Sunday, May 08, 2005

Today's Bolton News

- On CNN's "Late Edition" this afternoon, former acting CIA Director John McLaughlin said that yesterday's Douglas Jehl article in the New York Times was accurate in describing his reaction to Bolton's attempt to have analyst Fulton Armstrong transferred after a disagreement over the use of intelligence analysis. McLaughlin reiterated his quote from the Jehl article to the effect that at no other time during his career could he recall a policymaker seeking to influence the intelligence community by having an analyst fired or transferred. Also on "Late Edition," former UN Ambassador and Secretary of State Madeline Albright said that the only time she met Bolton was when he debriefed her before she began her tenure as UN Ambassador. "And he was so negative about the UN," Albright said, "I wondered why I'd even want to go there." Albright went on to say that in order to be at all effective in reforming the United Nations, she thought Bush's choice "ought to at least have a sense of the importance of the organization."

- Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Dick Lugar and Ranking Democrat Joe Biden were on "Face the Nation" this morning; Lugar said that he believes the committee vote on Bolton's confirmation will go ahead on Thursday as expected, and will probably be a party-line vote. On "This Week", Senator Chuck Hagel told George Stephanopoulos "that he has yet to learn anything about Bolton that would keep him from supporting the nominee," according to the Associated Press, but that he "was reserving his vote until he heard all the facts."

- Senator Biden has again reiterated his request to the State Department to provide information to the Foreign Relations Committee concerning John Bolton's use or abuse of intelligence analysis in speeches on Sudan and Syria. "
In particular, the unfulfilled portions of the request relate to the nominee's reported efforts, in speeches and testimony, to make statements that went far beyond what the intelligence would support," Biden wrote to Rice on Saturday. Biden added that he felt some public comments by Rice last week implied "that you do not believe you have a duty to respond to requests from the minority."

- Douglas Jehl has an analytical piece in today's New York Times on how Bolton has emerged as a "lightning rod for those who saw a pattern of political pressure on intelligence analysts."


At 6:20 PM, Blogger Heiuan said...

In many places in government, I could possibly see Bolton being a better fit. I just can't see him in the UN. He's not a diplomat.

Blunt goes only so far, and is useful in many situations. However, the UN needs and deserves an ambassador who not only understands nuance, but can actually apply it.


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