The Two Faces of John R. Bolton
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Question: "Separation between Church and State." Who coined the Phrase? Give up? Answer: Thomas Jefferson - one of the founding fathers of this great Nation and a creator of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment to that same Constitution. Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, wrote a Letter to the Danbury Baptist Convention, referring to the First Amendment to the US Constitution. In it he said:
John R. Bolton has always supported a Conservative Christian position especially when it comes to Church and State issues. It is apparent from the data collected, that the first amendment may be in danger from his past and future actions as Ambassador to the U.N..
Upon calling his office we find that any religion except his own brand of "Christian Extremism "..isn't a "Real" religion." What is a real religion, Mr. Bolton? What you have been practicing? Read the following and remember: "By their Works may they be known."
(Remember it is best to investigate on your own when looking at allegations about anyone. ) Don't believe us, think for yourself and investigate for yourself! And remember, the First Amendment Coalition and the Religious Freedom Coalition of the Southeast do not represent political parties nor do we recommend any political candidate, nor are we involving ourselves in the political process.
But, the appointment of John R. Bolton to the position of Ambassador to the United Nations is an indication of the total blind stupidity of the present administration. This is a man who after being told by several intelligence agencies that there was no attempt to purchase Nuclear materials from Kenya. Placed that statement into several reports that went to the Whitehouse. It was only after these statements were discovered by more rational people that they were removed. In our opinion he is a political hack who will say anything his bosses think will sell to the American people whether it is the truth or not. He is also a Neocon who is worshiping a different God than most Christians, Moslems, and Jews. From his actions, we believe his God has a different dominion, which is located in the nether regions. We perceive a danger from him of freedom of religion.
April 14, 2005
Adapted from an article by Sidney Blumenthal at salon.com For the complete article join salon.com at http://www.salon.com/opinion/blumenthal/2005/04/14/john_bolton/
If John R. Bolton is confirmed, it will be because senators believe the negative evidence of unfitness for the UN job is false. We hope not. We hope they will take all the evidence into consideration and reject this (in our opinion) unethical and immoral person.
President Bush is testing whether his asserted "truths" (untruth's) can prevail over new and obvious facts. This psychological phenomenon was first defined by sociologist Leon Festinger and a team of social scientists in 1957 who studied the behavior of members of a UFO cult under duress when aliens failed to land on Earth as predicted. Some in the cult dropped out when the announced deadline came and went; others redoubled their conviction in the face of disconfirming evidence.
Bush's latest experiment involves his appointment of John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations. The cognitive dissonance being tested goes beyond the nominee's oft-stated contempt for the United Nations, and extends to his blatant efforts to twist intelligence. Bush's guinea pigs are the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and, as always, the American people.
On Tuesday, John Negroponte, nominated as the first director of national intelligence, pledged in his confirmation hearings before the Senate intelligence committee that he would attempt to ensure reliable information, unlike that provided in the run-up to the Iraq war. "Our intelligence effort has to generate better results," said Negroponte. "That is my mandate, plain and simple ... The things that need to be done differently will be done differently."
At the same time, Carl Ford Jr., the former assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research, was testifying in the Bolton confirmation hearings before the Foreign Relations Committee that Bolton was "a serial abuser" of intelligence and intelligence officers. Ford described Bolton as "an ill-suited nominee to become ambassador to the United Nations ... a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down kind of guy who "stands out" as he "abuses his authority with little people" in his efforts to subvert the intelligence process for his own political purposes.
With the Bolton hearings we are at last getting a glimpse of how the Bush administration's political leadership has been systematically browbeating and threatening the intelligence community to drive ideological conclusions. We are also learning that the national security team of the first term was sharply and bitterly divided, with Secretary of State Colin Powell unable to impose his views even on his own undersecretary. Bolton waged his war against the intelligence professionals within the State Department as a Fifth Column, constantly and flagrantly undermining his own chain of command. His efforts to coerce the State Department's Intelligence and Research Bureau (INR) to rubberstamp his political imperatives "prompted the secretary of state to intervene," according to Ford's testimony. Powell felt compelled to speak to INR analysts in order to "assure employees that they should continue to 'speak truth to power.'" But his extraordinary step did not stop Bolton's relentless campaign of intimidation. In case after case -- Iraq, Cuba and North Korea -- Bolton personally bullied INR analysts, berated them, screamed at them and sought to destroy their careers if they did not do his bidding, even when it flew in the face of the facts, disregarded professional procedures and was contrary to the stated policy of the secretary of state.
