The Bolton Battle 2.0: Confirmation Hearing Tomorrow


Here are some very useful resources regarding the John Bolton confirmation hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.
First of all, The Washington Note will be there.
Second, for others who want to be there — the hearing will be taking place in 216 Hart Senate Office Building (a big room).
I have been able to get copies of the talking points that the White House has distributed to both Jewish political advocacy groups as well as to other groups in favor of John Bolton’s record:

1. Positive Press Clips on John Bolton (pdf file)
2. A Roster of Bolton Accomplishments (pdf file)

Those who are concerned about John Bolton’s confirmation are amassing their own dossier on John Bolton — and of course, there is an absolutely voluminous roster of material on TWN that can be easily searched to acquaint one with Bolton’s full record, which extends way, way back.
Some golden oldies on Bolton include his close, and ultimately illegal relationship providing uncompensated legal counsel to Senator Jesse Helms, his presidency of the National Policy Forum — a 501(c)3 non-profit institution founded by Haley Barbour that lost its non-profit status because of illegal partisanship in its programming objectives, his non-transparent relationship with Taiwan funding sources while providing testimony to Congress on Taiwan issues, his role in helping to promulgate the Niger Uranium story inside the State Department after it had been internally set aside by INR analysts, his efforts to beat and massage intelligence to fit preconceived political objectives in the build-up of the war against Iraq, his insubordination under Colin Powell and Richard Armitage and sabotage of America’s North Korea diplomacy in 2001, and the list goes on and on.
Familiarize yourself with the record. Search the TWN site. It’s all there.
But on Bolton’s UN performance — ONE SIMPLE QUESTION NEEDS TO BE ASKED.
Why are we to believe that John Bolton, who has now had a lot of time on the clock, is any good at all at getting what America wants done at the UN? He has had no successes.
He has failed to get America what it wanted on a new Human Rights Council. He failed to be a full and successful strategist and negotiator on other UN reform issues. He has failed to secure the support needed for more effective resolutions dealing with Iran and North Korea. He’s known for being more of a tempest than a stabilizer. To many, he is seen as a brilliant architect of American failure at the UN. And remember, essentially, John Bolton seems for the most part to want to set up failure.
He has been extraordinarly successful at making himself look like a gladiator taking on the stifling and incompetent bureaucrats at the UN — but I am aware of very few times when John Bolton invested his time and “political capital” in achieving a real success for America at the UN.
Some of the materials of those opposed to John Bolton’s confirmation include:

1. A Report Card on John Bolton
2. Key Quotes from John Bolton
3. A Chronology of John Bolton’s First Year at the United Nations and His Activities and Objectives
4. A “White Paper” on Why John Bolton is the Wrong Person to Serve as America’s Ambassador to the UN
5. A Citizens for Global Solutions document on John Bolton Undermining U.S. Foreign Policy Interests
6. A new website
7. Visit the “Bolton Watch” website at TPM Cafe

There is a lot to digest here — but this is an important battle. This is a cynical move by the White House to appeal to those “domestically” who are emotionally and politically involved in Israel’s crisis and also an effort to throw “red meat” to those Jesse Helms acolytes around the nation who detest all international institutions, particularly the United Nations, and are essentially pugnacious isolationists.
The first round in Bolton Battle 2.0 is tomorrow. There will be a minor scuffle trying to get a vote next Tuesday at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s next business meeting — but the Democrats will give more time and Senator Lugar has indicated privately to various groups and donors that the Bolton vote in Committee will probably take place in mid-September.
Much to do.
Read the material in favor that the White House is sending out — and then READ THE REST OF THE STORY.
More later.
— Steve Clemons


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