I've been laying low here on Kos lately, spending my free time for the last month on Katrina relief -- but this news is well worth sharing.
Our friend Steve Clemons over at the Washington Note is reporting that the Mustachinator is forging new ground in Bushco's race to push the envelope of dysfunctional loyalty. This week, well-placed sources tell Clemons that Joltin' Bolton is tapping Jeffrey Gedmin as a senior member of his staff.
UPDATE: It's official. Gedmin is now the Deputy Permanent Representative of the U.S. to the United Nations. Steve Clemons has just confirmed that Gedmin will be named as John Bolton's No. 2 at the United Nations and will carry the formal title of "Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations." More below the break.
Now John Bolton is reportedly gathering a new group of staffers loyal specifically to him.
News has just reached TWN that Aspen Institute Berlin Director Jeffrey Gedmin, who worked at the American Enterprise Institute with Bolton and who directed AEI's New Atlantic Initiative, will be joining Bolton as one of his senior staff at the mission.
Jeff Gedmin is a self-described Bolton loyalist and penned his job application and writing sample for Bolton, "Mein Freund Bolton," in March of this year."
Why is this important news, other than the fact that it's yet another proof point that the 'Stache is about the worst choice for UN ambassador ever?
Another article that probably underscores why Bolton wants Gedmin so badly -- and why we should all be concerned is Plan B for Iran which ran in the Weekly Standard -- and which was aptly critiqued by Jim Lobe here. Many observers believe that beyond George Bush's blind loyalty to those who blindly serve as his spear-carriers, the only logical reason to have Bolton at the U.N. is to have him there to knock heads and rip up the U.N. if it fails to heed American will regarding Iran and its nuclear program.
Iran's pretensions are a clear issue of concern -- but the "bomb them now and get it over" attitude is not going to further American interests and probably is a sure-fire path assuring Iranian commitment to a fully-deployed nuclear weapons program coupled with a pissed-off and isolated Iran.
I have maintained a friendly relationship with Jeffrey Gedmin through the years and think that the Aspen Institute Berlin's decision to hire Gedmin in Germany gave Germans a much closer feel to the thinking and motivations that ran through neoconservative circles. This was better for Germans than hiring someone who just reaffirmed dominant German biases. However, even good acquaintances have disagreements -- and John Bolton is a big one.
Bottom line and, really, no surprise? This is exactly what we all expected. More Clemons: "Bolton is bringing people to his side that bolster the neocon element both in the State Department and who reinforce Bolton's long-term agenda of using his perch as a rival voice on U.S. foreign policy to Rice and Zoellick -- and to make sure that the Bolton/Cheney wing of the Republican foreign policy establishment continues strong."
And another, not particularly shocking development? News is trickling out that some of Bolton's underlines at the U.N. are finding him to a micromanaging, difficult to tolerate asshole. I was shocked, SHOCKED, I say, to hear such news.
Clemons believes, as do I, that Bolton is bringing in his own loyalists not just to further his policy agenda, but to serve as "enforcers." Says he "...There may be tensions brewing -- and Bolton may be bringing his own loyalists to keep order and to 'compel' those bureaucrats under his control to do 'exactly what he wants.' Well, we saw how well that went in his last job. . .Bolton's immediate staff as well as the rest of the world (represented at the U.N.) need to watch out."
Just thought you'd all like an update on likely developments along the East River. God bless America, indeed.