What Day Will The Washington Post Announce Its Opposition?

The Washington Post resumes its double-barrelled shotgun approach to the nomination of John Roberts on page A02 of the paper today, running two reports critical of the Supreme Court nominee. The first, by Jim VandeHei, notes that the gay community has shrugged off the pro bono work done by Roberts to announce their opposition to his confirmation. The announcement comes with the hysteria thus far associated with almost all of the opposition to Roberts (emphases mine):

“For his entire adult life, John Roberts has been a disciple of and promoted a political and legal ideology that is antithetical to an America that embraces all, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said in a statement. “I have no doubt he’s an accomplished lawyer and an affable dinner companion, but that doesn’t make him any less a mortal danger to equal rights for gay people, reproductive freedom and affirmative action.”

Wow. I didn’t realize that one could be an affable dinner companion while spending every moment of one’s adult life as a mortal danger. No sooner than Foreman passed judgment on the entirety of Roberts’ adult life than he backpedaled, giving Roberts credit for a few hours of adult life spent volunteering for the community for which he presents a mortal danger:

“We are mindful that Judge Roberts provided a few hours of pro bono help to the attorneys in Romer v. Evans — a landmark case for our community,” the organizations said. “Some have said that this work — which consisted mostly of playing the role of a conservative justice — demonstrates that Roberts is not personally anti-gay. This theory is not relevant to the important issue for our community: how Roberts would vote as a Supreme Court justice.”

I agree with Foreman that this assistance to Romer did not add substantially to their effort and does not presage how he will vote on issues involving the gay agenda. However, his voluntary work to assist their preparation certainly demonstrates a lack of ill will towards their community and hardly paints a picture of the “mortal danger” over which Foreman hyperventilates. Frankly, I’m still not convinced that Roberts won’t turn out to be so reliant on stare decisis that all of this wailing and gnashing of teeth will wind up being for nothing.
Despite the absolutely unsurprising development of gay-rights groups opposing Roberts, the Post puts this story on the second page. No one doubts that the announcement deserves a mention, but the prominence of its placement seems rather strange. At least VandeHei lets the story speak for itself without injecting his own analysis into its reporting. The same cannot be said for the companion report selected by the Post’s editors to run on page A02 along with VandeHei’s, this one from Jo Becker that slyly attempts to paint John Roberts as a Confederate-loving redneck based on a single literary reference:

A fastidious editor of other people’s copy as well as his own, Roberts began with the words “Until about the time of the Civil War.” Then, the Indiana native scratched out the words “Civil War” and replaced them with “War Between the States.”
The handwritten document is one of tens of thousands of pages of Roberts files released over the past several weeks from his 1982-1986 tenure as an associate counsel to the president.
While it is true that the Civil War is also known as the War Between the States, the Encyclopedia Americana notes that the term is used mainly by southerners. Sam McSeveney, a history professor emeritus at Vanderbilt University who specialized in the Civil War, said that Roberts’s choice of words was significant.
“Many people who are sympathetic to the Confederate position are more comfortable with the idea of a ‘War Between the States,’ ” McSeveney explained. “People opposed to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s would undoubtedly be more comfortable with the words he chose.”

As a “fastidious editor”, I often look for different phrasing and formulations to express myself and to avoid repetition in my writing. I use nicknames and synonyms to keep the prose interesting and also to familiarize myself and my audience to alternative terms. The phrase “The War Between The States” has never held any negative connotation in my experience. The phrase most often associated with Southern sympathies, again in my experience, has been “The War of Northern Aggression”.
This piece reeks of bias. Becker and the Post want to paint Roberts as a racist without having the guts or the evidence to do so, and instead takes a single flourish of rhetoric — out of 18,000 pages of documents! — and instantly transforms him into a Confederate sympathizer. Becker’s hit piece has absolutely no news value whatsoever, not only unqualified for page A02 of the Post but page ZZ100 of any local free weekly. If this demonstrates the editorial and reporting quality of the Washington Post, then the paper has hit harder times in the past month than anyone could have predicted.
White House spokesman Steve Schmidt responded to the Foreman announcement that liberal groups had long ago decided to oppose anyone that Bush nominated to the Supreme Court, and the only open question was the timing of the announcements. We wonder when the Post will start acting honestly and deliver their open announcement of opposition instead of issuing weak and despicable pieces like today’s “news” from Jo Becker.

