John R. Bolton

John R. Bolton
25th United States Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
August 1, 2005 – December 9, 2006
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Anne Patterson (Acting)
Succeeded by Alejandro Wolff (Acting)
3rd Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs
In office
May 11, 2001 – July 31, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by John Holum
Succeeded by Robert Joseph
18th Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
In office
May 5, 1989 – January 19, 1993
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Richard Williamson
Succeeded by Douglas Bennet
Personal details
Born John Robert Bolton
(1948-11-20) November 20, 1948
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Political party Republican
  • Christine Bolton (1972–1983 div)
  • Gretchen Smith
Children Jennifer Sarah
Alma mater Yale University (B.A, J.D)
Religion Evangelical Lutheranism
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army
Unit Maryland Army National Guard

John Robert Bolton (born November 20, 1948) is an American lawyer and diplomat who has served in several

Government offices
Preceded by
Richard Williamson
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
Succeeded by
Douglas Bennet
Preceded by
John Holum
Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs
Succeeded by
Robert Joseph
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Anne Patterson
United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Succeeded by
Alejandro Wolff
  • Profile at American Enterprise Institute
  • Profile at RightWeb
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • John R. Bolton collected news and commentary at The New York Times
  • Works by or about John R. Bolton in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  • The Creation, Fall, Rise, and Fall of the United Nations John Bolton's chapter from the Cato Institute book, Delusions of Grandeur: The United Nations and Global Intervention
  • John Bolton interviewed by Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" from March 20, 2007
  • John Bolton interview by Neal Conan on Talk of the Nation, May 1, 2007
  • Audio interview with National Review Online and article

External links

  • Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations, Threshold Editions, ISBN 1-4165-5284-7


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  13. ^ John Bolton, Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad, Threshold, 2007.
  14. ^ Ross Goldberg and Sam Kahn, "Bolton's conservative ideology has roots in Yale experience", Yale Daily News, April 28, 2005.
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  16. ^ In his memoir, 'Surrender Is Not an Option', Bolton now writes that he didn't want to 'waste time on a futile struggle'. Cited Brian Urquhart, 'One Angry Man', New York Review of Books', March 6, 2008, pp. 12–15.
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  18. ^ A lecture about the book "Surrender is not an option", November 13, 2007. See transcript here.
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  23. ^ Heilbrunn, Jacob They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons, pg. 230
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  25. ^ Houston, Paul (1986-04-29) Japanese-Americans Ask Reparations, Los Angeles Times
  26. ^ Taylor, Stewart (1986-08-01) President Asserts He Will Withhold Rehnquist Memos, New York Times
  27. ^ Volz, Joseph (1987-06-21) `Walsh-bashing` Could Spell Ouster Of Special Prosecutor, New York Daily News
  28. ^ Grandin, Greg (2006-10-20) Remember Ollie, Houston Chronicle
  29. ^ Corn, David (2005-03-30) John Bolton: Ally of Drugrunners, The Nation
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  48. ^ John Bolton, Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad, Theshold 2007, as cited by Brian Urquhart, 'One Angry Man', New York Review of Books, March 6, 2008, pp. 12–15.
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  72. ^ Wedel, Janine R. Shadow Elite: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market. New York: Basic, 2009. Print
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  97. ^ CNN
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  99. ^ : "They were reacting to the resignation of U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton earlier Monday, Bolton resigned after it became clear that the incoming Democratic-controlled Senate in the 110th Congress would not vote to confirm his appointment as ambassador."
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  101. ^ a b : "I received the resignation of Ambassador John Bolton. I accepted."
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  104. ^ "Let's start by recognizing that trying to create a Palestinian Authority from the old PLO has failed and that any two-state solution based on the PA is stillborn." , January 5, 2009Washington PostArticle by John R. Bolton,
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  106. ^ The Washington Post
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  109. ^ Ridgeway, James (2005-04-05) Bolton's Terrorist Tango, Village Voice
  110. ^ Robertson, Geoffrey (2010-06-08) Iran's Hero Was a War Criminal, Daily Beast
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  112. ^ a b Timmerman, Kenneth (2006-01-20) When Making a Revolution, Allies Matter, FrontPage Magazine
  113. ^ Miller, John (2011-01-25) Iranian Dissidents Lobby Brussels, Wall Street Journal
  114. ^ Cole, David (2011-01-02) Chewing Gum for Terrorists, New York Times
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  118. ^ Jay Nordlinger. 'The Man with the Mustache' National Review, Dec. 31, 2010, pp22.
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  123. ^ Twitter
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On Wednesday, September 30, 2015, Freedom Capital Investment Management appointed Bolton as a senior advisor to oversee the firm on international security, financial and political risks.[124]

