Monbiot to arrest John Bolton for war crimes

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Monbiot to arrest John Bolton for war crimes

Post by ashgarth »

Monbiot to Arrest John Bolton for War Crimes
May 28th, 2008By George Monbiot
Tagged: Activism Foreign Policy international law iraq John Bolton war crimes George Monbiot
As this article is uploaded, George Monbiot may have tried, or be trying, to carry out a citizens’ arrest of John Bolton for war crimes relating to the Iraq war. What follows is a press release concerning the attempted arrest, followed by the charge sheet against Bolton.

Press Release

At 7.20pm on Wednesday 28th May, at the Hay Festival, the writer and campaigner George Monbiot will attempt to arrest John Bolton for the crime of planning a war of aggression.

From 2001-2005 John Bolton was Under-Secretary of State at the US State Department. He was one of the key initiators of the war against Iraq. He is coming to the Hay Festival, at Hay-on-Wye, Powys, to promote his book Surrender is Not an Option.

This appears to be the first time that a citizen’s arrest of one of the architects of the Iraq war has been attempted.

As the attached charge sheet shows, John Bolton was instrumental in preparing and initiating the Iraq war, by disseminating false claims through the State Department and by orchestrating the sacking of an official who tried to provide a negotiated settlement.

The Nuremberg Principles, which form the basis of customary international law concerning armed action, state that the following action is a crime punishable under international law:

“participation in a common plan” for the “preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances”.

The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg ruled that “to initiate a war of aggression … is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime”.

The 2003 war with Iraq launched by the United States and the United Kingdom qualifies under international law both as a war of aggression (it was pre-emptive and unnecessary) and as a war in violation of international treaties (primarily the UN Charter).

In the Guardian today (Tuesday) Mr Bolton denies that he is a war criminal.

Many people accept that the launching of the Iraq war was an international crime, but no one has yet been prepared to act on it by arresting one of the perpetrators. Monbiot intends to arrest John Bolton as he comes off the stage after speaking at the festival and to hand him over to the police. Bolton is speaking on the Guardian Stage from 6pm until 7.20.

Monbiot comments, “This could be hazardous, as Mr Bolton knows of the attempt, and is likely to be surrounded by security guards. But someone has to take the initiative, if the perpetrators of the supreme international crime are to be held to account.”

Contact: George Monbiot’s office – 01654 702758

Charge Sheet

John Robert Bolton, Former Under-Secretary of State, US State Department, 2001-2005

We are conducting a citizen’s arrest for the crime of aggression, as established by customary international law and described by Nuremberg Principles VI and VII.

These state the following:

“Principle VI
The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i)

“Principle VII
Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.”

The evidence against you is as follows:

1. You orchestrated the sacking of the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Jose Bustani. Bustani had offered to resolve the dispute over Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, and therefore to avert armed conflict. He had offered to seek to persuade Saddam Hussein to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention, which would mean that Iraq was then subject to weapons inspections by the OPCW. As the OPCW was not tainted by the CIA’s infiltration of UNSCOM, Bustani’s initiative had the potential to defuse the crisis over Saddam Hussein’s obstruction of UNMOVIC inspections.

Apparently in order to prevent the negotiated settlement that Bustani proposed, and as part of a common plan with other administration officials to prepare and initiate a war of aggression, in violation of international treaties, you acted as follows:

In March 2002 your office produced a ‘White Paper’ claiming that the OPCW was seeking an “inappropriate role” in Iraq.

On 20th March 2002 you met Bustani at the Hague to seek his resignation. Bustani refused to resign. 1

On 21st March 2002 you orchestrated a No-Confidence Motion calling for Bustani to resign as Director General which was introduced by the United States delegation. The motion failed.

On 22nd April 2002 the US called a special session of the conference of the States Parties and the Conference adopted the decision to terminate the appointment of the Director General effective immediately. You had suggested that the US would withhold its dues from OPCW. The motion to sack Bustani was carried. Bustani asserts that this ‘special session’ was illegal, in breach of his contract and gave illegitimate grounds for his dismissal, stating a ‘lack of confidence’ in his leadership, without specific examples, and ignoring the failed No-Confidence vote.

