Monday, May 16, 2005

Lessons for John Bolton

Lessons for John Bolton
Denver Post

In the melodramatic fashion of a classic Washington soap opera, John Bolton's nomination for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has moved from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for consideration by the full Senate.

During the weeks when his nomination was stuck in committee, we learned much about Bolton - especially his high-handed way of dealing with others and his contempt for the U.N. Perhaps the most serious concern was that Bolton tried repeatedly to twist intelligence to fit his policy positions, including findings on North Korean, Cuban and Syrian weapons of mass destruction programs.

For those reasons, Bolton could not win a majority in committee, and he suffered the indignity of seeing his nomination go to the Senate floor without recommendation, and with the harsh criticism of a well-regarded Senate Republican ringing in his ears. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, spoke for many when he said Bolton was not the best candidate for a job in which relations with American allies are critical.

Nevertheless, Bolton is the president's choice, and Voinovich allowed his nomination to go to the Senate floor where there is a chance he will be confirmed. If that's the case, we hope he has learned some lessons along the way....