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Bolton receives grilling -

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Bolton receives grilling

Reporter: Norman Hermant

TONY JONES: In Washington, it's been a tough few days for George W Bush's nominee to become
America's next ambassador to the UN. John Bolton has seen his record attacked by Democrats, and
today a senior colleague joined the fray, accusing the nominee of bullying those beneath him at the
State Department. In a confrontation with a junior analyst Mr Bolton was accused of behaving like
an 800-pound gorilla devouring a banana. Despite that cross-examination, Republicans seem set to
approve his nomination. Norman Hermant reports

NORMAN HERMANT: The nominee to be America's next ambassador to the UN has been the focus of
attention on Capitol Hill. And the reception for John Bolton has been less than warm. Committee
hearings have already been disrupted by protesters and they're not the only ones who say the
Under-Secretary of State for arms control is a bully. But the State Department's former head of
intelligence is no fan of John Bolton or his management style.

CARL FORD, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT INTELLIGENCE CHIEF: I've never seen anybody quite like Secretary
Bolton. He doesn't even come close. He's quintessential kiss up, kick down sort of guy. Just simply
my advice, my opinion, is don't give him any responsibility for controlling people, cause he'll
hurt him.

NORMAN HERMANT: John Bolton may have a diplomat's smile, but he's regarded as a foreign policy
hardliner. On disarmament issues, he abhors compromise and he's never been afraid to criticise the
UN.

BARBARA BOXER, DEMOCRAT SENATOR: I have spent the last month extensively reviewing your writings,
your public statements about the UN and my overall assessment, Mr Bolton, is that you have nothing
but disdain for the UN.

NORMAN HERMANT: To reinforce the point, Democrats played a speech from the mid 90s when Mr Bolton
was a private citizen.

JOHN BOLTON, US AMBASSADOR TO THE UN NOMINEE: The secretariat building in New York has 38 stories,
if you lost 10 stories today it wouldn't make a bit of difference. The US makes the UN work when it
wants it to work and that is exactly the way that it should be because the only question for the
US, the only question for the US, is what's in our national interests and if you don't like that,
I'm sorry.

NORMAN HERMANT: For his part, John Bolton says he does believe there is a way the UN can work.

JOHN BOLTON: For the UN to be effective, it requires American leadership. I say it over and over
again, I deeply believe it.

NORMAN HERMANT: But Democrats say following America's credibility collapse at the UN over claims
about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the time is not right for John Bolton.

JOSEPH BIDEN, DEMOCRAT SENATOR: This is the very man who may have to take the case to the world on
Korea and Iran, based upon intelligence.

NORMAN HERMANT: At the UN, though, some say they're ready for the next US ambassador.

DUMISANI KUMALO, UN AMBASSADOR, SOUTH AFRICA: Mr Bolton, let him come here. He will discover, in
fact, that the world is much larger than just US interests.

NORMAN HERMANT: Other parts of the world and their interests and despite his rough ride it's very
likely Mr Bolton's nomination will succeed. Republicans control the Senate and this committee.

GEORGE ALLEN, REPUBLICAN SENATOR: I like the fact that you'll advocate our principles, you're not
going to be seduced by empty, meaningless, courteous pontifications by international bureaucracies

NORMAN HERMANT: His critics may not like it but John Bolton seems set to be the face of America at
the UN. Norman Hermant, Lateline.