Tag Archives: John Bolton

Why the Left Hates John Bolton

Ever since Donald Trump announced – by Tweet, of course – that he was replacing his National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, with former UN Ambassador John Bolton, the Left has had a collective hissy fit. Countless hours and column inches have been devoted to relentlessly trashing one of our most accomplished foreign and defense policy practitioners.

The attacks have been both direct and indirect. The direct ones have impugned Mr. Bolton’s character, maligned his record of service and darkly warned about his future intentions. The indirect ones have, among other techniques, maligned him for those with whom he has worked over the years. I am among the latter and one such assault sheds light on why the Ambassador is so feared by his critics.

On Saturday, CNN contributor Peter Beinart laid into John Bolton at the Atlantic Magazine for having “rehabilitated” yours truly, whom he described as a “fringe conservative.” Here’s how Beinart introduced his hit piece:

In 2016, Bolton played a crucial role in Frank Gaffney’s rehabilitation inside the conservative movement. For close to two decades, Gaffney has been Washington’s most dogged peddler of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. He’s traveled the country testifying against the construction of mosques, arguing that since Islam is a totalitarian political ideology, not a religion, American Muslims don’t deserve the protections of the First Amendment. Bolton’s intervention on his behalf is particularly intriguing because, in his own writing and remarks, he’s largely avoided anti-Muslim bigotry. But in today’s conservative movement, anti-Muslim activists are a legitimate constituency group, like people who support gun rights or oppose abortion. And Bolton has proved, in this case and others, all too willing to empower them.

As Claudia Rosett has noted, such comments are “a reflection not on Bolton, but on the uber-bias of his critics.” I can attest to such bias since I have spent over two hours walking Beinart through what he derides as “conspiracy theories” about Sharia-supremacism and its enablers in this country. In the interest of clarifying both my own views and Peter Beinart’s agenda-driven reporting, I am making the full transcripts of those conversations available for the first time here .

Time and time again, the discussions turned to my interviewer’s transparent preoccupation with challenging or otherwise discrediting the rigorous analysis of Sharia-supremacism in this country conducted by my colleagues at the Center for Security Policy and me for roughly two decades. In response, I shared with Beinart our extensive collection of books and monographs (available for free as downloads at www.SecureFreedom.org) that illuminate, among other things, the determination of the Muslim Brotherhood to use what one of its top operatives called “civilization jihad” to “destroy Western civilization from within” (as established by the federal government in the course of the country’s largest terrorism-financing trial, U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation).

The Center’s “Civilization Jihad Reader Series” examines in detail how Islamists have waged this campaign over the past five decades by targeting, penetrating and subverting our nation’s civil society and governing institutions. This is not a “conspiracy theory.” It is an actual, well-documented and ongoing conspiracy. Thanks to its success, America’s financial sector, faith communities, courts, popular culture, academic institutions, law enforcement and other government agencies have been induced to misunderstand and make ill-advised accommodations to Sharia and its adherents.

In particular, Peter Beinart seemed determined to rebut our findings about influence operations run by individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood against Republicans and George W. Bush with help from anti-tax activist Grover Norquist. He professed to have read part of a compilation of the relevant facts endorsed by such eminent national security leaders as former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, former Congressman Allen West and retired Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin. Yet, Beinart has studiously ignored such evidence.

For example, in Beinart’s latest screed in The Atlantic, he recounts how I was punished by Norquist and his allies for documenting this troubling saga – without acknowledging the basis for my charges. Instead, Beinart seeks to vilify John Bolton for having done what Norquist’s defenders have manifestly not: Mr. Bolton acquainted himself with the facts, thought through their implications and selflessly and courageously worked to rectify a mistaken policy unsupported by them.

These are among the many laudable qualities of the new National Security Advisor that may be detested by the Left, but that will serve President Trump and our nation well.

National Security Threats to the U.S.

With Amb. John Bolton, Michele Rigby Assad, Gordon Chang and John Silitides

AMBASSADOR JOHN BOLTON, Senior Policy Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security:

  • Current threats the Trump administration faces
  • National security risks to America
  • Does national security policy have a base within the democratic party?

