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Old neoconservatives never die. They don't fade away either.
John Bolton, the discredited former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has been making the talk show rounds lately. Last Sunday, he appeared on CNN's Late Edition and blew the standard pile of neocon bull feathers up Wolf Blizter's pant leg.
Why does the mainstream media continue to give these yahooligans bullhorns and bandwidth?
Raw Story gives a fair summation of Bolton's interview with Blitzer. The administration never said Iraq was an "imminent threat." Overthrowing Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do. The president's surge strategy is "the only strategy there really is."
This is the same John Bolton who claimed in April 2006 that the plan to overthrow Saddam Hussein was not cooked up by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the neoconservative think tank formed from the ranks of the American Enterprise Institute. Funny thing: Bolton's signature appears on the PNAC letter of January 1998 that admonished President Clinton to remove Hussein from power. Bolton was also a signatory of the May 1998 PNAC letter to Trent Lott and Newt Gingrich encouraging the same thing.
Source Watch chronicles Bolton's fabled history as an opportunist, a bully and an ideologue. During young Mr. Bush's first term, he was Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. In that role, he helped fellow neocon Dick Cheney make the case for the Iraq war. Prior to that, he had served in key positions in the Reagan and elder Bush administrations, working at the State and Justice departments. Bolton was one of the team of GOP attorneys who descended on Florida during the 2000 election and who famously said, "I'm with the Bush-Cheney team, and I'm here to stop the count."
When Bolton's name first went to the Senate for confirmation as U.N. Ambassador, Carl Ford Jr., a former assistant secretary of state and CIA officer, testified that Bolton was a "kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy" who abused intelligence analysts who disagreed with him.
When Bolton couldn't achieve Senate confirmation, Mr. Bush gave him a recess appointment to the U.N. Ambassador slot. When his recess appointment expired in December 2006, the Senate again refused to confirm his appointment, and Bolton resigned. Today, Bolton is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
The neoconservative cabal takes care of its own. But the fact that they've sent John Bolton unto the breach to shore up their message indicates just how desperate they've become to maintain a semblance of legitimacy in the U.S. political scene.
AlterNet gives us a video view of a red faced Bolton getting dressed down on a BBC program and, as a bonus, also provides footage of Bolton getting his brass handed to him by John Stewart of the Daily Show. What in the wide world of sports were the neocons thinking when they let a witless boob like Bolton go toe-to-toe with Stewart?
John Bolton is all fright wig and slap-shoes. That the neocons have chosen him as their media point man of the moment shows what a circus they've become. And yet, lamentably, pathetically, tragically, Mr. Bush is still listening to them, and following their advice.
The pecans are in charge of the nut farm.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at Pen and Sword.