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The Paul Wolfowitz girlfriend scandal

Old 04-16-07, 02:55 PM
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The Paul Wolfowitz girlfriend scandal

I hadn't seen anything about this story. Pretty interesting. Here is an older story (from a couple of days ago):

<b><a href = "http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/13/AR2007041300788.html?hpid=topnews?hpid=topnews">Wolfowitz Dictated Girlfriend's Pay Deal</b>
World Bank Board Weighs Its Options</a>

By Karen DeYoung and Krissah Williams
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, April 14, 2007; Page A01

World Bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz personally dictated the terms under which the bank gave what it called his "domestic partner" substantial pay raises and promotions in exchange for temporarily leaving her job there during his tenure, according to documents released by the bank's executive board yesterday.

The board issued a statement saying it will "move expeditiously to reach a conclusion on possible actions to take," amid rising speculation over whether the embattled Wolfowitz will resign or be asked to step down. Board deliberations over his future were suspended yesterday morning as the bank began its spring meeting, an annual rite attended by finance ministers and central bank presidents, and one now being overtaken by the controversy surrounding Wolfowitz.

"He has apologized, and there is a process in place," Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said after a meeting with his counterparts from the world's richest nations yesterday. "I don't intend to comment on that here. I do not want that to be read as a lessening of U.S. support for Paul Wolfowitz."

Wolfowitz joined the bank in 2005 after working at the Pentagon, where as deputy defense secretary he was a principal architect of the Iraq war. This made him a controversial figure at the bank, where he fostered resentment among its member nations and 7,000 Washington employees. A number of the bank's leading donor nations, including Britain, expressed public concern about aspects of his leadership long before the current uproar over his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, which began when details of her pay package were publicly revealed last month.

As bank staffers and development activist groups continued to call for Wolfowitz's resignation, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said that he has President Bush's "full confidence" and that "we expect him to remain as World Bank president."

Defenders also surfaced from other quarters. The Wall Street Journal said in an editorial that "the forces of the World Bank's status quo," angered by Wolfowitz's efforts to fight "corruption-as-usual" and institute more accountability in the institution's lending practices, had seized on a trivial issue to bring him down. One former bank staffer said that "some of the countries who failed to block his election are trying to set him up, and he walked into that trap really well."

But while few knowledgeable observers were prepared to predict Wolfowitz's departure, many expressed concern that the turmoil is threatening to undermine the work and credibility of the bank.

"The issue now, as far as many of us are concerned, is a matter of corporate governance," said a senior bank staffer who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. "The Europeans want him out. The U.S. remains silent, and the board is divided."

Others expressed concern about the effect that the controversy could have on this year's negotiations to finance the International Development Association, the bank's lending vehicle for the world's poorest countries. Europe contributes 60 percent of the IDA's funding, and the United States and Japan together give about 26 percent. U.S. contributions and pledges to the current three-year program total about $3 billion.

Among the more than 100 pages of internal letters, memorandums, and legal and ethics opinions released by the board yesterday was an angry letter from Riza to the board, written Monday, to authorize the release of the documents "in the interest of expediting and facilitating the resolution of this issue."

Riza, a Tunisian-born British citizen who worked at the bank as a communications specialist, made it clear that "I did not wish to leave the Bank." She said she had objected to the arrangements for her departure. "My effort to accommodate the Board's Ethics Committee and avoid creating distractions for Staff, Board and Management from their noble mission while protecting my interest, has only resulted in the most vicious public attacks on me."

Wolfowitz had also asked for the release of the documents, believing that they would show that the board's ethics committee had rejected his offer to recuse himself from consideration of Riza's employment and ordered him to find a solution.

But the documents also revealed that Wolfowitz's description of events has been less than candid. In a May 25, 2005, letter to Wolfowitz's personal lawyer negotiating his contract, Roberto Dañino, then the bank's general counsel, acknowledged that Wolfowitz had disclosed "a pre-existing relationship with a Bank staffer" and had proposed to resolve it "by recusing himself from all personnel matters and professional contact related to the staff member."