In your book, Surrender is Not an Option, you describe your role in Bustani’s sacking (pages 95-98) and state the following:

“I directed that we begin explaining to others that the US contribution to the OPCW might well be cut if Bustani remained”.

“I met with Bustani to tell him he should resign … If he left now, we would do our best to give him ‘a gracious and dignified exit’. Otherwise we intended to have him fired”.

“I stepped in to tank the protocol, and then to tank Bustani”.

You appear, in other words, to accept primary responsibility for his dismissal.

Bustani appealed against the decision through the International Labour Organisation Tribunal. He was vindicated in his appeal and awarded his full salary and moral damages.2

2. You helped to promote the false claim, through a State Department Fact Sheet, that Saddam Hussein had been seeking to procure uranium from Niger, as part of a common plan to prepare and initiate a war of aggression, in violation of international treaties.

The State Department Fact Sheet was released on the 19th December 2002 and was entitled ‘Illustrative Examples of Omissions From the Iraqi Declaration to the United States Security Council’3. Under the heading ‘Nuclear Weapons’ the fact sheet stated –

“The Declaration ignores efforts to procure uranium from Niger.
Why is the Iraqi regime hiding their uranium procurement?”

In a US Department of State press briefing on July 14th 2003 the spokesman Richard Boucher said “The accusation that turned out to be based on fraudulent evidence is that Niger sold uranium to Iraq”4.

Your involvement in the use of fraudulent evidence is documented in Henry Waxman’s letter5 to Christopher Shays on the 1st March 2005. Waxman says “In April 2004, the State Department used the designation ‘sensitive but unclassified’ to conceal unclassified information about the role of John Bolton, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control, in the creation of a fact sheet distributed to the United Nations that falsely claimed that Iraq sought uranium from Niger”.

“Both State Department intelligence officials and CIA officials reported that they had rejected the claims as unreliable. As a result, it was unclear who within the State Department was involved in preparing the fact sheet”.

Waxman requested a chronology of how the Fact Sheet was developed. His letter states –

“This chronology described a meeting on December 18,2002, between Secretary Powell, Mr. Bolton, and Richard Boucher, the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Public Affairs. According to this chronology, Mr. Boucher specifically asked Mr. Bolton ‘for help developing a response to Iraq’s Dec 7 Declaration to the United Nations Security Council that could be used with the press.’ According to the chronology, which is phrased in the present tense, Mr. Bolton ‘agrees and tasks the Bureau of Nonproliferation,’ a subordinate office that reports directly to Mr. Bolton, to conduct the work.

“This unclassified chronology also stated that on the next day, December 19, 2003, the Bureau of Nonproliferation “sends email with the fact sheet, ‘Fact Sheet Iraq Declaration.doc,’” to Mr. Bolton’s office (emphasis in original). A second e-mail was sent a few minutes later, and a third e-mail was sent about an hour after that. According to t=987e chronology, each version ‘still includes Niger reference.’ Although Mr. Bolton may not have personally drafted the document, the chronology appears to indicate that he ordered its creation and received updates on its development.”

Both these actions were designed to assist in the planning of a war of aggression. The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg ruled that “to initiate a war of aggression … is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime”.

28th May 2008

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Post by TonyGosling »

BBC pic from tonight

Watch out 'We Are Change'... you've got competition ;-)

Monbiot fails to 'arrest' Bolton
George Monbiot is led away by security officers
George Monbiot was led away as the tried to make his citizen's arrest

Campaigner George Monbiot said he would continue his attempt to serve arrest paper on politicians involved in the decision to go to war in Iraq.

He was unable to make a citizen's arrest of former American Ambassador to the UN John Bolton at the Hay Festival.

Mr Monbiot was dragged away by security officers as he tried to approach Mr Bolton, who was at the festival to talk on international relations.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Monbiot said he planned to pursue former PM Tony Blair.