The discrepancy between the reckless record of John Bolton and the anodyne promises of John Negroponte is not the only factor that points to the use of cognitive dissonance. Two reports on Bush-era failures of intelligence -- one by the Senate intelligence committee, the other by the President's Commission on Intelligence Capabilities Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction -- carefully avoided studying the political manipulation of information. Instead, both blamed the intelligence community alone, as though it acts in a vacuum. Despite orchestrated criticism before the Iraq war by conservatives that the intelligence agencies were not alarmist enough about Iraq's WMD, both reports have excoriated the agencies for being too alarmist. But the Senate intelligence committee report of last year attributed the failure to the intelligence community's "groupthink." In fact, INR was not part of any such "groupthink" and proved in retrospect to have been consistently correct on WMD in Iraq and elsewhere, while being subjected to the pressures of Bolton the "serial abuser."
The cognitive dissonance has been further elevated by Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., the swing vote on the Foreign Relations Committee. At first, he indicated skepticism about voting to confirm Bolton, and asked questions that elicited information highlighting Bolton's abusive conduct. But then he denied the hearings had produced anything that would lead him to vote against Bolton. If Chafee votes against Bolton the committee will be deadlocked in a nine-to-nine tie and the nomination will not be able to move to the Senate floor.
"It was strong testimony from Mr. Ford. He used strong language," Chafee conceded. But, he added, "it's all focused on this one incident. We're not really seeing a pattern." Then the Senate's Hamlet swung the other way. "From the evidence we've heard, he's a difficult man to work for," Chafee said on Wednesday. Bolton, he continued, was "absolutely not" the best man for the job. "It's not my style," he said. Here, with infinite jest, Chafee was playing Yorick, but he swiveled back into character as Hamlet. "I don't endorse it, but that doesn't mean it can't be successful for some people." Thus Chafee wrestled with cognitive dissonance: Should he acknowledge the reality that contradicts the false picture before him? To be or not to be?
On Wednesday, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., asked Bolton to explain why he had requested intercepts from the National Security Agency of other U.S. officials' communications, a highly irregular act. And the committee's vote on Bolton was postponed until next week. Will new information surface between now and then about this or another matter?
The pattern that has emerged so far in the hearings is inescapable. Ever the realist, Brent Scowcroft, the elder Bush's national security advisor, lately fired by President Bush from the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, remarked last week at a Washington think tank: "How [Bolton] performs will depend on two things -- the instructions he gets -- and whether he will carry them out."
Consider, first, the case of Iraq's WMD:
The Senate intelligence committee report states that in early October 2002 the deputy director of the CIA informed the Senate that the intelligence community did not believe British intelligence reports of enriched uranium sales from Niger to Iraq. Then CIA Director George Tenet told the deputy national security advisor the same thing. The president, Tenet urged, should not be a "fact witness" to a claim for which evidence was lacking.
This assessment was consistent with that of State's own intelligence office, INR. Yet, in December 2002, the first State Department report on Iraq's WMD declaration included the falsehood that Iraq was seeking enriched uranium in Niger. This lie was inserted by none other than Bolton, only to be subsequently scrubbed from official documents and the State Department Web site after his superiors realized he was gaming the system.
Despite these efforts by the CIA and the State Department to accurately reflect the facts, President Bush uttered the now infamous 16 words in his 2003 State of the Union address, lending his imprimatur to the lie. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice claimed she never reviewed the statement before it came out of the president's mouth. Her deputy, Stephen Hadley, who had been told only three months earlier by Tenet that it was false, took responsibility. (Both, of course, have since been promoted in Bush's second term.) A White House spokesman was trotted out in July 2003 to acknowledge that "the 16 words did not rise to the level of inclusion in the State of the Union address."
