John Bolton & Jeffrey Gedmin at U.N. — Kind of Like Ralph Nader & Michael Moore in an Alternative Universe


That is a parody of a very thoughtful note that came into TWN this morning from a loyal reader regarding Jeffrey Gedmin’s pending “rumored” nomination as one of John Bolton’s right-hand people at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
Gedmin, while a self-described spear-carrier for the neoconservative movement, is a very personable and smart guy. We run in a lot of the same circles — and folks that know both of us are divided 50/50 on whether he is appropriate for John Bolton’s close staff. I am opposed — not because of Gedmin — but because Bolton wants to get a number of “Mini-Me’s” into place in the State Department and elsewhere. To have two senior neocons at the U.N. is simply a mistake.
Gedmin is somewhat of a protege of former National Review editor (and now NR editor-at-large) John O’Sullivan — and Gedmin is responsible for including me in some of the most stimulating foreign policy meetings I have attended, including the Congress of Phoenix at which I hung out with Margaret Thatcher for what seemed to be an inappropriately long period of time over a weekend given her stature then. (Lady Thatcher is now being queried about “other company” she has kept of late.)
There has been some confusion as to whether Gedmin is being brought by Bolton into the “Deputy” job at the U.N. or as “Representative for Special Political Affairs.” The Deputy spot is traditionally reserved for career foreign service officers who have an intimate understanding of the micro-policy coordination required between America’s U.N.-deployed mission, which is a very large operation, and the work done in various bureaus at the State Department in Washington. The “Representative for Special Political Affairs” is, well, political.
Most of those who have spoken to TWN about what they know refer to the “Deputy” job when referring to Gedmin’s aspirations, but they may be making a mistake in nomenclature.
However, Kenneth “Iraq will be a Cakewalk” Adelman served as Deputy Permanent Representative to the U.N. during the Reagan administration. And according to one TWN loyal reader who himself was a former senior-level American national security official, “Ken was as noxiously partisan as political appointees can get.”
It is interesting to note that Kenneth Adelman was one of the seven officials in American history whose nomination (as Director of the Arms Control & Disarmament Agency) went to the floor of the Senate without recommendation from the respective Senate Committee. John Bolton’s nomination as Ambassador to the United Nations was one of those seven as well.
Someone wake up Secretary Rice. If John Bolton is out there paving the way for ideological fellow-travelers like Jeffrey Gedmin, she should know about it. And if she does — what is she thinking?
For those of you who don’t get the importance of John Bolton bringing in Jeffrey Gedmin to his team, imagine an alternative universe where Ralph Nader was appointed (but not confirmed) to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
Shortly after that, Ambassador Nader began to work the machinery so that Michael Moore became Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
Some readers out there might love that alternative universe — but stacking the deck so strongly in one ideological corner — is bad for American interests.
— Steve Clemons