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Indybay Feature
Mon Mar 7 2005
Bush Shifts Top Government Positions Even Farther To The Right
Bolton, Negroponte, Chertoff, Gonzales, Rice and Goss
On March 7, Bush nominated John Bolton to be the new U.N. Ambassador. Bolton is a leading hawk on Iran, Iraq and North Korea. He has in past been quoted as saying there is no such thing as the United Nations and reportedly said in 1994 that it would not make any difference if the UN headquarters in New York lost 10 of its storeys. He has previously condemned numerous international treaties and bodies including the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the International Criminal Court. In recent weeks, Bolton pulled out every stop to try to block Mohammed ElBaradei from getting a third term as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Bush's nomination of Bolton comes after a long series of nominations of far right leaning officials with ties to torture and other human rights violations.

On February 17, 2005, Bush nominated John Negroponte to be the first United States Director of National Intelligence. Negroponte played a key role in coordinating US covert aid to the Contras who targeted civilians in Nicaragua. He also had connections to CIA-backed death squads in Honduras and the Honduran Rights Commission "specifically accused John Negroponte of a number of human rights violations.". Despite evidence that Negroponte has little respect for Human Rights, he is likely to get confirmed to one of the most powerful law enforcement positions in US history with little opposition in Congress. Negroponte was only last year put in charge of Iraq and while a few Democrats brought up Negoponte's past, the vote was 95 to 3.

On January 11, 2005, Bush nominated Michael Chertoff to be the head of the department of Homeland Security. "Post 9/11, Chertoff played a key role limiting or eliminating civil rights and liberties protections by promoting actions such as: using 'material witness' warrants to incarcerate people of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent, interviewing thousands of Middle Eastern and South Asian men who entered the U.S. lawfully before and after the 9/11 attacks, denying a defendant facing the death penalty the fundamental right to face and question his accusers, and holding suspects indefinitely without counsel as “enemy combatants.' Some have described Mr. Chertoff as 'the driving force behind the Justice Department’s most controversial initiatives in the war on terrorism.'" Despite this record he was approved by approved as head of Homeland Security on February 15 in a 98-0 vote.

On November 10, 2004, Bush nominated Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States. Alberto Gonzales played a major role in paving the legal groundwork that led to the torture of detainees in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. Despite heated debate in Congress, Gonzales was approved to head the Department Of Justice on February 3, 2005 in a 60-36 vote.

On November 16, 2004, Bush nominated Condoleezza Rice to be the United States Secretary of State. Rice openly lied to the US public before the invasion of Iraq hyping not only a threat of chemical weapons that was not confirmed but allegations of nuclear weapons that were known to be false. Before rising to power under Bush, Rice was Stanford's provost and served on the board of San Francisco's KQED radio station. Despite having openly lied to the American people, Rice was confirmed as Secretary of State in a 85-13 vote on January 26, 2005. Among those voting for Rice was California's own Senator Feinstein.

On August 10 2004, Bush nominated Porter Goss to head the CIA. Goss was a co-sponsor of the much-feared Patriot II proposal and was widely regarded as a Repuplican Party hack. On September 22, 2004, Goss was confirmed by the Senate in a 77-17 vote. In November, Goss announced the resignations of the Deputy Director for Operations and his deputy Michael Sulick. Both had clashed with Goss over suggestions that CIA counterintelligence officers should investigate leaks to the media and be more loyal to the Bush administration.
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