The longer John Bolton's Senate hearing for the post of United Nations representative went on, the more outrageous it seemed that President Bush could have nominated a man who had made withering disdain for that world body the signature of his career in international affairs. Some fear that the aim is to scuttle the United Nations. It's more likely, but just as disturbing, that this is another example of Mr. Bush's rewarding loyalty rather than holding officials accountable for mistakes, especially those who helped build the case for war with Iraq.
Whatever the explanation, the hearing held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee only added reasons for denying the job to Mr. Bolton. It turned up a third incident (we already knew of two) in which Mr. Bolton tried to have an intelligence analyst punished for stopping him from making false claims about a weapons program in another nation, notably Cuba. Trying to tailor intelligence is enough to disqualify Mr. Bolton from this job. But the hearings also provided a detailed indictment of his views on the U.N., multilateral diplomacy and treaties.
...Some of Mr. Bolton's Republican allies tried the "no harm, no foul" ploy, saying his misbehavior shouldn't count because he had ended up giving an accurate speech. Others said the issue was just a question of management style. But they are wrong. With America's credibility as low as it is, the last thing the nation needs is a United Nations envoy who tries to force intelligence into an ideological construct.
The bigger question for us should be was Bolton a source for the WMD scare mongering about Iraq?