April 25, 2005

Bolton: He Said, They Said

From Newsweek/MSNBC:

But the London story is further evidence that Bolton and the White House have their work cut out for them. On several occasions, America's closest ally in the war on terror, Britain, was irked by what U.S. and British sources say were efforts by Bolton to undermine promising diplomatic openings. Perhaps the most dramatic instance took place early in the U.S.-British talks in 2003 to force Libya to surrender its nuclear program, NEWSWEEK has learned. The Libya deal succeeded only after British officials "at the highest level" persuaded the White House to keep Bolton off the negotiating team. A crucial issue, according to sources involved in the affair, was Muammar Kaddafi's demand that if Libya abandoned its WMD program, the U.S. in turn would drop its goal of regime change. But Bolton was unwilling to support this compromise. The White House agreed to keep Bolton "out of the loop," as one source puts it. A deal was struck only after Kaddafi was reassured that Bush would settle for "policy change"—surrendering his WMD. One Bush official called the accounts of both incidents "flatly untrue."

As Laura Rozen notes, Libya was supposed to be one of Bolton's successes. The Bush crew really doesn't seem to do all that thorough a job vetting people, does it? Or perhaps they just think it doesn't matter? In any case, while I find the additional time for investigation of Bolton encouraging, I find it disappointing that very few folks (and none in the Committee, it seems) want to touch the underlying issue. That issue, to me, is that despite continuing revelations about the man's past and behavior, and examples of his somewhat liberal attitude towards disclosure which he has apparently shown in the Committee room, the White House nominated him to represent this country and seems to want to stand firmly behind him.

Posted by jbz at April 25, 2005 12:09 AM | TrackBack

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