenly unhelpful institution it was for much of President Bush's first term.
Once all the nonsense is stripped away we are left with this: Democrats oppose Bolton because he loyally served President Bush in his current job and will continue to do so at the U.N., unapologetically seeking to reform the world body and, to the extent possible, push it into serving U.S. interests. We can't believe that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Republican weak sisters Voinovich, Lincoln Chafee, and Chuck Hagel will, at the end of the day, say that Bush cannot have the nominee he wants at the U.N., especially one whose manner (blunt) the president has compared to his own. This has been a vexing process and one deeply unfair to John Bolton. The sooner he is confirmed, the sooner he can begin to make some good of it at Turtle Bay.
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YES! The Demo--socialist--anti-American--crats are looking like complete idiots! LOL.
I pray they vote Bolton in tomorrow and then send him to the full Senate for confirmation. We NEED Bolton in the UN!
Reality finally rises above the din of the obstructionist lies and spin from the Socialist street mob in the Sentate.
The Three Drama Queens. Thanks, girls, for nothing.
Let's strip away all the nonsense while we're at it. The idea that Bolton will be able to advance any reforms at the United Nations is ridiculous. He has nothing but contempt for the organization, they know it, and there isn't a representative there who will listen to him or accept his leadership. So unless President Bush is willing to back up Bolton with action like witholding funding, something requiring far more spine than he has shown to date, then nothing at all will come out of this.
After Reid called the President a loser, Lugar should have immediately convened the Committee, vote Bolton through, and the tell the 'rats to "Lose This!".
We have nothing but back stabbing jackasses in the senate. Who needs enemies when our own members undermine the President at every frigging opportunity?
Has everyone noticed the new DNC talking points?
"republicans are against Bolton too"
"Nobody at the UN will believe the USA" (HELLLLOOOOO MSM, the UN NEVER believed the USA because we are usually exposing their membership's evil.
The Three Drama Queens. Thanks, girls, for nothing.
I want to echo what you said, and say "Amen"!!!
I've seldom been so disgusted with the actions of these watery weak Senators.
Senator George Voinovich lies like a rug. Spin doesn't cut it. He needs to be nipped in the pants for this and replaced.
Heard on Fox this morn Chafee is on board and he was the one most wobbly
The UN doesn't need to be "reformed," it needs to go away. Bolton's take-no-prisoners attitude will be refreshing. He'll vocally oppose the routine U.S. bashing that is the UN's daily soup. Will the U.S. pull out of the UN, or seriously cut its funding? Doubtful. But even if Bolton does nothing but call a spade a spade to the despots and fruitcakes in that "august body," it'll be worthwhile.
If the pubbies on the committee doesn't aprove Bolton, it'll mark the beginning of the end of pubbie dominance in DC
Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves should be the dems theme song.
That would've been sweet. Too bad Lugar's such a wimp.
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