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June 11, 2005

Bolton, the Unlawful


by Gordon Prather

Guess what? The man President Bush wants to be our Ambassador to the United Nations has frequently interfered – as Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security – in personnel and operations matters of various UN agencies in a manner deemed "unlawful" by many UN observers and by at least one UN tribunal.

Those "unlawful" international activities are in addition to his frequent unethical – if not unlawful – interference in personnel and operations matters of various domestic agencies.

But now Associated Press correspondent Charles Hanley has linked Bolton's domestic and international interference to US efforts – revealed in the minutes of the "Downing Street" meeting of September, 2002 – to manipulate "intelligence" so as to support the decision President Bush had made many months before to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein.

In particular, according to Hanley, Bolton flew to Europe in 2002 to confront Jose Bustani, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and demand that he resign.

The OPCW is the UN-related organization established in1997 by Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention to be their agent.

Bustani "had to go" because "he was trying to send [OPCW] chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad and that might have helped defuse the crisis over alleged Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war."

But Bustani refused to resign. So, he was relieved of his position in April 2002 at an OPCW meeting in a manner – orchestrated by Bolton – that has since been ruled "unlawful" by a judicial body to which UN agencies submit personnel cases.

Bolton also attempted – apparently concurrently and for the same reason – to force Mohamed ElBaradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to resign.

And when ElBaradei refused, Bolton pressured the IAEA Board of Governors to deny ElBaradei a third term.

On May 6, 2005, in an interview with the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Lawrence Wilkerson, the chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, reportedly charged that "Mr. Bolton overstepped his bounds in his moves and gyrations to try to keep Mohamed ElBaradei from being re-appointed as IAEA head."

Wilkerson said Bolton was "going out of his way to badmouth him, to make sure that everybody knew that the maximum power of the United States would be brought to bear against them if he were brought back in."

According to the Washington Post, the US also halted all intelligence-sharing with the IAEA, and allegedly bugged ElBaradei, hoping to obtain information that could be used against him.

The IAEA is the UN-related agency established in 1957 to "accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world." In so doing, the IAEA was required to "ensure, so far as it is able, that assistance provided by it or at its request or under its supervision or control is not used in such a way as to further any military purpose."

Twenty years later, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons – whose objectives are (a) to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, (b) to foster the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and (c) to further the goal of achieving general and complete disarmament – effectively made the IAEA its agent.

That is, by requiring all no-nuke NPT-signatories to conclude a bilateral Safeguards agreement with the IAEA, the NPT incorporated the already existing IAEA inspection and verification system, as well as its statutory "enforcement mechanism."

Therefore, in refusing to share intelligence with the IAEA, in bugging ElBaradei and attempting to influence his reporting, someone – Bush? Bolton? – appears to have committed acts that are "unlawful" under the IAEA Statute.

For example, the IAEA Statute says that "Each member should make available such information as would, in the judgement of the member, be helpful to the Agency." The US is an IAEA member, and hence, is required to carry out the "obligations set forth in that statute" and to act in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

Furthermore, "Each member undertakes to respect the international character of the responsibilities of the Director General and the staff and shall not seek to influence them in the discharge of their duties."

Who would want Bolton the Unlawful to represent us at the United Nations?

Well, didn't Condi-baby just summon ElBaradei to Washington, with the announced intention of influencing his reporting on the results of his intrusive go-anywhere see-anything inspections in Iran?


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Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.

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