Friday, May 13, 2005

Confirm John Bolton

A May 12 Washington Post editorial stated:

On April 19 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unexpectedly postponed a vote on the nomination of John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, citing concerns that he had engaged in a pattern of abuse of subordinates and manipulation of intelligence. Three weeks of further digging, mostly by Democratic committee staff members, have not produced evidence of such a pattern. The committee ought to give Mr. Bolton a vote today. Ours would be an unenthusiastic, deference-to-the-president yes.

It's as clear now as it was on April 19 that Mr. Bolton is a contentious figure who has both strong admirers and impassioned critics in Washington. He engages in hand-to-hand bureaucratic combat, and on a couple of occasions he pushed too hard. He challenged intelligence analysts, but it's naive to think that such analysts are always ideologically neutral and beyond politics -- that they should never be challenged. What emerges from the interviews conducted by committee staffers is how intensely policy-driven, as opposed to personal, were most of Mr. Bolton's clashes in the State Department, during President Bush's first term, under Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. ...

Mr. Bush surely knows what role Mr. Bolton played in the first term, and he says he wants to put Mr. Bolton's bluntness to work at the United Nations. The nominee is intelligent and qualified; we still see no compelling reason to deny the president his choice.

I agree. It seems likely that the Senate will confirm Bolton's nomination, and they should.


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