John Bolton’s book hits the shelves tomorrow. And everyone is going to hate him. Liberals might like to rehash the impeachment nonsense again, noting that his work touched upon these issues again. That part is going to be funny; watching the Left fawn over a neoconservative, a political position that’s anathema to the Democratic base. And we’ll see former Trump officials and the president himself trash the book. What will be missed as both sides start stacking sandbags in the wake of this book’s release is that the work did probably spill state secrets. The Trump administration tried to block the book, but a federal judge said it could be released, but not before trashing the former national security adviser for moving forward with his work without White House approval and for putting national security at risk. Even Politicowrote that the ruling on the book didn’t really seem like a win for Bolton [emphasis mine]:
A federal judge has denied the Trump administration's request to block the release of John Bolton's memoir, noting that the former national security adviser's book had already been "printed, bound and shipped across the country."
In a Saturday morning ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said the Justice Department’s request to suppress the tell-all book on national security grounds would be impossible to enforce, but the judge lambasted Bolton for his decision to move ahead with publication without an explicit go-ahead from the government.
"While Bolton's unilateral conduct raises grave national security concerns, the government has not established that an injunction is an appropriate remedy," Lamberth wrote. “The damage is done.”
Indeed, the judge criticized Bolton so severely that the ruling didn’t seem like much of a victory at all for the former foreign policy hawk who spent 18 months as a top aide to President Donald Trump.
Lamberth, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, even went so far as to suggest Bolton might be prosecuted for his conduct.
“Defendant Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States. He has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability,” Lamberth wrote in his 10-page order.
Look, we all know that Bolton, the hardcore neoconservative, was probably not going to get along with the president on policy. Trump has vowed to end the endless war cycle that began under the Bush administration. The neoconservative project has been derailed, as American people have shown they’re tired of war, and not willing to tolerate the economic and human cost. What has over $1 trillion spent in the Middle East got us in the past decade or so? It’s not pretty. And the president has spoken at length about how our Middle East ventures have explicitly shown the limits of American power. Before George Will went anti-Trump and went on this ‘burn the GOP down’ path, he did aptly note that maybe we were a bit full of ourselves that a region, with no history of liberal democratic principles, could somehow adopt them just because 150,000 American soldiers were stationed there. Bolton wanted to bomb Iran—Trump seemed reluctant to do so. And there were other apparent policy issues. He was fired. He’s criticizing the president. Of course, the liberal media is going to eat this up.
But just remember that this man endangered national security to vent that his long-dead foreign policy agenda was not fully adopted by this president. Remember he also said during the Trump impeachment circus that if he had been able to testify for Democrats, his testimony wouldn’t have helped their case at all at the time. Well, it turns out, he just wanted to get his book out. We’re going to have another spate of impeachment nonsense because of Bolton’s book for sure, but I’m bound not to take everything he says with a healthy dose of skepticism. He’s a hawk who was fired because Trump didn’t want to set the world on fire through another major war. I’d be pissed if my pet project got thrown in the trash.
Cortney wrote up Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ take on the work.
“It ain’t pretty.”