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Neocons: guilty even if proven innocent

As a general rule, I don't care much about political figures. They come and go, their rises and falls are pretty much grist for the mill. But I have an innate sense of justice and fair play, and I don't like it when a public official -- even one who I despise -- gets wrongly slammed.

It's why I've occasionally defended Karl Rove. It seems that he's behind every single misdeed that happens in Washington, the Evil Genius whose fingers are in every foul pie. It's gotten to the point where slamming him is part of many people's daily routine. ("6:00: wake up. 6:15: brush teeth. 6:30: Call for Karl Rove to be fired. 6:45: breakfast.")

Back during the Valerie Plame foofaraw, it seems every moonbat and their brother was absolutely certain that KKKarl Rove had orchestrated this elaborate scheme to reveal that she was Secret Agent Double-Ought-Fourteen and... well, after that it gets a little vague. We even had the paranoid imbeciles at Truthout announcing that a Double Secret Indictment had been handed up, and any day Joe Wilson's wet dream of Rove being "frog-marched" out of the White House would come to fruition.

Never mind that Rove was explicitly exonerated by the Special Prosecutor, who determined that 1) there was no crime committed at the core of the matter, and B) Rove didn't do it anyway.

Well, now we have another of the Neocon Cabal who is in hot water. Paul Wolfowitz, former Pentagon official and now head of the World Bank, has been caught arranging a promotion and raise for his sweetie.

Well, not really.

So, was Wolfowitz involved in the treatment of his ladyfriend? Yup. But it wasn't that simple.

From the outset, he made all parties very aware of their relationship and did all he could to prevent any possibility of accusations of favoritism. But officials of the World Bank insisted that he had to get involved, and said they trusted his judgment and impartiality.

And Wolfowitz actually believed them. He disclosed the relationship, he accepted the establishment of an "ethics committee," cooperated fully with them, and accepted their recommendations on the matter.

But then they insisted that he had to sign off and approve their proposed resolution to the matter. And it is that approval that has him in such hot water. His acceptance of their recommendations -- that the lady in question be treated fairly and rewarded for her good work, yet -- is the "evidence" of his corruption.

I have to agree with the Opinion Journal. It looks like the "scandal" about Wolfowitz here is a manufactured, engineered political hit -- and a trumped-up one to boot.

Regardless of one's opinion of Wolfowitz and his beliefs and history, nobody deserves to be treated like that. If you're going to destroy someone, at least make it over something they actually did.


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Comments (45)

I, like you Jay, don't care... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

I, like you Jay, don't care much about rise and fall of individual political figures...but like to see them treated fairly. I don't know much about this "scandal".

That said, I'm a little surprised about what you're saying. Who's "they"? It looks like "they" is The World Bank. They're not really central figures in any big liberal conspiracy. Why would they have it out for Wolfowitz? Just curious...

The "they" is the European ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

The "they" is the European members of the banks board who want the Americans to stop trying to reform the way the bank handles its loans.

And saying "liberal European beaurocrat" is pretty much repeating yourself.

brainy435yea, repe... (Below threshold)

brainy435

yea, repeating yourself 3 times over ^_^

Well, they are guilty of sc... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Well, they are guilty of screwing up the country. Personally, I think signing that PNAC letter should automatically disqualify you from any leadership position. Even if you ignore all the corruption, they have shown themselves to be terrible leaders. Our country has only been this bitterly divided once before.

Anyways - your quote:

"It looks like the "scandal" about Wolfowitz here is a manufactured, engineered political hit"

Manufactured? He himself said it was a mistake and that he should have stayed out of it. A neo-con and a neo-con newspaper won't change that.

If this board has hiring an... (Below threshold)
kim:

If this board has hiring and firing power, why weasel around? Or is this not like a regular board of directors? I'm ignorant here, as elsewhere.
===================

Oh yes, jp2 has better idea... (Below threshold)
kim:

Oh yes, jp2 has better ideas to resolve the Middle East, and radical Islam. Let's hear 'em.
============

And instead of the ad hom e... (Below threshold)
kim:

And instead of the ad hom equiv(neocon newspaper), how about addressing the facts of the case? Or is your rhetoric deteriorating to the level of bD?
=============================

I'm just glad the majority ... (Below threshold)
Jo:

I'm just glad the majority of americans don't care about this crap. Especially coming off the most corrupt and scandal ridden administration in history (the Clintons). They know the media and the dems are full of it. That's why you hear the collective yawn across the country.

Who's "they"? It looks l... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Who's "they"? It looks like "they" is The World Bank. They're not really central figures in any big liberal conspiracy. Why would they have it out for Wolfowitz?

Wolfowitz has not been popular at the World Bank since he first arrived there. The Europeans see him as unilaterally suspending programs and initiatives that they favor, there was a lot of criticism for the two inexperienced advisors he brought to the bank from the White House with plum, open-ended contracts, and who some in the bank say isolate Wolfowitz from the rest of the staff. Many in the bank think he is unwilling to listen to their recommendations or value their experience. There's more, but suffice it to say that he is not very popular at the bank. I haven't read the Opinion Journal column and don't know all the background, but there's your possible motive.

