ABC News reports that Democrats in the U.S. Senate fended off a move by the Republican majority yesterday to move forward the nomination of Bush political operative John Bolton to become ambassador to the United Nations:
“All over the news the last few days has been concerns about weapons of mass destruction by virtue of the memo that was discovered,” [said Minority Leader Harry Reid], referring to the so-called “Downing Street memo.”
The July 2002 memo, prepared for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, said President Bush had already decided to invade Iraq and intelligence was being made to fit that policy.
“Concerns about this administration hyping intelligence and Great Britain hyping intelligence cannot be dismissed lightly,” Reid said, adding that it “is no small matter for us to learn whether Mr. Bolton was a party to other efforts to hype intelligence.”
Bush and his aides, including Bolton, justified the invasion by saying Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were a threat to the United States, but no such weapons have been found.
Bolton met at the Capitol with top Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who told him he “needs to convince Vice President (Dick) Cheney to provide the information” they sought on preparations for testimony Bolton gave Congress on Syria’s weapons and on classified National Security Agency intercepts, according to a statement from Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat.