Christian Bourge Queries Hagel; Bolton Facing Tough Hearing


Check out this well-done UPI piece that queries Senator Chuck Hagel about the “Waxman Brief” on John Bolton.
Senator Hagel’s public comments supporting Bolton’s nomination occurred before broad public awareness of the contents of a letter by Rep. Henry Waxman to Rep. Christopher Shays. In this letter, Waxman alleges Bolton played in promulgating the Niger-Uranium story in State Department reports, despite rejection of that evidence by CIA and State Department intelligence analysts.
Waxman then argues that Bolton’s people tried to conceal Bolton’s role and that State Department staff lied to Congress regarding Bolton’s involvement.
To his credit, Senator Hagel gave a less catchy but still quite good variant of the “John Maynard Keynes line.” Keynes once said:
When confronted with new information, I reassess and modify my position. What, sir, do you do when confronted with new information?
Bourge reports this on Hagel:
When asked by UPI about his support of Bolton’s nomination in the light of the Niger uranium accusations, Hagel said Tuesday that such issues are the reason that nomination hearings are held and that it and other problems committee members may have with the nominee should be addressed before senators look at Bolton’s entire record.
“Let him respond to that and clarify those,” said Hagel. “You vote on the full record, on moving forward, on all the dynamics.”

The Washington Note is just fine with Hagel’s response.
TWN will continue to work with other researcher to confront the Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the full Senate with new material so that they can adjust accordingly.
— Steve Clemons