Bonkers Bolton’s Legacy

Once George W. Bush became President, the neo-crazies – in and out of government – attempted to implement their long gestating plan to remake the Middle East to their peculiar liking, effecting “regime change” in Iraq, Iran and elsewhere, by force if necessary.

Of course, the Best Congress Money Can Buy was perfectly willing to be complicit in the neo-crazies regime change plan, but there was a problem.


Not many of you were willing to risk thousands of American lives and zillions of Yankee dollars on a peculiar remake of the Middle East.

But then, on their second attempt – the first occurring back in 1993 – terrorists associated with radical Middle Eastern organizations such as al-Qaeda succeeded in bringing down the Twin Towers, on live TV, killing thousands of Americans in the process.

Almost immediately Congress gave Bush a blank check, authorizing the President to “use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001” in order “to prevent any future acts of international terrorism.”


Now, all Bush had to do before launching a pre-emptive attack on Iraq or Iran was to tell the BCMCB that he had determined that the Iraqis/Iranians/Hottentots had nukes and intended to give them to terrorists for use against us.

But in the fall of 2002, as Bush was attempting to “fix” the “intelligence” to support the “determination” he had already made, the UN Security Council was being authoritatively told that intrusive go-anywhere, see-anything inspections in Iraq by its International Atomic Energy Agency had failed to find any evidence of an Iraqi nuclear program, peaceful or otherwise.

Hence, the Security Council – unlike the BCMCB – refused to give Bush a blank check. Refused to authorize the use of force by Bush and his “coalition of the willing.”

Bush had announced his National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction – based upon his BCMCB blank check – in late 2002. Now Bonkers Bolton – then Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control – developed from it the Proliferation Security Initiative.

According to Bolton, “proliferators and those facilitating the procurement of deadly capabilities are circumventing existing laws, treaties, and controls against WMD proliferation.”

What to do? Well, form a few extra-legal War-on-Terror-oriented posse.

Bolton claimed the PSI was “legalized” by Security Council Resolution 1540 which says, inter alia,

“Gravely concerned by the threat of terrorism and the risk that non-State actors* may acquire, develop, traffic in or use nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery,

“Gravely concerned by the threat of illicit trafficking in nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons and their means of delivery, and related materials,* …

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1. Decides that all States shall refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery;

“2. Decides also that all States, in accordance with their national procedures, shall adopt and enforce appropriate effective laws which prohibit any non-State actor to manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, in particular for terrorist purposes, as well as attempts to engage in any of the foregoing activities, participate in them as an accomplice, assist or finance them;”

UNSCR 1540 established a “Committee of the Security Council,” to which all States were to report “on steps they have taken or intend to take.”

One of Bolton’s accomplishments once he became our (unconfirmed) UN Ambassador was UNSCR 1673, which essentially extended the term of the UNSCR 1540 Committee and expanded its authority.

Bolton also obtained UNSCR 1718 which

“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, and taking measures under its Article 41,

“1. Condemns the nuclear test proclaimed by the DPRK on 9 October 2006 in flagrant disregard of its relevant resolutions, in particular resolution 1695 (06), as well as of the statement of its President of 6 October 2006 (S/PRST/2006/41), including that such a test would bring universal condemnation of the international community and would represent a clear threat to international peace and security;

“2. Demands that the DPRK not conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile;

“3. Demands that the DPRK immediately retract its announcement of withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons;

“4. Demands further that the DPRK return to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, and underlines the need for all States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to continue to comply with their Treaty obligations;”

Now, of course, the Security Council was not acting under Chapter VII. In particular, the UN Charter doesn’t authorize any entity to require North Korea – a sovereign state – to “return” to the NPT. So UNSCR 1718 is fatally flawed.

UNSCR 1718 “calls upon” all UN Member States to take all sorts of actions against North Korea, and establishes a “Committee of the Security Counci” to monitor their performance. The UNSCR 1718 Committee has even more authority than the UNSCR 1673 Committee. It can “examine and take appropriate action on information regarding alleged violations of measures imposed” by UNSCR 1718.

Then there’s UNSCR 1737, which calls upon UN Member States to take all sorts of actions against Iran for failing to comply with the requests made of Iran by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in blatant disregard of their own Statute and of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. So UNSCR 1737 is fatally flawed, too.

UNSCR 1737 also establishes a Committee of the Security Council “to examine and take appropriate action on information regarding alleged violations of measures imposed” by UNSCR 1737.

So, perhaps it’s worth returning to UNSCR 1540 – the resolution Bonkers Bolton claims “legalizes” the extra-legal PSI posse and its Committee clones – wherein the Security Council

Decides that none of the obligations set forth in this resolution shall be interpreted so as to conflict with or alter the rights and obligations of State Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention or alter the responsibilities of the International Atomic Energy Agency or the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons;”


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Author: Gordon Prather

Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. — ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.