Skip to comments.Democrats Try to Build Case Against Bolton
Posted on 04/10/2005 11:51:26 AM PDT by FairOpinion
WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats are sounding out former State Department officials and at least one current one as they try building a case against the confirmation of John R. Bolton as U.N. ambassador, congressional aides said Thursday. The State Department rallied behind him.
Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Bolton would defend himself against the criticism and said documents had been sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to counter the accusations. The committee plans three days of hearings beginning Monday, with panel Chairman Richard Lugar, R-Ind., hoping for a vote next Thursday.
"We don't see any grounds for questioning his nomination or confirmation," Boucher said.
So far, the only likely witness besides Bolton is Carl W. Ford Jr., a former chief of the department's bureau of intelligence and research. Ford clashed with Bolton while at the State Department over what Ford regarded as Bolton's intimidation of department intelligence officials, The New York Times reported Thursday.
Norm Kurz, a spokesman for Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record), D-Del., said the State Department had agreed to let Democrats interview four State Department officials.
According to committee aides who spoke on condition of anonymity, among critics being contacted by committee Democrats is Christian P. Westermann, a department intelligence officer who, according to the Times, also has clashed with Bolton. A senior State Department official said they would make Westermann available to Democrats.
But Kurz said he believed Democrats had not yet received documents they have requested.
Among them were papers relating to a speech Bolton made in 2002 in which he said Cuba was trying to develop biological weapons and was transferring its technical expertise to countries hostile to the United States. At the time, some officials said the information should not have been publicly disclosed. Cuba has denied the weapons allegation.
Bolton will testify Monday. Andy Fisher, the commitee spokesman, said Ford was likely to testify Tuesday.
President Bush's nomination of Bolton, the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, has stirred controversy because of his blunt style, opposition to a number of treaties and outspoken criticism of the United Nations.
Five of the six living former Republican secretaries of state all but Colin Powell have signed a letter to Lugar praising Bolton. Powell had no comment, a spokesman said.
Powell, who headed the State Department in Bush's first administration, was known to have serious policy differences with Bolton. As Powell tried to lure North Korea into nuclear disarmament negotiations Bolton publicly denounced North Korea, with severe criticism directed at leader Kim Jong Il.
Democrats are hoping to persuade moderate Sen. Lincoln Chafee (news, bio, voting record), R-R.I., to oppose Bolton, which could delay or even scuttle the nomination. Republicans control the panel by 10-8, and Chafee spokesman Stephen Hourahan has said the senator is inclined to support Bolton but is undecided. The committee would need a majority vote to recommend confirmation by the full Senate.
The Republicans shouldn't allow this.
The Dems are not looking at the qualifications of the nominees, which is all that should be considered, but they oppose them, because they have the same philosophy, as President Bush.
Well, Bush WON, and the Dems just still can't accept it.
"Democrats are hoping to persuade moderate Sen. Lincoln Chafee (news, bio, voting record), R-R.I., to oppose Bolton, which could delay or even scuttle the nomination. Republicans control the panel by 10-8, and Chafee spokesman Stephen Hourahan has said the senator is inclined to support Bolton but is undecided. The committee would need a majority vote to recommend confirmation by the full Senate."
If Chaffee votes with the Dems on this, and scuttles Bolton's nomination, the Republicans need to extract some serious payback against him.
I think Bolton is in. I don't know what Chaffee got for his vote, but its gotta be less than our UN dues...
Sounds like a straight forward, clear thinking individual to me
Curiosity question. Does anyone know what the "R" stands for in Mr Boltons name? My Grandmother had a lot of John Rollo Boltons in her family. Her cousin was a John R Bolton.
"Powell, who headed the State Department in Bush's first administration, was known to have serious policy differences with Bolton." This difference between Bolton and Powell, is a positive qualification, and not a negative, IMHO.
Political mindset put aside......
I say if democrats want to use this nomination to publicly defend the United Nations to the public by all means let them drag it out and stick up for a body that is disliked and distrusted by the majority of the country.
I tried to find out what the "R" stands for, by googling, but wasn't able to.
But it is interesting. Maybe it IS Rollo, and that's why he isn't writing out his full name.
I've Googled him too and couldn't find any info on his family such as where they are from etc. Frustrating. Guess I can't satisfy my curiosity.
I'm not so sure. The fact that the AP is still running stories like this tells me that someone in the democrat party thinks that Chafee can be flipped if enough pressure is put on him.
"The Republicans shouldn't allow this." Duh?
It is time we ask our Republicans in Congress JUST WHO WON IN 2004? By the looks of things, the Dems. did!! They are doing whatever they want and the SISSY, WEAK-KNEED Republicans are ROLLING OVER AGAIN! I am so sick of it. The Republican Party needs to rid itself of TURNCOATS!! Wonder why the Dems. never have any? BETWEEN THE WEAK-KNEED COWARDS AND THE TURNCOATS, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS IN DIRE STRAITS!!!!!!
if anyone who ever clashed with someone else at work were eliminated from public service,
there'd be no one in public service.
Pray for W and Our Troops
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.