Bolton tried to get Bustani fired because Bustani wanted to bring weapons inspectors into IraqSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas

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Bolton tried to get Bustani fired because Bustani wanted to bring weapons inspectors into Iraq

4 June 2005 at 2:39:35 PM

We continually ask why it is that Bush is plugging for such incompetence and why Republicans want a bully instead of ambassador in the UN. Evidence continues to mount about the unfitness of Bolton for the job of UN Ambassador. Today it came out that Bolton flew to Europe in 2002, before the start of the war, threatened and tried to bully the head of the global arms-control agency, Jose Bustani from sending chemical weapons inspectors into Baghadad.

That might have helped defuse the crisis over alleged Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war.

Bolton met with Bustani and demanded he resign.

Bustani, who says he got a "menacing" phone call from Bolton at one point, was removed by a vote of just one-third of member nations at an unusual special session of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), at which the United States cited alleged mismanagement in calling for his ouster.

The United Nations' highest administrative tribunal later condemned the action as an "unacceptable violation" of principles protecting international civil servants. The OPCW session's Swiss chairman now calls it an "unfortunate precedent" and Bustani a "man with merit."

"Many believed the U.S. delegation didn't want meddling from outside in the Iraq business," said the retired Swiss diplomat, Heinrich Reimann. "That could be the case."

Bolton's handling of the multilateral showdown takes on added significance now as he looks for U.S. Senate confirmation as early as this week as U.N. ambassador, a key role on the international stage, and as more details have emerged in Associated Press interviews about what happened in 2002.

The article then shows the correlation between Bolton's actions and the information that has come out recently, via the Downing Street Memo, about Bush's early plans to invade Iraq.

The Iraq connection to the OPCW affair comes as fresh evidence surfaces that the Bush administration was intent from early on to pursue military and not diplomatic action against Saddam Hussein's regime.

An official British document, disclosed last month, said Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed in April 2002 to join in an eventual U.S. attack on Iraq. Two weeks later, Bustani was ousted, with British help.

In 1997, the Brazilian arms-control specialist became founding director-general of the OPCW, whose inspectors oversee destruction of U.S., Russian and other chemical weapons under a 168-nation treaty banning such arms. The agency, based in The Hague, Netherlands, also inspects chemical plants worldwide to ensure they're not put to military use.

In May 2000, one year ahead of time and with strong U.S. support, Bustani was unanimously re-elected OPCW chief for a 2001-2005 term. Colin Powell, the new secretary of state, praised his leadership qualities in a personal letter in 2001.

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