Undoubtedly, Powell and his deputy, Richard Armitage, were keenly aware of Bolton's disloyal act. The evidence is unmistakable -- Powell did not use the claim in his February 2003 speech to the United Nations making the case for Iraqi WMD, one week after the State of the Union. Neither Powell nor Armitage was formally interviewed by the Senate intelligence committee for its report. Nor have they been called to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Bolton's confirmation.
Consider, next, the case of North Korea:
From the beginning of the administration, Bolton has been a key figure in the manipulation of intelligence in a conservative network stretching from the Office of the Vice President to the Defense Department's Office of Special Plans to Bolton's own office as an undersecretary in the State Department. This political operation has also depended upon Republican senators and outside conservative groups for support at crucial moments. Bolton acted like a rogue, but he was not unilateral. Powell distrusted him, but could not remove him, in part because of Dick Cheney's protection for Bolton's subversive campaigns.
Over the six-party talks with North Korea to curb its production of nuclear weapons, Powell and Bolton fought a running battle. Bolton continually attempted to sabotage Powell's negotiations by making antagonistic remarks to upset the North Koreans. Finally, in 2003, Powell instructed his special envoy and chief negotiator, Charles Pritchard, to inform the North Koreans that only the president and the secretary of state -- and their designated representative (meaning Pritchard) -- had authority. This communication was specifically aimed at Bolton.
Bolton's speeches were combed over by INR and others in the State Department -- "taken on line by line," according to a direct source quoted by Steve Clemons, a fellow at the New America Foundation, on his Web site, the Washington Note. "There was always a fight." In July 2003, Bolton submitted a speech to be delivered in Seoul, South Korea. Forty-three "line items" were "challenged and expunged," Clemons reports. Bolton left for Seoul without having his speech approved. Upon landing, he demanded that the South Korean government provide him a venue, but after consulting with the State Department it refused. Then Bolton forced the U.S. Embassy staff to locate a forum. On July 31, he gave his inflammatory speech, titled "A Dictatorship at the Crossroads" and calling the North Koreans "extortionist," without having received final clearance from the State Department. The North Koreans' response was immediate and exactly what Bolton must have hoped for. They called him "human scum." With that, the negotiations threatened to blow up.
Pritchard tried to calm North Korea by reiterating Powell's injunction about who spoke for the U.S. government. Infuriated, Bolton struck back. In August 2003, Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., sent a letter to Vice President Cheney and the State Department calling for "corrective action" against Pritchard for being out of step with administration policy. Kyl claimed that Pritchard had attacked Bolton by telling the North Koreans that his speech reflected only Bolton's "private view." Pritchard replied that he had not mentioned Bolton by name at all. "According to those who have read the diplomatic notes on the meeting," Clemons reports, "Pritchard never mentioned Bolton's name in the meeting and focused on his objective -- which was to keep the North Koreans committed to the scheduled first meeting of talks in Beijing." Nonetheless, a week later, Pritchard resigned his post. Bolton had won.
Consider, finally, the case of elusive Cuban WMD, the incident that led Ford, after some "soul-searching," to testify at Bolton's confirmation hearings:
In February 2003, as the Bush administration was making its closing arguments before going to war that Iraq possessed WMD, Bolton decided he would give a speech stating that Cuba also had WMD. His text appeared on the desk of INR's chief expert on chemical and biological warfare, Christian Westerman. He checked Bolton's claims with the existing intelligence and concluded that Bolton's case about Cuban WMD was untrue. Enraged, Bolton summoned the analyst to his office.
Westerman testified before the Foreign Relations Committee about what happened next: "He was quite upset that I had objected and he wanted to know what right I had trying to change an undersecretary's language ... And he got very red in the face and [was] shaking his finger at me and explained to me that I was acting way beyond my position, and for someone who worked for him. I told him I didn't work for him." Of course, Westerman worked directly for Carl Ford -- and for the U.S. government. "And so, he basically threw me out of his office."