Wolfowitz lawyer Robert Barnett responded two days later with an e-mail stating that the proposal "WOULD NOT -- I REPEAT, NOT -- INVOLVE RECUSAL FROM PROFESSIONAL CONTACT" with Riza. "THIS MATTER," Barnett wrote, "MUST BE RESOLVED" before Wolfowitz would sign his contract.

The board eventually ruled that "professional contact" between the two violated bank policy and instructed Wolfowitz to order the personnel department to arrange her departure and compensation.

But the board insisted yesterday that it neither "commented on" nor "reviewed or approved" the agreement that Wolfowitz ordered his human resources department to make with her.

In a memo to the bank's vice president for human resources dated Aug. 11, 2005, Wolfowitz wrote, "I now direct you to agree to a proposal which includes the following terms and conditions." Riza was to be "detailed to an outside institution of her choosing while retaining Bank salary and benefits." She was to receive an immediate raise with approximate annual increases of 8 percent.

By 2010, when Wolfowitz's five-year term expired, she would reach a salary of $244,960, significantly above the maximum of $226,650 allowable for her pay grade. On her return to the bank, she would be automatically promoted to the level of senior country director; if her return were delayed another five years by a second Wolfowitz term, she would be elevated to the level of bank vice president.

In a memo dated Sept. 9, 2005, Wolfowitz aide Robin Cleveland, a former White House official he brought with him to the bank, wrote that Wolfowitz had hired an outside counsel to review the agreement since Dañino, the general counsel, worked for the bank and thus had a conflict of interest. Wolfowitz, the memo said, had selected the Washington firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, "based on their ability to present a strong team within 24 hours which included, among others, the former U.S. solicitor General and Eugene Scalia, a personnel policy expert."

In a letter to Wolfowitz after its review, the firm judged the pact "a reasonable resolution . . . that avoids, among other things, the risks of protracted legal proceedings."
and here is an update:
<b><a href = "http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/15/AR2007041500433.html">Wolfowitz Says Won't Resign; Bank Says Concerned</a></b>

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 16, 2007; Page A03

World Bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz said yesterday that he intends to continue in his job despite the controversy over his role in arranging pay raises and promotions for his girlfriend, a bank employee forced by conflict-of-interest rules to take an outside job during his tenure.

"Look, I believe in the mission of this organization, and I believe I can carry it out," Wolfowitz said at a news conference called to discuss a meeting of the bank's development committee. "I have had many expressions of support. . . . We need to work our way through this. The board is looking into the matter, and we'll let them complete their work."

The bank, he said, "has important work to do, and I will continue to do it."

The furor over Wolfowitz appeared to overshadow the agenda of the World Bank's annual spring meeting of finance and development ministers this weekend.

"The current situation is of great concern to us," said Agustin Carstens, the Development Committee chairman and Mexican finance minister, reading a committee statement as Wolfowitz sat beside him on a dais. "We endorse the board's actions in looking into this matter and ask it to complete its work. We expect the bank to adhere to the high standards of international governance."

Reporters asked Wolfowitz to "explain the sort of circumstances in which you would feel obliged to resign" and whether it would be better "for the good of the bank and better for you . . . to just leave"?

Wolfowitz did not respond, repeating that he would not impede "the board's deliberations." The board suspended its consideration of the issue during the annual meeting.

A number of ministers from developing countries, particularly in Africa, have praised Wolfowitz's presidency. His defenders have charged that he is being vilified because he, as deputy defense secretary in President Bush's first term, was an architect of the unpopular Iraq war.

But representatives from major donor nations, particularly in Europe, have long been dissatisfied with his leadership and have clashed with him over a range of issues. The bank's staff association has criticized his management and last week called for his resignation.

Sources close to the executive directors, speaking on the condition of anonymity while the matter remains undecided, said the board is reluctant to appear to cave to the staff and take the unprecedented step of firing a president. But a majority believes it would be "best if he decided on his own" to resign, one source said.

The board has "clear support from political authorities" -- the finance ministers who make up the bank's governing body -- "to go ahead and define whether a violation has taken place" and what the consequences should be, the source said. But the board has set no timetable for a decision. "For one thing, the United States has to find someone as a replacement. It's not something you decide overnight."

