Former National Security Advisor John Bolton has written his third book, entitled, “The Room Where It Happened” which according to Amazon.com will be published in hard copy and on Kindle on March 17, 2020. Amazon is accepting pre-publication orders. I bought a copy from Amazon. It isn’t my normal reading. I disagree with his basic philosophy of using the threat of military power in every way possible to promote US interests. In one editorial in the New York Times, he was aptly described as the least diplomatic diplomat. I have posted his biography from Wikipedia under links.
Thanks to the impeachment hearings, John Bolton has now gotten heaps of criticism from the party he has always supported – the Republicans. It has guaranteed that his hawkish views will be heard – either in his book or on social media. He appeared very often on Fox News during the Obama era. It seemed he was critical of almost every initiative undertook by Obama with respect to international policy and cooperation. At every turn, he would fall back to the idea that America would be better off going it alone.
But, I bought the book, because I am certain he will corroborate the testimony of others in the impeachment trial. I’m sure Bolton feels a sense of betrayal from Trump, who could not separate his role as president, setting incredibly important policy decisions from that of a candidate for re-election.
The current controversy is whether the manuscript can be published without changes. A restraining order, preventing Simon and Schuster from publishing the book is possible, but likely to be ineffective, as I am certain excepts will appear in the press. A restraining order will only make the book more popular.
The Supreme Court case, “The New York Times v. United States” was decided 38 years ago (I remember it, wow am I that old!) in favor of the New York Times publishing excerpts from the Pentagon Papers, a leaked government document reviewing the history of the Vietnam War, as prepared by the Department of Defense. Three conservative judges (Burger, Harlan and Blackmun) dissented. See links.
The lead story in today’s New York Times is: “Attacking Bolton, Republicans Push to Swiftly Acquit. Confident they can block witnesses. The White House and Senate Republicans worked aggressively on Wednesday to discount damaging revelations from John R, Bolton and line up the votes to block new witnesses from testifying in President Trump’s impeachment trial, in a push to bring the proceeding to a swift close.” A vote on witnesses may occur tomorrow, Friday January 31. Without witnesses, the trial could end next week, before the State of the Union address.
Amazon, The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir, accepting pre-publication orders, available March 17, 2020
Wikipedia: John Bolton
Wikipedia: New York Times v. United States (1971)
(yes- I know the actual case name is a bit longer and includes the case against the Washington Post. The case was part of the C-Span series on Landmark Supreme Court cases. See
C-Span Landmark Supreme Court Decisions: New York Times v United States
At issue was whether our First Amendment rights of a free speech could be limited by the government’s claim of harming to national security, because it relied on confidential information. I believe after publication, it became clear that Pentagon Papers were an excellent historical account of events leading to our involvement in the Vietnam war.