Anybody Listening to The FRC Hearings on Bolton?

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Anybody Listening to The FRC Hearings on Bolton?

Post by Corlyss_D » Thu May 12, 2005 12:24 pm

I got into it 3.5 hours late, right in the middle of Hagel's remarks. At least he's going to vote the nomination out of committee. The only other question mark was Voynovitch, and from remarks it looks like he's going to vote it out to the Senate too. Thank god they got Bolton done before the nuclear option comes up. Boxer sounded like the Dems are going to filibuster Bolton's nomination on the floor. I hope they do. :twisted:

I was much intrigued to learn from Mr. Obama that NK going nuclear was Bolton's fault.
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Post by Ralph » Thu May 12, 2005 1:17 pm

The nomination was voted out of committee without a recommendation.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu May 12, 2005 1:35 pm

Any word on the filibuster threat? Britt Hume walked up to it and couldn't quite get the word out. Lots of kabuki going on.
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Post by Ralph » Thu May 12, 2005 2:30 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Any word on the filibuster threat? Britt Hume walked up to it and couldn't quite get the word out. Lots of kabuki going on.
*****

I'm waiting for a phone call from Frist.
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Cosima__J

Post by Cosima__J » Thu May 12, 2005 2:34 pm

I'm waiting for the guy with the bullwhip (see Hypocrsiy thread) to show up.

Ted

Post by Ted » Thu May 12, 2005 2:58 pm

I just heard Biden.
To listen to him, the “Damming with Faint Praise”
Republicans will only affirm if Bush personally shows up and twists the wrist of each and every GOP dissenter.

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Post by Ralph » Thu May 12, 2005 3:00 pm

Cosima__J wrote:I'm waiting for the guy with the bullwhip (see Hypocrsiy thread) to show up.
*****

Keep waiiting-he was arrested this morning for a domestic violence assault.
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Post by pizza » Thu May 12, 2005 3:59 pm

The Weekly Standard

The Borking of Bolton
From the May 2, 2005 issue: To dismiss the assault on John Bolton as farcical and inconsequential is to miss its real meaning, and its impact if successful.
by William Kristol
05/02/2005, Volume 010, Issue

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.

--Karl Marx

THE MISREPRESENTATION of Robert Bork's views and character in 1987, and his subsequent defeat by the Senate for a Supreme Court seat, may not have risen quite to the level of tragedy. But a serious blow was delivered to the political health of the nation, and to the prospects for restoring sound constitutionalism to the Supreme Court.

The assault on John Bolton, on the other hand, seems to be a farce. The notion that bureaucratic infighting and occasional abruptness of manner should disqualify one from high office is laughable. Unable to defeat Bolton in a debate on the merits of the foreign policies he has advocated or implemented, the Democrats, the media, and some in the foreign policy establishment have resorted to a childish form of character assassination. Bolton disagreed with--he even disliked!--a couple of bureaucrats. He challenged them. But no one has really accused Bolton of doing anything fundamentally inappropriate. In fact, so far as anyone can tell, there seem to have been almost no formal management complaints filed against him--and very few informal ones--in his 16 years in government, which is fairly amazing.

But it is ridiculous to spend time dealing with these charges. Indeed, I suspect even the anti-Bush Doctrine Republican senators on the Foreign Relations Committee will ultimately be too embarrassed to hang a "No" vote on such flimsy scaffolding.
And do the Democrats--the party of Richard Holbrooke and Madeleine Albright--really want to have as a new standard for exclusion from high office whether an official has ever lost his or her temper? For future government jobs, perhaps the Democrats should add to the job description: Only girlie men need apply.

But to dismiss the assault on Bolton as farcical and inconsequential is to miss its real meaning, and its impact if successful. True, if Bolton is not confirmed, another Bush-doctrine believer will be nominated for U.N. ambassador, and, under Condoleezza Rice's direction, the Bush foreign-policy caravan will move on.

But that's not all this fight is about. Bolton's accusers want to send the message that it's okay, perhaps, to agree with a conservative president's policies--but it's a career-ender if you take on the bureaucracy or the establishment aggressively on behalf of the president.

