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Showing the Wolf the door?

This morning, I heard yet another tirade against Paul Wolfowitz and his "scandal" at the World Bank involving his paramour. And for the life of me, I still don't grasp what the scandal is.

Wolfowitz and Riza began their relationship while he was still part of the Bush administration. He was later named head of the World Bank, where she worked. At some point, he did something unethical, but I don't see where he went wrong.

Did he make certain all involved parties were aware of the relationship before he took the job? Yes.

Did he make certain he was not in any direct oversight position of Ms. Riza? Yes.

Did he attempt to recuse himself from any matters involving Ms. Riza? Yes.

Did he turn the entire matter over to the banks Ethics Board, and pledge to respect any decisions they made? Yes.

Was Ms. Riza's career going well before Wolfowitz took the job? Yes.

Was Ms. Riza's performance considered exemplary before Wolfowitz took the job? Yes.

Did the Ethics Board recommend that Ms. Riza be "loaned" to a US government agency to remove her from even indirect oversight by Wolfowitz, with a raise commensurate with others in similar positions and with similar records? Yes.

The key to the whole story -- and the one element missing from that tirade this morning -- is that Wolfowitz did one unforgivably stupid thing: he trusted bureaucrats to act in good faith.

He sent the entire matter to the Bank's Ethics Board, and said that he'd abide by their decisions. They came back with their settlement, but insisted that they did not have the authority to actually implement it -- only he could sign off on it and make it happen. So he did precisely that -- and that signature on Riza's settlement is what's being used to pummel him now, and threatens his job.

How desperate are they to get rid of Wolfowitz? Desperate enough to break their own personnel rules:

This weekend the committee investigating the claims dropped 600 pages in the president's lap and told him he had 48 hours to respond--in direct violation of World Bank staff rule 8.01, 4.09, which states that "the amount of time allowed a staff member to comment [on an investigative report] . . . will not be less than 5 business days." Following protests from Mr. Wolfowitz's lawyer, the committee gave him 72 hours.

Sometimes I rely too much on the "they piss off the right people" principle for deciding whether or not I support someone or something, and not enough on actual details of the individual or principle at stake. But in this case, if George Soros, corrupt European bureaucrats, and the most rabid left (who have decided that feminism and equality of the sexes be damned, Riza can -- and should -- be denouced as a "concubine" or worse) are all so bent out of shape, then Wolfowitz has to be doing something right.


Comments (60)

"At some point, he did some... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"At some point, he did something unethical, but I don't see where he went wrong."

Of course you don't - you are a blind partisan.

As far as his ethical lapse, which he has apologized for, try doing some of that stuff - what's it called? Research or something.

<a href="http://tinyurl.com... (Below threshold)
Oh do share, jp2.A... (Below threshold)

Oh do share, jp2.

Are the points which JT made in error? Is something important missing?

I think it unlikely that jp... (Below threshold)

I think it unlikely that jp2 will respond with links.

I heard that rant by Light this am. It was long on characterization and short on facts.

That is also the approach of the World Bank bureaucrats.

An old fashioned lynching. And not even a hi tech one.

I think it unlikely that... (Below threshold)

I think it unlikely that jp2 will respond with links.

Agreed.

However, it is extremely likely that he will respond with scripted talking points, spin, and insults.

"At the start of the scanda... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"At the start of the scandal... Wolfowitz declared, "I made a mistake, for which I am sorry."
Two and a half weeks later, Wolfowitz had readjusted his rhetoric. "The ethics charges are unwarranted" and "bogus," he said"

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/capitalgames?pid=192571

http://www.antiwar.com/pat/?articleid=10827

The thing about this story ... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

The thing about this story that I don't get and Jay doesn't mention:

How does Riza end up being the highest paid person in the State Dept.?

I have no idea if Wolfowitz had anything to do with it, but what on earth could she have been doing to deserve that?

I question the credibility ... (Below threshold)
Buckeye:

I question the credibility of these investigations since only Republicans are being investigated. If the Party of Corruption (D) was serious about ethical conduct they would be investigating some of their own also. Reid, Pelosi, Schumer, Jefferson, Hillary and Frank for starters.

It was a relief just to hea... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

It was a relief just to hear that the object of Wolfowitz's affections was of legal age.

Amazing that the Wall St. J... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Amazing that the Wall St. Journal would write a piece in defense of a neo-con. A great place to "research."

Even more amazing that jp2 ... (Below threshold)

Even more amazing that jp2 can't argue with a single one of the factual assertions the WSJ made, or my accounts of events.

