<em>BOLTON WATCH</em> News: Joint Venture Between <em>Talking Points Memo</em> and <em>The Washington Note</em>


John Bolton.jpg
As TWN reported a few weeks ago, we are preparing to launch a new zone in the blogosphere dedicated to reporting on the work and activities of recess-appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.
I’ve been keeping my powder dry on Bolton since his confirmation as Ambassador Bolton deserved a chance to prove his confirmation critics wrong and to demonstrate that he was going to bring to a more credible edge a reality of U.N. reform and improved American diplomacy in that institution.
Regrettably, Bolton has done the opposite and proved those of us who had serious concerns about his objectives correct.
Just to be clear — we aren’t out to create a Bolton-bashing space. He has the job now. This is about making sure he does his job. Cheney’s crew loves to use the United Nations as a punching bag during elections. If the UN becomes an issue in 2006, then we need to be sure that the “whole story” is being told.
This effort is about John Bolton disrupting his own AMERICAN negotiators trying to achieve diplomatic ends that the Secretary of State and her staff have set. This is about last minute major disruptions in fragile diplomacy that Bolton undermines in the name of reform — but actually seems designed and patterned to stop the reform process.
Bolton Watch will work to keep a record of Bolton’s work and activities, his diplomatic pattern, and his statements and the contradictions between what he does and what he has testified to Congress that he is doing.
Among many of the objectives that we have with Bolton Watch, one of them will be to give Secretary of State Rice a hand in managing this turbulent and often destructive ambassador. She said she’d manage him — but we feel that she may not always know what John Bolton is up to.
We’ll give him credit when he deserves it. But the bottom line is that his days are numbered.
The failure to get confirmation in the Senate means that John Bolton can only serve through the end of this Congressional session — and that means that by mid-January 2007, John Bolton will need a new job. He can’t be recess appointed again.
Josh Marshall, proprieter and publisher of Talking Points Memo and TPM Cafe, is the person who deserves the most credit for my entry into blogging. He nudged me for two years to launch TWN and I finally did it.
Well, the new space for Bolton Watch will be housed at TPM Cafe with links back to both TWN and TPM.
The launch date for Bolton Watch has now been set for January 23rd.
Those of you who have donated to help support Bolton Watch, thank you very much. Your financial support has enabled us to broaden our team for this and to get some other folks on board to do some of the research and writing.
If more of you want to support this project, which TWN greatly appreciates, feel free to use the PayPal link at the right hand corner of the blog — or to send contributions to:

The Washington Note/Bolton Watch
1915 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

More soon.

— Steve Clemons