In a sign of partisan tensions on the committee, Republican staff members yesterday interviewed Thomas Hubbard, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, without Democratic staff members present. Hubbard has said he clashed angrily with Bolton. More below, including GOP retaliation against that backstabbing Voinovich, and abusive e-mails:Update [2005-4-24 11:22:43 by susanhbu]: From
the Boston Globe
Ex-employee alleges mistreatment by Bolton
Describes clash over US policy
By Farah Stockman, Globe Staff | April 24, 2005
WASHINGTON — In a new allegation against President Bush’s nominee for United Nations ambassador, a woman who worked under John Bolton in the early 1980s has complained that he tried to fire her after they clashed over US policy on infant formula in developing nations.
Lynne D. Finney, now a therapist in Utah, wrote to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Friday, saying Bolton mistreated her when they worked in the General Counsel’s Office at the US Agency for International Development. Her accusation is the latest salvo in a pitched battle over Bolton’s nomination. …
In the letter, Finney said she was an attorney-adviser in the General Counsel’s Office working on policies involving the UN Development Program when Bolton called her into his office in late 1982 or early 1983. She wrote that Bolton asked her to persuade delegates from other countries to vote with the United States to weaken World Health Organization restrictions on marketing of infant formula in the developing world.
Finney said she refused because improper use of the formula can be deadly. For example, mothers in the developing world sometimes mix it with contaminated water or dilute it to make it last longer, humanitarian groups say.
Finney said that Bolton ”shouted that Nestle was an important company and that he was giving me a direct order from President Reagan.” The Swiss company is among the top makers of formula.
”He yelled that if I didn’t obey him, he would fire me,” she wrote. ”I said I could not live with myself if even one baby died because of something I did. . . . He screamed that I was fired.”
Finney, a therapist who has written about ”recovered memories” in childhood sex-abuse cases, said Bolton was not allowed to fire her, but he moved her to a basement office in retaliation. She said that the top USAID administrator at the time, Peter McPherson, came by after the clash to assure her that her career wasn’t over.
McPherson, who is now head of the Washington-based Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, could not be reached for comment about the letter. But in an interview Friday, before Finney’s allegations surfaced, McPherson said he could not recall any negative incidents between Bolton and his staff.
”He’s a man of strong views, but he listened to people that worked for him,” McPherson said.
A senior Democratic committee aide, reports the Post, said the interview was “unfortunate.”
That’s one way of putting it.
Democrats thought they had an agreement between committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) and Vice Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) for proceeding with interviews that would allow both sides to be present, along with a court reporter.
“We found out five minutes before it happened”:
“When we asked to participate, we were refused,” the aide said. “We hope this was an aberration, and that from now on they honor the rule that we proceed jointly. The proof will be in the pudding.” He added: “We found out five minutes before it happened.”
The GOP plans to handle the Democrats were fluid — first, they got Lugar to try to railroad the committee vote and, when that got screwed up, they excluded the Dems from a key interview.
Next up, there was the question of how to deal with the traitor Voinovich who ruined Lugar’s gambit:
Meanwhile, some conservatives served notice that they are as ready to do battle with Republican opponents of Bolton’s nomination as they are with Democrats. Sen. George V. Voinovich (Ohio) was one the Republicans who sought a delay in the committee’s vote. Yesterday, the group Move America Forward said it is buying radio spots in Ohio — it did not say how many or in which markets — to denounce Voinovich’s action.
In the spots, according to the group’s release, a wife chatting with her husband reports indignantly that Voinovich missed most of the committee debate on Bolton, “but then shows up at the last minute and stabs the president and Republicans right in the back.”
“That’s ridiculous,” the husband replies. “The United Nations needs reform, we need someone who will stand up for the United States and fight the U.N.’s corruption and anti-Americanism.”
I wonder if Voinovich in any way imagined they’d launch radio ads condemning him in front of his own constituents.
It’s one thing to void a gentleman’s agreement between Lugar and Biden. But it’s quite another to eviscerate one’s own for merely delaying a vote.
Update [2005-4-23 21:35:27 by susanhbu]: From Sunday’s (April 24) New York Times, “Released E-Mail Exchanges Reveal More Bolton Battles”:
Recently declassified e-mail messages provide new details of the bruising battle that John R. Bolton, then an under secretary of state, waged with analysts at the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency in 2002 as he sought to deliver a speech reflecting a hard-line view of Cuba and its possible efforts to acquire biological weapons.
None of the dozens of messages reviewed by The New York Times were from Mr. Bolton. But the correspondence, spanning a period from February to September 2002, included e-mail sent to Mr. Bolton by his principal assistant, Frederick Fleitz, as well as extensive exchanges between Mr. Fleitz and Christian P. Westermann, the State Department’s top expert on biological weapons who clashed sharply with Mr. Bolton over Cuba.
The messages included a Sept. 25, 2002 note in which Thomas Fingar, the No. 2 official in the State Department intelligence branch, deplored what he said had been the toll inflicted on Mr. Westermann by Mr. Bolton and Mr. Fleitz.
“I am dismayed and disgusted that unwarranted personal attacks are affecting you in this way,” Mr. Fingar said in a message sent to Mr. Westermann. Two days earlier, in another message, Mr. Westermann wrote to Mr. Fingar to say that “personal attacks, harassment and impugning of my integrity” by Mr. Bolton and Mr. Fleitz were “now affecting my work, my health and dedication to public service.”
The correspondence provided to the Senate committee also includes a Feb. 12 message sent to Mr. Bolton by Mr. Fleitz, who disparages what he calls the “already cleared (wimpy) language on Cuba” that Mr. Westermann had recommended be used by Mr. Bolton in his planned speech. It made clear that Mr. Westermann had proposed language that reiterated existing, consensus assessments by American intelligence agencies, rather than the stronger assertions that Mr. Bolton had been pressing to make about possible efforts by Cuba to obtain biological weapons, which Mr. Bolton contended were borne out by some highly classified intelligence reports.
The e-mail messages also make clear that Mr. Westermann and others within the State Department’s bureau of intelligence and research, known as I.N.R., were not the only intelligence officials to resist Mr. Bolton’s request, and that objections also came from the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency and others.
One message sent by Mr. Westermann to Mr. Fleitz on Feb. 20, 2002, told him: “As you are probably aware, C.I.A. is not able to complete the cleared-language request on Cuba B.W. for use in Mr. Bolton’s upcoming speech. The demarche coordinator told me this evening that C.I.A., N.S.A., I.N.R, and D.I.A. had several difficulties with the proposed language and that C.I.A. is trying to craft an answer to you.”
But after the agencies sent approved language to Mr. Bolton’s office, other e-mail messages contained complaints that further changes had been made. An April 30, 2002 message sent to Mr. Fleitz from a State Department intelligence official whose name was removed complained that “it appears that in some areas some tweaking was done to the text we provided.”
“As a general principle, we’d like to have the opportunity to review such documents once they have been prepared and circulated for clearance, particularly in cases where we’ve provided input for use in the draft,” the State Department intelligence official wrote.
If this goose is cooked, why the interview secreted away from Democratic members of the committee, and why go after Voinovich so viciously?
Is it just because that’s what thugs do?
When I turn to CSPAN2, am I watching the U.S. Senate or The Sopranos Take Over D.C.?