The Corner

“Embittered Ms. Townsel”

Another Bolton letter to the committee. this one is from a man named Bharat Bhargava, who worked for IBCTI in Moscow. Here are the delectable tidbits for fellow Bolton nomination-battle obsessives (and my apologies to those readers who aren’t):

2. IBTCI Moscow office was in a huge room on the first floor of the Aerostar hotel with a large number desks for American and Russian staff members working on multiple projects. Aerostar, a very large hotel with well lit large corridors and hallways, was a hub of many activities involving other Americans and foreigners as well. So, I personally see no scenario of any lonely encounter between Mr. Bolton and Ms. Townsel.

3. Immediately after my Moscow oversight visit, IBTCI asked me to go to Bishkek in response to the concerns and complaints received regarding how Ms. Townsel was handling her role as the Chief of Party on BTCI’s USAID project in Kyrgyzstan.

4. I had very limited background on the Bishkek project before I went there, but during my audit of the operations in Kyrgyzstan, I found many weaknesses in the way Ms. Townsel was handling financial, personnel and other project-related matters. In response, Ms. Townsel also made some complaints about with IBTCI. I realize back in 1994, running a huge project in the remote city of Bishkek was challenging for all contractors including IBTCI. But the important thing is that I was in Bishkek for quite a few days and spent much time with Ms. Townsel every single day and she discussed a number of small or big things but not once did Mr. Bolton’s name come up.

5. Due to the gravity of some of my findings, Mr. Bolton was requested upon my return to help formalize IBTCI’s report to USAID in his capacity as outside counsel to IBTCI. The report was no doubt a scathing rebuke to Ms. Townsel. As a professional manager, I was extremely disappointed at Ms. Townsel’s her lack of good judgment and serious irresponsibility; but I have not held before nor hold now any ill feelings towards her. I also remember that as counsel to IBTCI, as horrified as Mr. Bolton was at my findings, he did not make it his personal issue. However, I had a distinct reading of how embittered Ms. Townsel had gotten.

Here’s the whole thing.

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