Project Valour IT

You’ll notice that today’s Day By Day cartoon, besides its normal humor, promotes an effort to provide voice-command laptop computers to service members injured in the war. Project Valour IT is run by Soldier’s Angels, a fine organization that adopts soldiers and Marines on the front lines to make sure each of our fighting men and women have someone back home supporting them. You can find out more about Project Valour IT there, or at the following blogs:
Dean’s World
And here at From My Position, meet the soldier that inspired Project Valour IT.

UN: You-Know-Who Hindering Hariri Investigation

The United Nations team investigating the assassination of Rafik Hariri issued a statement that reveals Syrian interference and lack of cooperation to the UN Security Council. Assad’s regime in Damascus has blocked access to witnesses and failed to release documents that relate to the murder which eventually led to the collapse of Syria’s position in Lebanon. However, the UNSC failed to directly criticize the Assad government, thanks to their Russian sponsors:

Syria is not co-operating with an international investigation into the death of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a UN official has said.
Damascus has yet to give investigators access to key witnesses and documents, the UN’s Under Secretary General said.
The UN Security Council later passed a motion urging “all parties” to aid the investigation, while the US’ UN envoy called Syria’s stance “unacceptable”. …
Syria has failed to respond to a request from the investigators to provide key documents and five witnesses for interview, the UN Under Secretary General Ibrahim Gambari said.
“No reply has been received,” he said.
He noted that Syria had offered to discuss the investigators’ demands – but he said this was no substitute for co-operation.

John Bolton once again proved why George Bush insisted on his selection as UN ambassador. He not only specified the Syrians for their “unacceptable” lack of cooperation, he also scolded the UN Security Council for its weak-kneed response. Russia, as it turns out, would not allow a statement to be issued that named Syria for criticism for its foot-dragging. Instead, the UNSC issued a call for all member-states to fully cooperate with the investigation — which would mean something if all member-states had assassinated Hariri in the first place. Syria alone has that dubious honor, which is why they won’t cooperate.
Even the UN investigation into Hariri’s murder has no point; everyone understands who did it and why. At least the investigators have the will to name those who impede them. That exceeds the courage the UNSC showed in supporting the investigation.
This process shows why the UN has disintegrated into farce from tragedy. Thirty years ago, such gamesmanship replaced real warfare between the two superpowers of the US and the Soviet Union, and therefore may have had some value — perhaps. Even then, it mostly served as a continuous convention for anti-democratic demonstrations and anti-Semitic speechmaking from the kleptocrats of the day. Now we still have all of that, plus rampant corruption and an unwillingness to affect the status quo in any way, shape, or form.
John Bolton got to Turtle Bay not a moment too soon, and thanks to Democrats in the Senate, later than he should have been. Either the UN needs to start getting serious about accountability for both its member-states and itself, or we should pull the plug on the entire mess.

French Intelligence: Asia Next Big AQ Target

France’s counterintelligence chief told the Financial Times that al-Qaeda’s next attack against Western interests will likely fall on Asia, probably in Japan, Singapore, or even Sydney, Australia. A serious attack could destabilize the Far East economy, sending ripples throughout the global markets and creating the fear and withdrawal that Osama bin Laden wants to produce:

In an interview with the Financial Times newspaper Friday, Jean-Louis Bruguiere added that several Asian countries are less prepared than Britain or the United States for such an attack.
“We have elements of information that make us think that countries in this region, especially Japan, could have been targeted” by the Al-Qaeda network, the investigating magistrate said.
“Any attack on a financial market like Japan would mechanically have an important economic impact on the confidence of investors. Other countries in this region, such as Singapore and Australia, are also potential targets.”
Despite the threat, he added, “we are somewhat neglecting the capacity or desire of the Al-Qaeda organisation to destabilise” the region.

Bruguiere has some extensive experience in the field. He predicted the kind of commercial-airline attacks on Western interests that wound up as the 9/11 attacks after stopping a similar plan against the Eiffel Tower in 1994. He has worked against Islamist terror for at least two decades, thanks to France’s war against Algerian separatists, and believes that the Asian targets present too easy an opportunity for AQ to dismiss.
Japan and Australia have both provided military and political support to the United States in our prosecution of the war after 9/11. Undoubtedly, bin Laden would love a chance to undermine those alliances by striking at both the economies and the symbols of freedom in either or both countries. As Bruguiere notes, symbols play a large part in AQ attacks. The World Trade Center as a symbol held such significance for bin Laden that he attacked it twice (1993 and 2001), as well as going after the Pentagon and probably either the White House or Capitol Hill. The London attacks targeted the Tube, the subway system that allows for free movement throughout the British capital.
Bruguiere claims that none of these potential targets have sufficiently prepared to defend against such an attack. One could question whether a free society could ever meet that standard, but in the case of Australia, such a diagnosis surprises. Australians lost scores of its own citizens in the Bali attack, and they understand clearly that their staunch defense of liberty and freedom makes them a target. Japan may have more illusions; they seemed genuinely shocked when their aid workers got kidnapped in Iraq. If so, they need to shed those illusions quickly. Being nice to terrorists wins nothing but disdain from Islamofascists, as they repeatedly demonstrate.
We need to strip ourselves of any illusions about this as well. A successful attack on any of these economic powerhouses will have a serious impact on our own economy. The West needs to band together to protect our combined assets and present a united defense against AQ lunatics. Given our relationship with Japan and Australia, it should be a far easier task there than in Europe.

AP: CIA Reports Wants Heads To Roll

According to confidential sources with access to the secret CIA inspector-general’s report, the classified document just released to Congress calls for disciplinary action against senior CIA officials. The new CIA director, Porter Goss, must weigh those recommendations against the disruption that a series of disciplinary reviews would cause in the middle of a war:

The CIA’s independent watchdog has recommended disciplinary reviews for current and former officials who were involved in failed intelligence efforts before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, The Associated Press has learned. …
The proceedings, formally called an accountability board, were recommended by the CIA inspector general, John Helgerson. It remains unclear which people are identified for the accountability boards in the highly classified report spanning hundreds of pages. The report was delivered to Congress Tuesday night.
Following a two-year review into what went wrong before the suicide hijackings, people familiar with the report say Helgerson harshly criticizes a number of the agency’s most senior officials. Among them are former CIA Director George Tenet, former clandestine service chief Jim Pavitt and former counterterrorism center head Cofer Black. The former officials are likely candidates for proceedings before an accountability board.
The boards could take a number of actions, including letters of reprimand or dismissal. They could also clear them of wrongdoing.

Holding disciplinary hearings for those officials who have already retired from the agency would still cause massive headaches. The American public would demand some portions of those hearings to be held publicly, especially the overall review of the IG’s report. Active agents and case leaders would have to interrupt their work, even if the review board just needed them as witnesses for others. The disruption could cause some of the same problems that the report likely will fault the agency for committing — lack of coordination, a paucity of resources, and faulty and incomplete analysis.
That should not keep Goss from taking action, however. He will need to choose his battles carefully and apply discipline fairly, but we have larger issues on which the CIA should focus its attention. Public acknowledgement of the personal failures that the report establishes (if it does, in fact, establish them with substantive evidence) might suffice as a career-ending event, as well as reassignment to undesirable programs, which will make the point without disrupting the serious business of intelligence operations.
We will need the public hearings and at least an executive summary of the failings that led to 9/11. As the 9/11 Commission proved through its ineptness and political grandstanding, the business of protecting America is far too important to let the bureaucrats handle it themselves.
UPDATE: Ann wonders in the comments whether anyone from the WMD section will get selected for disciplinary action. It’s a good question, especially regarding the people who decided to send Joe Wilson on a trip to Niger, only to have him leak a false version of his report all over the place. Think we’ll hear about that if the report addresses it?

Air America: The Sheldon Drobny Chronicles

Michelle Malkin and Brian Maloney have posted their latest installment of their blog investigation into the Air America financial scandal, this time training a magnifying glass at the strange characters at the center of Piquant Media and the shell games surrounding AAR’s ownership changes, Sheldon and Anita Drobny. The Drobnys started Air America but quickly faded into the background, allowing Evan Cohen and others to make themselves the public faces of the liberal radio netlet while the couple continued to pull all the strings almost anonymously:

Drobny, a deep-pocketed, self-described venture capitalist from Chicago, is a strange duck who deserves much more media scrutiny than he’s getting. In October 2003, NRO’s Byron York explored his moonbat writings for a fringe website called Make Them Accountable here. York noted Drobny’s Lyndon LaRouche connections and wrote:

In the 1990s, conservatives came under heavy criticism for relying on funding from the foundation run by Richard Mellon Scaife. Liberal commentators routinely portrayed Scaife as a right-wing zillionaire who harbored dark visions about the evil nature of his political adversaries. Now, it is a zillionaire on the left-the guiding force behind liberalism’s premier outreach effort-who harbors dark visions about the evil nature of his political adversaries. And that is the face of liberal talk radio.

