The Associated Press, along with other news outlets, is now reporting that President Bush will send John Bolton to the United Nations next week via his power of recess appointment. This is, as I have said repeatedly, an unfortunate step, but a particularly egregious one now that we have learned that Mr. Bolton falsified, intentionally or not, his disclosure form to Congress. Sending Bolton to the United Nations under such circumstances is a true act of political indecency, and I hope that the president will reconsider this step.
Within the AP story is a comment from Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chafee, who had said earlier in the day that he might reconsider his support for Bolton based on the disclosure form revelations. The AP got him to kick his opposition up a notch: Chafee told the wire service he would now vote against Bolton and will oppose a recess appointment. “Any intimidation of the facts, or suppression of information getting to the public which led us to the war, absolutely should preclude him from a recess appointment,” Chafee says.
While I appreciate Chafee’s insistence on getting to the truth of this matter, I have to express my wonder that this, of all things, is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Of all we have come to learn about Bolton since his nomination in March, this is the one thing that gets Chafee’s dander up.
Better late than never, I guess … but the relevance of Chafee’s change of heart is minimal now that the Senate’s out of session anyway. The ball is in the president’s court, and from all current reports, it looks like he’s going to pop it rather than hit it back over the net.
Discovery of the disclosure omission a week earlier, this nomination would probably have been dead in the water. As it stands now, come this time next week, we’ll likely have a UN Ambassador who’s already got a track record of keeping vital information from Congress. Great start.
– Jeremy Dibbell (Charging RINO)