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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Another Bolton update.

Next week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is supposed to vote on John Bolton's nomination to serve as the Ambassador to the UN.

However, critical documents requested by Democratic Senators still have not been provided by the Bush administration. Members, for example, want to see documents about alleged threats from Cuba and Sudan so they can determine if Bolton was overstating the threat. Conceivably, Bolton could be held to account on this question.

This probably explains why the administration hasn't coughed up the info. To date, none of the hawks pushing the Iraq war have been held accountable for their behavior and none of the expert groups studying Iraq intelligence has looked at whether the administration overstated the data about the alleged threats.

Incidentally, if anyone in authority is reading, why not also ask for the documents about Syria? Bolton was a busy boy.

Also at issue are internal National Security Agency documents that Bolton apparently requested when State Department underlings opposed him on policy issues. Ordinarily, names are stripped from these kinds of internal documents, which basically reflect one US agency spying on the people in another. Bolton apparently requested the names so he could identify -- and then allegedly pressure -- foes inside State.

The Senate wants these documents so they can find out just how much of a menace Bolton was in his years at the State Department, 2001-2005. Senator Joseph Biden (D-Del.) wrote a letter about the problem to Condi Rice and threatened more delays on Bolton if she doesn't act. From the AP:
"My Democratic colleagues and I would consider the failure to produce the requested documents in a timely manner a lack of cooperation," according to the letter, which was made available to The Associated Press.
I stand by my earlier call -- Bolton is not going to be approved.

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