May 27, 2005

Where's the Beef, Steve?

Steve Clemons, "dizzy" and in need of a drink (his words, not mine!), is in jubilant mood (seemingly merely because John Bolton's confirmation as United States Ambassador to the United Nations will be delayed a week or two). Earlier today, Steve linked to a Mike Isikoff (you'd think he'd chill for a week or two, no?) piece in yet another of a seemingly interminable series of breathless TWN posts that might best be described as falling within something of a faux Bolton-gotcha genre. Just mention the words NSA intercept, John Bolton and, oh I don't know, "official"--and the Mustachioed One must be up to nefarious foul play if you hang your hat in TWN-land. Except there's nothing much to this story--even per the Isikoff treatment Steve approvingly links:

Later, the State Department sent Dodd a letter disclosing that Bolton had in recent years requested that the NSA unmask American names in 10 raw-intercept reports. The State Department as a whole had requested similar information from the NSA nearly 500 times since May 2001. In this context, Bolton supporters argued, Bolton's 10 requests for unedited NSA intercepts were statistically insignificant.

Bolton's Democratic critics on the Foreign Relations Committee nonetheless continued to press the administration for further details on Bolton's dealings with the NSA. One committee member, Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, placed an informal "hold" on floor debate on Bolton's nomination until the administration provided more information.

In an apparent response to congressional pressure, Gen. Michael Hayden, NSA's outgoing director, who is now principal deputy to John Negroponte, the administration's new intelligence czar, subsequently gave a top-secret briefing to Rockefeller and the Intelligence Committee's GOP chairman, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, about Bolton's dealings with the NSA. In this briefing, according to Rockefeller's letter to the Foreign Relations Committee, Hayden allowed Rockefeller and Roberts to review the NSA intercept reports at the center of the Bolton controversy. However, according to Rockefeller, Hayden did not share with Rockefeller and Roberts the names of the Americans that the NSA had provided to Bolton. In all, Rockefeller said, Bolton's requests for 10 uncensored NSA reports would have involved the unmasking of the identities of "nineteen U.S. persons."

In his letter, Rockefeller said that based on the briefing he had received from General Hayden, he found "no evidence" that there was anything "improper" about how or why Bolton made his 10 requests for the NSA reports in which American names were uncensored. However, Rockefeller said that he was "troubled" by how Bolton had handled the uncensored NSA information after receiving it.

According to Rockefeller, in an interview with Intelligence Committee officials, Bolton's acting chief of staff, CIA analyst Frederick Fleitz, said that on at least one occasion Bolton allegedly shared the "unminimized identity information he received from the NSA" with another State Department official. Fleitz told the committee that Bolton "used the information he was provided ... in order to seek out the State Department official mentioned in the report to congratulate him." According to a congressional investigator working with Bolton critics, the substance of the NSA intercept report included a discussion between two foreigners who were discussing how an American official—presumably the one Bolton congratulated—had given them a hard time.

Got that, folks? Bolton foe Rockefeller himself says that there is no evidence Bolton did anything "improper" with regard to his request for the NSA intercepts. Ah, but Rockefeller is "troubled" by how Bolton handled the information after he got it. Why? It seems bully John had the temerity to actually call an official and congratulate him for the way he handled discussions with a couple "foreigners"--as per the information contained in the NSA intercept. Compris? Bolton wasn't using the information from some rogue intercept to go ruin yet another career in dark Nixonian vein. He simply used it to praise someone. Outrageous! So what's the pitiable line of argument on the much ballyhooed NSA intercept story Bolton opponents are reduced to? Simply this:

In his letter to the Foreign Relations Committee, Rockefeller indicated that he believes Bolton's use of the uncensored NSA information to congratulate a State Department official was "not in keeping" with Bolton's declaration to the NSA that he only wanted the censored information so he could better understand the meaning of the original intelligence report. Two congressional officials involved in Senate investigations of Bolton said that the underlying argument now being made by Bolton's critics was that if he was willing to ignore NSA rules and use uncensored NSA intercept information on Americans to congratulate someone, he might be equally willing to use similar top-secret information to undermine the work of a bureaucratic rival.

What thin, thin gruel, eh? But you protest--hasn't he still broken the rules dammit?!? Who cares whether he used the information to praise someone or to ruin someone. Same difference. The rules are the rules. Didn't he break them? Well, no.

