Senator Feinstein offered an excellent floor statement opposing John Bolton yesterday — and voted against cloture on Bolton, which to many of us working this was a much needed and much appreciated surprise. Everyone should thank her — and frankly, everyone should thank Sentor Lieberman.
Here is the opening to the Feinstein statement which I will post in full at this link:
Mr. President, I rise today to express my opposition to the nomination of John Bolton to be the next United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Simply put, he is the wrong man at the wrong time for what is an important and critical position.
At a time when the reputation of the United States is at an all time low in many parts of the world and our military is stretched thin, we need a representative at the United Nations who can engage and work with our friends and allies to forge multilateral solutions on: the War on Terror, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, global poverty, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and global warming just to name a few. Yet, throughout his career, John Bolton has demonstrated an unrestrained contempt for diplomacy and international treaties.
In a letter to Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, 102 former American diplomats representing both Democratic and Republican Administrations urged the Committee to reject Mr. Bolton’s nomination because of his exceptional record of opposition to efforts to enhance U.S. security through arms control.
The letter notes that Mr. Bolton:
~ Led the effort against ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty;
~ Blocked a more robust international agreement to curb the proliferation of small arms;
~ Led the effort to block the Ottawa Landmine Treaty;
~ Led the effort to have the United States withdraw from negotiations to formulate a verification system for the Biological Weapons Convention and;
~ Led the campaign to have the U.S. withdraw from the ABM Treaty.
What sort of message do we send to our friends and allies by nominating an ideologue and not a consensus builder for this leading post at the United Nations?
I, for one, am unaware of another nominee to an international body who has garnered so much opposition from individuals who have served on the front lines of American diplomacy.
Much progress made yesterday — and more to do.
— Steve Clemons