The U.S. president traditionally names the World Bank head. Bush said last week that he strongly supports Wolfowitz and expects him to continue in the job.

One problem the board faces in considering Wolfowitz's case is its own role. While negotiating his contract, Wolfowitz declared the conflict of interest and offered to recuse himself from all personnel dealings with the woman the bank has since called his "domestic partner," Shaha Riza. The board's ethics committee determined that bank rules required her to leave, while remaining on the bank payroll, and instructed Wolfowitz to arrange a compensation package through the human resources department.

The package Wolfowitz dictated resulted in an increased pay grade, substantial raises -- from $132,660 when Riza left the bank to a current $193,590 -- and promotions upon her eventual return, but the board showed no further interest in learning the terms of the deal.

"I'm amazed that the ethics committee had a lot of views, but then stepped back from their implementation," said Ruth Wedgwood, a professor of international law at Johns Hopkins University. Turning the matter over to Wolfowitz to resolve in the first place, she noted, was "sort of oxymoronic: 'You can't recuse yourself enough to suit us, but we want you to be formally in the chain of command to resolve this.' "

Staff writers Steven Mufson and Krissah Williams contributed to this report.
It's funny how the paper doesn't mention Wolfowitz's political affiliation. I guess that makes him a Democrat.
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Old 04-16-07, 02:58 PM
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Oh, those Neo-Cons.
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Old 04-16-07, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Nazgul
Oh, those Neo-Cons.
What's really funny is how this prominent neocon is shacked up with a Muslim woman.
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Old 04-16-07, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
I hadn't seen anything about this story. Pretty interesting. Here is an older story (from a couple of days ago):


and here is an update:


It's funny how the paper doesn't mention Wolfowitz's political affiliation. I guess that makes him a Democrat.
It associates him with Pres. Bush. He isn't an elected official.
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Old 04-16-07, 03:02 PM
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Arrogance.
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Old 04-16-07, 03:04 PM
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The real problem here is that one of the problems that the World Bank persistnetly fights is nepotism in Third World countries. It's going to be that much easier for tin-pot dictators to think "Why shouldn't I give my brother/wife/son/whatever a plum position in the government? Why should I do as the World Bank says and not as it does?"
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Old 04-16-07, 03:11 PM
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From what I gather so far, he disclosed his relations with the woman (who worked four tiers below him) to the ethics board, they said there was a conflict, and she would have to be moved. Since she had to be moved through no fault of her own and a move would hurt her career for no other reason than a relationship, it was suggested she take another job, albeit with a pay increase to reflect her status. The ethics board suggested Paul handle the transfer and pay increase in a general way since it was his girlfriend - he did and the ethics board reviewed and reported what he did and the way he handled it was ok. Then he sent a memo, with specifics about pay to the place she was about to be transferred to - thats what got him in hot water.

The way I've heard it, the World Bank is rife with corruption, the employees are paid mostly by how much money they can lend out, with no regard for whether that money is used effectively or not - Paul went in and started cracking down, demanding results for the money lent, something the current employees really hated; hence their desire to see him leave and a return to the status quo.

I wish I could link to todays WSJ, they had a really good editorial about it in the back called The Wolfowitz Files
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Old 04-16-07, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Chaos
From what I gather so far, he disclosed his relations with the woman (who worked four tiers below him) to the ethics board, they said there was a conflict, and she would have to be moved. Since she had to be moved through no fault of her own and a move would hurt her career for no other reason than a relationship, it was suggested she take another job, albeit with a pay increase to reflect her status. The ethics board suggested Paul handle the transfer and pay increase in a general way since it was his girlfriend - he did and the ethics board reviewed and reported what he did and the way he handled it was ok. Then he sent a memo, with specifics about pay to the place she was about to be transferred to - thats what got him in hot water.

The way I've heard it, the World Bank is rife with corruption, the employees are paid mostly by how much money they can lend out, with no regard for whether that money is used effectively or not - Paul went in and started cracking down, demanding results for the money lent, something the current employees really hated; hence their desire to see him leave and a return to the status quo.

