Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Shorter Wolfowitz Profile


John Cassidy has written a profile of neocon Paul ("they will greet us as liberators") Wolfowitz, now appearing in the current issue of The New Yorker. Two years ago, Wolfowitz made his escape from the Iraq debacle he was instrumental in creating when Bush nominated him to fill the hugely important and powerful position as president of the World Bank.

If you're in a rush, here's a summary of Cassidy's 12,000 word profile:
  • Paul Wolfowitz is a lousy administrator, as even his friends admit. He can "barely run his own office" much less a large organization with 13,000 employees like, say, the World Bank.
  • But Wolfowitz is a "thinker," his Bush administration friends say admiringly. He has lots of deep ideas like, "Democracy good; corruption bad."
  • Wolfowitz is disgusted by all those foreign government leaders who engage in nepotism and greedy grabbing for personal wealth. That's why he made sure his mistress, Shaha Ali Riza, was given a promotion and "two pay raises, bringing her salary to a hundred and ninety-three thousand dollars — more than Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice makes."
  • Want to know the punch line? Her $193,000 salary is paid by the U. S. State Department (Hello, American taxpayers) even though she works for Wolfowitz at the World Bank. Directly under him.
  • Personally, Paul Wolfowitz is a really sensitive guy who feels for poor people. That's why it makes him momentarily sad every time he abruptly snatches money away from them whenever their governments refuse to support the Bush administration's military expansionist demands.
  • Wolfowitz also is disgusted by political cronyism in third world countries. That's why he brought into top World Bank positions Republican buddies from the Bush administration like Suzanne Rich Folsom (a staff attorney for the National Republican Party) and "two American political operatives who were closely associated with the war in Iraq." (Among World Bank employees, one of them is known as "the dragon lady" and the other as "keeper of the comb" that Wolfowitz licks.)
All in all, as Carolyn O'Hara concludes as well, Wolfowitz remains just as much a hypocrite as any in the Bush administration. He's using his World Bank post not to better the world but to feather his own love nest and further the imperialist policies of George W. Bush.

It's time someone brought these people to account.


The Government Accountability Project has more:
Paul Wolfowitz, in the middle of a scandal that GAP documents ignited, sent out a statement to Bank staff over email. There are several problems with the statement, as detailed in GAP's response.
Those problems are summarized in a response posed in the past 12 hours:
Mr. Wolfowitz’ ... message is ultimately misleading on two counts. First, he states that his role in structuring Riza’s assignment to the U.S. State Department was based on “the advice of the Board’s Ethics Committee to work out an agreement that balanced the interests of the institution and the rights of the staff member…” Riza’s position at State is not in question, however. The salary increase she received when she moved there, along with a subsequent raise, are the issue. Wolfowitz makes no mention of this, yet these decisions were his. For the record, Riza currently makes $193,590 net of taxes.

The Board did not recommend that Wolfowitz award a salary increase of such dimensions to Riza, and this is why the Board is looking into the issue.

Secondly, while Mr. Wolfowitz indicated to the Board his intention “to cooperate fully in their review of the details of the case,” he also states that he will not give the Board the documents necessary to verify the facts, citing his obligation to maintain Shaha Riza’s confidentiality. But Ms. Riza’s salary has already been published in the Washington Post. Confidential communications received by GAP now show that Mr. Wolfowitz and his senior advisers are actively pursuing the sources of these leaks.
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World Bank employees need protections, especially when reporting misconduct such as cronyism and favoritism at the upper levels of Bank management. A good place to start would be the African Development Bank’s recently approved whistleblower protections.

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