Since then, however, neither the New York Times nor any other major MSM outlet has had anything more to say about the checkered past of Drobny and his wife, Anita, their apparent shell game habits, or their latest efforts to drum up new cash for the Air America money pit through the dubious “Nova M” business plan, which we first exposed here.

Read both halves of this latest installment. The Drobnys need much more exposure as the true owners of Air America and the engineers of the shell game that attempted to dodge a fortune in unpaid debts run up by AAR in their eighteen months on the air.

Michael Yon’s Must-Read

Many people have wondered what happened to war reporting. We had a glimpse of it during the actual invasion of Iraq, when over 700 journalists imbedded themselves in the fighting units and gave straight reporting on the action they witnessed. After the fall of Saddam, however, “embeds” found themselves viewed with disfavor, supposedly biased towards the troops, and the number of reporters attached to fighting units dropped to less than three dozen.
One of those who remained is free-lancer Michael Yon, who publishes his work in blog form at Michael Yon: Online Magazine. A Special Forces veteran, Yon brings unique perspective about the war in Iraq through his words and pictures. What’s so unique? His objectivity and immediacy. Try reading his latest article, “Gates of Fire”, and find out why Yon may emerge as the best reporter of the war.
Tom Elia at The New Editor notes a passage that also caught my ear when I heard Hugh Hewitt read it on the air this evening. The terrorist who wounded the unit commander had been captured before by American forces in Iraq — but got released after the US turned him over to the Iraqis:

The terrorist turned out to be one Khalid Jasim Nohe, who had first been captured by US forces (2-8 FA) on 21 December, the same day a large bomb exploded in the dining facility on this base and killed 22 people.
That December day, Khalid Jasim Nohe and two compatriots tried to evade US soldiers from 2-8 FA, but the soldiers managed to stop the fleeing car. Then one of the suspects tried to wrestle a weapon from a soldier before all three were detained. They were armed with a sniper rifle, an AK, pistols, a silencer, explosives and other weapons, and had in their possession photographs of US bases, including a map of this base.
That was in December.
About two weeks ago, word came that Nohe’s case had been dismissed by a judge on 7 August. The Coalition was livid. According to American officers, solid cases are continually dismissed without apparent cause. Whatever the reason, the result was that less than two weeks after his release from Abu Ghraib, Nohe was back in Mosul shooting at American soldiers.
LTC Kurilla repeatedly told me of–and I repeatedly wrote about–terrorists who get released only to cause more trouble. Kurilla talked about it almost daily. Apparently, the vigor of his protests had made him an opponent of some in the Army’s Detention Facilities chain of command, but had otherwise not changed the policy. And now Kurilla lay shot and in surgery in the same operating room with one of the catch-and-release-terrorists he and other soldiers had been warning everyone about.

Does this demonstrate why we need detention facilities like Guantanamo Bay and should remain firm that terrorists don’t get released — ever? Unlawful combatants need to remain imprisoned for life. Otherwise, we wind up fighting them again, and even worse, they wound and kill America’s finest as soon as they get free. Patton once said that he didn’t like tactical withdrawals because he didn’t like paying for the same real estate twice. We need to change our way of thinking to a war footing and understand that when we let these lunatics go free, we’re paying for the same real estate twice or more, and the price we pay are commanders like Lt. Col. Kurilla.

