Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Revoltin' John Bolton is Back

Also at DKos.

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?

The Neo-conspiracy

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.


  1. So exactly when was it, again, that the Administration said that Iraq was an "imminent threat"? Chapter and verse, please.

    If you're going to engage in this kind of childish derision, you owe an obligation to offer more than your own sophomoric sarcasm.

  2. Ol' Gord posted the BBC thing at our place. Outstanding.

    How's the book coming, Commander?

  3. James, I believe the term was 'mushroom cloud' via Condi.

  4. James, click on the RAW STORY link.


    I'm still looking for an agent/publisher.

  5. EdNSted4:04 PM


    Thanks for acknowledging the role PNAC has played in all this. I believe that it is simply not possible to understand the strategies and policies of the Bush administration without having read what amounts to this administration's

    Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century
    A Report of
    The Project for the New American Century
    September 2000

    This document, which PNAC has been publicly available on the PNAC website since its creation, goes a long ways towards explaining most major policy decision of the current administration. The report is roughly 100 pages in length and should be required reading for anyone who writes abouts, comments on, or otherwise desires a working knowledge of what makes this administration tick. Unfortunately, the importance that I assign to this document does not seem to be shared by most in the media. Even today, nearly 7 years after its publication, the vast majority of those who consider themselves journalists or pundits have not read it. The media spent hundreds of hours discussing non-existent WMD, and 'democracy' for Iraqis (whatever that is) but barely a moment was spent on the underlying reasons for this dog and pony show.

    I suspect that one day, historians will view this document as key to understanding much that has happened during the Bush administration. It is my hope that one day, it will be required reading in every American history class and viewed for the misguided thinking that it really is.

  6. Ed,

    Thanks for the comments and the links.



  7. EdNSted5:45 PM

    Denying that that the Bush administration viewed Iraq as an imminent threat was a 2004 talking point, and one long ago decisively refuted:


    I'll only add that to continue to allege that the Bush adminsitration never tried to claim Iraq was an imminent threat is simply revisionist history - the same kind that helped to get us into this mess in the first place.

  8. @James, 305 PM. No, the Bu$hies never said "imminent threat." Point to you because they used every last single descriptor except "imminent." A cynical might say that parsing precise words is not the most humane way to explain more than 650,000 dead people.

    Humanity requires a full accounting of the crimes.

  9. James:

    Anyone who heard the Administration voices in the run-up to war heard again and again and again that Iraq and its WMDs posed a grave threat to US - that's how they sold the war (to the gullible)!

    If this historical fact is outside of your conscious recall, you should probably seek medical help.

    How about you provide any specifics about Jeff's straying from fact into "childish derision"? An attorney ought to be able to engage in a discussion by addressing the issues at hand, and without resorting to baseless ad hominem attacks.

    To quote a recent (insubstantial) poster: "If you're going to engage in this kind of childish derision, you owe an obligation to offer more than your own sophomoric sarcasm."

    Pot, meet kettle. Stew.

  10. The video footage was all fascinating. Aside from the fact that it looks like a walrus, it seems so reasonable when it talks. It holds up its finger like a debate club champion, and tsk-tsks like outrageous things are bring said to it, and it frames all of its arguments in the language of rational, sensible ideas about honest governance.

    But then you listen to the actual substance of what comes from its mouth...

  11. CheneyCorp. can safely rely on Bolton to stay on message.

    And he's available, and also not a member of Congress (with their current low-approval ratings).

    Also, he's not running for President.

    Moreover, he's not Tom DeLay -- can't believe the GOP is really letting the Bugman have so much air time.

    All that means Bolton's an obvious choice. Expect to see a lot more of him.

  12. Thanks again for the great discussion, folks.

  13. EdNSted12:40 PM

    On a somewhat lighter note, this spoof from MadTV contains a nugget or two of truth. Enjoy (hat tip to FDL):

    Steve Jobs introduces the iRack

  14. Anonymous6:17 PM

    I believe the 911 issue needs more focus herein to better understand why we are in Iraq and soon Iran. Its a hot potato and deep down we know it is being denied, covered up.
    With so much attention being paid to the PNAC manifesto(Rebuilding Americas Defenses) often quoted in these opinions. I suggest careful reading on Pg.51, paragraph 1 where the NEOCONS state emphatically that the changes outlined in this manifesto could not be implemented unless there was a 'catastrophic and catalyzing event such as a new Pearl Harbor, I don't think we need inspector Clousseau to realize that 911 was the EXACT event the Neocons needed.They have gooten everything they had hoped for because of this event. To deny their involvement in 911 is to ignore the catalysts that have shaped history to happen the way it has.
    Since it is impossible to accept all the anomalies and 'coincidences' of that day as an act carried out by amateur pilots, then we are faced with the ugly fact that indeed the NEOCONS and their Bushevik enablers, set forth their plans and used the 911 event as their point of embarking.
    This point is never going away, we must go back and accept the reality of that day in the greater context of what has unfolded since.
    Our lives have been cheapened and the exploitation of the war banking machine is crushing the bones of humanity. The exposure of the 911 lie could be the greatest solution and help in turning humanity's nightmare around.

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