I'm just glad the majori... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I'm just glad the majority of americans don't care about this crap. Especially coming off the most corrupt and scandal ridden administration in history (the Clintons). They know the media and the dems are full of it. That's why you hear the collective yawn across the country.

Actually, the majority of Americans don't know what the World Bank is or what it does, and probably don't have a clue who Wolfowitz is. That's why they don't care about this crap.

I read the WSJ column on Mo... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

I read the WSJ column on Monday, and it did a good job detailing the early attempts by Wolfie to recuse himself, but what it did explain was:
-How does he justify two $30K raises
-The transfer to State
-Why she makes more than Condi
-Why she get an automatic annual raise of 8% a year
-A guaranteed return to the World Bank with a promotion to VP if Wolfie's contract is not extended and to President if his contract is extended.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions.

From Arab News:"Bu... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

From Arab News:

"But Wolfowitz, a married father of three, is said to be so blinded by his relationship with Riza, that influential members of the World Bank believe she played a key role in influencing the Pentagon official to launch the 2003 Iraq war. As his trusted confident, she is said to be one of most influential Muslims in Washington."

We can open whole new tread just on that one little paragraph above.

Jay, interesting caveat by ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay, interesting caveat by OpinionJournal if true? point taken..As Mantis suggests though this is more than just about Wolfie's favortism to his girl friend.. For those few interested in the minutiae of this issue, Bruce Bartlett, remember him, has some interesting comments, on in the comment section of a Brad Delong thread Jay is right..This is really a question or indictment, depending on your point of view, of the Bush/Wolfowitz neo-con style.

"We can open whole new trea... (Below threshold)

"We can open whole new tread just on that one little paragraph above."

No kidding.

That's... outright stunning. Amazing. I swear it's like a different reality... or planet... or something.

The <a href="http://www.smh... (Below threshold)
Larkin:

The Sydney Morning Herald is working to unravel the tangled and sordid web of neocon corruption:

THE US Defence Department directed a private contractor in 2003 to hire Shaha Ali Riza, a World Bank employee and the companion of Paul Wolfowitz, then the deputy secretary of defence, to spend a month studying issues related to setting up a new government in Iraq.

The contractor, Science Applications International Corporation, said on Monday it had been directed to hire Ms Riza by the office of the under-secretary for policy. The head of that office at the time was Douglas Feith, who reported to Mr Wolfowitz.

What's even worse about this sort of corruption is the end result: a failed state in Iraq. It wouldn't be so bad if we had gotten our money's worth.

Jay, as predicted, most of ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Jay, as predicted, most of the comments are missing your point. ww

As Larkin and I pointed out... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

As Larkin and I pointed out as you peel the onion you see the rot.

That is the narrative of the Bush Presidency. From Iraq to Katrina to Plame to the U.S.A. as you peel off the layers you find corruption, cronyism, incompetence, petty vendettas and blame the other guy.

The real question is: How did Wolfie ever get the job after his embarrassing failure of Iraq?

Isn't it amazing how concer... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Isn't it amazing how concerned the left is with nepotism now? Where it wasn't an issue for them with Wilson and Plame.

BarneyG2000, I was... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

BarneyG2000,

I was going to use the Fibber McGee's Closet metaphor.

WildWillie,

Even the Opinion Journal piece asks that Wolfie be "forgiven". Read it. Near the bottom.

kim,

My ears are burning...

JT,

Bully post!

Hey, that state in Iraq is ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hey, that state in Iraq is functioning better than it did before the war.
===============================

bD, we're still burning wit... (Below threshold)
kim:

bD, we're still burning with desire to hear you discuss the facts of the case, rather than throwing ad homs around.
================================

Hey, that state in Iraq ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Hey, that state in Iraq is functioning better than it did before the war.

I guess that depends on your definition of "function."

It certainly depends on poi... (Below threshold)
kim:

It certainly depends on point of view.
========================

Did the trains run on time ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Did the trains run on time in Baghdad?
======================

Figures, Barney. An America... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Figures, Barney. An American newspaper uses actual documents to note that a particularly unpopular conservative was unfairly slandered and you instead place your trust in an Arab paper relying on rumors to insist that it is true. It's easier for you, you don't have to bother yourself with actual thought.

There's also more than a little mysogyny in your comments: The poor woman COULDN'T be competent enough to have EARNED those jobs and raises... even though the banks internal documents say she did... it must be because she slept with someone powerful.

Did the trains run on ti... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Did the trains run on time in Baghdad?

Hell, the trains didn't even run on time in Mussolini's Italy.

Did the trains run on ti... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Did the trains run on time in Baghdad?

Hell, the trains didn't even run on time in Mussolini's Italy.

Did the trains run on ti... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Did the trains run on time in Baghdad?

Hell, the trains didn't even run on time in Mussolini's Italy.

"burning with desire_ kim"<... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"burning with desire_ kim"

heh,heh,HEHHH!

N'ah, but I have to book. As I wrote ww, the OJ piece is full of qualifiers, and the piece stating that the investigators are not being "rational" when enforcing a transparency policy is an admission that the facts condemn the Wolf.