MICHELE RIGBY ASSAD, Former CIA Clandestine Officer, Author of Breaking Cover: My Secret Life In the CIA:

  • Undercover experience in the Middle East
  • Persecuted Christians in the MENA region

GORDON CHANG, Forbes.com Columnist, World Affairs Journal Blogger, the Daily Beast Contributor, Author of “The Coming Collapse of China” and “Nuclear Showdown; North Korea Takes on the World:”

  • How China is profiting from America’s opioid crisis
  • CPAC panel 2/23 2:00 pm
  • China’s unrestricted warfare against the U.S.

JOHN SILITIDES, Contributor at The Washington Examiner:

  • Is Turkey a reliable ally?
  • Why the U.S. must stand up for the Syrian Kurds
  • Significance of the South China Sea

Sticking it to Trumpian critics of North Korea

Originally posted on the Washington Times

President Trump’s speech to the South Korean parliament on the evil of the Kim Jong-un regime was the best so far of his presidency and has been widely described as “Reaganesque.”

I agree, but the address also resembled an important 2003 speech on the North Korean threat by John Bolton titled “A Dictatorship at the Crossroads” when he was undersecretary of State for arms control and international security. Opposition to this speech was similar to the internal opposition that Mr. Trump’s policies are facing today.

In his speech, Mr. Bolton condemned North Korea’s abysmal human rights record, calling the country a “hellish nightmare” and discussed torture by the regime, including chemical and biological warfare experiments on inmates. Mr. Bolton also gave a devastating indictment of Pyongyang for developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles.

The speech enraged the North Korean government and led it to call Mr. Bolton “human scum” and bar him from multilateral talks on its nuclear program. The Washington Times ran a front-page headline story about the North’s nutty reaction to the Bolton speech and published a cartoon of Kim Jong-il as a slug standing before a giant shoe labeled “John Bolton” by the late Times cartoonist Bill Garner. Both were framed and proudly displayed in Mr. Bolton’s State Department office.

There was enormous resistance to Mr. Bolton’s North Korea speech from State Department and intelligence community careerists — now called “the swamp” — who were determined to resist the tough approach to North Korea voiced at the time by President George W. Bush and Mr. Bolton. U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Thomas Hubbard, a career Foreign Service officer, complained to Secretary of State Colin Powell that the speech had not been cleared and accused Mr. Bolton of freelancing. I know Mr. Hubbard’s complaints were false since I was Mr. Bolton’s chief of staff and worked with the author of the speech to ensure it was fully cleared within the State Department, with other government agencies and the White House.

This “swamp” resistance eventually transformed the Bush administration’s tough approach to North Korea during the first Bush term into appeasement by the second. While Mr. Bolton could give speeches about North Korea, he had no control over State Department regional bureaus like the East Asia and Pacific Affairs Bureau (EAP). As a result, EAP found ways to exclude him and other hard-liners from the policymaking process on North Korea.

By 2006, EAP and Ambassador Christopher Hill, the Bush administration’s North Korea special envoy, were working outside the interagency process to coordinate North Korea policy and to keep the few remaining Bush administration hard-liners in the dark.

This led to some horrendous decisions in the second Bush term that continue to haunt U.S. North Korea policy to this day. They included removing North Korea from a state sponsor of terror list and dropping tough banking sanctions after North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006. Physical evidence was found indicating a secret uranium enrichment program and the North turned over a bogus declaration of its nuclear program.

These concessions set the stage for an even more disastrous North Korea policy by the Obama administration called “Strategic Patience,” which led to a huge surge in the North’s nuclear and missile programs.

The lesson Mr. Trump should draw from the Bolton North Korea speech and related experiences is the urgency of ensuring that his policies are fully implemented by the foreign policy bureaucracy. This is difficult because there is a strong resistance to conservative policies — not just those of the Trump administration — by the “swamp.”

Countering this resistance requires extremely good staffing of senior positions — especially political appointees — at the State Department and the National Security Council. Unfortunately, too many of these posts are vacant or staffed with individuals who oppose the president’s policies and are prepared to obstruct them.

Fortunately, there is hope on the horizon. I believe Mr. Trump will do what most businesses do every December: an end-of-the-year performance review of his presidency. Hopefully, this will lead to major personnel changes and the president reassessing the advice of outside advisers who recommended individuals for senior positions who did not work out.

Such a review is urgently needed to implement the president’s policies and to staff his administration with the personnel to do so. Otherwise, President Trump’s North Korea speech will be undermined and ignored by the “swamp” just like John Bolton’s 2003 speech was.