In this respect, the fight over Bolton is like the fight over Bork. One hoped-for effect of Bork's defeat was to deter possible candidates for the Court from even considering certain judicial interpretations--just as the assault, in different circumstances, on Lawrence Summers at Harvard is intended to rule out of bounds the raising of certain questions in the academy. Bork's defeat had real consequences: 18 years of intellectual mediocrity and constitutional incoherence from the Supreme Court. Only now do we have the prospect of once again advancing a constitutionalist reformation for the courts.

Similarly, if the Bolton nomination is lost, there will be real consequences, as presidential appointees start shying away from tough decisions, confrontations with the permanent foreign policy bureaucracy, and "controversial" ideas so as not to be "Boltoned." Republicans lost the Bork fight--partly through failures of nerve and intelligence--and the country has paid a price in constitutional jurisprudence. Now, however, there is a Republican Congress and a determined president--and also, perhaps, a greater willingness to undertake such fights among conservatives. A good thing, too, for we could pay almost as great a price in foreign policy if the Borking of Bolton is allowed to succeed.

--William Kristol


http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/P ... 5dgarw.asp

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu May 12, 2005 5:01 pm

Ted wrote:I just heard Biden.
To listen to him, the “Damming with Faint Praise”
Republicans will only affirm if Bush personally shows up and twists the wrist of each and every GOP dissenter.
I'm glad you brought this up. The Bolton nomination and the nuclear option business and the social security discussion all support my oft-repeated comment that this bunch of Republicans are among the most incompetent spokesmen on the planet. They are completely rudderless.

The picture of Voynovich sitting in the first committee debates, not having read the record, not having attended the hearings, suddenly forming his opinion in reaction to the Democratics' unrebutted criticism is a perfect example. Apparently the Republicans didn't think they had to defend Bolton in the debates because they had the votes. So they let the Democrats blather on and on and on about how Bolton isn't nice to his subordinates. Lugar completely screwed the pooch on how the nomination was to be handled. He ought to be flogged for stupidity. So should the Bush people who didn't shepherd Bolton around to schmooze with the committee members before the hearings started. It's been one of the most mismanaged nominations I can remember since the nannygate nominations of the early Clinton years.

What makes me the most angry is that the Republican political strategists seem to have forgotten that the Democrats have the sympathy of the media, meaning that they get a free pass on everything they say about Republicans no matter how untruthful, meaning that they will exploit every opportunity to frustrate Bush's agenda and they can get to the public much more easily than the Republicans can. The Congressional Republicans do not have the bully pulpit. You'd think they'd remember that occasionally.
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Post by operafan » Thu May 12, 2005 8:20 pm

One has to wonder why Colin Powell is going around sticking pins in John Bolton’s nomination. Powell’s future business partner and buddy, Richard Armitage was the mentor to five of the people giving evidence against Bolton. Why would a Republican be giving documents and pointing to witness for the Senate? Certainly not for something so petty as fact fixing, maybe Powell is running interference for Bander.

Prince Bander bin Sultan famously boasted of his success in cultivating powerful Americans:

If the reputation continues to build that the Saudis take care of friends when they leave office, you would not be surprised how much better friends you have with the people who are just coming into office.

It is Powell’s mentor, Frank Carlucci’s connection to the Carlyle Group (president), and thus to the Saudis that could be driving Powell. The Saudi’s don’t want John ‘Zionism is Racism’ Bolton in the U.N.

Condi doesn't want Bolton in her shop and the Saudis don't want him at the UN. A mismanaged nomination that suckers the Dems into playing the filibuster card would mean that somebody is out there is really working us. Sounds Rove-essent.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu May 12, 2005 9:29 pm

operafan wrote:One has to wonder why Colin Powell is going around sticking pins in John Bolton’s nomination.
Well, that's not to hard to figure out. Bolton was the one Bush mole in the La La Land of Foggy Bottom, who think they, not the president, make US foreign policy. Powell did not then and does not now agree with Bush on just about any foreign policy issue. Powell was quite content to have the US diplomatic corps act as unpaid representatives of the bought and the bribed nations who opposed Bush on the Iraq war.
Why would a Republican be giving documents and pointing to witness for the Senate?
See above. Bush humiliated Powell by 1) not bowing to Powell's MacArthur-like pedigree and his vaunted expertise on foreign affairs. It was pretty well known that before 9/11 when Bush solicited Powell and Powell accepted that Bush intended to be a domestic president and was prepared to outsource foreign policy to Powell. When 9/11 happened, all bets were off. Suddenly Bush knew what he wanted done and Powell was suddenly the errand boy, not the master. Suddenly Powell was trying to steer the juggernaught overwhich he had no control because his style was inconsistent with Bush's intent. 2) Bush didn't invite him to continue as Sec. State., compounding the impression that no matter how smart Powell is and how much Bush needed hiim for all his virtues, Bush didn't have the good sense to keep him on. IOW, they's scores to be settled.

