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September 9, 2006

Bully Bolton

by Gordon Prather

Last year, President Bush’s nomination of John Bolton to be Ambassador to the United Nations never even made it out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Opposition to Bolton’s confirmation was expressed formally to the Committee – by former Assistant Secretary of State Carl Ford, former Chief of Staff to Secretary Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson, former Deputy Director of the CIA, John McLaughlin, former head of the National Intelligence Council, Robert Hutchings and others – and informally to Committee staff by more than 30 of Bolton’s current and former colleagues.

Much of the opposition involved Bolton’s "bullying" style.

But, at least one Senator opposing Bolton’s nomination said that it didn’t bother him so much that Bolton was a bully; it was that Bolton was an "ineffective bully."

Then last month, recess-appointee Bolton bullied the Security Council into delaying – for a month – passage of UNSCR 1701, a cease-fire resolution in Israel’s war of aggression against Lebanon. Concurrently, Bolton bullied the Security Council into passing resolution UNSCR 1696 "demanding" that Iran re-suspend the uranium-enrichment activities – Safeguarded by the International Atomic Energy Agency – Iran voluntarily suspended three years ago.

Now, how’s that for effective bullying?

As you imagine, Israeli diplomats, lobbyists and more than a few Congresspersons were ecstatic.

So, Bush announced he was re-submitting Bolton’s nomination.

Then, Thursday, Committee Chairman Lugar once again postponed – apparently indefinitely – consideration of Bully Bolton’s nomination.


Well, maybe it had something to do with the stunning revelations made last week about l’Affaire Plame.

In Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War , Michael Isikoff and David Corn will reportedly reveal, inter alia, that

"In the spring of 2002 Dick Cheney made one of his periodic trips to CIA headquarters. Officers and analysts were summoned to brief him on Iraq.

"Paramilitary specialists updated the Vice President on an extensive covert action program in motion that was designed to pave the way to a US invasion.

"Though Cheney was already looking toward war, the officers of the agency's Joint Task Force on Iraq – part of the Counterproliferation Division of the agency's clandestine Directorate of Operations – were frantically toiling away in the basement, mounting espionage operations to gather information on the WMD programs Iraq might have.

"The JTFI was trying to find evidence that would back up the White House's assertion that Iraq was a WMD danger.

"Its chief of operations was a career undercover officer named Valerie Wilson.

"There was great pressure on the JTFI to deliver…

"The JTFI found nothing…

"The results were frustrating for the officers. Were they not doing their job well enough – or did Saddam not have an arsenal of unconventional weapons?

"Valerie Wilson and other JTFI officers were almost too overwhelmed to consider the possibility that their small number of operations was, in a way, coming up with the correct answer: There was no intelligence to find on Saddam's WMDs because the weapons did not exist."

So what has any of this got to do with Bolton’s confirmation?

Well, maybe, nothing. But it came up in Bolton’s confirmation hearings last year that Undersecretary Bolton had frequently interfered in personnel and operations matters not only in various US agencies – including the CIA – but also in various UN agencies in a manner deemed "unlawful" by many observers and by at least one UN tribunal.

In particular, in April, 2002, Bolton got Jose Bustani – Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – fired because Bustani, "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."

Also, according to Wilkerson, "Bolton overstepped his bounds in his moves and gyrations to try to keep Mohamed ElBaradei from being re-appointed as IAEA head." According to the Washington Post, someone (Bolton?) halted all intelligence-sharing with the IAEA and bugged ElBaradei’s phone, hoping to get something that could be used to force ElBaradei to resign.

Why? Because ElBaradei was continuing to make ‘null’ reports with respect to any attempt by Saddam to resurrect his uranium-enrichment program. In particular, at a time when the neo-crazies were trying to make a casus belli of the forged Niger "yellowcake" documents, ElBaradei had just verified that Saddam’s tons of yellowcake were still right where they had been since 1991, under IAEA seal!

So, has Bolton been central to a multi-year-long neo-crazy conspiracy – falsifying intelligence, while suppressing all legitimate intelligence on nukes and chemical weapons – with the objective of selling pre-emptive war against Iraq, Iran, Syria, et al. to a gullible Congress and populance?

Stay tuned.

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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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