Wednesday, April 13


Bolton -- what a great face for the USA.

In caustic and unusually personal testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Carl W. Ford Jr., who was assistant secretary for intelligence and research, said Mr. Bolton was a "kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy" who "abuses his authority with little people," and an ill-suited nominee to become ambassador to the United Nations.

Mr. Bolton, he said, had been dissatisfied with what he considered the analyst's overly cautious assessment of Cuba's weapons program.

The testimony offered an extraordinary public glimpse into the long-running and raw intelligence wars in the Bush administration, pitting hawks like Mr. Bolton, a protégé of Vice President Dick Cheney, against more circumspect intelligence operatives at the State Department who, among other differences, cast doubt on some prewar claims about Iraq.

Mr. Ford described himself as a conservative Republican and enthusiastic supporter of President Bush, Mr. Cheney and the policies of Mr. Bolton, who has been under secretary of state for arms control and international security since 2001 and an outspoken conservative critic of the United Nations. All the Republican senators at the hearing took pains to praise Mr. Ford for his service and his candor.

Democrats portrayed Mr. Ford's testimony about the clash between Mr. Bolton and the analyst, Christian P. Westermann, as having grave and far-reaching implications for American credibility, especially telling in light of the failure to find illicit weapons in Iraq that the intelligence agencies had said would be there. Republicans, though, characterized it as an isolated incident that would not derail the nomination.

Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state, had to go to the intelligence bureau after Mr. Bolton's criticism of Mr. Westermann, and assure employees that they should continue to "speak truth to power," Mr. Ford recounted.
Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the panel's ranking Democrat, said Mr. Bolton's record would undercut any American attempt to warn the United Nations of Iran's or North Korea's suspected weapons programs.

"This is a big deal, guys and ladies," Mr. Biden said. "I believe that this appointment is damaging to our national interests."

God, I'm so disappointed in Biden -- in so many ways, he seems like the stand-up tough guy that could win the presidency for the Democrats in '08, but I just can't get past my extreme anger over his position (and let's be honest, leadership) in favor of the corrupt bankruptcy bill.


Post a Comment

<< Home