John Bolton may have thought that there was a mole in the State Department Intelligence & Research Bureau who was undermining his efforts to announce that Cuba had a bio-weapons program underway.
This is incredible news. . .and throws into jeapordy the vote by raising the question of whether the material on Bolton has been processed well enough and considered seriously enough to actually vote on this complicated person’s “fitness” for the U.N. job.
There is much more to the story than TWN can get out this morning, but Bolton seems to have really come unhinged over Cuba and the possibility of a bio-weapons WMD program there.
There is great intrigue swirling around the NSA intercepts now — about which Deputy Director of National Intelligence briefed Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chair and Ranking Member Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller late Tuesday evening. The names of U.S. officials were not shared with the two Senators — and those names are a key part of the Lugar/Biden/Dodd request of the administration.
Thus far, Richard Lugar has been stiffed by the White House on the NSA intercepts.
Lugar joined Biden and other members of the Committee in calling for access to the NSA intercepts that John Bolton requested further information on the names of U.S. officials that had been redacted from these intercepts.
What is interesting is that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence immediately called both Fred Fleitz and Christian Westermann to a meeting, as well as another National Intelligence Officer — Larry Gershwin. Gershwin was involved in the battles with Bolton over his Cuba Bioweapons speech. There are reports that there may have been two other intelligence analysts called as well.
Roberts is known for using meetings and process to obfuscate and hide matters, to distract from what the big issues at hand are — so I don’t quite know what calling all these officials after Roberts and Rockefeller were briefed would achieve.
However, it could be smoke — meaning fire.
Believe it or not, both Senators Biden and Lugar were trying to wrangle their own briefing from Deputy Director of National Intelligence Michael Hayden this morning — just hours before the next business meeting — and presumably a vote — on John Bolton.
The bottom line here, however, is that Lugar has been stiffed.
Let me just remind the public of the comment that came my way from Lugar’s spokesman on May 5th:
We anticipate that sufficient discovery, information and due diligence will be completed in a timely manner for the vote to occur next Thursday as agreed.
Best laid plans. . .Is Lugar even miffed?
— Steve Clemons