Wednesday, February 08, 2006

US (cough!) Diplomat Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

Just when you think things can't get more bizarre.... you just can't make this stuff up!

John Bolton, the Bush administration's ambassador to the United Nations has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. That's right. The same John Bolton who, when selected for his current post, couldn't get through the Senate confirmation hearings and went to the UN anyway when Bush named him in a recess appointment.

Bolton, along with Kenneth R. Timmerman, was nominated by Sweden's former deputy prime minister and Liberal party leader Per Ahlmark. Note that Ahlmark is a vocal critic of the UN.

United Nations Ambassador John Bolton and longtime Iran investigator Kenneth R. Timmerman were nominated for their repeated warnings and documentation of Iran's secret nuclear buildup and revealing Iran's "repeated lying" and false reports to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Bolton was formerly U.S. Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security and was author of the Proliferation Security Initiative, an international effort to interdict shipments of weapons of mass destruction and related materials, which led to the eventual breakup of the secret nuclear network directed by Pakistan nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan. Bolton repeatedly warned of Iran's nuclear plans.
However, that's not all. Let's not forget that Bolton ran a smear campaign to prevent Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei from taking on a third term as Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. ElBaradei flatly disagreed with the Bush administration's assessment of Iraq's weapons programs and, as it happened, turned out to be correct. The administration effort, led by Bolton, included leaking false intelligence about a supposed clandestine Egyptian nuclear program. The information turned out to be completely false. The Bush administration also tapped ElBaradei's phone in an effort to produce evidence that he was in collusion with Iran and their nuclear program. The effort produced no results and Bolton angrily backed off.

ElBaradei and the IAEA went on to win the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for work in curbing international nuclear arms proliferation. Bolton, ever the pit-bull diplomat, refused to offer congratulations.

Bolton, despite this nomination, was actually viewed as a serious problem in the State Department. He was accused of hampering non-proliferation efforts and actually making matters worse. Once he left State, his policies and direction in dealing with nuclear states were reversed.

Let's hope the Nobel Prize committee deliberates long enough to give this nomination all the consideration it deserves - a boot out the door.

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