Tom Curry broke a story this evening that the real source of the Democrats' fury goes to the fact that Bolton was the DoJ liaison to Congress when Bork was nominated. Bolton was summoned to testify before the then Democratic controlled Judiciary committee, many of whose members are still there, when the White House refused to yield up DoJ opinions written by Bork that the Dems demanded. Bolton told 'em 'no!'

The other reason is that the Dems also disagree violently with Bush on every important foreign policy issue of our time, most espeically on how to achieve the desired results. They do not want someone at the UN post who will pursue Bush's unambiguous, uncompromising demands for reform at the UN and for the international body to hold to the principles they supposedly claim to believe in. The UN will either reform or it will be abandoned. It's as simple as that. We need people there who will not be distracted from the fundamental necessary reforms.
Prince Bander bin Sultan famously boasted of his success in cultivating powerful Americans:

If the reputation continues to build that the Saudis take care of friends when they leave office, you would not be surprised how much better friends you have with the people who are just coming into office.

It is Powell’s mentor, Frank Carlucci’s connection to the Carlyle Group (president), and thus to the Saudis that could be driving Powell. The Saudi’s don’t want John ‘Zionism is Racism’ Bolton in the U.N.

Condi doesn't want Bolton in her shop and the Saudis don't want him at the UN. A mismanaged nomination that suckers the Dems into playing the filibuster card would mean that somebody is out there is really working us. Sounds Rove-essent.
While I like the image of the suckered Dems, I don't think Rove is doing the suckering here. I think they are suckering themselves. I think Bush wants Bolton there. If Prince Bander didn't want Bolton at the UN, all he'd have to do, according to popular press, is pick up the phone and tell Bush. Why all these games and subterfuge and slight of hand to explain what seems fairly straight forward on its face?
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Post by operafan » Thu May 12, 2005 11:05 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:[. Powell was quite content to have the US diplomatic corps act as unpaid representatives of the bought and the bribed nations who opposed Bush on the Iraq war.
Bush told Bander that we were going to war with Iraq before he told Powell, and Bush made arrangements with Blair as well, before 9/11. (from Plan of Attack). IMO Powell was out of the loop before 9/11.

Bush humiliated Powell by 1) not bowing to Powell's MacArthur-like pedigree and his vaunted expertise on foreign affairs. It was pretty well known that before 9/11 when Bush solicited Powell and Powell accepted that Bush intended to be a domestic president and was prepared to outsource foreign policy to Powell. When 9/11 happened, all bets were off. Suddenly Bush knew what he wanted done and Powell was suddenly the errand boy, not the master. Suddenly Powell was trying to steer the juggernaught overwhich he had no control because his style was inconsistent with Bush's intent. 2) Bush didn't invite him to continue as Sec. State., compounding the impression that no matter how smart Powell is and how much Bush needed hiim for all his virtues, Bush didn't have the good sense to keep him on. IOW, they's scores to be settled.
IMO Bush thinks Powell is the Oliver North of Irag - the fall guy. Powell could have been the fall guy for Iran/Contra because he was one of 5 guys at the Pentagon who (after flip-flops of testimony) admitted he knew about Iran/Contra from having seen all of Casper Wineberger's papers. Powell shimmied out of Iran-Contra, and 2nd guessed Bush on Iraq by putting George Tennet right behind in when he (Powell) was pitching war to the UN.

