Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

April 18, 2007
By: T.A. Frank

THE WOES OF THE POWER COUPLE....I can't say I feel that sorry for Paul Wolfowitz, and that's mainly because he's, well, Paul Wolfowitz. That said, I'm not yet persuaded that his alleged string-pulling for his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, an employee at the World Bank, amounts to something that requires his resignation. (Several newspapers have now demanded it, and the White House is underscoring its "full confidence" in Wolfowitz. Can the end be far?) The first accusation, that he improperly secured favorable employment and pay for Riza, seems undercut by documents showing that he consulted with the bank's board at the time about how to deal with the situation. The second, that he effectively arranged for Riza to take a "junket" to Iraq in 2003, seems to be less of a sin since she took no money for the trip.

But there's no doubt that Riza should have told her bosses at the bank about her relationship to Wolfowitz when she decided to go to Iraq, and her supervisors are understandably displeased. Also, all of this strengthens, if I may say so, the point of my piece on DC power couples: that keeping Washington's little secrets about who's hitched to whom just makes everyone look bad, and that, yes, disclosure (plus banning those damn lobbyist-legislator unions) is the way to deal with it. In Slate, Christopher Hitchens, defending Wolfowitz and his girlfriend, speculates that "it could be that two grown-up people, both with previous marriages and with growing children, did not feel much like undergoing yet another round of 'disclosure.'" An understandable feeling, but wouldn't that have been preferable to what they're undergoing now?

T.A. Frank 4:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (56)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

can you fix those goofy chars in the post?

Posted by: supersaurus on April 18, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

A double post about couples. Very subtle.

Posted by: Mornington Crescent on April 18, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

This is what happens when you paste something from a Word document into WordPress or Movable type. You get gibberish characters. I can't say why.

Substantively, Wolfowitz should resign both because of this shameless act of patronage, his complete lack of competence for the job, his use of the job to impose Bushian rightwing Christian policies on the rest of the world (like cutting funding for family planning in countries that depend on it), and his dishonesty (liek when he promised not cut funding for family planning).

Posted by: Tom Burka on April 18, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

On the news it is said there is a vendetta against Wolfowitz. I would prefer he go to jail, but global humiliation is a start.

Posted by: Brojo on April 18, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure how you come to an opinion on a guy who, IMO, is a contemptible piece of shit, but what he's charged with is pretty small bananas. I think "justice" would involve him and his co-conspirators put on trial in the Hague, and getting a pass on this girlfriend promotion hullabaloo.

Posted by: luci on April 18, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

From what I understand from someone I know who has worked at the World Bank for a long time (and who has no particular grudge against Wolfowitz), the deal worked out for Riza was absolutely unprecedented. First of all, it was far from clear that she needed to be transfered. There are couples who both work at the Bank and there are ways of ensuring that one spouse is not responsible for the career of the other. There could have been a way to make Wolfowitz effectively blind to issues of performance review. Second, the salary boost she got was absolutely off the charts for these sorts of things. Third, she was guaranteed a promotion to Vice President upon her return. The World Bank has very few people at the Vice President level (you can find a flow chart at the World Bank web site), and this sort of guarantee is unheard of. This is why the Staff Association is super pissed off. My source, who tends to give people the benefit of the doubt, was appalled. Whether this merits resignation is unclear, but for a guy who made anti-corruption his baby, it smacks of brute hypocrisy.

Posted by: lshape on April 18, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

It would be nice if you linked to the "exculpatory" documents, or a summmary of them. I had understood he referred his "problem" to an ethical committee of the bank which bounced it back to him, according to an e-mail that has been released. He then got Ms. Riza a gig at the State Department, the duties of which I have not been able to determine, for which the bank pays somehow, at an actual raise from her old job to $193,000 per year.

I've never seen the justification for a raise. Clearly somebody else at the bank should have resolved the situation, not Wolfowitz. If the bank's board didn't deal with it, but left it to him, maybe they should be considering resigning.

But I may not understand the whole thing. What exactly exculpates both Wolfowitz and the board? What lesson are the small countries whose aid is being cut off for "corruption" to take from this except that there is a double standard -- favoritism to family in the Bank is easily explained away, while similar favoritism elsewhere is punished by retracting funds necessary to feed innocent people?

