Michael Roston demystifies the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) that John Bolton considers to be one of his strong suits in his upcoming April 7th UN Ambassadorship Confirmation Hearings.
Roston shows that PSI had little if nothing to do with Libya’s disarmament agenda — and that two Republican Senators — former Illinois Senator Peter Fitzgerald and New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici — thought that Bolton was paying little attention to big-time threats and problems.
From Roston’s piece:
Since PSI was linked to Libya’s decision to disarm, the effort has yielded no major successes. Now-retired Illinois Senator Peter Fitzgerald looked at PSI’s informal structure last July and asked one of Bolton’s lieutenants “how do we know. . .you’re not shirking your other duties?”
Fitzgerald was not the only Republican Senator asking this question. In June 2004, Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico, Chair of the Energy Committee, took the unusual step of requesting to testify before Senator Richard Lugar’s Foreign Relations Committee. Domenici was concerned that progress was not being made on the liability dispute that now impairs US-Russian cooperative disposition of excess weapons plutonium, a key part of that G-8 Global Partnership Bolton trumpeted in his acceptance speech.
As Bolton sat within arm’s reach, Domenici went as far as to declare on the record that he was “not sure to this point that [Bolton is] up to” resolving the dispute, that he was uncertain “that he attaches the significance” to the program that the Senators did, and that if Bolton “doesn’t think it’s important enough to solve, this issue of liability, then I submit that you ought to get somebody that can.” With Bolton’s tenure at an end, the dispute remains unresolved.
Domenici has finally repeated his reservations about Bolton as a nominee. Will he repeat on the record for us that Bolton’s not up to the job, or will we have to call him Mister Ambassador until the day we die?
Read that again….Senator Domenici took the unusual step of asking Senator Richard Lugar if Domenici could testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee against John Bolton and his work record.
— Steve Clemons