I wish I could link to todays WSJ, they had a really good editorial about it in the back called The Wolfowitz Files



The Wolfowitz Files
The anatomy of a World Bank smear.

Monday, April 16, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

The World Bank released its files in the case of President Paul Wolfowitz's ethics on Friday, and what a revealing download it is. On the evidence in these 109 pages, it is clearer than ever that this flap is a political hit based on highly selective leaks to a willfully gullible press corps.

Mr. Wolfowitz asked the World Bank board to release the documents, after it became possible the 24 executive directors would adjourn early Friday morning without taking any action in the case. This would have allowed Mr. Wolfowitz's anonymous bank enemies to further spin their narrative that he had taken it upon himself to work out a sweetheart deal for his girlfriend and hide it from everyone.

The documents tell a very different story--one that makes us wonder if some bank officials weren't trying to ambush Mr. Wolfowitz from the start. Bear with us as we report the details, because this is a case study in the lack of accountability at these international satrapies.



The paper trail shows that Mr. Wolfowitz had asked to recuse himself from matters related to his girlfriend, a longtime World Bank employee, before he signed his own employment contract. The bank's general counsel at the time, Roberto Danino, wrote in a May 27, 2005 letter to Mr. Wolfowitz's lawyers:
"First, I would like to acknowledge that Mr. Wolfowitz has disclosed to the Board, through you, that he has a pre-existing relationship with a Bank staff member, and that he proposes to resolve the conflict of interest in relation to Staff Rule 3.01, Paragraph 4.02 by recusing himself from all personnel matters and professional contact related to the staff member." (Our emphasis here and elsewhere.)

That would have settled the matter at any rational institution, given that his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, worked four reporting layers below the president in the bank hierarchy. But the bank board--composed of representatives from donor nations--decided to set up an ethics committee to investigate. And it was the ethics committee that concluded that Ms. Riza's job entailed a "de facto conflict of interest" that could only be resolved by her leaving the bank.

Ms. Riza was on a promotion list at the time, and so the bank's ethicists also proposed that she be compensated for this blow to her career. In a July 22, 2005, ethics committee discussion memo, Mr. Danino noted that "there would be two avenues here for promotion--an 'in situ' promotion to Grade GH for the staff member" and promotion through competitive selection to another position." Or, as an alternative, "The Bank can also decide, as part of settlement of claims, to offer an ad hoc salary increase."

Five days later, on July 27, ethics committee chairman Ad Melkert formally advised Mr. Wolfowitz in a memo that "the potential disruption of the staff member's career prospect will be recognized by an in situ promotion on the basis of her qualifying record . . ." In the same memo, Mr. Melkert recommends "that the President, with the General Counsel, communicates this advice" to the vice president for human resources "so as to implement" it immediately.

And in an August 8 letter, Mr. Melkert advised that the president get this done pronto: "The EC [ethics committee] cannot interact directly with staff member situations, hence Xavier [Coll, the human resources vice president] should act upon your instruction." Only then did Mr. Wolfowitz instruct Mr. Coll on the details of Ms. Riza's new job and pay raise.

Needless to say, none of this context has appeared in the media smears suggesting that Mr. Wolfowitz pulled a fast one to pad the pay of Ms. Riza. Yet the record clearly shows he acted only after he had tried to recuse himself but then wasn't allowed to do so by the ethics committee. And he acted only after that same committee advised him to compensate Ms. Riza for the damage to her career from a "conflict of interest" that was no fault of her own.

Based on this paper trail, Mr. Wolfowitz's only real mistake was in assuming that everyone else was acting in good faith. Yet when some of these details leaked to the media, nearly everyone else at the bank dodged responsibility and let Mr. Wolfowitz twist in the wind. Mr. Melkert, a Dutch politician now at the U.N., seems to have played an especially cowardly role.

In an October 24, 2005 letter to Mr. Wolfowitz, he averred that "because the outcome is consistent with the Committee's findings and advice above, the Committee concurs with your view that this matter can be treated as closed." A month later, on November 25, Mr. Melkert even sent Mr. Wolfowitz a personal, hand-written note saying, "I would like to thank you for the very open and constructive spirit of our discussions, knowing in particular the sensitivity to Shaha, who I hope will be happy in her new assignment."

