The Real Threat from John Bolton
Jude Wanniski
The Real Threat from John Bolton
Tue Apr 12, 2005 00:32

The fully formatted report may be found at


The Real Threat from John Bolton
Apr 11 2005

Memo To: Chairman Richard Lugar, Senate Foreign Relations
cc: Senator Joseph Biden, ranking Democrat
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: The Plan to Scrap the Non-Proliferation Treaty

You have obviously told the White House that you will hold your nose and try to get John Bolton through the committee this week and confirmed by the Senate asap. It’s no secret that when the neo-cons who run foreign policy in this administration via control of Vice President Cheney tried to get Bolton the No.2 slot at State under Condi Rice, you balked and said he could not be confirmed for that job. My guess, Senator, is that you figure he could not do as much damage at Turtle Bay as he could at Foggy Bottom. There is no way he could dismantle the United Nations, and in the hearings today before your committee he made all kinds of sweet sounds about wanting the “strengthen the U.N.” His real mission, though, is nothing less than to undermine the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and once he is installed, he will be in a position to take his orders from the Perle Cabal to do so.

In case you had forgotten, countries that are party to the Treaty will gather in New York City next month for the 1970 Treaty`s Seventh Review Conference. The members, practically every nation on earth, meet every five years to assess how things are going. Actually, things have been going very well, as evidenced by the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been proven correct in its assessment that Saddam Hussein had no nuke program and would be incapable of building one – an assessment made before the President decided we had to go to war anyway, just to make sure. Yes, there are problems with Iran and North Korea that will be discussed at the Review Conference, but you should know that there would be no problems with either country if it were not for the mess Bolton made in the first Bush administration in wrecking the diplomatic efforts Secretary of State Colin Powell was trying to pursue.

What is already happening is that Jackie Wolcott Sanders, the U.S. Special Representative for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and a Bolton underling while he held the top non-proliferation post at State, has given every indication that the United States will be asking the Conference to “fix” the Treaty on the grounds that it has become outmoded. You can check this out at the State Department’s home page where Ms. Sanders statement on NPT policy immediately precedes you statement on legislative perspectives on nukes. Also note the President’s statement of NPT support on that same page: “Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons must take strong action to confront the threat of noncompliance with the NPT in order to preserve and strengthen the treaty’s nonproliferation undertakings.”

The reason the Treaty is outmoded, she says repeatedly, is because it has become too easy for NPT members to violate the terms of the Treaty and get away with it. As Dr. Gordon Prather, who I believe you know, put it in an e-mail last week: “She has -- as Bolton did before her -- deliberately confused ‘failure to fully comply with an IAEA Safeguards Agreement’ with `violations’ of the NPT… So far as the IAEA has been able to determine, no country subject to the NPT-IAEA-Safeguards regime [except Iraq, of course] has `violated` the NPT. It is outrageous that Bolton and Sanders deliberately obfuscate the difference between `failure to fully comply with an IAEA Agreement` with `violations of the NPT` or of the even more deliberate obfuscation `failure to comply with its NPT obligations."

What Prather is saying is that many countries [including the United States], have not fully complied with the Safeguards regime, which actually preceded the NPT, and which simply means that they were have found to have done something that they were obliged to report to the IAEA and failed to do so, for example moving material from Building A to Building B. Most recently, both Egypt and South Korea were found to have “not fully complied” with Safeguard, but there is no evidence that they…. or Iran or North Korea ever violated the terms of the NPT. Iraq did, but what Bolton and Sanders hate to point out is that the NPT was strengthened when that clandestine effort was discovered after the Gulf War. The new protocols, to which Iran has agreed, permit intrusive, perpetual inspections, not by IAEA snoops coming in now and then, but with on-site cameras and sensing devices that would permit Director General Mohammed al-Baradei’s team in Vienna to monitor Iran’s program night and day.

The real intent of the neo-cons who cooked up the war in Iraq is to smoke another one past you and the Foreign Relations Committee and ultimately against the President. They will surely propose an amendment “strengthening” the Treaty that will remove the “inalienable right” of NPT members to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes (under perpetual monitoring). North Korea was quite prepared to do this several years ago, until it observed Iraq – a fellow “rogue state” according to the President -- in full compliance with the NPT and getting bombed and occupied anyway.

There is probably no way the NPT Conference would agree to amending the Treaty, as it would have to be agreed to by Russian and China, who clearly see what’s going on here: One of the moves in the neo-con chess game to bring about “regime change” in Tehran, by hook or by crook, in order to satisfy the Likudniks in Tel Aviv that only Israel will have nukes in the Middle East. Dr. Prather points out that every school kid know Israel has a nuclear arsenal, yet each year the American President certifies in his request for financial aid to Israel that he has no evidence of Israeli nukes.

Well okay, but Iran is not going to sit still if push comes to shove on this issue and the U.S. threatens military action, i.e., the bombing of sites that might someday be converted into nuke sites. What worries Dr. Prather, and frankly me, is that Iran would respond with conventional sea power in the Persian Gulf and with modern sea-skimmers it has acquired from China blow up a bunch of ships, U.S. warships and oil tankers. Pretty soon things could get serious. Don’t you think?

Anyway, if you have a chance, Senator, you might look into all this. Even if you only have a chance to clear up this fuzziness between the Safeguard Regime and the NPT. This is the kind of cloudiness over intelligence that got us in the soup in Iraq. It would be far soupier if we found ourselves on a slippery slope with Tehran. Don’t you think?

* * * * *

Democrats rip Bolton over past UN views
Minneapolis Star Tribune (subscription), MN - 1 hour ago
In a daylong hearing, John Bolton repeatedly played down his previous jabs at the United Nations and pledged "to forge a stronger relationship between the ...
Senators grill Bolton on intelligence analyst, comments on UN Kansas City Star
Bolton fights for UN nomination, promising American leadership Independent
Democrats Question Bolton Fitness to Become UN Envoy (Update1) Bloomberg
Los Angeles Times (subscription) - NPR (audio) -

all 766 related »

President Bush's selection of Bolton last month has stirred controversy because of his expressions of disdain for the United Nations and the blunt criticism he has leveled at North Korea and other countries and arms control treaties.

Bolton, 56, has served in the past three Republican administrations and been one of his party's strongest conservative voices on foreign affairs issues. He is now the administration's arms control chief.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended Bolton by saying that "not everybody is given to subtlety and indirection." She said Bolton is a good negotiator and would be great in the U.N. environment.

Republicans control the Foreign Relations Committee by 10-8, but most if not all panel Democrats are expected to oppose the nomination. One of them, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said Bolton has not been an effective arms negotiator and speaks to people in a condescending, inflammatory way.

"That's not the kind of representative of America that we want in the United Nations," Nelson said.

Committee Democrats also have circulated a portion of a 2-year-old Senate Intelligence Committee report questioning whether Bolton pressured a State Department intelligence analyst who tried to tone down language in a Bolton speech about Cuba's biological weapons capabilities.

On television talk shows Sunday, committee Democrats Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Joe Biden of Delaware and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia cited the alleged pressure and other alleged incidents as among reasons they will oppose Bolton's nomination.

Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, R-Ind., hopes for a vote on Bolton's nomination Thursday. A tie could keep the panel from recommending Senate approval.

The outcome could depend on moderate Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I. Chafee spokesman Stephen Hourahan said the senator was leaning toward supporting Bolton "unless something surprising shows up" at the hearing.

In preparations for the hearings, Democrats led by Biden have questioned Bolton's views on intelligence. They were granted access to four State Department officials and were permitted to examine some of its documents.

But Biden's spokesman, Norm Kurz, complained the Democrats were not given everything they requested and were allowed only limited time for the interviews and only Friday to look at the papers.

Carl Ford Jr., a former chief of the department's bureau of intelligence and research with whom Bolton apparently clashed, was scheduled to testify on Tuesday.

Since his nomination, Bolton has promised to work closely with other countries and members of Congress and said he has always supported "effective multilateral diplomacy."

As assistant secretary of state for international relations under the first President Bush, he helped organize the alliance that forced Iraq out of Kuwait.

Critics, though, recall his 1994 comment that it would not matter if the top 10 stories of the 39-floor U.N. headquarters building in New York were lost.

He has said there is "no such thing as the United Nations," and asserted that the United States is the only real authority the world has. He has also questioned whether the organization undertakes too many peacekeeping missions.

In February, he sharply criticized China for selling missile technology to Iran and other countries. He has been critical of Europe's efforts to reach an agreement with Iran to curb that country's nuclear program.

During administration efforts two years ago to seek an agreement with North Korea over its nuclear program, Bolton called that country's leader a "tyrannical dictator." North Korean officials refused to deal with him.

Bolton helped lead U.S. opposition to the International Criminal Court and the United States' eventual withdrawal from the treaty creating the court.

His opponents have accused him of claiming without evidence that Syria and Cuba were trying to develop biological weapons.

Bolton would replace John Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri, who resigned after half a year as U.N. ambassador.

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