I may be wrong; please explain.

Posted by: David in NY on April 18, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

There's not an enough information available, as of yet, for me to make a judgment on this...but the justification for the raise was a straightforward one:

she had a promising and fast-moving career at the Bank...one which was (at least temporarily) derailed when Wolfowitz came on board. thus, the raise served as compensation. this is compelling enough...the issue is how the raise was decided upon...not the validity of a raise itself.

Posted by: Nathan on April 18, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

> That said, I'm not yet persuaded that his
> alleged string-pulling for his girlfriend,
> Shaha Riza, an employee at the World Bank,
> amounts to something that requires his
> resignation.

But as I am sure you know, Wolfowitz's big shtick is to reduce "corruption" among the World Bank's clients. How exactly is this different from the cultural activities common to 3rd World countries that the West tends to term "corruption"? Lots of government officials in Elbonia put their relatives on the payroll; many of those relatives no doubt can actually do the job. Is that "corruption"? Is it "wrong"? How is it different?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on April 18, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

"for a guy who made anti-corruption his baby, it smacks of brute hypocrisy. Ishape."

Really. How can Wolfowitz pursue his so-called anti-corruption campaign now?

Posted by: David in NY on April 18, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

"she had a promising and fast-moving career at the Bank"

"the salary boost she got was absolutely off the charts for these sorts of things"

Well, of course it was off the charts. People with "fast-moving career" who sleep with the boss often get raises that are "off the charts."

Posted by: David in NY on April 18, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Mrs. Obama recently had her salary roughly tripled by her employer, a hospital, which no doubt receives much public funding. I'm sure her husband's rise to power had nothing to do with it.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on April 18, 2007 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

From the Financial Expres of India:

The document in question is the salary history of Mr Wolfowitz’s girlfriend, Shaha Riza, who was working at the bank at the time of his arrival. Three months later, Ms Riza was posted to America’s State Department at the insistence of the bank’s ethics committee, which was not happy for one sweetheart to supervise another. What has raised eyebrows and greened complexions in Washington in recent weeks is the deal’s super-generous financial terms: before she left the bank, Ms Riza was earning $132,660. Two big pay hikes later, she takes home $193,590, much more than the secretary of state herself.

According to the bank’s anti-corruption strategy, the public disclosure of income and assets “can help to enhance the credibility of decision-makers”. But when Mr Wolfowitz’s incredulous underlings read about these handsome sums in the Washington Post on March 28th, they flooded their staff association with expressions of “concern, dismay and outrage”; the association duly agreed that Ms Riza’s terms were “grossly out of line” with staff rules and “extraordinarily discouraging” to bank minions whose entire annual pay was less than Ms Riza’s rise.

Boy, I don't think even those with a "fast-moving career" get a 50% pay raise that fast in most organizations. Unless they sleep with the boss, of course

Posted by: David in NY on April 18, 2007 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

And the kicker is the Riza's salary is tax free. Must be nice!

Posted by: Robert on April 18, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Lots of government officials in Elbonia put their relatives on the payroll

Sort of like Cheney and his daughter and son-in-law. Even if they can do their job, how would you like to be their supervisor?

Or General Meyers (if I got the name right) serving as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs while his daughter held a job elsewhere in the executive branch. You think it might color his advice?

What we need is 100% disclosure on these family arrangements, a searchable database of all federal positions and their family connections. We also need to do IRS audits - and make them public - on some fraction, maybe 5-10% per year of the top tiers of the administration, as well as the representatives and senators. Catch the Cunningham types early, and expose the financial connections these people have to the laws they write.

Posted by: Wapiti on April 18, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Sailer - Can't defend so change the subject!

http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/news_theswamp/2006/09/mrs_obamas_boss.html

Posted by: Robert on April 18, 2007 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Julie Meyers is General Meyers niece.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 18, 2007 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

From the DeYoung & Kamen, WaPo 4/13:

Bank insiders confirmed reports from the bank's staff association that Wolfowitz directed personnel officials to give Shaha Riza, his longtime companion, an automatic "outstanding" rating and the highest possible pay raises during an indefinite posting at the State Department, as well as a promotion upon her return to the bank. The Financial Times reported portions of the agreement yesterday.

