Thursday, May 26, 2005

Bolton Nomination

This paragraph from a piece in Tapped, quoting the Congressional Quarterly, caught my eye:
"At least three Democrats — Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut and Ben Nelson of Nebraska — plan to support cloture on Bolton, according to Senate Democratic aides. All were parties to the bipartisan compromise on judicial filibusters struck earlier this week by seven Democrats and seven Republicans. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., was also seen as 'likely' to vote 'yes.'"
Hey, that last name is familiar. I emailed Senator Feinstein this afternoon, telling her I'd read that she was leaning for voting for cloture and urging her to do no such thing, particulary in view of the administration's refusal to turn over information to the subcommittees investigating Bolton.

I got a reply, of sorts, from the Senator's office. Though my concerns about a cloture vote were not addressed, I did get this:
Dear Mrgumby2u:

Thank you for writing me to express your
opposition to Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton's
nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
I appreciate the time you took to write.
Like you, I have some serious concerns about Mr.
Bolton's qualifications to be U.S. ambassador to the
United Nations, especially as Mr. Bolton once claimed
"there's no such thing as the United Nations," and ''if the
UN secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it
wouldn't make a bit of difference.'' As such, you will be
pleased to know that I have decided to vote against the
confirmation of Mr. Bolton.
At a time when the Administration claims to be
reaching out to friends and allies, it troubles me that the
President would nominate a candidate who has shown
little more than contempt for an organization at which he
will represent U.S. interests. For your information, I
have attached my most recent statement on Mr. Bolton's
nomination, which provides the reasoning behind my
Again, thank you for writing. If you have any
further comments, please contact my office in
Washington, D.C. at (202) 224-3841, or visit my website

Statement of Senator Feinstein on Nomination of
John R. Bolton as UN Ambassador
April 11, 2005
Washington, DC - Following is the statement of U.S. Senator
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on the nomination of John R. Bolton to
be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations:
"I will vote against confirming John Bolton as the United
States Ambassador to the United Nations, if his nomination
comes to the Senate floor for a vote. Simply put, John Bolton is
the wrong man for what is an important and critical position at
the wrong time.
In fact, 67 former U.S. diplomats, State Department officials or
officials of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency have
urged the U.S. Senate to reject Mr. Bolton's nomination citing
his "exceptional record of opposition to efforts to enhance U.S.
security through arms control."
Mr. Bolton's contempt for the United Nations is well known.
But his contempt for diplomacy, particularly with regard to
efforts to reach arms control agreements, shows what a truly
inappropriate choice he is for this job.
Mr. Bolton has opposed the ratification of the Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty. He has worked to block agreements to curb
the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. He has
opposed U.S. participation in the Ottawa Landmine Treaty. He
has led the effort to withdraw the U.S. from negotiations to
formulate a verification system for the Biological Weapons
Convention. He has urged U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-
Ballistic Missile Treaty. He has expressed skepticism about
whether U.N. should have a role in peacekeeping efforts. And,
he has even questioned whether the U.S is obligated to pay its
U.N. dues.
At a time when the U.S. is seeking to strengthen alliances
around the world to fight the War on Terror, stop the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, tackle the
HIV/AIDS pandemic and bring political stability and economic
prosperity to the developing world, John Bolton is clearly the
wrong choice to become U.S. Ambassador to the U.N."

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

I would prefer that a vote not reach the floor, where anything can happen, but at least she is committing to voting against confirmation if a vote does come up. Thanks Senator.
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