[Marxism] Bolton on Cuba

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Tue Apr 12 08:47:04 MDT 2005

[Q]uestions about Bolton's views were overshadowed by allegations that 
Bolton, in his current post as undersecretary of state, sought the 
removal of two analysts who did not support his claim that Cuba was 
developing biological weapons.

Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said yesterday that 
witnesses will testify in coming days about Bolton's actions. They said 
his behavior was especially troubling given that the new ambassador 
must earn the world's confidence after US intellgence failures in the 
lead-up to the Iraq war.

Bolton said he complained about the analysts because he felt they had 
tried to undermine him ''behind his back," not because of their 
intelligence assessements.

''I've never sought to change anyone's opinion due to pressure," [But 
afterwards tried to get the person fired.] Bolton said. ''The issue has 
nothing to do with intelligence analysis. . . . It has to do with 
straightforward behavior and open and honest dealings."

The controversy centered around a speech Bolton was preparing in 2002 
called ''Beyond the Axis of Evil" in which he planned to state that 
''the US believes that Cuba has a developmental offensive biological 
warfare program and is providing assistance to other rogue state 
programs," according to an initial draft quoted by Democratic senators.

[None of the senators appear to have asked Bolton, the basis for his 
claim. Was it out of whole cloth? Who were the rogue states that he was 
referring to? Were the sources from the CIA or another agency? Were the 
sources from the Miami mafia opponents of the Cuban Revolution? In 
other words, they put Bolton on the spot for his bureaucratic 
aggression, but did not focus on him AS A LIAR.]

But when Bolton sent the draft out for clearance, Christian Westermann, 
the top biological weapons analyst at the State Department, responded 
that Bolton's statements went beyond what the intelligence community 
believed, according to witnesses' statements.

Bolton's chief of staff instructed Westermann to send the speech to the 
CIA anyway for approval. Westermann did so, but also included his own 
assessment, which would usually be requested in such cases.

When Bolton found out that Westermann had included his own dissenting 
opinion, Bolton grew furious and called Westermann's boss, Thomas 
Fingar, according to Senator Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, 
who read aloud from a transcript of Fingar's interview. Bolton said 
''he was the president's appointee and he could say what he wanted. He 
wasn't going to be told what to say by a . . . munchkin analyst," Dodd 
said, quoting the transcript.

''He went behind my back," Bolton replied at the hearing.

Months later, according to committee testimony cited by Democrats, 
Bolton told Westermann's boss that he should be relieved of his post, 
but Westermann was never removed.

Bolton delivered his speech in 2002, asserting that ''the United States 
believes that Cuba has at least a limited offensive biological warfare 
research and development effort. Cuba has provided dual-use 
biotechnology to other rogue states."

[Thus, Bolton did rewrite his claim, which actually saved his ass, but 
he still tried to get his critics fired. We should look at this version 
as an example of bureaucratic double-speak in false implications, 
worthy of George Orwell's famous book "1984."]

The speech prompted a Senate subcommittee hearing into Cuba's WMD 
program. Senate investigators interviewed a second analyst who said 
that Bolton had included statements that the CIA had never cleared and 
that the intelligence community did not agree with Bolton.

Bolton later drove to the CIA and asked for the analyst to be removed, 
according to Democratic senators quoting from interviews with Stuart 
Cohen, the analyst's supervisor.

Yesterday, Bolton acknowledged that he had complained about the 
analyst's ''lack of professionalism" but said that visit was just a 
courtesy call.


from Brian Shannon

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