By Fred Fleitz
You’re probably heard the criticism of Ambassador John Bolton by the left that he would not be a good choice to be the next Secretary of State because Bolton was an architect of the Iraq War and a hawk who has little use for diplomacy.
This is completely false. The truth is that Bolton was frozen out of Iraq War planning. This criticism also ignores Bolton’s successful diplomacy as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security to pressure rogue states to comply with WMD treaties and his work as UN ambassador to take strong and meaningful action in the UN Security Council against WMD proliferation and terrorism.
The record shows John Bolton had little to do with promoting the Iraq war or war planning. Check out the State Department’s archive page of Bolton’s speeches, op-eds in 2002 and early 2003. You won’t find anything calling for military action against Iraq.
Bolton was not involved in any decision-making or planning for the Iraq War because Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage froze him out. As Bolton’s chief of staff, I witnessed this first hand. I remember well how State Department offices were told by Powell’s and Armitage’s staffs not to share any information with Bolton and his staff about Iraq war planning.
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