After expressing interest in running for President, Bolton ultimately ruled himself out on May 14th, 2015 in a video message posted from Twitter.[123]

He wants to be president of the United States, or, at the very least, a provocative contender for the Republican nomination in 2016. 'My hypothesis is that voters are practical and they care more about national security than the media seems to believe; I think, right now, especially after two terms of President Obama, they want a president who has the know-how to lead during a crisis, a president who can defend our national interests,' he says. [122]

In an interview with National Review, Robert Costa wrote the following, quoting Bolton:


On January 11, 2012, Bolton endorsed Mitt Romney for the 2012 Republican Nomination.[121]

Republican presidential-hopeful Newt Gingrich said that he would ask Bolton to serve as his Secretary of State.[120]

On Tuesday, September 6, 2011, Bolton announced on the Fox News show, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, that he would not run for President of the United States in 2012.[119]

I'm obviously not a politician. I've never run for any federal elective office at all and, you know, it is something that would obviously require a great deal of effort.[105]

In an interview with The Daily Caller, Bolton said:

'Individual liberty is the whole purpose of political life, and I thought it was threatened back then' and 'I write, I give speeches, I appear on television-but the only way in contemporary American circumstances to make those issues as salient as they should be is to run for president.'[118]

In an interview with National Review, Bolton said:

Bolton considered running for president in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. He had received attention in conservative circles, including the cover of the December 31, 2010 issue of National Review magazine. He told Politico: "As I survey the situation, I think the Republican field is wide open. I don't think the party's anywhere close to a decision. And stranger things have happened. For example, inexperienced senators from Illinois have gotten presidential nominations."[117]

John Bolton speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland on February 27, 2015.


Presidential consideration

However, the MEK – who fight as a group for a free Iran, in which religion and state are separated – were later removed from the terrorist list in both Europe (in 2009) and the USA (in 2012).[115][116]

On January 25, 2011, Bolton drew a standing ovation at a Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project.[114]

Iranian-Americans openly refer to MEK leader Massoud Rajavi as the "Pol Pot" of Iran, because they believe he would conduct wholesale massacres of his political opponents.[112]

According to conservative activist Kenneth Timmerman, executive director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran:

[112] In the 1970s, MEK members, who "had been trained by the Soviet Union in guerilla warfare and supported Khomeini . . . assassinated U.S. military officers then working in Iran. MEK members actively took part in the 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, according to a U.S. government report."[111] and Islam."Marxism, the MEK "[f]ollow[s] a philosophy that mixes State Department According to the [111] Bolton has spoken in favor of the

People's Mujahedin of Iran

This book carries forward the ongoing and increasingly widespread critique of Barack Obama as our first post-American president. What it recounts is disturbing, and its broader implications are more disturbing still. |4=John R. Bolton |5=excerpt from his foreword for the book "The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America" by Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer[108]

In 2010 he wrote a foreword for the book "The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America", while maintaining close relations with its authors, far-right conservative bloggers, activists, and commentators Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer[107] Bolton endorsed their book, writing:

John Bolton caused a controversy on December 17, 2012 when he claimed on Greta Van Susteren's show on Fox News that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faked a concussion to avoid testifying before Congress regarding the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans including the sitting ambassador. Bolton stated "When you don’t want to go to a meeting or conference or an event you have a 'diplomatic illness.' And this is a diplomatic illness to beat the band."[106]

