So much for hopes that in a second Bush administration the neoconservatives would be in eclipse and the realists would come to the fore. -- The choice for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is John Bolton, MSNBC reported Monday. -- It is hard to exaggerate just how discouraging this news is. -- Here's a small sample of Bolton's opinions: (1) In 1994 at a panel discussion sponsored by the World Federalist Association, he stated: "There is no such thing as the United Nations. . . . If the U.N. secretariat building in New York lost ten stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference." -- (2) On Jun. 25, 1995, Bolton railed in the Washington Times against Vice President Al Gore's "preference for condoms and trees instead of markets." -- (3) On Nov. 17, 1997, he wrote in the Wall Street Journal that "treaties are laws only for U.S. domestic purposes. In their international operation, treaties are simply political obligations." -- (4) In 2001, he said, "It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so -- because, over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrict the United States." -- (5) On May 6, 2002, he embarrassed the administration by inventing out of whole cloth a claim that Cuba possessed "at least a limited offensive biological warfare research development effort" and had provided such technology to "other rogue states," claims that Colin Powell, Gen. Charles Wilhelm of U.S. Southern Command, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld quickly contradicted. -- (6) Following the Bush administration's decision in 2002 to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, Bolton told the Wall Street Journal this was "the happiest moment of [his] government service" -- though he had played no official role in the decision-making process....



** Bolton is top weapons control official at State **

March 7, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Undersecretary of State John Bolton, a controversial Bush administration figure whose strong statements on North Korea’s nuclear program irked the leaders in Pyongyang, is President Bush’s choice to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, three government officials said Monday.

Bush, already viewed suspiciously in some sectors of the United Nations for his pre-emptive attack in 2003 on Iraq, reached out to a tough lawyer and arms control expert who rarely muffles his views in diplomatic nuance.

Last month, for instance, in a strongly worded speech in Tokyo, Bolton lashed out at China before an international audience for not stopping its munitions companies from selling missile technology to Iran and other nations the United States considers rogue states.

He also took the lead in strongly opposing plans of European allies to lift an 15-year embargo and sell weapons to Beijing.


In his current post as undersecretary for arms control and international security, Bolton, 56, has traveled the world several times over in the past four years, mostly to try to halt the spread of dangerous technology.

Before the 1991 Persian Gulf war, as an assistant secretary of state for international organizations, Bolton collaborated with then-Secretary of State James Baker III in organizing an alliance with European and Arab countries for the war with Iraq that liberated Kuwait.

Bolton would succeed former Sen. John Danforth, who retired in January.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice informed the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and the senior Democrat, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, of the selection. She also notified U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said a government official knowledgeable about the situation.

Bolton must be confirmed for the post, which is being filled temporarily by Anne Patterson, a career foreign service officer, who took over for Danforth.


North Korea was so incensed by his public denunciations of their nuclear weapons program that it refused to negotiate with him and he was removed from the U.S. delegation to the now-dormant talks.

An attorney, Bolton has been under secretary of state for arms control and international security since May 11 and earlier held a variety of high-level government jobs at the departments of Justice and State under Republican administrations.

Bolton has been a sharp critic of autocratic regimes, such as the one in Pyongyang, and of many proposed international agreements.

Danforth, a former U.S. senator from Missouri, served on the job for just six months. He left on Jan. 20, at the end of Bush’s first term, saying he wanted to return to his home in St. Louis and spend time with his ailing wife.

Bolton was born in Baltimore and graduated from Yale University and Yale Law School.

--NBC's Tammy Kupperman as well as The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.