"Ambassador Bolton,*" the Aug. 2 editorial on the recess appointment of John R. Bolton, inaccurately categorized opposition to this nomination as purely Democratic.

The Republican-controlled Foreign Relations Committee reported Mr. Bolton's nomination to the full Senate without recommendation, unprecedented for a U.S. representative to the United Nations. This was, in large part, due to the efforts of Sen. George V. Voinovich (Ohio), who was not the only Republican to express concern about the nominee.

Without the committee's stamp of approval, this nomination deserved even more rigorous consideration by the full Senate, but the recess appointment of Mr. Bolton and the administration's refusal to hand over necessary documents made it clear that the administration wanted to keep that from happening.

The recess appointment shows that the president is more concerned with political battles than sending the most capable representative to the United Nations, and this maneuvering has made this already questionable nominee less legitimate to the members of the United Nations.

I also strongly disagree that Mr. Bolton's disregard for what should be a firewall between intelligence and policymaking is merely evidence of "strong policy views and hard-charging style." His acts of intimidation caused a chill throughout the intelligence services.

Because the Senate was bypassed, its members were unable to fully ascertain Mr. Bolton's ability to perform his duties.

Americans now must hope that his performance will exceed expectations.



U.S. Senator (D-Conn.)



The editorial that took Democrats to task for trying to have it both ways on John R. Bolton's appointment did not mention that his failure to get an "up-or-down vote" can be laid at the feet of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), who declined to reschedule the vote. GOP members also failed to broker a compromise to allow the Senate access to documents sought from the White House.

While it is easy to speculate that Mr. Bolton would have won confirmation had a vote been held, it is possible that many Republicans saw him as damaged goods and did not relish voting to confirm him as U.N. ambassador.

I'm left to wonder why President Bush squandered so much of his vaunted capital by pushing through an ambassador whose tenure will be permanently marked by an asterisk.


Durham, N.C.