New York Times
March 29, 2005
WASHINGTON, March 28 (AP) - A group of former American diplomats plan to send a letter to urge the Senate to reject John R. Bolton's nomination to be the next United States ambassador to the United Nations.
"He is the wrong man for this position," the group of 59 former diplomats say in the letter, addressed to Senator Richard G. Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Mr. Lugar, Republican of Indiana, has scheduled hearings for April 7 on Mr. Bolton's nomination.
"We urge you to reject that nomination," the former diplomats said in a letter dated Tuesday that was obtained by The Associated Press.
The former diplomats have served in both Democratic and Republican administrations, some for long terms and others briefly. They include Arthur A. Hartman, ambassador to France and the Soviet Union under Presidents Carter and Reagan and assistant secretary of state for European affairs under President Nixon.
Others who signed the letter include Princeton N. Lyman, ambassador to South Africa and Nigeria under President Reagan, the elder President Bush and President Clinton; Monteagle Stearns, ambassador to Greece and Ivory Coast in the Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations; and Spurgeon M. Keeny Jr., deputy director of the Arms Control Agency in the Carter administration.
Their criticism dwelt primarily on Mr. Bolton's stand on issues as the State Department's senior arms control official. They said he had an "exceptional record" of opposing American efforts to improve national security through arms control.
But the letter also chides Mr. Bolton for his "insistence that the U.N. is valuable only when it directly serves the United States."
That view, the letter says, would not help him negotiate with other diplomats at the United Nations.