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What is Bush administration hiding on Bolton?

Reported by Chrish - June 21, 2005

Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Trent Lott (R-MS) were guests today 6/21/05 on John Gibson's Big Story. Dodd accused the Bush administration of filibustering their own nominee and wondered why they are refusing to release the information requested on April 11. Senator Dodd believes the records are pertinent to decisions about Bolton's acceptability, and should be released so the Senate can move forward.

Gibson asked if Dodd has a beef about Bolton and Dodd readily admitted he did and would not vote for confirmation. The issue is how to get the nomination to the floor for a vote, and Dodd says when the White House releases the information and the contents are known the nomination can move ahead.

After first calling the filibuster a "subterfuge", Trent Lott said the aim of seeking more information is to "move the goalposts" and open doors to more questions and demands for further information. Having said that, he declared the executive and legislative branches to be "co-equal" and he believes this matter can be worked out. "There needs to be a meeting between some administration officials and Senator Biden and Senator Dodd, seperately or together" and ask them what they want. Then he would recommend a call for a cloture vote within 24 hours (Comment: what's the rush? It appears the Republicans don't want to give Senators much time to study and come to an informed conclusion, much like the so-called Patriot Act.) Dodd said he has already compromised, and rather than seeing the raw data himself would be satisfied to submit a select list of names and have the Chairmen and ranking members of Intelligence and of Foreign Relations confirm or deny that those names appear on the list.

Comment: It is not a leap of logic to deduce that there is incriminating evidence in these files that may change some votes from yay to nay. There is no other reason for the WH to stonewall on the information, as Lott confirmed:

Trent Lott supported Dodd's request: "There are a lot of cases when executive privelege applies. There are a lot of cases when classified material would put people's lives at risk. Neither of those really apply here. So if it were my call I'd sit down with Chris Dodd and say 'tell me exactly what you want', I'd get it to him before sunrise, and we'd have a vote tomorrow." Lott says he doesn't like what Dodd is doing but there's a higher goal: how to get Bolton confirmed.

Gibson says "..but he doesn't want him confirmed."

Dodd replies that that's another battle. This one is how to get to an "up-or-down vote". Dodd presumes if Bolton gets a vote at this point he will be confirmed, a bad choice in his opinion, which is why he wants the information released. He says the information being withheld goes to the very criticisms he has of John Bolton, and his colleagues have a right to know what that information is. He says to the White House, look, we're a co-equal branch, we have a right to the information, once we get it and have a chance to sift through it, OK...

Gibson overtalks, saying he doesn't see why the administration doesn't just do it. He and Trent Lott agree that once the material is released there'll be a vote and Bolton will be confirmed, done deal, vanilla.

Comment: On the surface it looks like a happy bipartisan fair and balanced segment. To the practiced eye it is Gibson needling Dodd about his daring to not go along with Bush's every wish, and Lott carefully disrespecting and diminishing Dodd's concerns. Note that the specifics of his concerns are never investigated, just the outer story of how to proceed with the Republican agenda.

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