How the JCPOA Enables Iranian and North Korean Nuclear Programs

Ambassador John Bolton is a Senior Policy Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security:

Frank Gaffney:

Welcome back, I am very pleased to say we are joined by one of the most extraordinary and committed national security practitioners of our time. A principled leader and a courageous proponent of American freedom. He is John Bolton, formerly the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, before that he served in a number of capacities including with Fred Fleitz as the Under Secretary of State. He is the author of Surrender is Not an Option, very much a light motif of the moment in light of what Ambassador Bolton is trying to do to prevent a surrender of sorts by the President of the United States with respect to the ‘Obamabomb’ deal, as I’m fund of calling it. Mr. Ambassador welcome back, it is so good to have you.

Amb. John Bolton:

Very glad to be with you.

Frank Gaffney:

I’m particularly glad because you really have been leading the effort to help the President understand that he has another option besides the one that seems to be being advanced by many of what I call his insubordinates, namely the people who are trying to get him to stay in the Obamabomb deal even if he can’t certify that is it is, as Andy McCarthy points out, not only not being complied with by the Iranians but also not in our national security interest. Tell us a little bit about the lay of the land as you see it and why you think another option is needed 

Amb. John Bolton:

Well it’s really amazing. Only in Washington I think that people could come up with the approach that by all media accounts the President is being urged to adopt. I mean I think there’s some pretty clear lines here looking at the Iran deal. One line is that perhaps General Mattis supports, he thinks the deal is in America’s national security interest so he would certify that to Congress and stay in the deal. Then there’s the deal I hold, you hold, and others, that the deal is not in America’s security interest and therefore we should not certify it and not stay in the deal. Now, these views are obviously opposite of one another but they are at least coherent, and intellectually consistent positions. What the President’s advisors are recommending to him is to say the deal is not in Americas national security interest so we won’t certify it but we will stay in it. What possible logic is there to that? If you were confronted with a deal in the first instance that you were convinced was not in Americas interests, would you enter it to begin with? Of course not. So, we are being distracted by this bright shiny object known as certification when that is not the issue at all. The issue is do you stay in the deal or get out of it? And I think for the safety of not only the United States but our friends and allies like Israel and some of the oil-producing monarchies on the Arabian peninsula, it is critically important to get out of it and recognize this deal is facilitating Iran’s path to nuclear weapons, not barring it.

Frank Gaffney:

Well said of course. Let me ask you about one other piece of this. You have had extensive experience not only at the United Nations and in the bureaucracy of the State Department, but in and out of government for decades John Bolton, when you hear people say, “we will effectively affirm the deal by staying in it and yet we will fix what’s wrong with it through negotiations”, there seems to be an incoherence with that proposition as well, am I missing something?

Amb. John Bolton:

No that’s exactly right. To fix the deal presumably you have to get the Iranians to agree to it. They have zero incentive to do that. The only way that you’d demonstrate why this deal is harmful to the U.S. is get out of it and then with this new reality you created use American economic pressure against the Europeans and others. One of the most insidious parts of this deal is how all the benefits to Iran are front end loaded and all of its responsibilities and obligations are at the backend. And I think we have to put the pressure back on but we are simply going down the road now that allows Iran and I might say North Korea with which it has worked very closely over the last 25 years to precede toward a capacity that could have ICBMS with thermo-nuclear warheads hit targets in the United States in the very near future. In fact, the pace at which North Korea is going should be terribly worrying to everybody, because whatever North Korea has today, Iran will have tomorrow by writing a large enough check.

Frank Gaffney:

And this is a point that is often overlooked. We are very focused on the North Korean threat but I think too few of us are appreciating what you just said which is they are joined at the hip, the North Koreans and Iranians and we will be facing, I don’t know if its tomorrow, it might be this afternoon, but we will be facing a threat from Iran which makes no secret as you know so well Mr. Ambassador, of its determination to bring death to America. Let me ask you about another topic I know you’ve been focusing on as well, and that is this referendum that Iraqi-Kurds voted on last weekend to essentially establish an independent state of their own, the first time the Kurds have ever had one if it comes to pass. A lot of pressure being brought to bear not just by the Iraqis but by the Turks, the Iranians and Syrians to prevent this self-determination from coming to pass. Tell us about your thoughts on where America should be as well as what the future should be for the Kurds.