Back to Isikoff:

In support of Bolton's nomination, Intelligence Committee Chairman Roberts also sent a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee declaring that there was nothing irregular in Bolton's requests for uncensored NSA intercepts. Roberts said that his investigation indicated that Bolton had only discussed the uncensored NSA information with "one other individual”—the American named in the NSA report—who was a person who "worked directly for Under Secretary Bolton, possessed the necessary security clearances, received and read the same intelligence report in the course of his duties, and understood that he was the 'U.S. person' referred to therein."

Moreover, Roberts's letter suggests that any misunderstandings about how Bolton handled the NSA information—and about whether he should have requested prior NSA permission before discussing it with his colleague—were the product of lax State Department procedures. According to Roberts, the State Department's intelligence bureau, which processed Bolton's requests for NSA data, did not normally supply people like Bolton with NSA memoranda specifying how the data should be handled. In fact, Roberts said, even though it was Bolton who requested one key uncensored NSA intercept, the State Department's intelligence office actually turned the document over to someone in Bolton's office, which was a technical violation of NSA rules. Roberts blamed the State Department’s alleged procedural failings on Carl Ford, a former head of State Department intelligence. (Coincidentally or not, Ford was the only witness to give scathingly critical testimony against Bolton at his public confirmation hearing.) Roberts concluded that he could find "no evidence that there was anything improper about any aspect of Mr. Bolton's requests [from NSA] for minimized identities of U.S. persons."

So Bolton relayed the information he heard to someone who had the requisite security clearances to begin with. And it was likely the State Department's own procedures that were lax--not necessarily Bolton's handling of the information. Not only that, but one of the individuals who may have actually been culpable for the procedural shortcomings re: NSA rules, according to Roberts, happens to be one of Bolton's most vociferous critics.

To recap and review the bidding friends: Even Rockefeller says that Bolton's request for the NSA intercepts was proper. But he is "troubled" (standard Senatorial parlance for 'I got no juice but want to, er, filibuster or such a spell') about Bolton's handling of the information after he listened to the NSA intercept. Why? Because Bolton has the temerity to praise an official based on information he had overheard on the intercept. An official who apparently already had a security clearance allowing him to access the very same NSA intercept! On top of all this, it was reportedly the State Department protocols on handling of NSA intercepts that were lax and confusing--not Bolton's actions. Indeed, a Bolton foe may be to blame on this score. All of which is to say, where's the beef Steve?

Steve knows I respect his evident passion that Bolton isn't the right guy for USUN. But the problem that occurs when a blog becomes a monomaniacal crusade is that you can get a little (or a lot) carried away. Regular readers know my support of Bolton has been caveated. I won't rehash the reasons for my previous reservations now; or the reasons I ultimately endorsed him (if you're curious just click through the links). But the point here is that Steve has been darkly hinting that this NSA story was a huge horror for weeks now. But, at least as best I can tell, it really has no legs. I won't comb through Steve's archives and point out all the rank hyperbole surrounding his treatment of this non-story for many weeks. Frankly, I've got better things to do. And archive-hunting to play gotcha is hugely lame. But I'd say to Steve, as he celebrates the prospect of another week or two of Boltonpalooza over at TWN--get some perspective friend. The Republic itself won't flounder if this man gets to the United Nations. Truth be told, the difference between a Paula Dobriansky versus a John Bolton at the world body won't be nearly as large as Steve imagines. Again, please, perspective. Bolton is not the devil incarnate. He won't bring the wrecking ball to the international system. Or to the United Nations. And there is no plot to dismantle said world body cooked up between neo-Straussians and neo-primitives. Trust me, it will be O.K., even if Steve will predictably paint every Bolton move in a prospective "Bolton Watch" in the darkest of colors going forward.

Posted by Gregory at May 27, 2005 02:07 AM | TrackBack (12)
Comments

Yeah, that one seems weak.

But Frist voted against cloture. Why?

Posted by: praktike at May 27, 2005 04:10 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The only Republican voting against cloture was Frist, who did so in a parliamentary move that allowed him to call for the vote to be reconsidered.