No, I'm sorry, that's not amazing.

That's typical.

J.

Jay, were you referring to ... (Below threshold)

Jay, were you referring to the article I linked?

If so, thanks for bothering to read and intelligently consider it. :)

The World Bank is as corrup... (Below threshold)
kim:

The World Bank is as corrupt, or more, than the UN, and for the same reasons. John Bolton and Paul Wolfowitz have had meteoric careers at the most corrupt international institutions at the present, and in reach, ever, and they have both made a difference there, if only polemical ones.
==========================

C-C-G, I'd seen that one be... (Below threshold)

C-C-G, I'd seen that one before, but had forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me about it.

And no, I was just talking about jp2 and his standard modus operandi. Notice how he demanded I do more research to disprove my own thesis? Heavens forfend he actually do it on his own. Usually his projection isn't so obvious, but here it was -- I'm lazy for using minimal sources for my piece, while he does zero in arguing against it.

J.

A prominent bogger elsewher... (Below threshold)
kim:

A prominent bogger elsewhere doesn't think the World Bank corruptees, Mark Brown etc. haven't the balls to push Wolfowitz. They are vulnerable, and depending upon others to make the case, hence the vehemence of the attack you read.

They are as inbred and as overpaid as the climate scientists circling the Piltdown Mann.
=======================

Who lives by the double neg... (Below threshold)
kim:

Who lives by the double negative dies by the double negative.
====================================

Jay, what jp2 meant by "res... (Below threshold)

Jay, what jp2 meant by "research" is "read and accept what my [that is, jp2's] sources say, not what your sources say."

Typical lefty jargon.

Why do I smell the stank of... (Below threshold)
marc:

Why do I smell the stank of George Soros and Malloch Brown?

Gee what could Wolfie have ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Gee what could Wolfie have done? How about lie, or maybe give his sl*t girlfriend a $60K raise with unlimited promotions and raises (all tax free).

Come on now! It is only tax payer money for fringe benefits.

Welcome BarneyGRUBBLE, I se... (Below threshold)
marc:

Welcome BarneyGRUBBLE, I see you have picked up the baton from jp2, i.e. pure snark and absolutely no effort at refuting all the bullet points offered by JT.

Nice to see some things nev... (Below threshold)

Nice to see some things never change. And Barney's still a woman-hating, misogynistic, chauvinistic, partisan pig who never lets inconvenient things like facts get in the way of his intent to keep the broads barefoot and pregnant, and leave men's work to men.

I wonder how Barney feels about Hillary Clinton?

J.

JI wonder how ... (Below threshold)
marc:

J

I wonder how Barney feels about Hillary Clinton?

Come on J, give'em a break. BarneyGRUBBLE is just jealous he can't be barefoot and pregnant.

Besides, he's obviously handicapped having had Hemispherectomy performed early in life.

Since Soros is moving his p... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Since Soros is moving his people in Wolfowitz has to go. Can't have anyone is a postition to see the corruption and thievery that will start with Soros lackies's working there. Maybe they'll have the same ethics that the new congress has, NONE.

Remember Soros's man is the same one who said there were no criminals involved in the UN oil for food program.

Barney loves Shrillay because she's one of the most crimianal people in the United States that isn't in prison. She's got enough on some people that they will pull a prison sentence and not talk about Shrillary's crimes.

Hey Jay, you forgot the par... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Hey Jay, you forgot the part about how he got approval from the ethics board before he ordered the pay raise and promotions. Oh thats right he lied about that small detail.

Here is a challenge. Show me evidence of at least one other world bank employee that got as sweet a deal the Riza.

Hey, Barney, go back to the... (Below threshold)

Hey, Barney, go back to the original post.

Did the Ethics Board recommend that Ms. Riza be "loaned" to a US government agency to remove her from even indirect oversight by Wolfowitz, with a raise commensurate with others in similar positions and with similar records? Yes.

Did you perhaps encounter selective blindness when reading that part?

ccg, read and weep:<p... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

ccg, read and weep:

The World Bank's ethics committee was not consulted and did not approve of a hefty compensation package for bank president Paul Wolfowitz's girlfriend, says the man who was the panel's chairman at the time.

Ad Melkert made his comments Tuesday in an appearance before a special bank panel looking into how Wolfowitz handled the 2005 promotion and pay package of bank employee Shaha Riza.

