Wednesday, May 18, 2005

John Bolton Update

Both CNN and Fox News ran articles today about a Democratic report supporting their position that Bolton is the wrong person for the U.N. post. Both articles have plenty to say about the content of the report. I examined both articles to see what is included from the Bush administration’s viewpoint. CNN had what I would think is considerably less information favorable to Bolton. The table below shows the comments that were more from the administration's point of view. On the other hand, there is some key information against Bolton that is not found in Fox’s article. That information can be found below the table.

CNN

Fox

The Republicans on the committee issued their own eight-page brief that according to The New York Times calls him "a highly qualified nominee" and disputes the Democrats' assessment. …

The White House says Bolton, a longtime U.N. critic, is needed to promote reform within the world body. It has called allegations that he tried to get intelligence analysts who disagreed with him fired or reassigned "unsubstantiated."

The document is attached to a short summary of Bolton's qualifications and an account of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's lengthy investigation prepared by the committee's Republican chairman, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana.

The committee investigated allegations about Bolton's conduct and temperament for weeks before sending his name to the full Senate for debate without the customary recommendation of approval.

"The end result of all this is that Secretary Bolton emerged looking better than when it began," Lugar wrote to the inquiry.

"There was no evidence to support the most serious charge, that Secretary Bolton sought to manipulate intelligence," Lugar said. "He may have disagreed with intelligence findings but in the end, he always accepted the final judgment of the intelligence community."

At the State Department, spokesman Tom Casey said the report revealed nothing new.

"The committee's already reviewed this issue extensively," Casey said. "This is a minority interpretation of events and we completely reject it."

CNN included the following negative information about Bolton that is not found in Fox’s article, or at least is not laid out as plainly as CNN has it:

The Democratic document accuses Bolton, who is undersecretary of state for arms control, of "four distinct patters of conduct" the minority party says disqualify him for the post.

It says that Bolton regularly tried to stretch intelligence to fit his views.

It says he exhibited abusive behavior and intolerance for alternative views, repeatedly trying to fire intelligence analysts who disagreed with him.

It accuses him of making "misleading, disingenuous or non-responsive statements" to the Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing.

Links to the articles:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/05/18/senate.bolton/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,156978,00.html