Amb. John Bolton:

Well, I think you have to look at the me as a whole strategically and the fact is that the country that we used to know as Iraq has collapsed and is not going to be put back together again, I think the country we used to know as Syria will not be put back together again even after ISIS is defeated. This confusion, this collapse and spreading of anarchy will continue and in reality the Iraqi-Kurds have been in-defacto independent for 25 years. And their referendum which overwhelming supported formal independence really just identities what already exists. So I think the U.S.  should not be eager to take the government in Baghdad which is subordinate, a satellite for the ayatollahs of Iran, and extend its influence any further and certainly not over the Kurds. Now Kurdish independence of Iraq caused ripple effects in Turkey, Syria and Iran and there are some serious questions but honestly this is an issue of recognizing reality. It’s not because of a sort of blind adherence to democratic government although that is certainly a positive step for the Kurds, it’s the geopolitical reality that they have created and that there’s nobody big enough for them to turn around. So I think it’s in America’s interest to recognize an independent Kurdistan, I think it’s going to happen anyway and that’s just something that has been cost in the middle east for a whole variety of factors but it is a reality.

Frank Gaffney:

Yeah, a further benefit seems to me that it does in fact create problems for various countries that are already avowedly hostile to us like Iran and Syria, and one that is not yet overtly or at least recognized as such, Turkey. In this regard let me ask you about one other effort of a similar kind in another part of the world. As you now the Catalans of Spain have also had a referendum seeking to allow them self-determination as well. They have confronted very considerable pressure from the Spanish government including violence against their referendum. The European Union isn’t happy about it either. Where do you come down on that position and then again Americas interests therewith.

Amb. John Bolton:

Well there I think American’s interests lay with keeping the Spanish state together. You know with a functioning democratic society as Spain is, one particular region can’t just up and decide it’s going to hold its own referendum without regard of the rest and that makes it different from Iraq, which has seized to function as a national government. All the polls before this referendum indicated that the opponents of succession had a majority and they boycotted the polls so I don’t think the referendum results really reflect the opinion in Catalonia. And I think violence is obviously unfortunate but I think some of the secessionists were happy to provoke it. You know, ultimately I think the proponents of the EU, although they are reluctant to say it out loud, like these secessionist movements, the vast country of Spain, whales, Scotland and the UK, separatist movements in Italy and elsewhere, because if you go from a European union of nations, to a European union of 500 grand duchies, where do you think power will flow? It will flow to bureaucrats in Brussels. So, I think a strong Europe of strong nations is really best for the Europeans, it’s certainly best for the us.

Frank Gaffney:

Unless of course those strong nations are willing to surrender their sovereignty to this European union which is deeply hostile to us it seems to me. So much more on this to talk about, Mr. Ambassador, I hope you come back to us soon and I pray in the meantime the President will have the opportunity to reflect on the Bolton plan for withdrawing from this defective Obamabomb deal, it certainly is the right course it seems to me. Thank you for your service in that regard and so much else. Next up, we will be speaking with Russ Dallen about Venezuela and more. Straight ahead.

Europe Should Not Have a Veto Over U.S. Foreign Policy

With Andy McCarthy, Fred Fleitz, Amb. John Bolton and Russ Dallen

ANDY MCCARTHY, Contributing Editor of National Review, Senior Fellow at National Review Institute, Former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York:

FRED FLEITZ, Senior VP for Policy and Programs at CSP, Former CIA analyst, Former Chief of Staff for Amb. John Bolton:

  • How Iran has not complied with the JCPOA
  • Why President Trump should not re-certify and withdraw from Iran deal
  • Europe should not have a veto over Trump’s foreign policy
  • Consequences of President Trump’s insubordinate advisors

AMB. JOHN BOLTON, Senior Policy Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security:

  • Why President Trump must pursue a clean withdrawal from the Iran Deal
  • How the JCPOA enables Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs
  • Why the U.S. should recognize geo-political reality of Kurdish independence
  • Should U.S. support Catalonia referendum?

