The New York Times has an interesting article on Bolton:
The request is outlined in a letter sent Thursday by Senators Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, two of the leaders of the Democratic opposition to Mr. Bolton’s nomination as ambassador to the United Nations. The letter was sent to the senior Republican and Democratic senators on the Intelligence Committee, who have also been involved in negotiations with the Bush administration over access to information about Mr. Bolton’s actions when he was an official at the State Department.
The letter did not identify those on the list, but Democratic aides said they included intelligence officials and others with whom Mr. Bolton had clashed. They said the Senate Democrats would provide the list to John D. Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, if Mr. Negroponte made clear that he would provide appropriate information in response.
The proposal represents the latest effort by the Democrats to learn more about Mr. Bolton’s handling of intelligence information during his four years as under secretary of state. The administration has acknowledged that Mr. Bolton used his authority to obtain the names of 19 American individuals and companies mentioned in communications intercepted by the National Security Agency, but it has refused to give the Senate details.
:::more on the flip:::
Democrats succeeded last month in blocking a Senate vote on Mr. Bolton, and they have said they will continue to oppose any decision until the administration provides more information about a dispute concerning Syria that involved Mr. Bolton and about the intercepted communications. They say they need the information to help them judge whether Mr. Bolton misused his access to the N.S.A. reports, from which the names of American individuals and companies are ordinarily deleted.
The Democrats have expressed concern that Mr. Bolton may have obtained the names as part of an effort to keep tabs on adversaries in the administration, including the intelligence officials with whom he clashed over assessments on Syria and Cuba.
The two senators asked two leaders of the Intelligence Committee – Senators Pat Roberts of Kansas, a Republican, and John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, a Democrat – to act as intermediaries working with Mr. Negroponte in helping to resolve the issue.
“If there is any overlap between our ‘names of concern’ and those provided to Mr. Bolton by the N.S.A., we would request your assistance as chairman and vice chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence in understanding whether there was any inappropriate use of the ‘names of concern’ by Mr. Bolton or his staff,” Mr. Biden and Mr. Dodd said. “If, on the other hand, Director Negroponte informs both of you that no overlap exists, then we believe we will be one step closer to an up-or-down vote on the nomination.”
There was no immediate response to the proposal from the White House or from Mr. Negroponte’s office.
It sounds to me as though someone at the NSA has leaked, to Biden and Dodd, the names of the people that Bolton was snooping on. They must know that Pat Roberts and John Negroponte can’t deny that Bolton requested information on some of the people on their list.
“So far, the administration has offered only one option: stonewall and obstruct,” Mr. Reid said. He added, “If the administration decides to work in good faith to give the Senate the information it deserves, Senate Democrats are ready to immediately give Bolton an up-or-down vote.”
I’m betting that if they get the information they want, it will be a ‘down’ vote. And if they don’t get the information they want, there will be no vote.