John Bolton did not have a formal role in policymaking on torture, but if he had, he would have spoken with authority born of firsthand experience. He had been a conservative at the State Department and an American at the United Nations. No one chooses to be tortured, of course, but Bolton actually sought these positions of pain and agony.
If one definition of masochism is "a willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences," then Bolton qualifies. He was a Goldwater Republican as a teenager in Baltimore and, later in the Vietnam decade, a right-wing campus agitator at Yale. All of that--and he picked a profession that requires him to talk to journalists on a regular basis. Masochist, indeed.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
From Stephen Hayes's review of ex-UN Ambassador John Bolton's new book, Surrender is Not an Option, in the December 10th Weekly Standard: