The Corner

As Flimsy as It Gets

The Democrats are making another “new” Bolton charge in their minority foreign relations committee report on his nomination. It is that he was much more involved in trying to “oust” or “punish” (as press reports have put it) intelligence analyst Fulton Armstrong than known before and he misled the committee in his testimony about his level of involvement. This is absurd. Bolton said he had one conversation with Armstrong’s supervisor about getting him re-assigned (not fired). This is true. What Democrats are now pointing to is e-mails by Bolton’s staff over a draft letter to George Tenet about Armstrong that was never sent and over having Bolton talk to Tenet about it, which never happened. Once again, Democrats are pounding Bolton for things he never did, but might have thought about, or at least his staff might have thought about. Nor is this information new. The Democrats had it all along, but just wanted to wait so they could have an excuse to get Doug Jehl of the New York Times to write another tendentious anti-Bolton story, which he obligingly did today. In their dozens of “questions for the record” submitted to Bolton, Democrats never asked about all this, precisely so they could use it, unrebutted, at an opportune moment. The memos and e-mails haven’t yet been made public. They should be so everyone can see how little there is to this.

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