Bolton angrily called Thomas Fingar, principal deputy assistant secretary of state, to his office. "What did Mr. Bolton say to you?" Fingar was asked by the Foreign Relations Committee. He replied: "That he was the president's appointee, that he had every right to say what he believed, that he wasn't going to be told what he could say by a midlevel INR munchkin analyst." Then Bolton told Fingar "that he wanted Westerman taken off his accounts. I said, 'He's our CW/BW [chemical and biological weapons] specialist, this is what he does.' He expressed again, as I remember it, that he was the president's appointee, [and] he could say what he wanted."
In the end, Bolton did not give the speech and Westerman was not reassigned or fired. Questioned about the episode, Bolton remarked, "I didn't seek to have these people fired. I didn't seek to have them discharged. I said I lost my trust in them."
By exposing a handful of Bolton's manipulations, the hearings have exposed the politicization of intelligence that has been studiously ignored by the Senate intelligence committee and the President's Commission. The Republican chairman of the committee, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, has been a reliable tool of the White House in suppressing any talk of the political distortion of intelligence. Not only has he reneged on his commitment to Democratic senators on his committee that it would conduct an investigation, but he has avoided looking into the obvious cases of abuse of intelligence beyond that of WMD in the rush to war -- and has thus laid the onus entirely on the intelligence community. Roberts conceives his chairmanship as blind support of the Bush White House at the expense of his constitutional duty in the Senate. He has been a principal enabler of the abuse.
After three days of testimony, the pattern of Bolton's efforts to bend information, intimidate the intelligence community and willfully subvert his superiors was firmly established. Yet Sen. Chafee wavered about whether there was indeed a pattern. "Chafee's comment that it is an exception is inaccurate," a senior State Department official told me. "Bullying, bombastic, screaming 'I'm going to crush you,' that's typical."
Bolton's methods are hardly unknown to the White House. It can only be assumed that they are what the president wants in his ambassador to the United Nations. But Bolton will be confirmed only if the senators voting for him believe that the evidence their own hearings have unearthed cannot possibly be true. In that event, Bush's use of cognitive dissonance again will have triumphed.
From a letter to salon.com
3-07-2995 Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice announced Monday that Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton is President Bush's pick to be the U.S.'s next ambassador to the United Nations. That’s the same John Bolton who in 1994 claimed, "There's no such thing as the United Nations. There is only the international community, which can only be led by the only remaining superpower, which is the United States." The same John Bolton who said, "If the U.N. secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."
Based on such statements, you'd think the guy would have been a little red-faced during the announcement that he's the White House's pick for U.N. ambassador. But the notorious hardliner brazened it out, insisting that the U.N. needs to temper its multinational mission and follow the only remaining superpower: "As you know, I have, over the years, written critically about the U.N. ... American leadership is critical to the success of the U.N., an effective U.N., one that is true to the original intent of its charter's framers. This is a time of opportunity for the U.N., which likewise requires American leadership to achieve successful reform."
Since the announcement, Bolton's critics have theorized that his various gestures of disrespect may come back to haunt the White House. But so far the U.N. appears to be taking the appointment quite well. Secretary General Kofi Annan wasn't available to roll out the red carpet in person, but U.N. spokesperson Stefan Dujarric offered a compliant welcome: "The Secretary General warmly congratulates Mr. Bolton and looks forward to working with him on U.N. reform and many other issues… We do want to be held accountable."
John Bolton, a man who doesn't believe in diplomacy and thinks the United States should be the only permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, gets yet another chance to wield his stick. By Sidney Blumenthal
March 10, 2005 | In the heat of battle over the 2000 Florida vote, which would decide who would be president, a burly, mustachioed man burst into the room where the ballots for Miami-Dade County were being tabulated like John Wayne barging into a saloon for a shootout. "I'm with the Bush-Cheney team, and I'm here to stop the count," drawled John Bolton. And those ballots from Miami-Dade were not counted. Dick Cheney beamed that Bolton's job should be "anything he wants."
