Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Bean-Counting on Bolton

Steve Clemons reports on Dick Cheney's "Larry King Live" appearance last night (transcript here), in which the VP continued to express confidence that John Bolton will be confirmed by the Senate after Congress returns from its Memorial Day recess. Clemons notes, I think correctly, that unless the Administration provides the information Democrats have requested for examination, the likelihood of achieving cloture on Bolton right away is in fact rather slim.

Cheney called the Democrats' requests for more information on the NSA intercepts and Syria intelligence debates "just an excuse," to which Clemons responds: "There may be nothing there. There may be a great deal. It is not up to the Vice President of the United States or the White House spokesman to determine whether there is something there or not. The Senate investigators are the ones who can best connect dots between Bolton's objectives and behavior in one arena - and his interest in U.S. officials' names in NSA intercepts in other arenas."

As I've been saying all along, even if there isn't anything earth-shattering in the information that has been requested, it is worth allowing the leadership of the Foreign Relations Committee to look at. I agree with Senator McCain's assessment, and hope that he's able to persuade the Administration to turn over the requested materials so that we can finally resolve this nomination once and for all. If the State Department continues to refuse the requests for more information, I cannot help but voice support for continued delays.


At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Simon said...

This is EXACTLY what I said last week. Politics demands that moderate Republicans entirely disassociate themselves from this Bolton delaying business. Whatever then man's merits or demerits, his confirmation is a casualty of the filibuster battle, IMO.

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Shay said...

Since the folks requesting the information oppose Bolton's nomination anyway and would not change their minds about him afterward, what is the purpose? Other than partisan politics?

At 1:19 PM, Blogger JBD said...

Well for me, the purpose would be knowing whether there is or isn't even more than we already know about Bolton's record that should give us pause. Personally I've already seen enough to make me question his suitability for the position, but if there's more I think it's certainly worth letting people know about it. What is the purpose? Good government, and knowing all we can about someone we're about to make one of the most important public spokesmen for our country.


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