Tags: Aide: | State | Dept. | Bureaucrat | 'Lied' | About | E-mail

Aide: State Dept. Bureaucrat 'Lied' About E-mail

Sunday, 17 April 2005 12:00 AM

Notable is Bolton's critic-in-chief Carl Ford. A former State Dept intelligence officer, Ford has been described as a "loyal Republican" – giving his critique some weight.

As it turns out, Federal election record show Ford has donated thousands of dollars to Democrats sharply critical of the White House, including President Bush's 2004 opponent John Kerry [$500 in 1999]. Other Democrats Ford has donated to include Rep. Charlie Rangel [$1,000] and Rep. Jane Harman [$1,000].

Then there is Christian Westermann, a State Department WMD analyst who claims that in 2003 that Bolton, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Policy, tried to get him either transferred or dismissed for opposing Bolton's views that Cuba's biological weapons programs posed a threat to U.S. security.

According to a Senate Intelligence Committee report, Westermann says he sent the CIA an e-mail proposing changes in Bolton's speech about Cuba's weapons program. Westermann wanted details removed from the speech claiming Bolton would be breaching classified intelligence.

Bolton later got a copy of the e-mail, "berated" Westermann for his efforts to edit his speech, and tried to have the analyst transferred.

Accusations that Bolton pressured intelligence specialists on Cuba have circulated since 2003 when Capitol Hill committees explored allegations that intelligence analysts were urged to issue alarming reports about Saddam Hussein's unconventional weapons.

Those Saddam WMD hearings produced little evidence of such tampering, but when Bolton was nominated to be U.N. ambassador, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) democratic staff revived the Cuba connection – the source, Christian Westermann.

Although Westermann was never reassigned as a result of his run-in with Bolton, two of Westermann's supervisors, Neil Silver and Tom Fingar, confirmed that Bolton wanted Westermann reassigned. But one manager - Carl Ford - claimed to an SFRC hearing last week that Bolton wanted Westermann fired.

Meanwhile, Frederick Fleitz, a CIA officer on detail to John Bolton's staff as a special assistant, has not only disputed Westermann's version of events but says the State Dept. analyst lied about his actions.

In a deposition made before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Fleitz testified:

"I have to say that I have done a lot of speeches in my time at State for Mr. Bolton, and I have de-classified things at the Agency in a variety of capacities, and this - in my opinion - appeared to be obstruction, an effort to obstruct a legitimate request of the Intelligence Community. Basically, he was trying to find a way not to send it out, when he asked that. It was completely unreasonable, he knew I couldn't provide the source documents, some of these published IC papers were several years old, it was impossible for me to provide them, and I refused."

"Mr. Westerman lied when he told us that he had sent the language that Mr. Bolton wanted de-classified to the Agency intact, and only with source citations. That was untrue…

"I sent him an email saying, ‘Christian, WINPAC [CIA's Weapons Intelligence Nonproliferation and Arms Control Center] tells me that you sent the language to WINPAC but with a note attached to it disputing the language and asking that other language be approved instead. Is this true?'

"And his response was, ‘I sent your language intact. I only added sources and citations to help them declassify it. And I told him this didn't seem to be what really happened.'

Later, when Westermann was ushered into Bolton's office, Flietz recalled:

"Westermann didn't defend what he did. He ignored the fact that he had earlier sent an e-mail that tried to claim he had not sent alternate language, and he argued with Mr. Bolton over the substance of the language that we were asking to be declassified.

"Mr. Bolton was not happy about this, and said, ‘I trusted you to relay this to the intelligence community on my behalf, and how can I trust you to get the word out for me for a fair evaluation when you do something like this and are not telling me about it?'"

Bolton's boss, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went on the record last week in defense of Bolton: "It's certainly not the John Bolton that I know. He has a lot of people who have worked for him who are loyal to him and where he has brought out the best in his people. And that's the management that I expect from John."

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Notable is Bolton's critic-in-chief Carl Ford. A former State Dept intelligence officer, Ford has been described as a "loyal Republican" - giving his critique some weight. As it turns out, Federal election record show Ford has donated thousands of dollars to Democrats...
Aide:,State,Dept.,Bureaucrat,'Lied',About,E-mail
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2005-00-17
Sunday, 17 April 2005 12:00 AM
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