Now Bolton, who as undersecretary of state for arms control has wrecked all the nonproliferation diplomacy within his reach and alienated every nation he has dealt with, who openly disdains multilateral efforts and international organizations, and who has been the single most dedicated person over two decades of attempts to discredit the United Nations, has been named by President Bush as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. "If I were redoing the Security Council today, I'd have one permanent member because that's the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world," Bolton has said. And: "There is no such thing as the United Nations." Orwell's clock of "1984" is striking 13.
The euphoria from Bush's European trip -- the feeling that it marked a conversion on the road to Brussels, Belgium -- should quicken the half-life of its fading. For it was Bush who decided that Bolton would be rewarded with a position to continue his crusade as a "convinced Americanist" against the "globalists," especially those at the United Nations and in the European Union, which he has labeled "the leading source of substantive globalist policy."
Bolton made a play to become deputy secretary of state after the 2004 election, but was blocked by Condoleezza Rice, who understood that his prowess at bureaucratic infighting would have constantly undermined her authority. For four years, Bolton had waged a war against Colin Powell. Rice had participated enough in those underhanded campaigns to know she didn't want Bolton plotting against her from within. Cheney privately promised Bolton that if all else failed he would give him a job on his vice presidential staff, but that proved unnecessary when Bush nominated him to the U.N. post. Rice announced his appointment, symbolically demonstrating that he reports to her. But Bolton has deep support in the White House and a long history of uncontrollability, and Rice is very much a work in progress. With Bolton's appointment, the empire strikes back.
Bolton is an extraordinary combination of political operator and ideologue. He began his career as a cog in the machine of former Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, helping his political action committees evade legal restrictions and federal fines. Helms, the most powerful reactionary in the Senate, sponsored Bolton's rise to Ronald Reagan's Justice Department. Though he was once publicly rebuked by Reagan's press secretary as "intemperate," Bolton was critical in guiding conservative appointments to the Supreme Court and withholding damaging information on them from Congress. Then, serving on Helms' staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which refused for years to fund U.S. dues to the United Nations, Bolton was Helms for all intents and purposes. "John Bolton," Helms said, "is the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon, or what the Bible describes as the final battle between good and evil."
Bolton is often called one of the neoconservatives, but he is more their ally, implementer and agent. His roots are in the soil of Helms' Dixiecrat Republicanism, not the neocons' airy Trotskyism or Straussianism. Bolton is a specimen of the "primitives," as Harry Truman's secretary of state, Dean Acheson, called the unilateralists and McCarthyites of the early Cold War. Through his political integration into the neocon apparatus, Bolton might be properly classified a neoprimitive.
At the State Department, Bolton was Powell's enemy within on policy after policy. In his first year alone, he forced the U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, destroyed a protocol on enforcing the biological weapons convention ("It's dead, dead, dead, and I don't want it coming back from the dead"), and ousted the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He scuttled the nuclear test ban treaty and the U.N. Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (to which he brought representatives of the National Rifle Association). And he was behind the renunciation of the U.S. signature on the 1998 Rome Statute creating the International Criminal Court. He described his sending the letter notifying U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan as "the happiest moment of my government service."
Bolton's meddling in diplomacy on nonproliferation with North Korea and Iran guaranteed that the allies had no unified position and encouraged the Koreans and Iranians to play the nuclear card. Bolton's response to the heightened crises has been to lead the charge to remove the U.N. head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei. In late November, Bolton denounced Tony Blair's government and the Europeans negotiating with the Iranians as "soft" for attempting "diplomatic means."
Bolton might be granted the integrity of his primitivism, a true believer who imagines Fortress America besieged by the United Nations and the Europeans -- "Americanists find themselves surrounded by small armies of globalists, each tightly clutching a favorite new treaty or multilateralist proposal." But Bolton's coarse ideology is advanced by sophisticated campaigns of disinformation -- and not only on Iraq and North Korea. His leaks of falsehoods that Syria and Cuba had developed weapons of mass destruction sparked internal revolts by intelligence professionals and the Foreign Service.
As for his allies the neoconservatives, for Bolton the ends justify the means. But unlike them he has no use for romantic rhetoric about the "march of freedom" and "democracy," as he demonstrated so effectively in Florida. And now he has the job he sought above all from the beginning.
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