From Holden:

John Bolton’s visit to his alma matta probably did not work out the way he had hoped.

The audience interrupted Bolton throughout his speech with loud banging on desks and hissing, the typical YPU [Yale Political Union] expressions for approval and disagreement. When asked about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, Bolton said the U.S. — not other countries or international organizations ­– should hold its own citizens accountable for possible abuse.

“We don’t need anybody else to judge us,” he said. “We judge our own.”

The answer prompted loud hissing from the audience, but Bolton offered students a question of his own.


The lecture’s organizers said they did not predict the degree to which Bolton’s words would divide the audience.

“If we had known he was going to be this provocative, we would probably have tried to have a student debate to hash out the issues,” YPU Speaker Goran Lynch ’06 said.


Before the speech, dozens of students had to be turned away because the 414-seat auditorium was full and police required every member of the audience to have a seat. Entrances and exits to the space were guarded by members of the Secret Service and police officers.