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Published: Wednesday, 4/13/2005

U.N. nominee called 'serial abuser'

BY ANN McFEATTERS
BLADE WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF

WASHINGTON - Relying on testimony by a former intelligence analyst, Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for a second day pursued allegations that John Bolton, President Bush's nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations, is a "bully" who tried to get analysts who disagreed with him fired.

Despite growing outrage among Democrats, no Republicans yesterday indicated they will vote against his confirmation.

That means that Mr. Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control, is all but certain to be the next envoy to the United Nations, a body he has in the past called irrelevant and in need of a total overhaul.

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Carl Ford, a former chief of the State Department's bureau of intelligence and research, called Mr. Bolton a "bully" and "serial abuser" who intimidated lower-ranking employees.

Mr. Ford said that in 30 years in government he had never seen anyone who abused power and authority more than Mr. Bolton.

He also called Mr. Bolton a "kiss-up, kick-down kind of guy."

Mr. Ford said he is a "loyal" Republican, "conservative to the core," who supports Mr. Bush and said it was awkward for him to appear before the committee.

But he said he felt compelled to tell the members considering Mr. Bolton's confirmation that Mr. Bolton intimidated analysts who told him they disagreed with his interpretation of their intelligence reports.

Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, the ranking Democrat on the committee, asked Mr. Ford why he risked his future to testify.

"It's very awkward," Mr. Ford said. "But to be fair, I am too old, too tired, and after today too combustible to be worried about my next job."

"There is retribution for those considered to be disloyal" and other colleagues in the executive branch don't feel free to speak their minds, he said.

He said he cares about the independence of intelligence analysts and how they are treated.

"To me, the great danger is politicization of intelligence," he said.

Mr. Ford said Mr. Bolton indicated he wanted analyst Christian Westermann fired after the analyst disagreed with Mr. Bolton about whether Cuba was developing biological weapons to sell to rogue nations.

Mr. Ford said Mr. Westermann was only doing his job, and that later then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, told of the incident, told the analysts to keep doing what they were doing.

In his testimony Monday, Mr. Bolton denied that he had tried to have Mr. Westermann fired, saying that all he did was to say he had lost trust and confidence in Mr. Westermann.

Committee chairman Richard Lugar (R, Ind.) said that he considered the matter of Mr. Bolton's demeanor a serious one but he also said that President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have expressed confidence in Mr. Bolton and that he will help reform the U.N.

The U.N. oil-for-food scandal, that let Saddam Hussein get billions of dollars despite economic sanctions, has resulted in a torrent of criticism of the world body and demand for changes.

Contact Ann McFeatters at:

amcfeatters@nationalpress.com

or 202-662-7071.



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