Back Door Man
Revealing the depth of his disregard for both the United Nations and the long-term security of the American people, President George W. Bush made John Bolton the United States’ ambassador to the U.N. today. The appointment comes while Congress is in recess, thereby circumventing the unpleasant fact that nearly half the members of the U.S. Senate understand how poorly qualified Mr. Bolton is for the position, and have thus refused to approve the appointment originally tendered this past March. By making a recess appointment, Mr. Bush will have Mr. Bolton as his government’s representative at the international diplomatic body until the next full session of Congress convenes in January 2007.
Controversial from the moment his name surfaced as the Bush administration’s choice to fill the vacant seat last held by John Danforth (the previous U.N. ambassador was John D. Negroponte, who is now busy organizing death squads to combat the insurgency in Iraq), Mr. Bolton has a reputation as a staunch conservative and a man who thinks nothing of using verbal abuse and political intimidation to affect the decisions and job performance of his subordinates.
Widely reviled as a “bully” and a crass ideologue, Mr. Bolton is on record as a proponent of dismantling the U.N. entirely, having said “there is no such thing as the United Nations,” and “if the U.N. building in New York lost 10 stories it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”
In addition to his belligerent approach to the delicate art of diplomacy, Mr. Bolton brings with him to the U.N. a record of having lied to Congress, when he gave false testimony on a questionnaire given to him by the Senate subcommittee investigating his appointment in March.
The unprecedented end run around a Senate clearly unimpressed with Mr. Bolton’s diplomatic resume was necessitated, according to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, because “we can’t be … without leadership at the United Nations.”
In a country of some 300 million people it would seem virtually impossible the only person fit to fill the most high-profile position bearing on the nation’s standing and credibility in the international community is a brow-beating, misogynistic liar. But then, Mr. Bush and his advisors seem only all-too-willing to draw from a talent pool in which those qualities are no liability.