"Text to display":http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/05/26/bolton.senate/index.html

Posted by: Marlin at May 27, 2005 04:19 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Bolton is not the devil incarnate. He won't bring the wrecking ball to the international system or the United Nations. There is no plot to dismantle said world body. Trust me, it will be O.K."

I trust you are correct in the former but have reservations about the latter.

At least Bolton seems to understand for which team he plays.

Posted by: ThomasD at May 27, 2005 04:19 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

This is truly bizarre. The Democrats have no clothes at all on this.

Posted by: Robin Roberts at May 27, 2005 04:51 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

If there is no problem with the NSA intercepts, why don't they just release them? And the sources and methods excuse won't wash here, we're talking about US officials, not spies.

Posted by: Sean-Paul at May 27, 2005 05:00 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Do you agree that the Dems intentionally asking for the one thing the knew they couldn't have - classified NSA documents - was a perfect strategy to create a non-filibuster filibuster? Disengenous and deceitful, yes, but a plan that should be acknowledged nonetheless.

Posted by: Edward at May 27, 2005 05:08 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Sean-Paul,
It's your argument which "won't wash here"

The persons mentioned were US officials, the people discussing these officials were "foreigners," and the fact that a particular conversation among said foreigners was intercepted is very much a "sources and methods" issue.

DWPittelli
http://www.woodedpaths.blogspot.com/

Posted by: DWPittelli at May 27, 2005 05:15 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Sean-Paul, why should the White House cooperate with what is transparently a fishing expedition on the part of Bolton opponents?

You asked for the intercepts; you justify why they should be provided, beyond this pathetic "What do you have to hide?" nonsense.

Posted by: Sinbad at May 27, 2005 05:15 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Justification: why was Bolton spying on American officials? Doesn't that bother you in the least?

Posted by: Sean-Paul at May 27, 2005 05:29 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Sean-Paul, why should the White House cooperate with what is transparently a fishing expedition on the part of Bolton opponents?

Because that's what oversight is all about. They don't have to show everything to everybody in congress, but certainly the two senior members of the select committee on intelligence need to be able to see the intelligence if they want to, including the names.

The executive branch simply does not have the right to keep things secret from the legislative branch.

Posted by: Aaron Bergman at May 27, 2005 06:10 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

A clear case of "strain out the gnat and swallow the camel." Where were these guys when the Clinton administration was playing fast and loose with national security? There's more of a flap about this than there was about Berger and the PDBs in his BVDs! All are socked in by hyperbole, flying on Heisenberg instruments. Won't somebody look out the window?

Posted by: Tamquam Leo Rugiens at May 27, 2005 06:10 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"If there is no problem with the NSA intercepts, why don't they just release them? And the sources and methods excuse won't wash here, we're talking about US officials, not spies."

Why not? If thee is some new technique we used to listen to foreigners A and B talk about American official C then releasing them will alert A, B and all their friends that their communications are not secure. This sort of releasing information from intercepts is how the US lost the ability to listen into Bin Ladin's cell phone calls.

Nitwits who release this sort of stuff get people killed (as NSA can no longer listen into those who mean us harm) or costs us a lot of time and money to invent a new way collect intelligence.

The whole culture of leaks and using intel to score petty partisan points is destroying our ability to gather the information we need for our security.

Posted by: Kevin at May 27, 2005 06:22 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Sean-Paul:

Well, no. If it was, as evidenced by the more than 490 other times this happened that same year in the State Department, a common practice, then I don't think that Bolton was "spying on American officials".

I also don't think, given the Senate's having proven to this Administration in the past that they are incapable of properly handling classified information, that the Administration should grant their request, Senators or not.

Ultimately I think that anyone even remotely critical of the UN would have been filibustered in this way, and the flimsy accusations against Mr. Bolton just go to prove it. I have to admire the Democrats for their party discipline, managing to hold together the 39 votes they needed when it mattered most today, with two to spare.

If only partisan politics weren't forcing what should be the better, more principled party into tacitly supporting child rape in the Congo. Couldn't the Dems publicly suggest someone else with a demonstrable record of being opposed to UN excess and make an end run around the Republicans? Couldn't they publicly condemn the UN at the same time as opposing Bolton? All the UN condemnation has been pretty lukewarm at best, and I think the Dems could run to the theoretical right of the Repubs on this issue and set themselves up as a national party once more in the process.

