Today’s the big confirmation-vote day for John Bolton–and isn’t it fascinating that the two women he was supposed to have bullied so badly that he’s supposed to be unfit to serve as U.N. ambassador have quietly disappeared from the scene?
Yep, Melody Townsel, the government contractor whom Bolton supposedly chased down the hall while throwing things at her in a hotel in Kyrghizstan a decade ago is nowhere to be seen today. Maybe that’s because Townsel ‘fessed up to the liberal blogsite Daily Kos that she’d been more or less kicked off two different college newspapers during her youth for plagiarizing stories (one of the papers fired her, and she agreed to stop writing for the other one). Plagiarism is an act of dishonesty that directly affects a witness’s credibility–and it didn’t help that nobody else who was in Kyrghizstan at the time could corroborate her story.
And Lynne Finney’s gone, too–remember her? She’s the onetime U.S. Aid functionary, now a New Age guru and recovered-memory specialist who recovered the memory that back in the ’80s Bolton had tried to get her fired because she opposed selling baby formula to Africans. Finney disappeared after someone found her website. (See this Patterico post for a nice roundup of l’affaire Finney.)
Right now, the Dems who are trying to block a confirmation vote for Bolton in the Senate Foreign Relations Committe today seem to banking on much vaguer charges that Bolton cherry-picked intelligence reports that suited his policies and wasn’t very nice to subordinates at the State Department during G.W. Bush’s first term (Bolton admits that he tried to get two intelligence officers transferred, but on grounds of incompetence, not disagreement). (Click to this National Public Radio roundup to read how very vague the Dem charges against Bolton have become.] Trouble is, everyone at rivalry-ridden State cherry-picks intelligence reports, which commonly conflict, and everyone who’s ever had a job has had at least one boss who was a screamer (one example: Bill Clinton). As the Washington Post reports:
“[Bolton-rival at State Carl] Ford said analysts in his bureau ‘were scared’ of crossing Bolton. But investigators found only one analyst who expressed such fear — he said after an encounter with Bolton he worried about stepping ‘on a land mine’ with him in future dealings — while several other witnesses said they shrugged off the pressure.
Fox News predicts that Bolton squeaks through today, and so do I. Anyone who says he doesn’t believe in the U.N. gets my vote for U.N. ambassador.