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Special Report Cut Video Clip of Kerry/Bolton Confrontation to Give Appearance Bolton "Won"

Reported by Janie - July 28, 2006 -

Last night (7/27) during the "All Star Panel" on "Special Report with Brit Hume", Hume opened the second portion of the panel with a clip of the confirmation hearings for Ambassador John Bolton held yesterday. The clip Hume aired was a discussion between Bolton and Senator John Kerry - which Hume and the panel labeled as a "win" for Bolton. The clip however, was edited after only one statement from Bolton, and did not show the rest of the conversation, which did not come off as a "win", but much closer to a draw.

The clip Hume aired included only this portion of the hearings:

JK: "This has been going on for 5 years Mr. Ambassador."

JB: "It's the nature of mutli-lateral negotiations, Senator."

JK: "Why not engage in a bi-lateral one and get the job done? That's what the Clinton Administration did."

JB: "Very poorly, since the North Korean's violated the agreed framework almost from the time it was signed."

During the subsequent conversation, panel guest Charles Krauthammer referred to the clip saying, "If we have clips like the exchange with him and Kerry, Bolton will win every time."

Comment: If by "clips like the exchange with him and Kerry", Krauthammer is referring to clips that are edited to appear as though Bolton won, of COURSE it will appear that he's won. That's the beauty of editing!

For the full exchange, which will afford you the ability to determine just who "won" the exchange (such a luxury was not afforded to the viewers of "Special Report"), please read the transcript provided by Lexus Nexis below.

**************************************************************

KERRY: Are you prepared to go to bilateral talks?

BOLTON: Quite the contrary. We said expressly that what we wanted from North Korea was not simply a return to the six-party talks, but an implementation of the September 2005 joint statement from the six-party talks which would mean their dismantlement of their nuclear weapons program.

KERRY: But this has been going on for five years, Mr. Ambassador.

BOLTON: It's the nature of multilateral negotiations, Senator.

KERRY: Why not engage in a bilateral one and get the job done? That's what the Clinton administration did.

BOLTON: Very poorly, since the North Koreans violated the agreed framework almost from the time it was signed. And I would also say, Senator, that we do have the opportunity for bilateral negotiations with North Korea in the context of the six-party talks, if North Korea would come back to them.

KERRY: Mr. Ambassador, at the time -- Secretary Perry has testified before this committee, as well as others -- they knew that there would be the probability they would try to do something outside of the specificity of the agreement.

But the specificity of the agreement was with respect to the rods and the inspections and the television cameras and the reactor itself.

BOLTON: Senator, the agreed framework requires North Korea and South Korea to comply with the joint North-South denuclearization agreement, which in turn provides no nuclear weapons programs on the Korean Peninsula.

So it was not limited only to the plutonium reprocessing program.

KERRY: Mr. Ambassador, the bottom line is that no plutonium was reprocessed under that agreement. No plutonium was reprocessed until the cameras were kicked out, the inspectors were kicked out, the rods were taken out, and now they have four times the nuclear weapons they had when you came on watch.

BOLTON: Because the North Koreans...

KERRY: The question here is -- I mean, a whole host of people have testified before this committee and others.

I mean, my objection is that if you look at the policies across the board, and we're not going to resolve it here now, obviously, I understand that.

(CROSSTALK)

KERRY: But here's another good reason to think about this.

It's hard to pick up the newspaper today, it's hard to talk to any leader anywhere in the world, it's hard to travel abroad as a senator and not run headlong into the isolation of the United States and the divisions that exist between us and our allies on any number of different issues.

Now, it is very hard to sit here and say that the six-party talks have been a success.

BOLTON: I don't believe I've said that.

KERRY: I know. I didn't suggest you have. But what I'm trying to get at is the policy foundation itself -- why insist on a six-party talk process which, it seems to me, never joins the fundamental issues between the United States and North Korea, which go back a long, long time, over Republican and Democratic administrations?

BOLTON: I think the reason for that is that the disagreement is not fundamentally a bilateral disagreement between North Korea and the United States. It's a disagreement between North Korea and everybody else about their pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.

And the aspect of the six-party talks that we think was most important was not negotiating over the head of South Korea, which was the consequence of the agreed framework, but bringing in all of the regional partners, South Korea, Japan, Russia and China, to address this question collectively, since it was in all of our interests to do so.

KERRY: Most of the people that I've talked to spent a lot of time in various thoughtful institutions thinking about these issues -- a career -- believe that what North Korea wants more than anything is an assurance that the United States of America wasn't going to have a strategy similar to Iraq directed at them.

And I think the assurance most people have suggested that if there were to be some kind of bilateral discussion to get at the issues between the two of us, you'd have far more opportunity to get at the nuclear issue than you do through these stand-off, nonexistent six-party talks that have produced nothing over five and a half years.

BOLTON: I...

KERRY: Why is the administration so unwilling to talk to Syria, talk to even pursue these issues? It doesn't seem as though this nontalk approach is getting you very far.

BOLTON: First, the six-party talks have not been going on for five and a half years.

Second, one of the principal...

KERRY: No, because no talks were going on for the first couple of years, and then the six-party talks were a cover for not dealing with bilateral talks. I understand.

BOLTON: The principal reason that we haven't had six-party talks in 10 months is because North Korea won't accept China's invitation to come to the talks. But we have made it clear to them repeatedly that they could have and they have had bilateral conversations with the United States in the context of the six-party talks.

BOLTON: So the question as to why the six-party talks have not proceeded here, I think lies squarely in Pyongyang.

KERRY: Well, the world and North Korea are getting more dangerous, as you resist the notion of engaging in any kind of bilateral effort as an administration -- not you, personally, I guess, but...

BOLTON: Senator, really, it's hard to understand how you can't look at the notion of conducting the bilateral conversations in the six-party talks and not say that North Korea has an opportunity to make its case to us.

KERRY: Sir, with all due respect, I mean, you know -- what I've seen work and not work over the course of the years I've been here depends on what kind of deal you're willing to make or not make and what your fundamental policies are.

If you're a leader in North Korea, looking at the United States, and you've seen the United States attack Iraq on presumptions of weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist, if you announce a preemptive strategy of regime change, if you are pursuing your own new nuclear weapons, bunker busting nuclear weapons, and you're sitting in another country, you would have a perception of threat that makes you make a certain set of decisions.

And historically throughout the Cold War, that drove the United States and the then-Soviet Union to escalate and escalate. And first one did and then the other.

In fact -- in fact -- in every single case, we were the first, with the exception of two particular weapons systems to develop a nuclear breakthrough first. They followed -- until ultimately, President Reagan, a conservative president, and President Gorbachev said we're going to come down in Reykjavik to no weapons.

So we reversed 50 years of spending money and chasing this thing.

I would respectfully suggest to you that North Korea is sitting there making a set of presumptions. And unless you begin to alter some of the underlying foundation of those presumptions, you're stuck.

The problem is, we're stuck too, as a consequence. And a lot of us feel very, very deeply that the six-party talks have never been real and never been a way of achieving this goal. And as long as we're on this course, we're stuck.