Surprisingly, the filibuster showdown over President Bush’s judicial nominations has been averted.
This throws the Bolton battle into new territory — and TWN does not yet have a fix on how conciliatory both sides want to be in choking down a nominee to the U.N. that seems such a mismatch for the job.
One of the issues that still lies outstanding is the failure of the administration to provide the NSA intercepts as requested by Senators Lugar and Biden. Chris Dodd started the intercepts request process more than a month ago — and still nothing has been received.
Rumor has it that Senator Rockefeller and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence staff have discovered patterns of conduct by Bolton and Fleitz that raise red flags. They are now “looking into” how Bolton and Fleitz used the intelligence from the NSA intercepts — or better put, “misused it.”
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been standing by waiting form some sort of communication from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which Negroponte said would be communicating with SFRC on the intercepts. This has not happened.
Some senators on both sides will not vote to confirm Bolton simply on this issue — all of the necessary information needed to make a decision is not in.
— Steve Clemons