He said he considered Mr Blair and other leading politicians to be war criminals who had breached international law by their involvement in the decision making process which led to the Iraq war......
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Post by paul wright »

Monbiot's a prick by any sensible person's reckoning. But I will give him an ace for trying.
By their record of naming and shaming, maybe WeAreChange would have done better
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Post by TonyGosling »

Surely he's proving here that he's not.
paul wright wrote:Monbiot's a prick by any sensible person's reckoning. But I will give him an ace for trying.
By their record of naming and shaming, maybe WeAreChange would have done better
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Post by ian neal »

Interesting Voices in the Wilderness aka Milan Rai and friends have also recently taken up the cause to prosecute Bush and Blair for war crimes. Readers will recall Milan Rai wrote a deeply flawed book on July 7. Happy co-incidence or have Monbiot and VITW been inspired by Make War History? For many years Chris Coverdale, the driving force behind Make War History, tried in vain to interest and mobilise leading figures in the Stop the War coalition in this approach. Any way the more the merrier are welcome to join the bandwagon now.

Today MPs (form the Public Adminstration Committee) are calling for MPs to be given the right to force governments to hold inquiries where the government was reluctant to do so themselves (e.g Iraq War, 9/11, 7/7)

John Prescott seems a prime candidate for a citizen's arrest. He will be in London today (not sure where) and Liverpool on Monday doing book signings .... another one flogging his memoires ... 805222646/
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Post by ashgarth »

Interview with George Monbiot
May 30th, 2008By Democracy Now
Tagged: Activism John Bolton war crimes Democracy Now
From: Democracy Now!
Listen to the interview:

As real audio stream

Download MP3 file

AMY GOODMAN: John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, escaped a citizen’s arrest Wednesday night as he addressed an audience gathered at the Hay Festival in Wales. Security guards blocked the path of columnist and activist George Monbiot, who tried to make the arrest as Bolton left the stage. Monbiot planned the action, because he says Bolton is a war criminal for his role in helping to initiate the invasion of Iraq in 2003 while he served as US undersecretary of state for arms control.

George Monbiot joins us now on the phone from England. He is a widely read columnist for the Guardian of London and the author of numerous books. His latest is Bring On the Apocalypse: Collected Writing. Actually, he joins us now from Wales.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, George Monbiot.

GEORGE MONBIOT: Thanks very much, Amy. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Tell us exactly what happened.

GEORGE MONBIOT: Well, I made my intention clear to perform a citizen’s arrest of John Bolton. I wrote a charge sheet detailing exactly the role that he had played in launching a war of aggression in violation of international treaties, which is a clear violation of the Nuremberg Principles. And I took a dossier of evidence down to the local police station. I asked them to act on it. But when they failed to arrest Mr. Bolton, I tried to arrest him myself, and I tried to get up onto the stage as he was leaving it. And I called out, “John Robert Bolton, I am arresting you for the charge of aggression, the crime of aggression, as defined by the Nuremberg Principles.” But I was caught by two very large security guards and pulled out of the venue very quickly.

AMY GOODMAN: How does a citizen’s arrest work?

GEORGE MONBIOT: Well, under an act of Parliament here, the Serious Organised [Crime and Police] Act, a citizen has the right to arrest anyone that they suspect to be guilty of a crime who would otherwise get away from the scene or escape without being arrested, and to hand that person over to the police. Now, there is a proviso which says that if—you can only act in this way if the police are unable to act to arrest this person. In this particular case, the police were able to act and had chosen not to do so. So, had I succeeded in arresting Mr. Bolton, I would have put myself on the wrong side of the law.

AMY GOODMAN: John Bolton has also been criticized for calling for US strikes on Iran. Earlier this month, the New York Times published an article, based solely on unnamed sources, suggesting the Lebanese group Hezbollah is training Iraqi militants inside Iran. Hours after the article was published, this is what John Bolton had to say on Fox News.

JOHN BOLTON: I think this is a case where the use of military force against a training camp or to show the Iranians we’re simply not going to tolerate this is really the most prudent thing to do, and then the ball would be in Iran’s court to draw the appropriate lesson to stop harming our troops.

JAIME COLBY: Ambassador John Bolton, a good message to end on. Thank you very much.

JOHN BOLTON: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Your response, George Monbiot?

GEORGE MONBIOT: Yes. Well, John Bolton has the position that any and every country of which he disapproves should be attacked, and then we work out the justification for that attack later. He was one of the signatories of the letter sent by the Project for a New American Century to Bill Clinton in 1998, saying that we should attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein. And he had one justification then, he had a different justification in 2003, he has a different justification today. It’s very clear that with Bolton, as with Bush, as with Cheney, as with Rumsfeld, the urge to go to war came first, and the justification came second.