He did promise an anti-corruption regime. Reread it in that light.

Did the trains run on ti... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Did the trains run on time in Baghdad?

Hell, the trains didn't even run on time in Mussolini's Italy.

Brainy, my bullet points ca... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Brainy, my bullet points came from US sources such as the NY Times which sourced the World Bank and other government records. Those sources indicated that her raises and promotions were out of line with WB procedures, and she is the highest paid person in the State Department (higher than Condi).

My second post was on an Arab New report which stated that:
-Riza is Muslim
-Wolfie is Jewish
-Wolfie is still Married
-Riza may have played a role in the Iraq debacle (see Larkin's post)

I am not saying, I am just saying. If you know what I mean.

BarneyG2000 said.."as you p... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

BarneyG2000 said.."as you peel off the layers you find corruption, cronyism, incompetance, petty vendettas, and blame the other guy."

By jove, you've found the perfect description for today's democrats. For the international leftist community, even!

Brainy, my bullet points ca... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Brainy, my bullet points came from US sources such as the NY Times which sourced the World Bank and other government records. Those sources indicated that her raises and promotions were out of line with WB procedures, and she is the highest paid person in the State Department (higher than Condi).

My second post was on an Arab New report which stated that:
-Riza is Muslim
-Wolfie is Jewish
-Wolfie is still Married
-Riza may have played a role in the Iraq debacle (see Larkin's post)

I am not saying, I am just saying. If you know what I mean.

From Iraq to Katrina to ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

From Iraq to Katrina to Plame

Must be 6:30 already.

Where does the time go?

Brainy, my bullet points ca... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Brainy, my bullet points came from US sources such as the NY Times which sourced the World Bank and other government records. Those sources indicated that her raises and promotions were out of line with WB procedures, and she is the highest paid person in the State Department (higher than Condi).

My second post was on an Arab New report which stated that:
-Riza is Muslim
-Wolfie is Jewish
-Wolfie is still Married
-Riza may have played a role in the Iraq debacle (see Larkin's post)

I am not saying, I am just saying. If you know what I mean.

Brainy, my bullet points ca... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Brainy, my bullet points came from US sources such as the NY Times which sourced the World Bank and other government records. Those sources indicated that her raises and promotions were out of line with WB procedures, and she is the highest paid person in the State Department (higher than Condi).

My second post was on an Arab New report which stated that:
-Riza is Muslim
-Wolfie is Jewish
-Wolfie is still Married
-Riza may have played a role in the Iraq debacle (see Larkin's post)

I am not saying, I am just saying. If you know what I mean.

bD, we're still burning wit... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

bD, we're still burning with desire to hear you discuss the facts of the case, rather than throwing ad homs around.
================================

Posted by: kim

"burning with desire..."

heh, heh, HEHHH!

N'ah, but I have to book. But note what I said to ww. "Forgiven"? That's an offer to plea bargain.
The OJ piece is full of qualifiers. The plea of the authors for the investigators to be "rational" when dealing with the Wolf's own transparency policy is quite weak. Why the need for a prism?

I wasn't sure if it was my ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

I wasn't sure if it was my connection or this site that needed the ExLax.

It was the site.

Verbally leering twice at Kim. Hope she doesn't report me...

And my drafts rifled for analysis, too. I feel like the Wolf.

Comment cleanup on aisle 12... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Comment cleanup on aisle 12!

One thing I know for sure i... (Below threshold)
jFO:

One thing I know for sure is that I would not take as face value anything the Opinion Journal of the WSJ has to say. Hell, it's own reporters disavow the opinions of the WSJ.

The Wolfowtiz as neocon victiim isn't going to play in Peoria.

I think Pajamas O'Rourke wo... (Below threshold)
kim:

I think Pajamas O'Rourke would be more apt than jFO.
==================

You know, mantis, that link... (Below threshold)
kim:

You know, mantis, that link wasn't convincing. However, I've no clue to whether he really made the trains run on time. You understand, though, how autocracy can appear to improve some civil functioning. No doubt there were some examples in Baghdad.
==========================

mantis, I'd be curious to s... (Below threshold)
kim:

mantis, I'd be curious to see how you defend this hit job on Wolfowitz after you read Clarice Feldman's 4/17/07 article in the American Thinker. You are welcome to read it, too, bD. I happen to understand that you are intelligent enough to know what propaganda is. I'd be curious about your thoughts on this case.
=====================================

I'd be curious to see ho... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I'd be curious to see how you defend this hit job on Wolfowitz after you read Clarice Feldman's 4/17/07 article in the American Thinker.

I'll have a look at Feldman's piece, but I'm not defending anything. I don't know enough about the Riza episode. I was pointing to possible motives if it was in fact a set-up. Almost the opposite of defending, in fact.

Ahh,two words...Ted Kennedy... (Below threshold)
Sal Manilla:

Ahh,two words...Ted Kennedy. Do you ever hear yourself?

As a general rule, I don't care much about political figures. They come and go, their rises and falls are pretty much grist for the mill. But I have an innate sense of justice and fair play, and I don't like it when a public official -- even one who I despise -- gets wrongly slammed




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