And when anonymous World Bank staffers began to circulate emails making nasty allegations about Ms. Shaha's job transfer and pay in early 2006, Mr. Melkert dismissed them in a letter to Mr. Wolfowitz on February 28, 2006, because they "did not contain new information warranting any further review by the Committee." Yet amid the recent media smears, Mr. Melkert has minimized his own crucial role.



All of this is so unfair that Mr. Wolfowitz could be forgiven for concluding that bank officials insisted he play a role in raising Ms. Riza's pay precisely so they could use it against him later. Even if that isn't true, it's clear that his enemies--especially Europeans who want the bank presidency to go to one of their own--are now using this to force him out of the bank. They especially dislike his anticorruption campaign, as do his opponents in the staff union and such elites of the global poverty industry as Nancy Birdsall of the Center for Global Development. They prefer the status quo that holds them accountable only for how much money they lend, not how much they actually help the poor.
Equally cynical has been the press corps, which slurred Mr. Wolfowitz with selective reporting and now says, in straight-faced solemnity, that the president must leave the bank because his "credibility" has been damaged. Paul Wolfowitz, meet the Duke lacrosse team.

The only way this fiasco could get any worse would be for Mr. Wolfowitz to resign in the teeth of so much dishonesty and cravenness. We're glad the Bush Administration isn't falling for this Euro-bureaucracy-media putsch. Mr. Wolfowitz has apologized for any mistakes he's made, though we're not sure why. He's the one who deserves an apology.
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Old 04-16-07, 05:43 PM
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thanks
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Old 04-17-07, 09:06 AM
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Just more "trickle down" inanity from perhaps the most corrupt administration ths nation has ever seen..
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Old 04-17-07, 09:24 AM
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Pharoh,

Good to see you back.
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Old 04-17-07, 09:30 AM
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Wow, this whole story makes me hot. Mmm, Shaha Riza... that name sounds sexy. I can't believe we've gone this far without someone posting a pic --





MY EYES! MY EYES! MAKE THE PAIN STOP!





(Then again... this is what Paul Wolfowitz looks like. So maybe she is quite a catch...)
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Old 04-17-07, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
Arrogance.
In the thread about Corzine giving money to his girlfriend you seemed to think that was not a problem.
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Old 04-17-07, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Pharoh,

Good to see you back.
Even if ever so briefly.
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Old 04-17-07, 10:36 AM
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CRM114, did you read the WSJ article?

Wolfowitz deserves to be bashed for his disastrous council on Iraq but by all accounts he's actually been a very good President at the World Bank. At the risk of posting yet another article, here's one from the Times saying just that:
April 17, 2007

The smaller they are, the harder they bite

Bronwen Maddox: World Briefing

There seems some point in judging someone by his worst mistake, not his most trivial. Paul Wolfowitz’s worst mistake was his contribution to the design of the United States’s invasion of Iraq.

For that — which was, at the very least, a misconceived experiment in development on a grandiose scale — he should have been disqualified from becoming president of the World Bank, the world’s preeminent development agency.

But he wasn’t, courtesy of America’s right to appoint the bank’s president and the Bush Administration’s desire to rehome its discarded but once-loved officials. As it happens, he has been a good president, if handicapped by unpopularity: passionate about the cause of development and coruscating about the bank’s inept efforts to prevent corruption in the poor countries consuming its donations.

When Wolfowitz got the job, he endeared those who were not viscerally opposed to him by his immersion in the theory and practice of development. He went to see the bank’s projects in Africa; he made clear that, far from being a sceptic of aid, as his caricature as one of the hard men of the Bush Administration might have it, he would be one of its more articulate advocates.

He even began to champion women’s issues; some attributed this to his relationship with Shaha Riza, a bank employee.

But his crusade against corruption in the countries that receive World Bank loans provoked immediate opposition from the bank’s own officials, and from some governments that give the bank its money.