Melkert, who was ethics chief when the arrangement was made but now works at the United Nations, said he rejects "any direct or indirect allegation or suggestion that the ethics committee was aware or should have been aware of the terms and conditions of Ms. Riza's contract."

So, Wolfie lied about the consultation part. Big deal! That is nothing compared to his 'predictions' on Iraq's WMD and reconstructions costs, and he got a promotion to the World Bank for those insights.

BarneyGRUBBLE:... (Below threshold)
marc:

BarneyGRUBBLE:

Here is a challenge. Show me evidence of at least one other world bank employee that got as sweet a deal the Riza.

How about all of them? They all are tax exempt.

Some "challenge!"

BTW, I should have added <a... (Below threshold)
marc:

BTW, I should have added .

The World Bank, which calls itself a development institution with a primary mandate to alleviate poverty, pays no taxes to the District of Columbia. That means no property tax payments for the prime real estate it occupies, and no sales tax revenues for the district. Its employees are even exempt from federal and local income taxes!

Where's your link BarneyGRUBBLE

Barney, where's your link t... (Below threshold)

Barney, where's your link to those quotes?

marc, do all Bank employees... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

marc, do all Bank employees get $60K/per year raises for sleeping with the boss?

Here is your link ccg:
www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18424865/

So, Barney, we have one sto... (Below threshold)

So, Barney, we have one story saying the ethics committee recommended the steps Wolfowitz took, and one saying they weren't consulted.

Looks like a point that neither side will win, doesn't it?

Barney, I would like to thi... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Barney, I would like to think that a human being cannot be as stupid as you appear to be, then I review what you write and the evidence is laid out before me. Yes you are. You quote MSNBC. Is it from Olberman? Or Matthews? No wonder you are so fucked up. You watch MSNBC.

Correction ccg, you have on... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Correction ccg, you have one version from Wolfie and one from Melkert. I think I would believe the one from the guy that has no reason to lie VS. the one that said Iraq would pay for itself and f'ing someone other then his wife.

Guess which one the World Bank board believed?

As the World Bank'... (Below threshold)
As the World Bank's top ethics authority, Mr. Melkert advised Mr. Wolfowitz in the summer of 2005 to take charge of all issues related to the employment of Mr. Wolfowitz's girlfriend, Shaha Riza, and, according to an official letter, to direct the bank's vice president for human resources to "act upon your instruction."

This advice came even after Mr. Wolfowitz asked to recuse himself from dealing with Ms. Riza. Mr. Melkert, who was abroad yesterday, was unavailable for an interview, according to Mr. Morrison. He was unable to explain yesterday what ethical guidelines informed Mr. Melkert when he advised Mr. Wolfowitz to personally take charge of Ms. Riza's reassignment despite apparent conflict of interest issues."

Amazing what a little digging will turn up...

J.

Barney, if you think the et... (Below threshold)

Barney, if you think the ethics board, which is the driving force behind wanting Wolfowitz out wouldn't lie, I've got some oceanfront property in Nebraska for sale.

And Barney, I would request... (Below threshold)

And Barney, I would request you keep a civil tongue in your mouth -- and civil fingers on your keyboard. Your omitting key letters in "slut" and "fucking" do NOT qualify.

j.

Finally, Barney, from a Jul... (Below threshold)

Finally, Barney, from a July 22, 2005 document released by the World Bank:

"The Committee therefore decided that the best possible option to be conveyed to the Requestor would be one in which the staff member concerned is reassigned on external service or to a position beyond the potential supervision of the Requestor and, at the same time, due to the potential disruption of the staff member's concerned career, an in situ promotion should be considered. This advice would be communicated by the Requestor to the Vice President, MNA and the Vice President, Human Resources. The Committee believed this was an appropriate course of action , especially since this matter could be potentially damaging to the interests of the World Bank Group. It was agreed that the Chairman would continue informal discussions with the Requestor with the view to finding an appropriate solution to the matter."

Gee, who was head of that Committee at that time? Why, was it the same guy who lied and covered up UN possession of conclusive proof that North Korea was counterfeiting US currency, hiding bills in its safes and denying they had them? Was it the same guy who insisted that the portion of the Oil For Food program he oversaw had NO missing money and NO theft, but later investigations showed at least 20% of the 1.5 BILLION he oversaw was unaccounted for?

Why, so it was the same Mr. Melkert in all three cases.

Sure, let's take the word of Kofi Annan's bag man at face value...

J.