RUSS DALLEN, President & Editor in Chief at The Latin American Herald Tribune, Head of the international investment bank, Caracas Capital Markets, Served as President of Venezuela’s “The Daily Journal”:

  • Russia’s willingness to prop up Maduro regime
  • Venezuela’s sharp decline in oil production

Ambassador Bolton: Negotiations Only Benefit North Korea

Ambassador John R. Bolton, a diplomat and a lawyer, has spent many years in public service. From August 2005 to December 2006, he served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations. From 2001 to 2005, he was under secretary of state for arms control and international security. At AEI, Ambassador Bolton’s area of research is U.S. foreign and national security policy. Follow him @AmbJohnBolton


Fred Fleitz:

Welcome back to Secure Freedom Radio, my name is Fred Fleitz substituting for Frank Gaffney. My guest today is my former boss and good friend, Ambassador John Bolton. He is a Senior Policy Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, a former permanent representative to the United Nations, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security and one of our nations leading experts on national security. Ambassador Bolton, welcome!

Amb. John Bolton:

Glad to be with you, thanks for having me.

Fred Fleitz:

Ambassador, I wanted to talk to you today, I want to grill down on the growing crisis with North Korea and I’d like to start off by asking you to give an overview of the latest developments, particularly this threat by North Korea to attack Guam by surrounding it with missile attacks.

Amb. John Bolton:

Well I think this shows, for anyone who’s really paying attention to North Korea, just how erratic, how bizarre this regime is. Obviously they’re concerned about Guam because the U.S has B-52 bombers and other very sophisticated air and missile systems available there. It constitutes American territory, and North Korea sees it as a threat to them. But precisely because it is American territory, if they were to carry true with this attack it would be really required by the President to retaliate massively against North Korea. You hear many pundits saying today, ‘Oh you know, North Korea doesn’t want to commit suicide, they’re rational people, we can negotiate with them.’ I beg to differ on that, they are rational in a bizarre world that makes sense to them but they are not rational in our terms. And that’s why its unacceptable to allow North Korea to have any nuclear capability, not just with ballistic missile delivery system, but any nuclear capability, so they can’t sell it to terrorist groups, they can’t put weapons on trans steamers and sail them into American harbors. This is a very dangerous regime and the kind of rhetoric we’ve seen from them I think demonstrates how dangerous and erratic they are.

Fred Fleitz:

You know, many critics of the Trump administration are saying, ‘Look let’s just return to talks, let’s resume negotiations.’ Now I remember well your efforts to get the us out of the Clinton Administration nuclear deal with North Korea, the agreed framework when you were Secretary of State for Arms Control. Could you talk about that experience and how that should influence the Trump administration’s thinking today?

Amb. John Bolton:

Well I think the North Korean performance under the agreed framework tells you everything you need to know about dealing with North Korea, about reaching agreements with them and what commitments by North Korea are worth when they say they will give up their nuclear program. North Korea in the past 25 years has solemnly pledged on at least four separate occasions to give up their nuclear weapons program and they’ve violated every commitment. What they want to do is negotiate endlessly to get tangible economic benefits in return for them making a pledge to give up their program, which they then don’t carry out but try and accumulate as much of the benefits as they can. It’s a tactic very similar to what Iran has used and in the case of the agreed framework which president Clinton said would bring peace and security to all of northeast Asia. When the Bush Administration came in, it became clear that North Korea had been violating the agreed framework before the ink was dry on it. Which was why we had to get out of it in order to try to put more pressure on them. The fact is I don’t think North Korea is ever voluntarily going to give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons. And its also the case that even if there were more negotiation, oh I think North Korea has no credibility. Those negotiations themselves benefit North Korea, time is a valuable resource, time is not a neutral feature. People say, ‘what can it hurt to talk with them, what do you lose?’ The answer is you lose time. Time is the asset for the would-be proliferator. And today, we see estimates that North Korea may have as many as 60 nuclear warheads. But at least as of now if that estimate is correct, it is doubtful they have 60 ballistic missiles. At the end of 6 months, or 9 months, or 12 months of negotiation, they may well have it. So time is on the side of the proliferator. I think we are out of time to try to pressure the North Koreans. I think we’ve only got one diplomatic play yet, that’s the possibility of trying to persuade China that everybody would be better off if we reunited the two Koreas. That’s a hard argument to make. But it doesn’t involve negotiating with North Korea, it involves negotiating with China. And if we are not prepared to pursue that, then President Trump’s options are very limited and very unpleasant.

