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After FOX News Suggests That The Press Will Not Report North Korea As “A Clear Foreign Policy Victory” For Bush, Their Own Expert Blasts It As Colossal Failure

Reported by Ellen - June 27, 2008 -

There was a hilarious disconnect on Hannity & Colmes last night (6/26/08) in a discussion about the latest developments in the nuclear negotiations with North Korea. In his scripted introduction, Sean Hannity called the news “a clear foreign policy victory for the Bush administration.” But, he asked suggestively, “Will the press report it that way?” I don’t know about the other media but FOX News’ own expert, former Bush administration appointee John Bolton, the sole guest, called it a victory for the North Koreans, only. Bolton's not-so-subtle implication was that we should not make the same mistake of negotiating with Iran. With video.

Hannity opened the segment by reading the following: "North Korea has finally handed over a long awaited accounting of its nuclear program to Chinese officials, fulfilling a key step in the denuclearization process. Although North Korea’s declaration is six months later than their deadline, the news today brings a clear foreign policy victory for the Bush administration. But will the press report it that way?"

“I think it’s actually a clear victory for North Korea,” Bolton told Hannity at the start. Bolton said the country has gained “enormous political legitimacy by being taken off our list of state sponsors of terrorism and out from under the prohibitions of the Trading With the Enemy Act. In return, we get precious little.”

Bolton went on to say that North Korea had proved they can “out-negotiate the U.S. without raising a sweat.”

“Boy, I tell you, they’ve done it time and time again,” Hannity agreed. “Whatever happened to Reagan’s trust but verify?”

When it was his turn, Alan Colmes said that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had published an editorial in that day’s Wall Street Journal called, Diplomacy is Working on North Korea. “Is she wrong?” Colmes asked.

“Yes she is," Bolton answered. "That article is written – I must say – as if it’s in a parallel universe.” He added that the agreement shows “how desperate” the Bush administration is to show progress.

Colmes asked, “Does George W. Bush not know what he’s doing?”

Bolton replied, “I think he has focused his attention on Iraq and Afghanistan and I think this is one of the consequences. It’s a very sad day for supporters of the president.”

Comment: We’ve got a war going on in each of those countries. I should hope the president has focused his attention there! It’s also worth mentioning that Congressman Henry Waxman has laid out a darned persuasive case that Bolton played a role in the inclusion of the false statement that British Intelligence had determined Iraq attempted to procure yellowcake uranium from Niger in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address. So if Bush is bogged down in Iraq, Bolton likely bears at least some of the responsibility.

Nevertheless, Bolton has been pushing a new war with Iran for over a year. Both hosts brought up Iran during this interview.

Colmes asked for a reaction to the concerns of Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who has said that an attack on Iran would turn the Middle East into a “ball of fire.”

Bolton dismissed ElBaradei’s remarks by calling him “an apologist for Iran.”

Bolton insisted that military action is “deeply unattractive.” But, he said, “when you compare it to the possibility of Iran with nuclear weapons, then I think you have to look at it. And I think the Israelis are looking at it very seriously.”

Bolton’s claim to find war against Iran unappealling is belied by some of his earlier statements:

As Think Progress recently reported, in another FOX News appearance, Bolton said, “I don’t think you’d hear the Arab states say this publicly, but they would be delighted if the United States or Israel destroyed the Iranian nuclear weapons capability.”

Similarly, Bolton thought Israel would be “delighted” by such an action as well.

Last month on FOX News, Bolton called a strike against Iran, “really the most prudent thing to do.”