This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," Mar. 11, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Senators on both sides of the aisle are warning the Bush administration not to expect a quick confirmation on Bush's nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton (search). Lawmakers are puzzled over Bush's choice because Bolton is a harsh critic of the U.N. Will he make the cut?
Joining us now, former Florida Democratic Senator Bob Graham.
Senator, good to see you. Let me just put up on the screen very quickly.
FORMER U.S. SENATOR BOB GRAHAM (D), FLORIDA: Thank you.
COLMES: Some of the things Bolton said, for example, "There's no such thing as the United Nations. If the U.N. Secretariat building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference." Also said at one point, "Big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so."
The guy doesn't even believe in international law, Senator. Why would Bush make this kind of choice?
GRAHAM: It's the president's decision. And ultimately how the ambassador to the United Nations from our country behaves is a reflection of what the president wants. The question is, after having spent a week in Europe attempting to display a different attitude, a more collaborative relationship with the major leaguers in Europe, now to make this appointment is very inexplicable.
COLMES: What signal does this send to countries with whom we have to do business?
GRAHAM: I think it sends a signal of a lack of consistency, as does, for instance, the decision that has just been made to play nice with Hezbollah (search) in Lebanon. That's a country which we have described — or a group-- that we have described as a terrorist operation. They've killed over 300 Americans. And yet now we apparently are ready to allow them to step into the space that the Syrians had occupied in Lebanon. That's just another example of inconsistency in our foreign policy, which causes our allies to wonder what in the world we're doing.
COLMES: Bolton also said at one point, "We're not legally bound to pay U.N. dues." He said, "We only have one permanent member of the Security Council: The United States." And, now, this is the guy?
GRAHAM: Yes, he also made a statement which caused a great deal of heartburn in Florida. And that was that there was evidence that Cuba was developing a weaponized biotech system. And when I asked him what was his evidence of that, he didn't have any evidence of that and didn't seem to be sensitive to the fact that when a major official of the federal government makes a statement, people tend to give it a presumption of correctness.
OLIVER NORTH, GUEST HOST: Senator Graham, you served on the Intelligence Committee. You know as well as I do that theIAEA (search), which is supposedly the watchdog for the United Nations on arms control, is a toothless Chihuahua. And you also know that Mohammed ElBaradei (search), who wants another term as the head of IAEA, is totally ineffective.
Don't you want a U.N. ambassador, kind of cut from the bolt of cloth as Jeanne Kirkpatrick (search) to keep an eye on these characters?
GRAHAM: I would like to have one cut from the bolt of Jeanne Kirkpatrick or Pat Moynihan (search) or others who have been effective critics and agents for reform in the United Nations without having to trash the organization. As it relates to the International Atomic Energy Agency — if you had to judge who was most right in Iraq in terms of weapons of mass destruction, the IAEA, who indicated consistently that they didn't have evidence for nuclear weapons, or the president of the United States...
NORTH: You're getting me off — you're getting off — Senator?
GRAHAM: ... who said that we were threatened by imminent attack.
NORTH: With all due respect, Senator...
GRAHAM: I would give the IAEA good grades.
NORTH: With all due respect, since Mohammed ElBaradei has headed it, North Korea, Pakistan and Iran have all gotten nuclear capabilities they weren't supposed to get. And this is the guy who has been basically tracked by none other than John Bolton. And I think we ought to have Bolton up there keeping an eye on this guy.
GRAHAM: Well, you know, just last week there was articles in the press to the effect that the president had been informed that his statements relative to the state of nuclear weapons in Iran does not have any more factual basis than the statements that he made about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
NORTH: Well, who do we have looking after the Iranian situation right now? We've got Mohammed ElBaradei...
GRAHAM: Well, right now the president...
NORTH: ... and the United Nations. And all I'm saying is, it strikes me that we ought to have somebody who cares about the United States up there at the U.N. looking after this guy?
GRAHAM: Well, apparently while we're collapsing to Hezbollah in Lebanon, we are now joining the Europeans in the negotiations in Iran. And we'll be prepared to offer some economic inducements to get Iran to put a rein on its nuclear aspirations.
COLMES: Hey, Senator, thank you so much. Good to see you. And thanks for being on “Hannity & Colmes” tonight.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
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