Fred Fleitz:

You’re listening to Secure Freedom Radio, my guest is Ambassador John Bolton. Ambassador Bolton, you recently wrote in Wall Street Journal on August 2nd that there are U.S. military options for North Korea, could you discuss what those options are?

Amb. John Bolton:

Well, there’s a really huge range of them, from covert action against the regime or against some of its assets, destroying their nuclear facilities, their ballistic missile test sites, their submarine launching sites and even beyond that. And the question that I think the President will have to grapple with very soon because there will come a day where he sees a missile poised on a North Korean launch pad, we won’t know what’s under the nose cone of the missile, we may assess it could hit the U.S. and because of the terrible deficiencies in our ballistic missile defense program left by the Obama Administration, we might not be able to stop that missile. The President is going to have to make the decision whether he attacks it in North Korea, or hopes once it lifts off that its not going to land here. I don’t think we should wait for that, I think the risks are too high. And that’s why –not because anybody wants it, not because I think it’s a desirable thing in the abstract, but why we’ve got to be thinking about a preemptive strike against this North Korea capability. It’s not just that Kim Jong Un is erratic and not rational on our terms, the entire regime is a threat and this capability in the nuclear field is a threat on really a global basis, not just what North Korea itself could do, it’s whether it sells the nuclear capability to Iran, to terrorist groups, really anyone with hard currency. That would fit the pattern of their behavior over the last decades.

Fred Fleitz:

Ambassador, you know the news media and democrats in Congress are up in arms over the president’s tough warning to North Korea this week after intelligence was released that the North Koreans can make miniature warheads that can be used in ballistic missiles. What’s your take on this?

Amb. John Bolton:

Well you know that’s fairly typical of the Left. Don’t worry about the North Koreans, attack the president. I thought his rhetoric speaking of ‘fire and fury’ if North Korea continues, was on target; it was tough rhetoric for sure. We’re in a difficult position, we are in the middle of a crisis, Americans I think need to understand that. And I urge everyone to read the Wall Street Journal’s excellent editorial this morning where it talks about Trump’s rhetoric and points out why the main audience is for the North Korea regime and the Chinese, really need to understand how this President differs from Obama and how grave this situation is. And that’s something I think all Americans need to look at. Are you prepared to live with a North Korea with a deliverable nuclear weapons capability for now as far as the eye can see? I think that leaves future American generations hostage to the erratic policies of this bizarre regime on the Korean Peninsula. I think it’s unacceptable. And if you believe that, then you’ve got to start making some very hard decisions.

Fred Fleitz:

Quick question, because we are running out of time. When we look at the trajectory of the North Korean nuclear program, many experts say this is not a defense program. It is an offensive program. And I’m wondering if you think of the objectives of this program might be to one day absorb South Korea?

Amb. John Bolton:

Absolutely. The North has never given up the idea that it can control the whole peninsula. My notion on reunification with China is basically South Korea takes over the North, not the other way around. You eliminate the nuclear threat by eliminating North Korea. But don’t discount the possibility that in the future the North Korean could say to the U.S., ‘pull all of your troops out of not just North Korea, but in South Korea, pull them out of Japan. Pull them out of Guam. And if you don’t we will use our nuclear weapons.’ Now this a basically a blackmail capability that I wouldn’t leave even in the hands of our friends, let alone our adversaries. And that’s really just the beginning. This is a threat against the American people and really its metastasized to a point where it’s a grave danger.

Fred Fleitz:

Well, Ambassador Bolton, I’m afraid we ran out of time, thank you for providing your analysis today. You are listening to Secure Freedom Radio. This is Fred Fleitz substituting for Frank Gaffney. Next up, Clare Lopez. Stay tuned.

What’s Really Going on in the U.K.?

With Fred Fleitz, Jon Gaunt, Amb. John Bolton and Clare Lopez:

FRED FLEITZ, Senior VP of Policy and Programs at CSP, Former CIA Analyst, Former Chief of Staff for Ambassador John Bolton:

  • Why the JCPOA must go

JON GAUNT, Founder of Jon Gaunt Podcast, Weekly Reviewer on Sky News Sunrise:

  • Horrific case of gang rape in the U.K.
  • London mayor Sadiq Khan
  • What is really dividing Great Britain?

