- The Washington Times - Monday, April 4, 2005

Conservatives are fighting back to defend President Bush’s nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations, charging that opponents want to not only defeat the administration’s choice but also derail its policies.

In a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the group of national security leaders answers last week’s charge from a bipartisan group of diplomats that called John R. Bolton a dangerous man for this job because of his opposition to agreements such as the International Criminal Court.

The committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Mr. Bolton’s nomination on Thursday.

“Mr. Bolton’s views about each of these accords are identical to those of President Bush. While the signatories are certainly free to oppose the administration’s positions, their differences seem to be with a man twice elected by the American people to design and execute security policies, rather than with one of his most effective and articulate officials in advancing those policies,” the conservatives wrote.

The group is organized by Frank J. Gaffney Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy. Those signing the letter include former Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger, former Navy Secretary John F. Lehman and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III.

The campaign against Mr. Bolton is looking like some of the more contentious fights against Mr. Bush’s judicial nominees. Opponents are preparing a briefing book of past statements that they hope senators will use in questioning the nominee, who is currently undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.

Charles J. Brown, president of Citizens for Global Solutions, announced yesterday that his group is running commercials in Nebraska and Rhode Island, hoping to persuade Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel and Lincoln Chafee to vote against Mr. Bolton.

Mr. Hagel already has announced his support for Mr. Bolton, but opponents say those two might be swayed, which could derail Mr. Bolton’s nomination if all of the panel’s Democrats also oppose him.

Mr. Brown and other opponents, at a press conference yesterday, said Mr. Bolton failed in his current position — former Ambassador Jonathan Dean called him “a one-man death squad for arms control and disarmament” — and has made comments about the United Nations that make him unfit for the job.

Mr. Dean organized a bipartisan group of more than five dozen diplomats last week who signed a letter protesting Mr. Bolton’s nomination.

Mr. Brown, whose group supports global government, said the fight over Mr. Bolton is not about defending the United Nations, but rather the best way to pursue U.S. interests.

“The United States won’t achieve its foreign-policy objectives without an effective United Nations,” he said.

But conservatives are rallying to Mr. Bolton’s defense, including a group called Move America Forward, which is running commercials defending Mr. Bolton. Their ads are appearing on national cable television news and, locally, in the District.

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