Particularly in Europe, it must be said; Hilary Benn, Britain’s Secretary of State for International Development, who had already had one scrap with Wolfowitz over the issue last autumn, has been one of the loudest.

Their criticisms spring from shaky ground. Wolfowitz was absolutely right to say that the bank had been too tolerant of the risk of corruption for too long, out of the best of intentions — the desire to keep the money flowing and the fear that impoverished societies would suffer if they were penalised for the sins of their leaders.

But he did point out, more bluntly than the bank has often acknowledged in the half-century of its existence, that there is such a thing as wasting all the money — not a tenth, not a half, but all of it. No, he wasn’t the first person in the bank to say it; yes, he was abrasive; that didn’t make him wrong.

We are at a point when questions about when aid works and when it emphatically doesn’t are occupying the development world to the point of paralysis, from academia to those in the field, to politicians.

Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize-winner, pointed out in his early weeks as the bank’s chief economist that the organisation had placed far too much faith in some African leaders to spend their loans well, and ignored the importance of good government.

Much of the criticism of Wolfowitz’s supposedly preferential treatment of his girlfriend looks like an opportunist attempt to hit at an executive who was always too controversial and too resented to be as effective as he might have been.

The e-mails that have been released show that Wolfowitz, on his appointment, alerted the bank to the potential conflict of interest with Shaha Riza (“domestic partner”, he has called her, but the saga has drawn on the far reaches of the vocabulary for a romantic partner in middle age).

He removed himself from the decision about whether she could stay at the bank; when it decided that she should be seconded out, he and Riza both accepted the verdict.

He should then have recused himself a second time from the discussions that set the terms of her secondment. That was a poor decision, but not a corrupt one; the terms were not set secretly, indeed, the bank’s lawyers and other officials had every opportunity to see it and comment.


It is not the real cause of the opposition, which led bank staff to heckle him when he tried to address them in its great glass atrium, to the point where he had to retreat.

That stemmed from opposition to his reforms — and objection to his past advice on Iraq. That attack, at least, is justified: smoke from Baghdad bombs still darkens the screens of the world’s news channels. Some judgments are so poor that it is right that they overshadow a career, and Wolfowitz’s judgments on Iraq fall into that category.

But the danger is that the attacks on him will deflect attention from his attempt to change the bank. There is plenty of signs that this is the express aim of some of his critics.
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Old 04-17-07, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by tcoursen
In the thread about Corzine giving money to his girlfriend you seemed to think that was not a problem.


These scandals are worse. There are no similarities.
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Old 04-17-07, 11:42 AM
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I haven't really followed either all that closely, but it seems to me that the Corzine situation is a lot worse.
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Old 05-18-07, 10:46 AM
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Wolfowitz became corrupt on his way to cleaning up corruption.


Wolfowitz to resign as World Bank chief
POSTED: 5:05 a.m. EDT, May 18, 2007

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz agreed to resign after weeks of controversy over his handling of a pay package for his girlfriend, a bank employee, the institution's board of directors announced.

In a statement announcing the decision Thursday, the bank said "a number of mistakes were made by a number of individuals" in the matter.

Wolfowitz said the bank board accepted his contention that he acted "ethically and in good faith."

In a written statement, Wolfowitz said his eventual successor will his "full support." His resignation will take effect June 30.

As the largest shareholder in the bank, the United States appoints its president. After the announcement, the White House said President Bush "reluctantly accepts" Wolfowitz's resignation and would announce a replacement soon.

Wolfowitz said it is "necessary to find a way to move forward. To do that, I have concluded that it is in the best interests of those whom this institution serves for that mission to be carried forward under new leadership." (Wolfowitz's resignation statement)

"Change should not be feared, it is something to welcome. It is the key to keeping this important institution relevant and effective in the future and meeting the needs of the world's poor, and of humanity as a whole," the statement said.

Wolfowitz was appointed to the World Bank post in 2005 after serving as deputy U.S. defense secretary, where he was one of the leading architects of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The World Bank Group Staff Association -- which had previously called for Wolfowitz's resignation -- said in a statement he had done "the necessary thing" by resigning.