AMB. JOHN BOLTON, Senior Fellow at American Enterprise Institute, Former U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N., Former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security:

  • The bizarre and irrational regime of Kim Jong Un
  • How negotiations benefit Pyongyang
  • U.S. military options for North Korea

CLARE LOPEZ, Vice President for Research & Analysis at the Center for Security Policy, Former CIA Clandestine Officer:

  • Analysis of the North Korean threat
  • Implications of the recent escalation from Pyongyang
  • Action combating female genital mutilation in Michigan and Maine

AMB. JOHN BOLTON: ‘Designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a Terrorist Organization’

Ambassador John R. Bolton, a diplomat and a lawyer, has spent many years in public service. From August 2005 to December 2006, he served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations. From 2001 to 2005, he was under secretary of state for arms control and international security. At AEI, Ambassador Bolton’s area of research is U.S. foreign and national security policy. Follow him @AmbJohnBolton. 


Welcome to Secure Freedom Radio. This is Frank Gaffney, your host and guide for what I think of as an intelligence briefing on the war for the free world. There are a few people, whose intelligence I’ve admired more, as our countrymen and women have over the year, than that of our first guest. He is Ambassador John Bolton. He has served in a number of capacities in the United States government with great distinction including as our Ambassador to the United Nations. He is the author of Surrender is Not an Option. Simply countless op-eds, columns, and other contributions to the public debate about all the national security issues of our time, and a great friend and guest. We’re always glad to have him with us. Mr. Ambassador, welcome back.


Glad to be with you.


So much to talk about, so little time. Let me throw a couple of them at you. Russia, you have been very concerned, as I think the rest of have been, about what Vladimir Putin up to, at least his influence operations which are getting a lot of partisan press especially. Give us quickly sir, if you would, your thoughts on this meeting the President had with Putin, and what we have been learning since.


Well, I thought it was extremely important that President Trump do exactly what he did, which is put to Putin right at the beginning of the meeting, and for apparently as long as forty minutes in a number of different aspects of the conversation why he was unhappy with Russian efforts to meddle in our elections. I thought that kind of straightforward talk by the President should have made it pretty clear to Putin how strongly we felt about it. But I thought maybe the most important lesson to come out of it for the President and Secretary of State Tillerson, who was in the meeting, was to watch, completely predictably, Vladimir Putin denied to their faces that Russia had tried to do anything to undercut Americans’ faith in their democratic institutions because that was the proof positive about how this Russian government performs international affairs. It will say or do whatever it thinks necessary, whether it is related to the truth or just happens to be coincidentally related to the truth to advance their interest. Therefore, whatever agreement you make with Russia, whether it’s ceasefire in Southwest Syria, an arms control agreement, dealing with them on the Iran nuclear weapons program, talking about their intervention in Ukraine, whatever it is what Russia says cannot be relied upon. I think once you reach that understanding negotiating with the Russians becomes a lot more realistic, and I think after eight years of Obama, we desperately need that.


Do you agree with me, Mr. Ambassador that as we are hearing a lot of talk in connection with the Donald Trump Jr.  meeting with a Russian attorney, that this opens the door to in fact makes, absolutely obligatory, into the sorts of collusion others were having with the Russians? We certainly have evidence of Hillary Clinton, and for that matter Barack Obama, should those be a part of the investigations underway now?


Well, I think either part of the investigation, or we need separate ones, because I think in many respects this really requires something that gives appropriate prominence to the various things being alleged here. I just think the Clinton campaign, the abuses of the Obama Administration, in trying to affect the election are equally serious from the perspective of preserving our Constitutional process. I mean, we still don’t know the extent to which the Obama Administration was acting in impermissible ways, but certainly one thing, their supporters in the Democratic Party have yet to explain, which is if this Russian hacking of our election were as serious as they say, why in God’s name didn’t Obama do anything about it? This to me is an existential threat to the United States. We are a country founded on an idea about human freedom, reflected in our governmental processes and embodied in our Constitution, and I do think that there is still a lot we do not know about what the Russians did but I think their fundamental premises was to undermine the faith in our institutions. They are doing it in other countries as well because then it doesn’t matter ultimately what candidate wins; our system is being undermined. So, if it is that serious, what was Barack Obama doing other than watching paint dry on his office walls?


