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June 01, 2005

Comments

This morning as I read about this I disagreed with the speculation.

I can imagine several legitimate security reasons not to release the names of these companies. Presuming they did violate the export laws, we would be interested in their cooperation in determining exactly what had been sold. We could also find the companies useful after "flipping" them in obtaining future intelligence or gaining opportunities for sabotage.

Bob M: yes, but we're not talking about releasing them to the general public. Releasing their names to Lugar and Biden, for instance, would have done the trick.

But, AI doesn't condemn China as much as the US! How can this be?

Referencing his notorious curriculum vitae, Bolton admitted his fondness for Zionism. "Indeed, one highlight of my professional career was the 1991 successful effort to repeal the General Assembly's 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism, thus removing the greatest stain on the UN's reputation,"

In my opinion, thats a good thing about Bolton.

The White House brought this speculation on itself by its behavior. I wouldn't be surprised at all if they were protecting corporate contributors that had been identified as trading illegally, possibly without the fig-leaf of foreign subsidiaries that Halliburton has used to do business in Iran.

It would be interesting to see if the classified information that ends up in the papers should have been classified in the first place. I don't recall that that has ever happened. I would be upset, of course, but it seems that classification has become a method of hiding mistakes by bureaucrats and top administration officials that does nothing to increase our safety or credibility. Based on prior experience, I am convinced that the Bush Administration is lying again, but I also fear that the scoundrels who paint themselves red, white and blue in the Senate will once again betray their office and their duty and let Bolton be confirmed.

Nope, no mention of China whatsoever:

http://web.amnesty.org/report2005/chn-summary-eng

Why do they hate America...

"In my opinion, thats a good thing about Bolton."

Be this as it may, DaveC, isn't this a complete non-sequitur? Has anyone here attacked Bolton for supporting Zionism? (Which, in the basic sense of supporting a [democratic, just] Jewish state, so do I, and so do, I suspect, many folks here.) (It would be nice if we could skip an argument about Zionism, but I won't hold my breath.)

DaveC: I think that that was a good thing for Bolton to have done, and (as I understand it -- I haven't tracked that part of his past with great care) he should justifiably feel proud of it.

I share Gary's puzzlement about tis relevance here, though. I also think that Bolton is probably right when he says that that's the highlight of his career. And it shouldn't be: overturning a silly UN resolution is a good thing, but as Undersecretary for proliferation he had the chance to do a lot of things that matter even more, for instance securing Russian loose nukes so that they don't fall into the hands of terrorists.

DaveC, isn't this a complete non-sequitur?

All I can say is that there are two kinds of people:

Those who lead.

Those who follow.

Those who wander around bewildered, and are frequently off topic.

"The senators who were briefed about the intelligence reports..."

Do we know which senators these were?

What a joke! First,although there are export restrictions there are not bans,there being a difference. Is there a claim that the companies exported without license's? Second,and most laughable,if those nasty Bushies just turned over the documents to the Dems,Bolton would get his vote. How long has this charade been going on? We're talking about a man's nomination that has been held up because he has been mean to career civil servants. Aside from questions as to whether or not they deserved it and who gets to decide what's mean what about the man's ability and intelligence and experience and other little things like that? Glad to see that someone is concerned with corporate contributors trading illegally though. Perhaps someday we'll get to the bottom of why Clinton issued an executive waiver negating an ongoing criminal investigation on Loral/Bernie Goldberg. What were they selling,wooden rain barrels? That's right,ICBM launch capability and technology. Daniel K, I believe the answer to your question is Sen.Pat Roberts and Sen Rockerfeller,Republican and Democrat respectively of the Intelligence Commitee,and,although I'm not certain,they also reviewed the appropriate documents.

they would have given the Senate what it wanted, thereby not undermining the separation of powers;

What makes you think this administration doesn't want to undermine the separation of powers?

revealing the Democrats as unprincipled obstructionists.

Revealing them to who? I'd bet 99% of Americans don't know the first thing about the dispute about the documents, so their view of whether the Democrats are unprincipled obstructionists or bravely blocking a horrible nominee won't be affected by the administration's decisions here.

johnt: this is not, and has never been, about Bolton being "mean". I have explained my own reasons for opposing Bolton in earlier threads, and they concern, first, the fact that he would be disastrous as a UN ambassador, second, his history of making end-runs around existing US policy, and third, his dreadful record in his most recent job.

Partly because I have written a lot about Bolton earlier, I did not think I had to rehearse everything I thought about him in this thread.

hilzoy, thanks for clariying your position. If I may,a] although you may not regard meanness as an issue to and for yourself it certainly is an issue in the Senate,and perhaps we have discovered a new criteria for future confirmations. b] Not to be too argumentative after my first post,but short of Typhoid Mary how could anybody's appt. to the glass horror known as the UN be a greater disaster than the UN already is. Example,think Oil for Food. c] Bolton's "end runs" must have either the existing approval at the time of occurrance or subsequent approval thereafter,suggesting that as "end runs" they were no-gainers. d]Dreadful,as in beauty,something in the eye of the beholder. Dread,a fear or apprehension that someone you don't like will do something you like even less. To put it plainly and in the vernacular,the UN sorely needs a kick in the ass. Everything said,thanks for your personal clarification and response.

Yes, it's really hard to think of any way that someone who appears to believe that the existence of international institutions is a negative for the United States and that such institutions should therefore be weakened whenever and however possible might make the UN worse.

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