College newspapers around the country are also getting into the question of John Bolton’s fitness to serve as America’s UN Ambassador.
Robert Iafolla of USC’s Daily Trojan published a superb piece today making the case that John Bolton’s biggest problem is that he seems to be a “serial liar.”
Even before last week’s hearings, he seemed a poor fit for the post. An unflagging advocate of U.S. unilateralism and hegemony, Bolton said in 1994, “There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is only the international community, which can only be led by the only remaining superpower, which is the United States.”
Other warning signs emerged from the hearings. The State Department’s former intelligence chief called Bolton a “serial abuser” of subordinates and “a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy.”
Bolton has abused power as well as people, illustrated by his own admission to eavesdropping on American officials by accessing phone calls and e-mails intercepted by the National Security Agency and by reports that he tried to remove an intelligence analyst whose conclusions he disagreed with.
Perhaps most troubling was the revelation that besides being an ideologue and a power-tripping bully, Bolton is – for lack of a more diplomatic word – a liar.
He displayed dishonesty that goes beyond unsubstantiated claims, such as his 2002 assertion that Cuba had biological weapons and provided them to “other rogue states.”
Bolton lied openly and oafishly to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, like a schoolboy explaining that a dog ate his homework.
In a portion of testimony reported by Martin Schram of the Scripps Howard News Service, Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) asked Bolton about the Law of the Sea Treaty, which the United States has not yet signed, despite support from Condoleezza Rice, Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Vern Clark.
Bolton responded by saying that the administration currently supports the treaty, and he supports what the administration supports. When asked for a personal opinion, Bolton said he had never read the treaty.
“Well, now, in an article in a book entitled ‘Understanding Unilateralism in American Foreign Relations,'” Sarbanes said, “you called the Law of the Sea Treaty ‘not only undesirable as a policy, but also illegitimate methods of forcing fundamental policy changes on the United States outside the customary political process.'”
Check the link. There is an apt cartoon that goes with the Iafolla article.
— Steve Clemons
(ed. note: Thanks to C.A. for sending this my way.)