Let me ask you, you mention Syria and the so-called ceasefire coming out of the conversations with Putin last week, one of the other things that’s playing out in Syria as well as in Iraq of course what we are being told is the defeat at long last of the Islamic State. Knowing what you do about the ideology that is animating this outfit, do you believe that we’re actually at the point where we are seeing that ideology defeated, as well as for that matter one of its manifestations in this group the Islamic State?


No, I still don’t think that we are addressing the ideology adequately. I think that from both press reports and what I pick up from in conversations with knowledgeable people it’s almost certain the Islamic State has already exfiltrated substantial members of its leaders to somewhere else, Libya, Yemen, or Afghanistan. There are a lot of possibilities.  I mean they could have left for a lot of different places to reestablish a new caliphate, and those who remained behind in Mosul, where there are some who are still holding out, in Raqqa the capital who are ready to get their martyrdom. Which they richly deserve, and the sooner the better, but it’s not going to end the ISIS threat. And in fact, I think that Obama’s “slow roll” strategy of dealing with the ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq has permitted ISIS the luxury of being able to regroup elsewhere. I think the President has a fundamentally different view of the conflict with radical Islamic terrorism. I just don’t think that his government has come along with him yet. And I think that it’s a problem that we will see in a number of different areas, most acutely in this one, that the permanent government is not yet under control.


I want to ask you about not just the permanent government that’s bad enough, most especially the foreign service part of it, but even his cabinet officer over there, Rex Tillerson on the issue of a country that has been very much at the forefront of promoting, what Andy McCarthy calls ‘sharia supremacists’ ideology, namely Qatar. You have this sort of spectacle of the President saying that it’s a good thing that they drive out effectively Qatar if it won’t drive out the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Jazeera, on the one hand. And you have Rex Tillerson, not only saying, ‘Hey, everything is just hunky dory with Qatar, but we’re actually party to a memorandum of understanding about how we’re going to join forces with them in countering terrorism.’ What do you make of this, particularly based on your experience in the building?


Anytime you have a split between the White House and the State Department or any major cabinet, defense, or intelligence community, our foreign adversaries take advantage of it. I actually think what the President did in Riyadh in the creation of a center against the extremism gave us an enormous opportunity to try to dry up terrorist financing from whatever source it comes from, and you can point a lot of fingers on this score because the terrorist, in their different manifestations, get it from a number of different places. Qatar has one significant point in its favor when it says, you know you accuse us of giving to the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s true, we don’t declare the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. But you know that the United States hasn’t declared it to be a terrorist organization yet either. So, to me this is how you take this mess in the Gulf, which I do think we need to clear up. We need a united anti-Iran front, and Qatar needs to come closer to its friends on the peninsula, us, the U.S., and Israel on that point. And in the meantime, let’s help Qatar along here. Why doesn’t the United States get on with the business of declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization? And then that gives Qatar the excuse to go ahead and do it too, so we can cut off everyone’s funding for them, whether it’s in Egypt, the United States, or anywhere else in the world.


Great idea! Mr. Ambassador, we hope from your lips to God’s ears as they say. Thank you for spending some time sharing with our audiences ears these important insights, and I know you’ll come back to us very soon. In the meantime, sir, stay very well.


‘We Negotiate with Russia at Our Peril’

With Ambassador John Bolton, Diana West, Bruce Klinger and Kyle Shideler

AMBASSADOR JOHN BOLTON, Senior Policy Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, former Permanent Representative to the United Nations:

  • The most important lesson for President Trump at the G20 Summit
  • The defeat of the Islamic State in Syria
  • Why U.S. designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization is key to supporting President Trump’s Qatar policy

DIANA WEST, Nationally Syndicated Columnist, Blogs at Dianawest.net:

  • Ongoing hysteria over Trump’s alleged Russia collusion
  • Democrats’ Russia collusion
  • Opposition toward Trump’s Warsaw Speech

BRUCE KLINGNER, Senior Research Fellow for Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation, Former Chief of CIA’s Korea Branch:

  • How imminent is the threat from Pyongyang?
  • Capability of the North Korean missile program
  • Prospect of an EMP attack
  • What the Trump administration can do to deter Kim Jong-un

KYLE SCHIDELER, Director of Threat Information Office at Center for Security Policy:

  • Why relying on Iranian-backed militias to fight ISIS is problematic
  • ISIS activity in the Philippines
  • How Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is undermining President Trump on Qatar