The John Bolton Story: Bush Moves Political Operative into UN

John Bolton Checks ChadsThe photo on the right shows Bush-Cheney lawyer John Bolton (right) watching Judge Charles Burton, chairman of the Palm Beach County canvassing board, as he examines a disputed ballot in Nov. 2000.

At the time, Bolton was the man on the ground charged with disrupting the recount and throwing the election to Bush. Today he is President Bush’s nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. A neo-con of the first order, Bolton is a big proponent of the Bush team’s shoot-first foreign policy. He has been harshly critical of the UN, and his placement in the ambassador’s seat appears to be a shot across the bow of the world body. The Barbarians are at the gate.

Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committe put on a concerted effort this week to make Bolton’s confirmation hearings as contentious – and embarassing – as possible. Testimony was presented that Bolton harassed intelligence agents who refused to alter their findings on Saddam Hussein’s weapons capabilities in order to bolster President Bush’s case for war, which, it turns out, is illegal. Nothing will come of this, of course, but witnesses also depicted Bolton as a Hollywood-mogul class asshole who threatens and rages at his subordinates and then brown noses his superiors with Eddie Haskell-class obsequiousness.

Today the vote on his nomination by Foreign Relations was postponed until next week, giving Democrats time to try to rally support for quashing Bolton’s nomination from Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and other liberal Republicans.

It’s just like the Bushes to send a political hit man – an anti-diplomat – to represent the United States to the world. The message seems to be, if you thought Jesse Helms was a flat-earther when it came to international affairs when he was chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wait ’til you get a load of this guy!

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