Here is a link to Ad Melker... (Below threshold)
U.P. Man:

Here is a link to Ad Melkert,

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/86e58750-f81d-11db-baa1-000b5df10621,dwp_uuid=8fa2c9cc-2f77-11da-8b51-00000e2511c8.html

Key Points

"Having received confirmation from Mr. Wolfowitz that he would follow our advice to relocate Ms. Riza outside of his potential supervising influence, we naturally assumed that implementation at the staff level took place in accordance with the Bank's rules and practices"

"it is the President - not the Board or its committees-- that is directly responsible for staff matters."

So he asked them what he should do, the ethics committee said she has to go, he sent her and they complain that he did not follow their advice?

Sorry it has taken me so lo... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond, but I wanted to watch the 1/2-hour News Hour. The show that takes 30-minutes but seems to last a life time (who do I sue to get my half hour back?).

Gee Jay your April 20th column pre dates the direct rebuttal by Melkert. Since you article does not include even one direct quote from Melkert while my May 1st article does, I think I will believe my source over yours.

As far as my creative texting, I guess you approve of Wolfie's lifestyle? How does your wife feel about that?

I wonder how Clinton's wife... (Below threshold)
kim:

I wonder how Clinton's wife felt about his lifestyle. I know a lot of feminists preferred to trash Monica more than anyone else.
====================================

Oh by the way I am still wa... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Oh by the way I am still waiting for one example other than Riza where a Bank employee was given a $60K raise, unlimited promotions, guarantee employment and annual 8% raises for a transfer due to conflict of interest.

I'll check back in the morn.

Barney, Mr. Wolfowitz is di... (Below threshold)

Barney, Mr. Wolfowitz is divorced, according to both The Guardian and The Times Online.

Therefore, he has no wife.

Barney fumbles again. Fun ... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Barney fumbles again. Fun to watch. :)

ccg, that is funny since ne... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

ccg, that is funny since neither Mr or Mrs Wolfie (as asked in multi interviews) have stated that they are divorced?

Here is an easy way to clear-up this piece of confusion, since divorce records are public records, please search the NY state database for the divorce petition.

Please get back to us on your results of your search. I'll wait!

Also, please list all the State Department employees with a higher annual salary than Riza (Condi included).

Daily Mail 3/20/05:W... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Daily Mail 3/20/05:
Wolfowitz married Clare Selgin in 1968. But they have lived separately since 2001, after allegations of an affair with an employee at the School of Advanced International Studies where he was dean for seven years.

According to one Republican Administration insider, Clare was so upset by rumours about the affair that she wrote to then President Elect Bush, saying if the story were true it could pose a national security risk.

Yesterday, she refused to comment on whether her husband had been unfaithful before their separation, saying: "I really do not want to share this with you."

She also refused to confirm her marital status - reports of his appointment repeatedly describe Wolfowitz as divorced but The Mail on Sunday has been unable to find any records. Asked if she is separated or divorced, Clare replied: "That's my business."

Republican family values TSK, TSK

Another bleeding heart piec... (Below threshold)
Wieder:

Another bleeding heart piece for a war criminal!

The injustice of it all just makes me weep for poor wittle Paul.

uh b'google how about democ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

uh b'google how about democrat "family" values such as (of all things) another barney as in Franks. Tee Hee

"And no, I was just talking... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"And no, I was just talking about jp2 and his standard modus operandi. Notice how he demanded I do more research to disprove my own thesis?"

Yeah, you sang a different tune when you slandered Harry Reid and retracted your story. Someone has to keep you honest.

Wolfowitz, knows something ... (Below threshold)
narciso:

Wolfowitz, knows something about real corruption, he was the point person back in the 80s, driving
Marcos out, because he saw the dangers posed by the Maoist NPA. He was Ambassador to Indonesia, another hide bound oligarchy which refused to reform until the Asian financial collapse of the late 90s, due to Soros' tinkering. A collapse that empowered Al Queda's many branches, GA, Abu Sayyaf. all through out the region; As Deputy
Defense Secretary, he saw the increasing encroachment of other powers, on the post cold
war world. The World Bank has a phenonomenally bad track record when it comes to funding developmental efforts, mostly due to McNamara's endulgences in the 70s (Can I say that McNamara is one of the most evil people the Western world has produced; he directed a war he never believed in)Connable and Wolfensohn, were not appreciablyy better, Don't you think someone who is fluent in
Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, and not a tool of any of
those tin pot kleptocracies and police states, like many of the Saudi-Emirati lobby at various
think tanks; deserves some recognition. The oil for food conspiracy was one of those enterprises that should mark the UN's scutcheon. But there's no honor about an institution that grants China, Zimbabwe, Iran any privileges; that has worked tirelessly to complete the annihilation of Israel through many steps large and small (UN resolutions
like 242; the propaganda laden conveyor belts of acculturation for suicide bommbers that are the UNRWA camps. That Wolfowitz, who unlike the Saudi retainers and middle east puppets like Wilson, Cannistraro(who prevented any meaningful oversight of the Afghan supply network)
Zinni,(who did nothing with regards to Al Queda's
rise in the mid 90s, when he was proconsul in the
Gulf) Carter, Baker,Brzinki (who had the unlikely
record of being responsible for the Iraq tilt and
the Saudi/Wahhabi pipeline to Afghanistan) Wolfowitz has nothing to apologize for.

