[Marxism] Korea Speech Comes Back To Haunt Bolton
walterlx at earthlink.net
Wed May 4 09:27:25 MDT 2005
Here's an important explanation of the significance of the
fight over Bolton's confirmation. Now that so many of those
opposing Bolton now are fellow Republicans and conservatives.
The talk we're now hearing of a possible North Korean ability
to build or launch a nuclear weapon has interestingly caused
some nervousness among US policy-makers. But keep in mind we
all can travel to North Korea without permission from the US
government. No one has ever claimed that Cuba has any kind of
nuclear weapons, but Cuban-Americans cannot visit their own
mothers, fathers and children more than once every THREE years
under the policies of the Bush administration.
Cuba isn't mentioned here, and it's NOT important that every
single article in the world which mentions Bolton must have a
link to Cuba made. But Bolton's statements about North Korea
and his statements about Cuba have something in common: they
twist the facts to suit Bolton's more exaggerated, escalated
and aggressive ideological posture. It's the same approach he
and the Bush administration have been following toward Cuba.
Given the unilateralist approach to US foreign policy as it
relates to the entire planet, and the stakes which have gotten
higher and higher, a defeat for the Bolton confirmation would
be an important specific step toward reining in the behavior
of the Bush administration. And the entire world media is now
starting to see this.
Consider the following article by Bill Clinton advisor Sidney
Blumenthal from the GUARDIAN of London which has circulated
all over the world.
Here it's reprinted in Cuba's GRANMA INTERNATIONAL:
Here's Bolton's 2003 speech at the State Dept. website:
Walter Lippmann, CubaNews
Korea Speech Comes Back
To Haunt Bolton
Former Ambassador Claims
His Views Were Misrepresented
By U.N. Nominee in a Hearing
By YOCHI J. DREAZEN
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
May 4, 2005; Page A4
Ten days before a climactic vote, John R. Bolton's nomination as United
Nations ambassador is being clouded by a lingering dispute over his
controversial speech on North Korea and a heated disagreement with a fellow
high-level Bush administration appointee.
Undersecretary of State Bolton told lawmakers at his confirmation hearing
last month that Thomas Hubbard, at the time the U.S. ambassador to South
Korea, had cleared a July 2003 speech denouncing North Korean leader Kim
Jong Il, and that Mr. Hubbard later thanked him for delivering it. Mr.
Hubbard, by contrast, told committee staffers that he had strongly disagreed
with the tone of the speech and asked Mr. Bolton to tone it down.
"It's misleading, to say the least, to have me praising him for the speech,"
Mr. Hubbard told Republican staffers in an interview last month, according
to a draft summary of his closed-door interview with Republican staffers
that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. "I did not approve the tone of
The rift between the two men illustrates one of the most unusual aspects of
the continuing fight over Mr. Bolton: Almost all of the current and former
government officials making serious allegations against him are fellow
Republican appointees, many of whom describe themselves as staunch
conservatives and strong supporters of President Bush.
That, in turn, underscores the biggest question looming over the
confirmation fight in the final days before the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee holds a vote on the nomination, tentatively scheduled for
Thursday, May 12: Will wavering Republican lawmakers swallow their concerns
about Mr. Bolton and fall in line behind the White House's vocal demands
that he be approved, or choose instead to listen to the sharp objections
being voiced by Republican appointees such as Mr. Hubbard?
"I don't know if this is unprecedented, but it sure is unusual," says Norman
Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the conservative American Enterprise
Institute. "When you have divisions within the Senate or within your own
ranks, it's generally not because people from within those same ranks have
stepped forward to derail a nominee. Here, they have."
Mr. Hubbard, who is now an attorney in private practice in Washington,
confirmed the details of his dispute with Mr. Bolton in an email exchange
with this paper. Mr. Bolton has declined all media inquiries while his
nomination is being reviewed.
State Department officials released a letter that then-Secretary of State
Colin Powell sent to a Republican senator in August 2003 in which Mr. Powell
noted that the Bolton speech "was fully cleared within the department" and
"was consistent with administration policy."
The flap over Mr. Bolton's Korea speech is one of many questions swirling
around his nomination, a debate that started over his outspoken criticism of
the U.N., but has since veered into a broader investigation into his
temperament and alleged willingness to exaggerate intelligence assessments
and punish lower-level officials who questioned him.
Mr. Hubbard was interviewed by aides from both parties late last week. In an
earlier interview with Republican staffers, he sketched a portrait of Mr.
Bolton and his controversial 2003 speech that was strikingly different from
the way Mr. Bolton described it at his April 12 confirmation hearing.
At issue is a high-profile speech Mr. Bolton gave in Seoul on July 31, 2003,
during a three-country Asian trip designed to drum up support for
multilateral talks aimed at persuading North Korea to abandon its
nuclear-weapons program. In a blistering and unusually personal speech1 at
the East Asia Institute, Mr. Bolton derided Mr. Kim as a "tyrannical
dictator" who had turned his country into a "hellish nightmare," ultimately
criticizing the North Korean leader by name 41 times in a 25-minute speech.
At his confirmation hearing, Mr. Bolton told lawmakers that the speech had
been cleared by relevant State Department officials, and that Mr. Hubbard
praised him for delivering it. " 'Thanks a lot for that speech, John. It'll
help us a lot here,' " Mr. Bolton testified that Mr. Hubbard told him.
But that was not how Mr. Hubbard remembered things, and he wasted little
time before contacting committee staffers -- and later both Sen. Lincoln
Chafee of Rhode Island and an aide to Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, two of
the Republican panel members most critical of Mr. Bolton -- to accuse Mr.
Bolton of mischaracterizing his involvement with the speech and reaction to
Mr. Hubbard told the staffers that he asked Mr. Bolton to tone down the
speech because it was to be delivered at a sensitive point in the
negotiating process with North Korea, but was rebuffed. He then asked for
some minor factual corrections and wording changes designed to make the
remarks more palatable to South Koreans. When those were made, Mr. Hubbard
said that he told Mr. Bolton, "Thank you, John, for making those changes;
they will help us in South Korea."
Mr. Hubbard told the investigators that he wasn't trying to accuse Mr.
Bolton of deliberately misstating the facts of the speech, and that Mr.
Bolton may have misunderstood his reason for expressing gratitude after the
speech. But he said that Mr. Bolton certainly knew that the two of them had
a major disagreement over how to deal with Mr. Kim and was wrong to imply
Some of that antagonism was also directed at Mr. Hubbard, a 39-year career
diplomat, according to his testimony. When he was unable to arrange a
meeting for Mr. Bolton with South Korea's president-elect, Mr. Bolton
declined to come to the embassy upon arrival in Seoul, hung up in the middle
of a cellphone conversation on his way in from the airport, and canceled a
dinner Mr. Bolton's staff had requested with South Korean academics. Mr.
Bolton "was clearly irked with me," Mr. Hubbard told the staffers.
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