WASHINGTON — Carl W. Ford Jr., former chief of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, told senators April 12 that John Bolton, President Bush’s choice for UN ambassador, is a “serial abuser … an 800-pound gorilla” who “devours” anyone who disagrees with him.
In testimony before a Senate Foreign Relations confirmation hearing, Ford said Bolton had demanded that he fire an intelligence analyst for contradicting Bolton’s claim that Cuba was developing weapons of mass destruction.
“I’ve never seen anybody quite like Secretary Bolton,” Ford said. “There are a lot of screamers that work in the government but you don’t pull someone so low down in the bureaucracy that they are completely defenseless.” Ford said he left the meeting feeling that, for the first time in his career, he had been asked to fire an intelligence analyst out of vindictiveness, for calling things as he saw them.
It was not the first time Bolton attempted to get someone fired for telling the truth. Stuart Cohen, former acting chief of the National Intelligence Council, told a closed-door Senate hearing that Bolton visited his office to demand removal of the council’s top expert on Latin America. He too had challenged Bolton’s fabrications that Cuba was developing biological weapons.
Bolton erupted in similar tantrums when analysts challenged claims by Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney that Iraq had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and close ties to al-Qaeda, now widely exposed as lies.
Bolton is a vociferous enemy of the United Nations and was a top aide to racist former Sen. Jesse Helms, who blocked U.S. payment of its UN dues.
A decade ago, Bolton told a conference in New York, “If the UN building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” More recently, Bolton said the UN Security Council should be changed to put the U.S. in the driver’s seat.
“I would have one permanent member, the United States, because that’s the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world,” he said.
Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS) has mobilized a “stop Bolton” effort that includes an open letter to Senate Foreign Relations Chair Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) signed by 67 former ambassadors.
“Stopping this nomination is especially urgent since Carl Ford’s devastating testimony that Bolton is a ‘serial abuser’ of intelligence that has not been cleared,” CGS Communications Director Harbinder Alwha told the World. “It’s scary to think of him in such a crucial position at the UN.”
The CGS letter assails Bolton for spearheading the drive against U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty as well as the effort to sabotage the
Ottawa Land Mine Treaty, which the U.S. refused to sign. Bolton also led the successful campaign for U.S. withdrawal from the anti-ballistic missile treaty.
“Bolton crafted the U.S. withdrawal from the joint efforts of 40 countries to formulate a verification system for the Biological Weapons Convention … in a period of increasing concern over potential terrorist use of these weapons,” the diplomats charge.
“Bolton’s insistence that the UN is valuable only when it directly serves the United States … will not help him to negotiate with representatives of the remaining 96 percent of humanity,” the letter says. “John Bolton cannot be an effective promoter of the U.S. national interest at the UN. We urge you to oppose his nomination.”