jp2: I've had far more than... (Below threshold)

jp2: I've had far more than enough of your crap about Reid. My "slander" was a simple error -- I said he concealed a deal that netted him over half a million dollars, when what he had concealed was not the deal itself but the partnership with a registered lobbyist that was a key element of the deal. I thought it was a pissant distinction, but I made a big point out of correcting it almost seven months ago.

To call it "slander" and "retracted" is way, way overstating the case. I erred in a single detail, and corrected it. The crux of the piece remained solid.

I'm finally sick of hearing it. It was a pissant point in the first place, and it's even more of a pissant point to keep bringing it up.

Drop it or be dropped.

J.

"Someone has to keep you h... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"Someone has to keep you honest."

What is it about serial liars and criminal frauds obsession with making an ass of themselves? Negative attention perhaps? BDS ? or both?

This point has yet to be ad... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

This point has yet to be addressed:

What was Riza doing at State that she deserved to be its highest paid official?

Hell, it doesn't even have to be why did she deserve it, just what was she doing there in general? If it was planning/counseling for post-war as I've heard, can we get our money back?

Nothing on my challenges? ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Nothing on my challenges? Not surprised! Rack-up another win for Barney.

Barney:Show me rea... (Below threshold)

Barney:

Show me reason why they'd have to be divorced in New York?

I've shown two pieces of evidence already that he's divorced, and you want me to go out and find more? Go look yourself, ya lazy bum!

Oh, and your quote from Mrs. Wolfowitz doesn't cut either way, she could be divorced and not wish to speak about it publicly for a myriad of reasons, the most obvious of which is that she may be enjoying watching her ex squirm.

Barney, the comparison to S... (Below threshold)

Barney, the comparison to State Department salaries is a red herring. A more germane question would be "how does Riza's pay compare to that which she would have received had she stayed at the World Bank, instead of being pushed out by circumstances not her responsibility?"

As far as Wolfowitz' marital status... I don't give a rat's ass. If the former/estranged Mrs. Wolfowitz isn't making a stink about it, no one else should be.

J.

Really, the question about ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Really, the question about State Department vs World Bank salaries and perks points to the contrast between what our public servants are paid, and what the entitled nobility of the World Bank gets.

This is one of the reasons that Clarice Feldman doesn't think the pathologically elite at the World Bank have the courage to force Paul out. She thinks they have too much to lose. Well, I think that they'll lose with Wolfowitz in there anyway. If he goes, he will have made a raid as memorable as that of John Bolton on Turtle Bay.

What I regret most is the neutralization of a very capable voice of moderation in Islam and geopolitics. This Riza is special.
=====================================

If the former/estranged Mrs... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

If the former/estranged Mrs. Wolfowitz isn't making a stink about it, no one else should be..Jay

Wont somebody please think about the children?

Jay, I also think Pauls' actions say a lot about his character. Is he too much of chicken pop to get a divorce like he was too much of a chicken pop to serve in Nam, or is he too cheap to pay alimony like he was too cheap to properly plan for the funding of the war?

CCG, I can't find something that does not exist, so the burden is on you to produce the divorce petition.

Look, BG2, marrying and han... (Below threshold)
kim:

Look, BG2, marrying and hanging go by fate, dint yore Ma tetch ya' thet?
====================

Barney, I've shown my evide... (Below threshold)

Barney, I've shown my evidence, and you have yet to refute it, except with a weak "no comment" from Wolfowitz's ex, which doesn't count.

The ball is in your court.

Quit whining and start researching!

Clarice Feldman has an arti... (Below threshold)
kim:

Clarice Feldman has an article in the American Thinker today. Hitchens has recently written on this, and the WSJ has an editorial today. Paul is fighting the bastards.
======================




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