Can anyone beyond the Beltway recall what the Bolton drama was about beyond yelling at a few bureaucrats? Deciding yesterday that it was past time to get on with the serious work of confronting the U.N.'s manifest problems, President Bush used his recess-appointment power to send John Bolton to Turtle Bay. That should be good news for anyone with a good-faith interest in reforming the U.N., now at perhaps the most critical moment in its 60-year history.
The post had been vacant for six months. Senate Democrats, under the "leadership" of Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, have prolonged and thwarted every attempt to hold a vote on Mr. Bolton, who of course would have been confirmed had his name reached the Senate floor. No wild accusation was ever proved, other than that he sought the removal of two intelligence analysts for incompetence and insubordination. Notably, both the 9/11 Commission and Robb-Silberman Commission said policy makers have a responsibility to question and challenge intelligence analysts.
Senators Biden and Dodd ostentatiously demanded that the Administration let them see confidential intelligence intercepts relating to Mr. Bolton's testimony on Syrian weapons of mass destruction. These same Senators agreed that Mr. Bolton's testimony was accurate. And they knew that intercepts had been reviewed by the Intelligence Committee's two ranking Senators, who said they showed nothing of import. But this reality check didn't stop them from pressing a filibuster.
Still, the WSJ sees a silver lining:
Ambassador Bolton said yesterday that he is committed to making the U.N. "a stronger, more effective organization." After his past half-year's experience with the U.S. Senate, we trust that he at least has some sense of the institutional challenge ahead.Indeed...