But, they said, Wolfowitz should not remain as president through June.

"He has damaged the institution and continues to damage it every day that he remains as its president. ... He has demeaned the bank, insulted the staff, diminished its clients and dragged this institution through the mud. He put his own interests before those of the institution. In making a statement of gratitude to Mr. Wolfowitz, the board has done the same," the staff association said.

A World Bank committee concluded Wolfowitz violated staff rules when he arranged a raise and transfer for his girlfriend, Shaha Ali Riza, a longtime bank employee. After Wolfowitz took over at the bank in 2005, Riza was transferred to a U.S. State Department job at a tax-free government salary of almost $194,000 a year. (Watch how Wolfowitz is criticized in an internal World Bank report )

Wolfowitz, the White House and bank officials held talks Wednesday afternoon to work out details of his resignation. Wolfowitz's lawyer, Bob Bennett, had left the door open for departure if Wolfowitz wasn't singled out for blame.

"He will not resign under this cloud and that remains his position," Bennett said Wednesday.

In its statement, the board praised Wolfowitz's work on anti-poverty and anti-corruption programs.

"Mr. Wolfowitz has stressed his deep support for and attachment to the World Bank and his responsibility, as its president, to act at all stages in the best interests of the institution," directors said. "This sense of duty and responsibility has led him to his announcement today." (World Bank's statement)

Wolfowitz, in his statement, said: "Hopefully the difficulties of the last few weeks can actually strengthen the bank by identifying some of the areas of governance and human resource management where reform is needed."

Earlier Thursday, Bush sounded as if he was resigned to the fact that Wolfowitz's tenure was coming to an end.

"I regret that it has come to this," he said. "I admire Paul Wolfowitz. I admire his heart, and I particularly admired his focus on helping the poor."

Bush applauded Wolfowitz for having made sure the bank "focused on things that matter -- human suffering, the human condition."

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/05/...itz/index.html
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Old 05-18-07, 10:52 AM
  #19  
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Office relationships. Not a great idea.
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Old 05-18-07, 11:10 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by CRM114
Wolfowitz became corrupt on his way to cleaning up corruption.
How's that again? Even in the association's statement, it's clear that they are only blasting him for calling the World Bank (and some client nations) corrupt, and that's no news flash. Then they mention putting his own interests ahead of the Bank's, seemingly speaking of the situation with Riza. But he's got a paper trail showing that he seems to have acted in good faith regarding his gf's employment. Maybe not brilliant, but corrupt? You really think this is about Wolfowitz and Riza?
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Old 05-18-07, 03:23 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Mad Dawg
How's that again? Even in the association's statement, it's clear that they are only blasting him for calling the World Bank (and some client nations) corrupt, and that's no news flash. Then they mention putting his own interests ahead of the Bank's, seemingly speaking of the situation with Riza. But he's got a paper trail showing that he seems to have acted in good faith regarding his gf's employment. Maybe not brilliant, but corrupt? You really think this is about Wolfowitz and Riza?
I think he gave his girlfriend a substantial raise. In the public arena, that's corruption.
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Old 05-18-07, 04:42 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by CRM114
I think he gave his girlfriend a substantial raise. In the public arena, that's corruption.
That's baloney. You know he wasn't forced out because of that. It's all clear if you read the information above.
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Old 05-18-07, 04:58 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Mad Dawg
That's baloney. You know he wasn't forced out because of that. It's all clear if you read the information above.
Sure. But it doesn't change the fact that Wolfowitz gave his GF a raise and that was what was used to get rid of him. And rightly so.
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Old 05-18-07, 05:20 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by CRM114
Sure. But it doesn't change the fact that Wolfowitz gave his GF a raise and that was what was used to get rid of him. And rightly so.
He clearly didn't offer this without first attempting to recuse himself, and without the full knowledge of everyone involved. It's absolutely disingenuous to call his actions corrupt, and his entire treatment, clearly because of his stated desire to clean up the World Bank's messes, is shameful.
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Old 05-18-07, 08:32 PM
  #25  
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Picture of Wolfowitz's GF:

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