Now, when you look at the main instruments of international law, you see very clearly that waging a preemptive war where you are not in an immediate crisis of self-defense is a crime against international law. In fact, the Nuremberg tribunals described it as the supreme international crime. And it was for that crime that most of the Nazi war criminals were convicted. And that is exactly the crime that Bolton has conspired in committing.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about what happened to Jose Bustani?

GEORGE MONBIOT: Well, Jose Bustani is a Brazilian diplomat who was head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. And in 2002, Bustani offered a way out of the impasse between Iraq in the United States. He said, OK, Saddam Hussein won’t allow the UNMOVIC inspectors in, primarily because UNSCOM turned out to have been infiltrated by the CIA, and so the successor organization UNMOVIC was viewed with intense suspicion in Iraq. Bustani said, “I can solve this problem for you by bringing Saddam Hussein into the Chemical Weapons Convention and then launching inspections of my own in Iraq, and therefore we could have a peaceful resolution to this crisis.”

Immediately, the United States swung into action against him—the delegation led by John Bolton—and demanded his dismissal as director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, failed at first and then threatened to withhold all its dues and to destroy the organization altogether, whereupon the other nations, led by the United Kingdom, went along with the US delegation and agreed to sack Bustani.

Bustani later took his case to an international labor organization tribunal and was completely exonerated of all the complaints which the US had leveled against him. And the only one which seemed to remain was that he had tried to prevent war from being waged with Iraq. And so, far from seeking a negotiated settlement to the issue of the alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, John Bolton ensured that anyone—Bustani’s attempt to ensure there was a negotiated settlement was, in Bolton’s word, “tanked.”

AMY GOODMAN: So, George Monbiot, where you go from here? You didn’t—were not able to arrest John Bolton in Wales. Did he know what you were attempting to do?

GEORGE MONBIOT: Yes, he does. And he’s actually made a public statement concerning it. I would urge anyone who is in a position to do so to try to exercise a citizen’s arrest of any of the primary authors of the Iraq War. And I’m talking about Bush—that makes it very, very difficult, but it’s—there’s a higher chance obviously when he ceases to be president—Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Bolton, and over here in the United Kingdom, Tony Blair and some of his cabinet ministers. And I certainly intend to try to carry out a citizen’s arrest of either Blair or one of the other senior architects of the war here in the United Kingdom.

And what I found from this instance was that even if you don’t succeed in carrying out the citizen’s arrest, you are able to focus a great deal of attention on the issue and to ensure that people do not forget. This is not an ordinary political mistake which was committed in Iraq. This was the supreme international crime, which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Those people were not killed in the ordinary sense; they were murdered. And they were murdered by the authors of that war, who are the greatest mass murderers of the twenty-first century so far.

AMY GOODMAN: George Monbiot, I want to thank you very much for being with us, a columnist for the Guardian of London. His latest book is called Bring On the Apocalypse: Collected Writing.
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Post by ashgarth »

War criminals must fear punishment. That's why I went for John Bolton
By George Monbiot

