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
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
"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
"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?