Italians Hid Iraqi ‘Insurgents’

The AP reports that the Italian Red Cross hid four Iraqi terrorists in exchange for the release of two Italian aid workers last year — who promptly turned around and promoted their cause once they returned to Italy. The Italian government did not share this information with the US, and allowed the Iraqis to go free once they received the medical treatment they needed from their wounds sustained fighting Coalition forces:

Italy’s Red Cross treated four Iraqi insurgents and hid them from U.S. forces in exchange for the freedom of two Italian aid workers kidnapped last year in Baghdad, an official said in an interview published Thursday.
Maurizio Scelli, the outgoing chief of the Italian Red Cross, told La Stampa newspaper that he kept the deal secret from U.S. officials, complying with “a nonnegotiable condition” imposed by Iraqi mediators who helped him secure the release of Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, who were abducted on Sept. 7 and freed Sept. 28.
“The mediators asked us to save the lives of four alleged terrorists wanted by the Americans who were wounded in combat,” Scelli was quoted as saying. “We hid them and brought them to Red Cross doctors, who operated on them.”
They took the wounded insurgents to a Baghdad hospital in a jeep and in an ambulance, smuggling them through two U.S. checkpoints by hiding them under blankets and boxes of medicine, Scelli reportedly said. …
Scelli told the newspaper he informed the Italian government of the deal and of the decision to hide it from the U.S. through Gianni Letta, an undersecretary in Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s government who has been in charge of Italy’s hostage crises in
“Keeping quiet with the Americans about our efforts to free the hostages was an irrevocable condition to guarantee the safety of the hostages and ourselves,” he told La Stampa. He said Letta agreed.

This puts quite a different spin on a number of issues with the Italians in Iraq. When terrorists released the two aid workers last September, Italian dailies published reports of high-priced ransoms being paid. Italian Foreign Minister Francisco Frattini hotly disputed that any deal had been made, saying that the release showed the love and esteem in which the Arab world held Italy. Hardly; now we know that the Italians double-dealt us, and then allowed the two freed women to spout anti-American rants after they abused the Red Cross vehicles and broke with the Geneva Convention to conduct what amounted to an espionage mission.
Speaking of espionage, that piece of history may have had something to do with the Giuliana Sgrena incident earlier this year. Once again, the Italians failed to coordinate with us on a hostage release. One wonders what the Italians paid for the journalist, but what we do know is that they had no compunction about handling it dishonestly with the US.
How many other Iraqi terrorists have the Italians given safe conduct and transported in secret to avoid our capture? How many Iraqis and Americans have died at the hands of those terrorists that Italian manuevering saved from capture? Allies like this do us no good at all. Berlusconi owes the United States an apology and the Italian Red Cross should immediately get decertified in Iraq.

Able Danger: The Strange Spanish Interlude

The 9/11 Commission claimed to have discounted the testimony of Captain Scott Phillpott in July 2004 on Able Danger specifically because of his assertion about when his team identified Mohammed Atta as a potential al-Qaeda terrorist in the United States. The official timeline for the Commission on Atta starts on June 3, 2000, when INS records the first of only three entries for Atta in Newark, New Jersey. Captain Phillpott insists that his team ID’d Atta in the US in January or February 2000, months earlier.
I covered the timeline issues in my Daily Standard column and in my follow-up post yesterday. I argued that the Commission’s weak sourcing for the Atta timeline, essentially based on nothing but INS records and the testimony of two captured terrorists, reopens not only the question of when Atta first established his cell here but the long-debated Czech intelligence that has Atta meeting with the Iraqis in Prague. While we have information that the Commission apparently did not — that the Germans had captured Iraqi spies working an extensive operation during the same time the AQ plotters worked on the 9/11 attack in Germany — their stated reasons for discounting the Prague meeting and its critical Iraqi connection include relying on Atta’s supposed habit of traveling under his own name.
However, the trip to Spain that Atta undertook in July 2001 creates new problems. Atta went to Spain twice, actually; when he met Ramzi Binalshibh in January 2001 in Germany, he traveled through Madrid to get there. The second time on July 7, Atta traveled to Zurich but stayed in Spain, as far as anyone can tell.
But why Spain? The terrorists knew Germany much better than Spain, and presumably could find better cover there. The Commission, predictably, relied on one source for the answer — Atta’s co-conspirator, Ramzi Binalshibh (page 244):

In early July, Atta called Binalshibh to suggest meeting in Madrid, for reasons Binalshibh claims not to know. He says he preferred Berlin, but that he and Atta knew too many people in Germany and feared being spotted together. Unable to buy a ticket to Madrid at the height of the tourist season, Binalshibh booked a seat on a flight to Reus, near Barcelona, the next day. Atta was already en route to Madrid, so Binalshibh phoned Shehhi in the United States to inform him of the change in itinerary.
Atta arrived in Madrid on July 8. He spent the night in a hotel and made three calls from his room, most likely to coordinate with Binalshibh. The next day, Atta rented a car and drove to Reus to pick up Binalshibh; the two then drove to the nearby town of Cambrils. Hotel records show Atta renting rooms in the same area until July 19, when he returned his rental car in Madrid and flew back to Fort Lauderdale. On July 16, Binalshibh returned to Hamburg, using a ticket Atta had purchased for him earlier that day.According to Binalshibh, they did not meet with anyone else while in Spain.