I realise now that I didn’t have a hope. I had almost reached the stage when two of the biggest gorillas I have ever seen swept me up and carried me out of the tent. It was humiliating, but it could have been worse. The guard on the other side of the stage, half hidden in the curtains, had spent the lecture touching something under his left armpit. Perhaps he had bubos.
I had no intention of arresting John Bolton, the former under-secretary of state at the US State Department, when I arrived at the Hay Festival. But during a panel discussion about the Iraq war, I remarked that the greatest crime of the 21st century had become so normalised that one of its authors was due to visit the festival to promote his book. I proposed that someone should attempt a citizens’ arrest, in the hope of instilling a fear of punishment among those who plan illegal wars. After the session I realised that I couldn’t call on other people to do something I wasn’t prepared to do myself.
I knew that I was more likely to be arrested and charged than Mr Bolton. I had no intention of harming him, or of acting in any way that could be interpreted as aggressive, but had I sought only to steer him gently towards the police I might have faced a range of exotic charges, from false imprisonment to aggravated assault. I was prepared to take this risk. It is not enough to demand that other people act, knowing that they will not. If the police, the courts and the state fail to prosecute what the Nuremberg tribunal described as “the supreme international crime”(1), I believe we have a duty to seek to advance the process(2).
The Nuremberg Principles, which arose from the prosecution of the Nazi war criminals, define as an international crime the “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances”(3). Bolton appears to have “participated in a common plan” to prepare for the war (also defined by the principles as a crime) by inserting the false claim that Iraq was seeking to procure uranium from Niger into a State Department fact sheet(4,5). He also organised the sacking of Jose Bustani, the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons(6,7). Bustani had tried to broker a peaceful resolution of the dispute over Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction(8).
Some of the most pungent criticisms of my feeble attempt to bring this man to justice have come from other writers for the Guardian. Michael White took a position of extraordinary generosity towards the instigators of the war(9). There are “arguments on both sides”, he contended. Bustani might have received compensation after his sacking by Bolton, “but Bolton says that does not mean much. That is sometimes true.” In fact Bustani was not only compensated at his tribunal; he was completely exonerated of Bolton’s charges and his employers were obliged to pay special damages(10).
White suggested that Iraq might indeed have been seeking uranium from Niger, on the grounds of a conversation he once had with an MI6 officer. Alongside the British government’s 45-minute claim, this must be the best-documented of all the false justifications for the war with Iraq. In 2002, the US government sent three senior officials to Niger to investigate the claim(11). All reported that it was without foundation. The International Atomic Energy Agency discovered that it was based on crude forgeries(12). This assessment was confirmed by the State Department’s official Greg Thielmann(13), who reported directly to John Bolton(14). No evidence beyond the forged documents has been provided by either the US or the UK governments to support their allegation.
White also gives credence to Bolton’s claims that the war in 2003 was justified by two UN resolutions – 678 and 687 – which were approved in 1990 and 1991, and that it was permitted by Article 51 of the UN Charter. The attempt to revive resolutions 678 and 687 was the last, desperate throw of the dice by the Blair government when all else had failed. When it became clear that it could not obtain a new UN resolution authorising force against Iraq, the government dusted down the old ones, which had been drafted in response to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. This revival formed the basis of Lord Goldsmith’s published advice on 17th March 2003. It was described as “risible” and “scrap[ing] the bottom of the legal barrel” by Lord Alexander, a senior law lord(15). After the first Gulf War, Colin Powell, General Sir Peter de la Billiere and John Major all stated that the UN’s resolutions permitted them only to expel the Iraqi army from Kuwait, and not to overthrow the Iraqi government(16). Lord Goldsmith himself, in the summer of 2002, advised Tony Blair that resolutions 678 and 687 could not be used to justify a new war with Iraq(17).
Article 51 of the UN Charter is comprehensible to anyone but the lawyers employed by the Bush administration. States have a right to self-defence “if an armed attack occurs against” them, and then only until the UN Security Council can intervene. On what occasion did Iraq attack the United States? Is there any claim made by the Blair and Bush governments that Michael White is not prepared to believe?
Conor Foley, writing on Comment is Free, suggested that my action “completely trivializes the serious case” against the Iraq war(18) and claimed that I was seeking to “imprison … people because of their political opinions”(19), as if Bolton were simply a commentator on the war, and not an agent. Does he really believe that the former under-secretary did not “participate in a common plan” to initiate the war with Iraq? What other conceivable purpose might the State Department’s misleading fact sheet have served? And what more serious action can someone who is neither a Law Lord nor a legislator take? Bolton himself maintains that my attempt to bring him to justice reflects a “move towards lawlessness and fascism.”(20) This is an interesting commentary on an attempt to uphold a law which arose from the prosecution of fascists.
But there is one charge I do accept: that my chances of success were very slight. Apart from the 300-pound gorillas, the main obstacle I faced was that although the crime of aggression, as defined by the Nuremberg Principles, has been incorporated into the legislation of many countries, it has not been assimilated into the laws of England and Wales(21). This does not lessen the crime but it means that it cannot yet be tried here. This merely highlights another injustice: while the British state is prepared to punish petty misdemeanors with vindictive ferocity, it will not legislate against the greatest crime of all, lest it expose itself to prosecution.
But demonstration has two meanings. Non-violent direct action is both a protest and an exposition. It seeks to demonstrate truths which have been overlooked or forgotten. I sought to remind people that the greatest crime of the 21st Century remains unprosecuted, and remains a great crime. If you have read this far, I have succeeded.
1. Marjorie Cohn, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, 9th November 2004. Aggressive War: Supreme International Crime.
2. The charge sheet Nicola Cutcher and I compiled can be read here: ... hn-bolton/
4. See letter from Rep. Henry Waxman to Rep. Christopher Shays, 1st March 2005. ... -90349.pdf
5. The State Department fact sheet can be read here:
6. Charles J. Hanley, 4th June 2005. Bolton Said to Orchestrate Unlawful Firing. Associated Press.
7. Bolton himself boasts of this role in his book, Surrender is Not an Option, 2008. pp 95-98. Threshold Editions, New York.
8. See ... eacemaker/
9. Michael White, 29th May 2008. What I really think about John Bolton. ... litical_bl
10. See ... t/2232.htm
11. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Ambassador Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick and General Carlton Fulford.
12. Mohamed ElBaradei, 7th March 2003. The Status of Nuclear Inspections in Iraq: an Update.
Statement to the United Nations Security Council. ... n006.shtml
13. Michael Duffy and James Carney, 21st July 2003. A Question Of Trust. Time magazine. ... -1,00.html
14. No author given, 1st August 2005. Bush appoints Bolton as his UN ambassador. The Economist.
15. Clare Dyer, 15th October 2003. Goldsmith ’scraped the legal barrel’ over Iraq war. The Guardian.
16. Philippe Sands, 2005. Lawless World, p190. Penguin, London.
17. John Kampfner, 2003. Blair’s Wars, p378. Free Press.
18. Conor Foley, 30th May 2008. Monbiot’s silly stunt. ... ts_silly_s
19. Conor makes this claim in the comment thread.
20. Stephen Adams, 29th May 2008. John Bolton: Citizen’s arrest attempt was comic. The Telegraph.
21. House of Lords, 2006. Judgments – R v. Jones (Appellant) (On Appeal from the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)) (formerly R v. J (Appellant)), Etc. ... 60329/jone
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Post by conspiracy analyst »

