Democracy Arsenal

« Bad Intel, Bad Policy | Main | To Beat the Drum (or the Horse) Further »

April 14, 2005

Doddging a Bolton
Posted by Suzanne Nossel

I think Dodd has it right.  Not that I can make this argument myself, having authored a column on 10 Reasons to To Oppose Bolton, but he makes the case that even if one agrees with Bolton's views and accepts his style, the intimidation of intelligence analysts is in itself a disqualifier from the UN post.  Here's what he said tonight on the Newshour:

SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD: Well, first of all, I can't speak for all Democrats on this, but let me tell you my reasons here. It has nothing to do with Mr. Bolton's substantive views, although I may disagree with him on many of these issues. But over my 24 years in the Senate, Jim, I've never voted against anyone because of their substantive views.

Much to the chagrin and disappointment of some of my fellow party members, I voted for John Tower, I voted for John Ashcroft. I can count on less than five fingers the number of people I've opposed where they have sought positions in a presidential cabinet. My opposition and my concern about Mr. Bolton therefore has nothing to do with Cuba, arms control, or the United Nations. In fact, I agree with some of Mr. Bolton's conclusions about the United Nations. I have no problem with that at all.

My concern is this: That on at least five different occasions over the past forty-eight months, Mr. Bolton, as an undersecretary of state at the State Department, tried to remove at least two intelligence analysts because they concluded different positions than Mr. Bolton wanted to express in public speeches.

In this day and age, where we know all the problems we have with the gathering of intelligence and the reliability of it, to promote someone who tried to fire two individuals because they gave an honest assessment of what the intelligence community felt was the right position on those matters, I think is wrong. I think it's the wrong message -- the wrong message to bring to the United Nations. I think it's the wrong message to send to other intelligence analysts, that you can be promoted; you can threaten people's jobs and get away with it. That's why I'm opposed to it.

You can read the rest of the interview (actually a debate with Senator George Allen, Republican of Virginia)  here.   The only flaw in Dodd's performance is his failure to go farther in questioning how an administration that purports to have made intelligence reform a top priority can look the other way upon learning that a nominee to a high profile post is prepared to ride roughshod over analysts who stand up for truthful and accurate interpretation of intelligence.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Doddging a Bolton:

» Dodd Says No to Bolton from CommonSenseDesk
Suzanne at Democracy Arsenal agrees with Senator Dodd's assessment of why John Bolton is unacceptable as a nominee.That on at least five different occasions over the past forty-eight months, Mr. Bolton, as an undersecretary of state at the State Depart... [Read More]

» Bolton Blogging from Political Animal
BOLTON BLOGGING....I've been trying since yesterday to figure out what I think of the whole John Bolton affair. I haven't blogged about it much because, frankly, ambassador to the UN isn't that important a position these days. What's more, in... [Read More]


This is all so silly. This is just political theatre. A President always get his nominations unless there is true malfeasance involved. There isn't anything like that with Bolton, that I've heard or read anywhere.

I'm a progressive, and even I think the fact that Bolton only wants to knock ten floors off the UN makes him a moderate in my eyes. The spats with the intelligence folks is much ado about nothing, and not even that much that pay attention to insider State Department and Intelligence news.

He will be confirmed unless he has a body buried in his backyard.

I can't see why progressives should get so upset about the Bolton nomination. He has no credibility and will have a hard time getting support from our allies. If you believe -- as I do -- that Bush is going in the wrong direction, then why would you want our allies to help him go further?

Let Bush pay the full cost of his unilateralism.

I think that Dodd has it completely wrong. Particularly since republuicans like Allen go on Newshour and say that the substance of Ford's remarks are baseless and wouldn't be allowed in a court of law. And in the end Bolton despite his huffing and puffing at the poor little analyst still used the approved language in the speech.

So the angle of Bolton bashing based on his attitude towards an analyst is the wrong reason to oppose Bolton.

Bolton should be opposed first and foremost due to his OPPOSITION to the whole idea of the UN itself.

That in and of itself should be the main reason Bolton should be bashed and denied entry.

At a time when healing international wounds is a necessity and argueably a matter of National Security, a UN hater is NOT the right guy for the job.


The game gives me a lot of happy,so I often go to earn the 2moons gold.Sometimes my friends will give some 2moon dil. I began to no longer satisfy with the present equipment, so I have to find a friend, a friend gave me a thing.I would not go to buy 2moons dil,i like the game very much.If you want to play it,join us and then cheap 2moons gold.Please do not hesitate to play the game.

I hope i can get Atlantica Gold in low price.

If you have Atlantica online Gold, you can get more. If you gave Atlantica Gold to me, I still have my idea to achieve.

I hope i can get eve isk in low price,
Yesterday i want to buy eve online isk for my friend.

In fact, the
runescape money is expensive. I usually find
cheap rs gold from the supplier.

Thank you for your sharing.!seslichat seslisohbet

Thank you for your sharing! I like i very much!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Sign-up to receive a weekly digest of the latest posts from Democracy Arsenal.
Powered by TypePad


The opinions voiced on Democracy Arsenal are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of any other organization or institution with which any author may be affiliated.
Read Terms of Use