So we have the two terrorists going into unfamiliar territory at the height of tourist season, when making travel arrangements are the most difficult. In fact, Binalshibh had to contact Shehhi to recast the arrangements after Atta had already left. Why go through all of this hassle, unless (a) there were other people that Atta needed to meet, and/or (b) Germany was too dangerous for Atta? The Spanish government insists that Atta met with more than just Binalshibh in that trip, a fact that the Commission only includes as a footnote on page 530. They discount this information even though the Spaniards used it to indict several people on terror charges, preferring the testimony of Binalshibh instead.
If the meeting was only between Atta and Binalshibh, why risk operating in the open in unfamiliar territory to make that connection? Atta probably thought that after the German arrests, Germany was no longer safe for him to visit. Indeed, as far as is known, Atta never returned to Germany after the arrests of the Iraqi spies. He flew around it but never in or through it. His risk of operating in a new country — the Commission report itself mentions no travel through Spain in its report before July 2001 for any of the plotters — had to have been outweighed by other considerations, and not the thin excuse that Binalshibh offered.
Either Atta had more than one meeting scheduled for Spain, which would explain his 12-day absence from the United States just when he should have been organizing the muscle hijackers and training them for their roles, or he had good reason to avoid Germany, and probably both. If Atta went to Prague, Iraqi spy Samir al-Ani could have told him that the network had been sufficiently disrupted by German counterintelligence that he could not safely operate there again.
Again, this hypothesis would fit the known facts better than the Binalshibh explanation, which makes Madrid a whim on the part of Atta, and one Binalshibh blithely indulges despite the risk that excessive travel places on himself. It also highlights the real possibility that Iraqi intelligence had connections to the plot and the plotters in at least some support capacities.

Reform Starts With A Giant Step

John Bolton just made his presence known at Turtle Bay. The new American UN ambassador delivered a 36-page documents with 750 amendments and changes to a draft agreement that would bring unprecedented and sweeping reform to the United Nations:

Less than a month before world leaders arrive in New York for a world summit on poverty and U.N. reform, the Bush administration has thrown the proceedings in turmoil with a call for drastic renegotiation of a draft agreement to be signed by presidents and prime ministers attending the event.
The United States has only recently introduced more than 750 amendments that would eliminate new pledges of foreign aid to impoverished nations, scrap provisions that call for action to halt climate change and urge nuclear powers to make greater progress in dismantling their nuclear arms. At the same time, the administration is urging members of the United Nations to strengthen language in the 29-page document that would underscore the importance of taking tougher action against terrorism, promoting human rights and democracy, and halting the spread of the world’s deadliest weapons. …
The proposed U.S. amendments, contained in a confidential 36-page document obtained by The Washington Post, have been presented this week to select envoys. The U.N. General Assembly’s president, Jean Ping of Gambia, is organizing a core group of 20 to 30 countries, including the United States and other major powers, to engage in an intensive final round of negotiations in an attempt to strike a deal.
“Now it is maybe time to go on some key issues where we still have controversies and negotiate on these key issues,” he said Tuesday.
The proposed changes, submitted by U.S. Ambassador John R. Bolton, touch on virtually every aspect of U.N. affairs and provide a detailed look at U.S. concerns about the world body’s future.

It didn’t take long for Bolton to hit the ground running at the UN, but then again, his long delay by the Senate Democrats necessitates this expedited approach to his agenda. He only has until January 2007 before Bush will have to resubmit him for confirmation or select a new UN ambassador, and Bolton will want to have achieved as much as possible in the short time he knows he has. He has already asked other envoys to start negotiations “this week”, giving an indication of the high priority the US will give reform efforts in this UN session.
It’s a good start for Bolton, and a strong stand for the US at a time when the endemic corruption and incompetence at Turtle Bay threatens to collapse the world body and consign it to League of Nations status. It should have started months ago, and but for the obstructionists in the Senate, we might already have achieved some important reforms by this point.