Posted by: Jonathan Hawkins at May 27, 2005 06:22 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Sean-Paul:

Justification: why was Bolton spying on American officials?

Except that he wasn't. Even your own guy Rockfeller admits there was nothing improper about Bolton's request for the intercepts.

Doesn't that bother you in the least?

If he had been, then it would. Since he wasn't, it doesn't. This is, Greg's post makes abundantly clear, and as I said before, transparently a fishing expedition.

Aaron Bergman:

The executive branch simply does not have the right to keep things secret from the legislative branch.

Wrong. The executive branch has an obligation to withhold sensitive information from the legislative branch, when it is clear that the legislative branch's request for that information is improper. See also, the unprecedented requests for internal Justice Department memos authored by Alberto Gonzales.

Posted by: Sinbad at May 27, 2005 07:37 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

What really concerns me is how all the retired security/state/diplomatic people seem to line up ideologically on everything. I can only think that the way they defend their partisan positions now must surely bring into question the way they presented their analytical findings when working for the government. So much for the independence of Analyists.

Posted by: davod at May 27, 2005 08:18 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I also don't think, given the Senate's having proven to this Administration in the past that they are incapable of properly handling classified information, that the Administration should grant their request, Senators or not.

No one's expecting the release of the information to the full congress -- that wouldn't be justified. Rockefeller and Roberts, on the other hand, damn well better have the clearance to see such information and evaluate it for their colleagues. Do it in a closed room without notes if you want; then if it ends up leaking you've got a pretty good idea who did it.

Ultimately I think that anyone even remotely critical of the UN would have been filibustered in this way, and the flimsy accusations against Mr. Bolton just go to prove it. I have to admire the Democrats for their party discipline, managing to hold together the 39 votes they needed when it mattered most today, with two to spare.

I think that if you read the comments by various democrats, if the administration had released the relevant information, there would have been a vote.

Wrong. The executive branch has an obligation to withhold sensitive information from the legislative branch, when it is clear that the legislative branch's request for that information is improper. See also, the unprecedented requests for internal Justice Department memos authored by Alberto Gonzales.

We obviously have very different ideas of how divided government ought to operate. I believe that Congress (or, more properly, select members thereof) ought to have access to any and all information regarding the operation of government. This is about oversight and transparency. It doesn't matter whether you think Congress's reasons are crap or not; they could want it to make paper airplanes for all I care. The point is that they are equal members of government and have a right to that information.

Posted by: Aaron Bergman at May 27, 2005 08:59 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Aaron, Aaron, Aaron, you probably agree with those in the intelligence community who believe that here should be no secrets from anyone. That way we will al be able to get along together.
Congress does not have ariht to all nformation. That's what separation of powers is all about.

Posted by: davod at May 27, 2005 11:36 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Except that he wasn't. Even your own guy Rockfeller admits there was nothing improper about Bolton's request for the intercepts.

There is a rather large hole in this logic. The intercepts themselves, outside of the context in which they were used, would not provide "evidence of impropriety". Only within the context of Bolton's prior and subsequent actions can the information in the intercepts be properly interpreted, and Rockefeller did not possess the necessary detailed knowledge to understand the intercepts in that context.

The key point made by Rockefeller was that there was no discernable reason for the request themselves -- in other words, knowing who was speaking or who was being spoken about was not essential to "clarifying" the intelligence.

As for Roberts --- he's the guy who has been covering up the manipulation of intelligence by the White House for years. Anyone who takes his word for anything having to do with the misuse of intelligence has not been paying attention --- it was Roberts who promised that the question of misuse/manipulation of intelligence would be examined until after the 2004 elections --- and then after the elections demonstrated his overwhelming lack of integrity by spiking that promised investigation.

Given the overwhelming evidence of how wrong Bolton is for the UN job, the fact that the INCOMPLETE information provided to one person not fully aware of the context of the information did not provide a "smoking gun" is the real "thin gruel."

Greg is grasping at straws here --- he needs to get off his knees and stop playing Monica Lewinsky to the Bush administration, and face the fact that Bolton has been appointed to create disarray in the UN and the State Department.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at May 27, 2005 01:07 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

It's time to vote Bolton up or down, or do the honorable thing an declare a filibuster. This "let's drag it out and hope there is more mud to find" is dishonorable. It's time Senators (both parties) realized that the DC tendency to wrap policy differences in Scandal is what we in the hinterlands hate the worst about Washington.

