Tuesday, April 19, 2005

John Bolton and the Battle for Reality

As I drove home from work today I listened to the Senate committee hearings on John Bolton on CSPAN via my Sirius Satellite Radio. The John Bolton nomination is an embarrassment to our country. I'm happy to say that two Republicans on the committee have expressed their doubts about this serial abuser and hothead--enough to effect a delay on his nomination until more facts come to light. John Bolton and the Battle for Reality:

"The John Bolton nomination battle is one of those rare moments when a window has opened onto how the U.S. public was rushed into war with Iraq and, in a larger sense, how conservatives seized control over the flow of information that shapes policy.

Bolton may be – as former State Department intelligence chief Carl Ford Jr. said – “a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down kind of guy” who bullies those below him who come up with inconvenient facts. But Bolton’s abusive tendencies are not just a personality flaw; they are part of a broader political strategy.

Since his early days as a prot�g�of Sen. Jesse Helms, Bolton was part of a new aggressive breed of conservatives, who came of age during the Vietnam War and who thus understand the importance of keeping a lid on public dissent.

In practical terms, that means influencing or controlling what the public perceives as reality, often exaggerating threats to stampede the people in a desired direction. That need to manage information, in turn, requires discrediting individuals who can effectively challenge the factual constraints."

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