In September 2011, when the Obama administration declared the death of Al Qaeda target and American-born radical Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, Bolton commented "I think it's important as individual Al Qaeda figures and other terrorists are killed that we not read more into it than there is. Consider this analogy if you were around in the 1920s and somebody said, my God, Vladimir Lenin is dead. The Bolsheviks will never recover from this...So while Al-Awlaki's death is significant, I would not read cosmic consequences into it."[105]

In 2009, Bolton likened the President to Æthelred the Unready, "the turn of the first millennium Anglo-Saxon king whose reputation for indecisiveness and his unsuccessful [effort] buy off Viking raiders made him history's paradigmatic weak leader." In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Bolton challenged that Obama's efforts on international issues are nothing more than "dithering."[105]

Criticism of the Obama Administration

On July 27, 2009, John Bolton was appointed to the board of directors for EMS Technologies, Inc. (ELMG), a Georgia based tech company that subcontracts for many DOD contractors. He is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel.

In January 2009, Bolton proposed a three-state solution to the Arab Israeli conflict in which "Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty."[104]

On three episodes of Fox News in May and June 2008, Bolton suggested that Israel might attack Iran after US elections in November.

[103] He said the policy would encourage others to violate nuclear non-proliferation rules so that they could then be rewarded for following the rules they'd already agreed to.[103] program.nuclear weapons In Bolton's time at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, he spoke against the policy of rewarding North Korea for ending its [21] After leaving the

John Bolton in 2008

American Enterprise Institute

During his confirmation hearings in 2005, letters with signatures of more than 100 co-workers and professional colleagues were sent to Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in praise of Bolton and contradicting other criticisms and allegations concerning his diplomatic style and his treatment of colleagues and staff. In late 2006, when his nomination was again before the Committee, another letter signed by more than 56 professional colleagues supporting the renomination was sent to Senator Lugar. A Wall Street Journal op ed by Claudia Rosett on December 5, 2006, said in part, "Bolton has been valiant in his efforts to clean up UN corruption and malfeasance, and follow UN procedure in dealing with such threats as a nuclear North Korea, a Hezbollah bid to take over Lebanon, and the nuclearization of Hezbollah's terror-masters in Iran. But it has been like watching one man trying to move a tsunami of mud."

Support for Bolton

The announcement was characterized as Bolton's "resignation" by the Associated Press,[98] United Press International,[99] ABC News,[100] and other news sources, as well as a White House press release[3] and President Bush himself.[101] The White House, however, later objected to the use of this language. Deputy Press Secretary

On December 4, 2006, Bolton announced that he would terminate his work as U.S. representative to the UN at the end of the recess appointment and would not continue to seek confirmation.[97] His letter of resignation from the Bush administration was accepted on December 4, 2006, effective when his recess appointment ended December 9 at the formal adjournment of the 109th Congress.

Over the summer and during the fall election campaign, no action was taken on the nomination because Chafee, who was in a difficult re-election campaign, blocked a Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote. Without his concurrence, the SFRC would have been deadlocked 9–9, and the nomination could not have gone to the Senate floor for a full vote. Bush formally resubmitted the nomination on November 9, 2006, immediately following a midterm election that would give control of the 110th Congress to the Democratic party.[95] Chafee, who had just lost his re-election bid, issued a statement saying he would vote against recommending Bolton for a Senate vote, citing what he considered to be a mandate from the recent election results: "On Tuesday, the American people sent a clear message of dissatisfaction with the foreign policy approach of the Bush administration. To confirm Mr. Bolton to the position of U.N. ambassador would fly in the face of the clear consensus of the country that a new direction is called for."[96]

Bush announced his intention to renominate Bolton for confirmation as U.N. ambassador at the beginning of 2006, and a new confirmation hearing was held on July 27, 2006, in the hope of completing the process before the expiration of Bolton's recess appointment at the end of the 109th Congress.[93] Voinovich, who had previously stood in opposition to Bolton, had amended his views and determined that Bolton was doing a "good job" as UN ambassador; in February 2006, he said "I spend a lot of time with John on the phone. I think he is really working very constructively to move forward."[94]