Posted by: Appalled moderate at May 27, 2005 02:20 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The UN has been creating its own "disarray" for some time now, apparently. Likewise State. And apparently the "overwhelming" evidence that Bolton is not the guy for the job is not quite so self-evident as you think it is, p.lukasiak, or this discussion wouldn't be taking place.

Posted by: Jamie at May 27, 2005 02:53 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Bolton is ideal for this position. The United Nations has been stealing donor nations blind for decades. It is time to take a more realistic view toward this kleptocracy of fools on the turtle's bay. NYC could get a lot more money on that real estate by using the property for a commercial purpose. The rest of the world would be much better off would they do so.

Posted by: Rufus Stampley at May 27, 2005 03:31 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Bolton is ideal for this job. The UN has been stealing donor nations blind for decades. It is past time that someone deal firmly with the ridiculous kleptocracy of fools.
NYC could profit greatly by using the property for commercial purposes. The rest of the world would profit by this as well.

Posted by: Rufus Stampley at May 27, 2005 03:33 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yes, I agree with the poster above who states that Bolton deserves an up or down vote. The cowardly legislators who merely want to continue this smear campaign for as long a time as possible deserve to be dressed in bitumenous coating with adherent birdlike plumages.

Posted by: Rufus Stampley at May 27, 2005 03:37 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Luksaki should get off his knees and stop parrotting the daily briefings of Kos and DU. Most people grow out of that sort of nonsense by the age of thirty.

Posted by: Rufus Stampley at May 27, 2005 03:39 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The executive branch simply does not have the right to keep things secret from the legislative branch.

The Minority Leader has recently proven he can't be trusted with sensitive materials, the coequal branches argument (which I respect) aside. Late last year, Rockefeller and Wyden shot their mouths off about U.S. satellite development. Leahy disclosed an intercept back in the late 80s that got at least one asset killed. Could give a reasonable person pause...

I think someone ought to appoint a special master to see if the names match Bolton's alleged enemies list, and if they don't, that should be the end of it.

Posted by: DrSteve at May 27, 2005 03:50 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

rufus, Bolton will have ZERO impact on reforming the U.N. Condi Rice has appointed her own liason for this and Bolton won't set policy. What he has to do is be an advocate and his track record shows he doesn't advocate well. All of this intercept nonsense aside, he doesn't work well on teams and doesn't do his job well. I'm still waiting to read an affirmative case for his competence aside from, well, he's been doing this a long time and he's smart.

Posted by: just me at May 27, 2005 04:22 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I am reading the pro-bolton and anti-Bolton advocates here and all I can say is that the anti-Bolton advocates are putting for the most petty logic imaginable. They are almost as petty as the spoiled brats in the Senate. Can't someone in California get some sense and get rid of that ninny Barbara Boxer? She is an embarrassment to the office.

Posted by: dick at May 27, 2005 04:28 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Bolton is a successful lawyer and led the effort to repeal the Zionist-is-racism UN resolution. So, I think he is very competent as an "advocate".

Having said this, I think both sides are making too much of the UN post. No policy is set by him and he will not reform anything. So, the right is making too much of fuss. If he is defeated, then the President would only send up someone similar leaving Bolton in his current policy making post. Or perhaps a new post in the White House. So, the left gains nothing.

Posted by: Bob at May 27, 2005 05:07 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Aaron, Aaron, Aaron, you probably agree with those in the intelligence community who believe that here should be no secrets from anyone. That way we will al be able to get along together.

Hardly. I have never advocated having 'no secrets'.

Posted by: Aaron Bergman at May 27, 2005 05:26 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

If the story has no legs, why is it still alive? Not because of Clemons, but because the White House is obstructing the Senate.

Oh wait, Greg doesn't mention that anywhere in his post. What a surprise. If Greg is so shocked and appalled at all of this, call on the White House to comply with the Senate, and it will all be over with.

Steve may have turned his blog into a one-issue campaign, but look what he's achieved with that campaign. A lousy nominee that probably would have been confirmed long ago can't seem to catch a break. Any White House "victory" will be Pyrrhic in the end. Not so bad, really.

