Friday, July 29, 2005

“Uh, I Forgot”

From the Washington Post:

John Bolton, President Bush’s nominee for U.N. ambassador, neglected to tell Congress he been interviewed in a government investigation into faulty prewar intelligence that Iraq was seeking nuclear materials in Africa, the State Department said.

Democratic senators said the admission should forestall Bush from using his authority to give Bolton a temporary appointment to the U.N. post, without Senate confirmation, when the Senate goes on vacation in August.

Bolton was interviewed by the State Department inspector general in 2003 as part of a joint investigation with the CIA into prewar Iraqi attempts to buy nuclear materials from Niger, State Department spokesman Noel Clay said Thursday.

His statement came hours after another State Department official said Bolton had correctly answered a Senate questionnaire when he wrote that he had not testified to a grand jury or been interviewed by investigators in any inquiry over the past five years.

Clay said Bolton “didn’t recall being interviewed by the State Department’s inspector general” when he filled out the form. “Therefore, his form, as submitted, was inaccurate,” Clay said. “He will correct it.”

[…]

The new information does not change the Bush administration’s commitment to Bolton’s nomination, said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of the subject.

Gee, I don’t know about you, but I’d think that being interviewed by an inspector general from the State Department would, y’know, kind of stand out in one’s memory, especially if it was about something fairly important, like nuclear materials in Niger. It’s not like something that would slip out of your mind like forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning.

I understand the concept of loyalty, too, and standing behind your man, but I think we’ve moved into a whole new realm here.