Ori Nir of Forward reports that John Bolton prevented a memo accusing Israel of violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) from reaching then Secretary of State Colin Powell. The memo may have been prepared in response to to a letter sent by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) raising the possibility of AECA violations by Israel. Powell ultimately replied to Conyers on August 17 2001 as follows, in part:
Under the AECA, we are required before supplying defense articles to obtain the recipient's agreement that those defense articles will be used only for specified purposes, including internal security and legitimate self-defense. Under section 3c, a report must be submitted to Congress if a substantial violation of such an agreement may have occurred...Based on our assessment of the totality of the underlying facts and circumstances, we believe that a report under section 3c of the AECA is not required.
In other words, the administration accepted the case that Israel had not violated the AECA put forward by Bolton's office and rejected or, if Nir is correct, did not take into account the concerns of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and Office of the Legal Adviser.