And weigh that against Greg's half-assed "endoresment" of Bolton yesterday, which left me embarrassed for him.

Posted by: Arguable Point at May 27, 2005 06:21 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I guess there's people who dislike Senators and people who dislike Bolton! The really constructive discussion would be about what is really going on.

Sure, Bolton will not particularly help or hurt the situation at the UN. He's tried to gut the intelligence process at every turn, but its not a science anyway and more importantly the UN post is to keep him AWAY from that and all other substantive aspects of policy. Anti-Bolts should be trying to help Condi out on this.

And his vaunted candor is unfortunately matched with jingoism and no sense at all for alliance building or team play, so UN reform is not going to magically occur under his hand either.

What Bolton represents is one of the more dramatic instances yet of the Administration laying claim to absolutism. Even if you believe that Congress is full of idiots, you have to agree that enabling each side to stalemate the other's stupidity was a brilliant design. George is somehow translating his winner-take-all view of the world into a governance model---and it doesn't work for pessimists OR optimists.

Even through the miasma of egotism that blinds all Senators, Democrats are sensing that something basically wrong is happening. Judges who would rule from Biblical precedent and ambassadors who would like to see the hosts to whom they are accredited eliminated as political powers---this is not the goal of advice and consent.

As subjects of the Empire in all its corrupt glory, the best we can hope for is relative paralysis in Washington. Bush, the brutal bully boy with his micro-thin margin and his inappropriately swollen sense of divine mandate, will succeed in reducing even that happy prospect to ashes unless we see a bit more contervailing force from the democrats.

Posted by: LCGillies at May 27, 2005 07:47 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Perhaps I missed part of this story but I am confused on one point. How the Congress found out about this episode in the first place. If Bolton (with security clearance) gave congrats to an underling (also with security clearance) using a classified intercept, surely their wasn't a kegger to celebrate. Did the underling blab to all and sundry about the intercept? Or did Carl Ford tell the Democratic senators. Are they cleared for this type of info?

Toby

Posted by: Toby928 at May 27, 2005 09:41 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'm not sure how he found out, but it was Senator Dodd that originally raised the issue in Bolton's confirmation hearing.

Posted by: Stygius at May 27, 2005 11:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Spying on officials? Looks more like getting feedback on how an official was perceived by foreigners. You know, actual real diplomacy stuff. Instead of hanging around Arianna Huffington and begging for approval like a hungry dog.

The problem is the ideology or religion of those who think the magical Words "United Nations" makes all the bad men go away. Any criticism of the utopian idealism put into the UN, instead of the actual reality of the institution, is like criticizing Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Saying they're not real hurts their feelings and makes them cry (see: Vovoinivich).

Aaron -- be careful what you ask for. Reps did the same thing "oversight" wise to Clinton that Dems are doing to Bush. Asking for sensitive internal deliberations on matters of policy to play "gotcha" for those who were politically incorrect in their comments. One example would be the Reno Justice dept's deliberations on the Elian Gonzalez case internally. Clinton was right to reject that fishing expedition.

One Republican Senator will vote against Bolton cause his State's AFB is being closed down. I think it's Thune from North Dakota. That pretty much says it all.

Dodd has had it for Bolton for decades. Dodd is known as the Senator from Fidel, he's pushed for normalization (and farm trade and medicines) to Cuba as long as he's been in office. Bolton thinks Fidel is a corrupt tyrant who should go, no normalizations until then.

As far as being a "team player" at the UN, that has got us exactly NOTHING. Clinton's guy presided over one disaster after another, it hasn't been any different with Bush's current loser who goes along to get along. At least Bolton will rip Kofi a new one every day, which will be entertaining. Sometimes you need to pound the podium with your shoe, so why not?

Posted by: Jim Rockford at May 28, 2005 05:35 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Dodd has had it for Bolton for decades. Dodd is known as the Senator from Fidel, he's pushed for normalization (and farm trade and medicines) to Cuba as long as he's been in office. Bolton thinks Fidel is a corrupt tyrant who should go, no normalizations until then.

Not a big fan of Fidel, hopefully he'll pass away soon, but Dodd's right on with ending the embargo. It's stupid.

Posted by: Guy at May 29, 2005 06:06 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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