Friday, April 29, 2005

The Growing Case Against John Bolton

Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee decided to postpone the its vote on John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador as more doubts about his suitability for the job continue to surface. It was a rare moment when a decision was made spontaneously in public view.
Joe Biden, the ranking member, led an impassioned appeal to hold up the nomination based on Bolton's abuse of State Department analysts, his ill manners and contempt for anyone who disagreed with him. There in the committee meeting, live on C-SPAN, George Voinivich (R-Ohio) spoke up to say he favored further review. Chairman Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) was forced to agree to a postponement.

Lugar and Biden have now jointly requested copies of ten highly sensitive NSA intercepts that Bolton requested in his capacity as Under Secretary of State. Whose conversations did Bolton seek to spy on? Were these requests part of Bolton's efforts to undermine those who dared to disagree?
Bolton's unfitness for such a sensitive diplomatic post is not based on his policy views or on his undiplomatic temperament, but on his behavior--his history of going to extreme lengths to undermine State Department officials including career analysts, the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea and Colin Powell.

For the best reporting on this story, go to Steve Clemons at The Washington Note.

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