RT – April 7, 2018: Former OPCW Director General Jose Bustani, 1997 – 2002: …I got a phone call from John Bolton from Washington (DC). It was the first time I had contact with him. He said that I (Bolton) had instructions to tell you that you should resign from the organization (OPCW = Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) and I asked him why. And he (Bolton) said that your management style is not agreeable to Washington to Dick Cheney the Vice President etc., he (Bolton) said no way I don’t accept that. So he came to the Hague and he came to my office and he said: You have to resign and I give you 24 hours! This is what we want! And I said that no way, I don’t have any reason to do that; I don’t owe it to you, I was elected by acclamation by all the member states of the organization. It is only you the United States, they are challenging my management style. And he said, but then again I tell you, we have already discussed with your government that you should resign. I said, I don’t know of any agreement with my government. And then he (Bolton) said, OK so, there will be retaliation then, prepare to accept the consequences: WE KNOW WHERE YOUR KIDS ARE. And at that moment two of my kids where in New York; they studied in the United States. One of them is an American for that matter, was born in New York, he’s Brazilian American, and I had another daughter in London. And I said, I am prepared, my family is aware of what is going on, so I am prepared to face the consequences, go ahead. And he (Bolton) was a little bit shocked and he left. He’s is not a man you can have a dialogue with.
‘I give you 24 hours to resign’: 1st OPCW chief on how John Bolton bullied him before Iraq War
RT – April 7, 2018: The first OPCW chief, who tried to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, told RT how US foreign policy hawk John Bolton threatened him over his refusal to resign prior to the 2003 Iraq War.
Jose Bustani, the first director-general of the global chemical weapons watchdog Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), sat down with RT and revealed how John Bolton, a Bush-era official and now Donald Trump’s pick for National Security Adviser, bulldozed the way for the 2003 Iraq invasion.
Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat, led the organization from 1997 until 2002, when he was ousted after falling out of favor with the US. At the time, he was trying to convince Iraq and Libya to join the organization, meaning that the two countries would have been obliged to dispose of all chemical weapons if they had any.
He said that according to reliable intelligence he had as director-general, “it was obvious that during the first Iraq War everything had been destroyed [by Iraq],” and there was “nothing left for Iraq to be accused of possessing chemical weapons.”
In 2001, OPCW inspectors examined Iraqi facilities, and it was “a successful operation,” after which Bustani’s informal dialogue with the Iraqis and Libyans about joining the organization made a breakthrough, he recalled.
But diplomatic efforts and peacemaking did not sit well with Washington, because “they had plans already to take some action – military action – against Iraq,” Bustani claims. Shortly afterwards, the Bush administration began to aggressively lobby for his removal, and it became “a tragic story” for him, he said.
“I got a phone call from John Bolton – it was first time I had contact with him – and he said he had instructions to tell me that I have to resign from the organization, and I asked him why,” Bustani told RT. “He said that [my] management style was not agreeable to Washington.”
He resolutely refused to resign, only to see Bolton again at OPCW headquarters in The Hague several weeks after the phone conversation. “He came to my office and said: ‘You have to resign and I give you 24 hours, this is what we want. You have to leave, you have to resign from your organization, director-general.'”