Tom Curry broke a story this evening that the real source of the Democrats' fury goes to the fact that Bolton was the DoJ liaison to Congress when Bork was nominated. Bolton was summoned to testify before the then Democratic controlled Judiciary committee, many of whose members are still there, when the White House refused to yield up DoJ opinions written by Bork that the Dems demanded. Bolton told 'em 'no!'
++++++++ I think you are giving the Dems too much credit. If the Dems had really been mad about Bork, they would have unleashed Bella Abzug, her hats and too much body flying on the evening news. Instead their recurring litanty was 'what is his record?'. Bolton's 'no way' just played into the Dem's hands. 'where there's smoke, something must be wrong.' The Dems didn't even have to find mud or stupitiy.
The other reason is that the Dems also disagree violently with Bush on every important foreign policy issue of our time, most espeically on how to achieve the desired results. They do not want someone at the UN post who will pursue Bush's unambiguous, uncompromising demands for reform at the UN and for the international body to hold to the principles they supposedly claim to believe in. The UN will either reform or it will be abandoned. It's as simple as that. We need people there who will not be distracted from the fundamental necessary reforms.
***** The Bush Admin has already proven the UN dead (could they keep the US or any other country from going to war? Lauching a nuke? Aquiring a nuke? IMO all these prove the UN DOA as far as war. Humanitarian stuff - the UN can still do that.) So why would the Bush Admin care who they send to the UN? Whoever goes is just cannon fodder.
While I like the image of the suckered Dems, I don't think Rove is doing the suckering here. I think they are suckering themselves. I think Bush wants Bolton there. If Prince Bander didn't want Bolton at the UN, all he'd have to do, according to popular press, is pick up the phone and tell Bush. Why all these games and subterfuge and slight of hand to explain what seems fairly straight forward on its face?


IMO the Republicans are letting the Dems waste a fillibuster card, and, maybe 'letting' the Dems win at getting Bolton to retire from the field; a good way for Republicans to get the judges they want. Rovian. IMO.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri May 13, 2005 1:54 am

operafan wrote:Bush told Bander that we were going to war with Iraq before he told Powell, and Bush made arrangements with Blair as well, before 9/11. (from Plan of Attack). IMO Powell was out of the loop before 9/11.
You're going to make me go get that book right now, aren't you? I'm going to have to put down my Economist, rummage around in the spare room where it no doubt rests, chase the cats around the room till they exit, and read the bloody passages into the wee hours. Very unsporting of you, ol' girl. Okay. I'll probably have a comment tomorrow.

IMO Bush thinks Powell is the Oliver North of Iraq - the fall guy. Powell could have been the fall guy for Iran/Contra because he was one of 5 guys at the Pentagon who (after flip-flops of testimony) admitted he knew about Iran/Contra from having seen all of Casper Wineberger's papers. Powell shimmied out of Iran-Contra, and 2nd guessed Bush on Iraq by putting George Tennet right behind in when he (Powell) was pitching war to the UN.
Fall guy in what sense? That implies wrong doing on Powell's part in the Iraq/UN debacle. I've never heard any imputation of wrong-doing to Powell. Powell would never have been the fall guy for Iran/Contra. He's Army, not Marines.

I think you are giving the Dems too much credit.
It wasn't me. It was Tom Curry.
If the Dems had really been mad about Bork, they would have unleashed Bella Abzug, her hats and too much body flying on the evening news.


When? Then? Now? Abzug is long since dead. Then they were plenty mad about Bork.
Instead their recurring litanty was 'what is his record?'.
Yeah, what they were mad about was his firing of Archie Cox the night of the Saturday Night Massacre. They intended to crucify Bork for that and his judicial philosophy as laid out in his extra-judicial writings, as I recall. I admit I'm a bit hazy on it.
The Bush Admin has already proven the UN dead (could they keep the US or any other country from going to war? Lauching a nuke? Aquiring a nuke? IMO all these prove the UN DOA as far as war. Humanitarian stuff - the UN can still do that.)
The UN couldn't do any of those things before it became the sorry whore it is now, and that's not intended as disrespect to working girls.
So why would the Bush Admin care who they send to the UN?
Because it does somethings almost okay and there's no need to tear down those operations to cure the cancer at the heart of the UN.
IMO the Republicans are letting the Dems waste a fillibuster card, and, maybe 'letting' the Dems win at getting Bolton to retire from the field; a good way for Republicans to get the judges they want. Rovian. IMO.
Now you're crediting Republicans with too much credit. I've watched this gang since Newtie left the House, and I'm sympathetic with what they were originally trying to accomplish - still am, too - and I will testify that they have no strategic plan such that they could be that clever or actually pull it off. I do think there's another agenda operating here and it is to make the Dems look like a 5th column. That plays to the Dems natural instincts and just takes advantage of what the Dems would chose to do anyway. But there's way too many missed cues, dangling participles, lost opportunities, careless oversights, and haphazard near misses for this to be the well-oiled plan you make it sound. I'd like to be convinced this is planning we're watching, so if you have any more signals, please put them out here. I want to believe! :)
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun May 15, 2005 1:45 pm