2006 nomination

Bolton also opposed the proposed replacement for the Human Rights Commission, the UN Human Rights Council, as not going far enough for reform, saying: "We want a butterfly. We don't intend to put lipstick on a caterpillar and call it a success."[92]

The Economist called Bolton "the most controversial ambassador ever sent by America to the United Nations." Some colleagues in the UN appreciated the goals Bolton was trying to achieve, but not his abrasive style.[89][90] The New York Times, in its editorial The Shame of the United Nations, praised Bolton's stance on "reforming the disgraceful United Nations Human Rights Commission",[91] saying "John Bolton, is right; Secretary-General Kofi Annan is wrong." The Times also said that the commission at that time was composed of "some of the world's most abusive regimes" who used their membership as cover to continue their abusiveness.

Term at the UN

On August 1, 2005, Bush officially made a recess appointment of Bolton, installing him as Permanent US Representative to the UN. A recess appointment lasts until the next session of Congress ends or until the individual is renominated and confirmed by the Senate. During the announcement, Bush said, "This post is too important to leave vacant any longer, especially during a war and a vital debate about U.N. reform."[86] Democrats criticized the appointment, and Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Bolton would lack credibility in the U.N. because he lacked Senate confirmation.[87] U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed Mr. Bolton, but told reporters that the new ambassador should consult with others as the administration continued to press for changes at the United Nations.[88]

Recess appointment

On July 28, 2005, it was revealed that a statement made by Bolton on forms submitted to the Senate was false. Bolton indicated that in the prior five years he had not been questioned in any investigation, but in fact he had been interviewed by the State Department's Inspector General as part of an investigation into the sources of pre-war claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. After insisting for weeks that Bolton had testified truthfully on the form, the State Department reversed itself, stating that Bolton had simply forgotten about the investigation.[85]

Accusations of false statement

On June 20, 2005, the Senate voted again on cloture. The vote failed 54–38, six votes short of ending debate. That marked an increase of two "no" votes, including the defection of Voinovich, who switched his previous "yes" vote and urged President Bush to pick another nominee (Democrats Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson voted to end debate both times). On June 21, Frist expressed his view that attempting another vote would be pointless, but later that day, following a lunch at the White House, changed his position, saying that he would continue to push for an up-or-down vote. Voinovich later recanted his opposition and stated that if Bolton were renominated he would have supported the nomination.[84]

The failure of the Senate to end debate on Bolton's nomination provided one surprise for some: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) voted against cloture for procedural reasons, so that he could bring up a cloture vote in the future.[83] (Although Voinovich once spoke against confirming Bolton, he voted for cloture.) Senator John Thune (R-SD) voted to end debate but announced that he would vote against Bolton in the up-or-down vote as a protest against the government's plans to close a military base (Ellsworth) in his home state.

On May 26, 2005, Senate Democrats postponed the vote on Bolton's UN nomination. The Republican leadership failed to gain enough support to pass a cloture motion on the floor debate over Bolton, and minority leader Harry Reid conceded the move signaled the "first filibuster of the year." The Democrats claimed that key documents regarding Bolton and his career at the Department of State were being withheld by the Bush administration. Scott McClellan, White House press secretary, responded by saying, "Just 72 hours after all the good will and bipartisanship (over a deal on judicial nominees), it's disappointing to see the Democratic leadership resort back to such a partisan approach."[82]

The Democrats' filibuster

Also on May 11, Newsweek reported allegations that the American position at the 7th Review Conference in May 2005[80] of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty had been undercut by Bolton's "absence without leave" during the nomination fight, quoting anonymous sources "close to the negotiations".[81]

On April 22, the New York Times and other media alleged that Bolton's former boss, Colin Powell, was personally opposed to the nomination and had been in personal contact with Chafee and Hagel. The same day, Reuters reported that a spokesman for Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said that the Senator felt the committee "did the right thing delaying the vote on Bolton in light of the recent information presented to the committee."[77] On April 28, The Guardian reported that Powell was "conducting a campaign" against Bolton because of the acrimonious battles they had had while working together, which among other things had resulted in Powell cutting Bolton out of talks with Iran and Libya after complaints about Bolton's involvement from the British. It added that "The foreign relations c