Frank Gaffney
George Voinovich is an honorable man. So, when the junior Senator from Ohio says he has decided to vote against President Bush?s nomination of John Bolton to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on the basis of the record developed in the Foreign Relations Committee, one has to ask: What record?

The transcripts of the Committee hearings and business meetings on the Bolton nomination, and the interviews with various State Department, intelligence community and other past and present government employees now available online, establish that ? while there are certainly people who dislike Secretary Bolton ? the numerous, highly publicized complaints against him have not been substantiated. Even more troubling is the fact that relevant information Senators need to know has been withheld from them.

The complaint that has been most frequently cited by Mr. Bolton?s critics is to the effect that he sought to manufacture or otherwise manipulate intelligence and tried to get two analysts who resisted him fired. Mr. Bolton denies doing so. And the record backs him up.

The Committee?s sixteen interviews conducted on this topic establish the following: When John Bolton sought in early 2002 to give a speech that addressed, among other things, the capability for offensive biological weapons inherent in Cuba?s advanced biotech industry, he did it by the book. Since the draft speech drew on available intelligence, his office ? represented by a staffer, Fred Fleitz, who is himself a career CIA analyst ? sought Intelligence Community clearance.

Although intelligence did indeed support Mr. Bolton?s proposed statement, as Thomas Fingar, then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR) put it: ?[INR analyst Christian Westermann] tried to flag to Fred where he thought the draft was going beyond the IC consensus as conveyed in a DIA-led briefing on the Hill.?

Westermann then proceeded ? in a manner the Foreign Relations Committee record confirms Mr. Fingar and two of Westermann?s other INR supervisors agreed was improper ? to try to sabotage clearance of the Bolton speech by the Intelligence Community. When confronted with evidence he had done so, Westermann lied to Mr. Bolton. The result was that Bolton understandably felt he could not trust the analyst, a sentiment he conveyed to Westermann?s ultimate boss, Assistant Secretary of State Carl Ford.


Frank Gaffney

Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
 
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