operafan wrote: Bush told Bander that we were going to war with Iraq before he told Powell, and Bush made arrangements with Blair as well, before 9/11. (from Plan of Attack). IMO Powell was out of the loop before 9/11.
Okay. Research accomplished. I found Plan of Attack and dutifully examined the references to the said actors above.


There are several elements to your assertion.

1) Bandar knew about the invasion of Iraq before Powell.
2) Bush made "arrangements with Blair that pre-dated 9/11
3) Powell was uninformed about the "arrangements" Bush made with Blair that predated 9/11.
4) Therefore, by implication, Powell was never intended to give the Bush administration anything but respectible window-dressing, i.e., my comment that Bush was going to outsource foreign policy to Powell before 9/11 was uninformed or mistaken.


I will treat of them in order:

1) Bandar knew about the invasion of Iraq before Powell.

Perhaps as to the precise time of the invasion, true. But as to the general idea that Bush had decided to invade Iraq, no. The period under discussion is the Jan 2003, immediately before the war. Powell was Sec. of State, not a war planner. Prince Bandar had to be lashed up because we needed to use Saudi assets to execute the invasion. Bandar wanted assurances from Bush that he was committed to the invasion and that he intended to take out Saddam without equivocation. Bush in turn needed assurances that we had the use of Saudi assets. Plan of Attack details pretty clearly that Powell weren't tupid. He knew Bush had decided to go to war and it was up to him to prove the diplomatic track would work before the final plans were in place and the green light given. By January 2003, it was pretty clear that Powell's reliance on the diplomatic track was unjustified, to say the least. To say that Powell was out of the loop because Bandar knew more precisely exactly when Bush would pull the trigger is a mischaracterization of the situation.

2) Bush made "arrangements with Blair that pre-dated 9/11"

Maybe I should ask, "9/11 of what year?" I have found what you were referring to in the book, and it doesn't say what you imply it says by even the wildest interpretation. In fact it says the exact opposite with respect to Bush and Blair.

Here is the passage from Plan of Attack. The time period under discussion is September 2002:

That morning [September 7, 2002], Tony Blair left London on a transatlantic flight to see Bush at Camp David. The president had invited him to come of a three-hour talk on Iraq and dinner. Blair would be on the ground for about six hours in all- an unusually short stay.

The British prime minister's style was to have ongoing debates with himself and his small circle of advisers, testing, searching, "weighing things up," as one of his advisers said. On Iraq, Blair had traveled several roads. "Look, if Bush hadn't been exercised after 9/11 about these issues," he told his advisers several times, "I would have been worrying about them, and I raised them with him before 9/11." The issues were terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and Iraq. For years, Blair had warned about the threat posed by Saddam.

When Bush had given his Axis of Evil speech earlier in the year, Blair was glad to see that the American president was getting serious about the rogue-state problem. Yet Blair would never have used the Axis of Evil label, this close adviser said. Of the three countries, he was most worried about North Korea, and he believed Iran was close to developing dangerous WMD stockpiles. Iraq was at the bottom of the Axis list for the prime minister, the adviser claimed, suggesting Blair was not at this point as driven about Saddam as Bush.


3) Powell was uninformed about the "arrangements" Bush made with Blair that predated 9/11.[/b]

There were no "arrangements" for Powell to be out of the loop on.

4) Therefore, by implication, Powell was never intended to give the Bush administration anything but respectible window-dressing, i.e., my comment that Bush was going to outsource foreign policy to Powell before 9/11 was uninformed or mistaken.

The above analysis refutes your assertions. I stand by my comment that before 9/11/2001, Bush had intended to cede virtual total control of foreign policy to Powell. He didn't want to be a foreign policy president. Foreign policy was not his interest, it wasn't what he campaigned on, he didn't want to know more about it than absolutely necessary. Powell was picked because he was a strong personality and would not be running to Bush at every turn for guidance.
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