Monbiot is a controlled Oxbrigde asset. For him to do this either they are trying to put pressure on the US elections by threatening Bush or they are trying to give him a new 'left' persona.

An individual who vehemently attacked 9/11 is playing games.

Either which way we will soon know.
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Post by outsider »


'....And, according to Bustani, Bolton didn’t mince words. “Cheney wants you out,” Bustani recalled Bolton saying, referring to the then-vice president of the United States. “We can’t accept your management style.”

Bolton continued, according to Bustani’s recollections: “You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you.”

There was a pause.

“We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.”

Bustani told me he was taken aback but refused to back down. “My family is aware of the situation, and we are prepared to live with the consequences of my decision,” he replied.

After hearing Bustani’s description of the encounter, I reached out to his son-in-law, Stewart Wood, a British politician and former adviser to Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Wood told me that he vividly remembers Bustani telling him about Bolton’s implicit threat to their family immediately after the meeting in the Hague. “It instantly became an internal family meme,” Wood recalled. Two former OPCW colleagues of Bustani, Bob Rigg and Mikhail Berdennikov, have also since confirmed via email that they remember their then-boss telling them at the time about Bolton’s not-so-subtle remark about his kids.

Another former OPCW official, then-Special Assistant to the Director-General for External Relations Gordon Vachon, who was in the room for the meeting with Bolton, has confirmed that the Bush administration official implicitly threatened Bustani. The OPCW chief “could go quietly, with little fuss and restraint on all sides and ‘without dragging your name through the mud,’” Vachon recalled Bolton saying, in an email to The Intercept. “I cannot say from memory that I heard Mr. Bolton mention DG Bustani’s children, probably because I was reeling from Mr. Bolton’s thinly-veiled threat to DG Bustani’s reputation.”......'

Pity this didn’t come out immediately after the threat, it might conceivably have stopped the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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