Mr. Frank, how exactly is the above justifiable? Please explain.

Posted by: David in NY on April 18, 2007 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure her husband's rise to power had nothing to do with it.

Well her husband surely didn't give her the raise in exchange for sleeping with him, which is what we're talking about here.

Oh, and what Robert's link said.

Posted by: trex on April 18, 2007 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't actually about Paul's relationship with the paramour, that's just the excuse the employees of the World Bank are using to try and bring down a manager they believe to be unqualified. In addition, they believe The Paul is conducting US foreign policy through other means.
That's not the World Bank's mission even if we are the largest contributor. He's just another Imus. He's also been wrong a lot and he's a terrible manager.
Come to think of it, no wonder GwB liked him, he's an incompetent believer. Bad combo, as we have seen to our collective dismay; and the world's.

Posted by: TJM on April 18, 2007 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

. . . he effectively arranged for Riza to take a "junket" to Iraq in 2003 . . . less of a sin since she took no money for the trip

Oh, no--it's a very serious matter. Precedent is clear--this requires all the work she did in Iraq to be completely discredited, and of course, he should be outed as a covert CIA agent. Ask any adminstration supporter . . .

banning those damn lobbyist-legislator unions

Unfortunately, any law banning lobbist-legislator unions would be unconstitutional under Lawrence v Texas.

Posted by: rea on April 18, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Really, if it's true, as it appears to be, that Wolfowitz "directed personnel officials to give Shaha Riza, his longtime companion, an automatic "outstanding" rating and the highest possible pay raises during an indefinite posting at the State Department, as well as a promotion upon her return to the bank," how can Mr. Frank plausibly believe that the allegations are "undercut by documents showing that he consulted with the bank's board at the time about how to deal with the situation"? What documents, Mr. Frank, justify this corrupt action?

Posted by: David in NY on April 18, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals would like nothing better than "full disclosure" about the marriages and private lives of our leading citizens. They know that would have a chilling effect and drive normal heterosexuals out of public life, and leave the door open to special interest groups with their own urban agenda.

Posted by: Al on April 18, 2007 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Wolfowitz accepted the job knowing that there would be a conflict. If they talk to each other, they both knew there would be a conflict.

I assume they accepted this but rather than find an honorable solution decided to fenagle the system and reward Riza monetarily, not with compensation for loss, but a raise way out of prooprtion to what she deserved or any one else might expect, even in exceptional circumstances.

Wolowitz has already put up the backs of other member nations and, more importantly, the staff with his authoritarian manner of which this action can only be called indicative, and at the same time rides his white horse against corruption and nepotism while polluting the bank's mission.

He obviously fails to pass the test.

Resignation is small compensation for the death, destruction and suffering he has helped visit on so many others without one wit of conscience.

Seppuku would be better but it doesn't look like he lives by any honor code.

Posted by: notthere on April 18, 2007 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

The oil revenues from Iraq will pay for the salary of Ms. Raza.

Posted by: gregor on April 18, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

I find it IRONIC that Wolfowitz is concentrating on CORRUPTION instead of DEVELOPMENT when he is personally corrupt himself. At least Clinton didn't have to arrange to pay Monica $200,000/y to give him BJs.

Posted by: bakho on April 18, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Al believes that democracy performs better when operated in secret and the dark corners of Cheney's bunker, away from the view and knowledge of the voters, and the mutual oversight of the branches of government.

Common, Al! Get out of the basement. The sunlight is the best at this time of year. Breath the fresh air. Empty all your dark paranoia into the breeze.

Really. You'll feel so much better.

Posted by: notthere on April 18, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

This really is just one example of how liberals use "full disclosure" to drive normal heterosexuals out of public life so their alliance of homosexualists, polygamous Islamists and "alternative species lifestylist" can have all the power.

Posted by: Al on April 18, 2007 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Mrs. Obama recently had her salary roughly tripled by her employer, a hospital, which no doubt receives much public funding. I'm sure her husband's rise to power had nothing to do with it.

Is Mr. Obama an administrator in the hospital where Mrs. Obama is working? Is he anywhere in the org chart? No? Then what the fuck is your point, moron?

I'd really love to see those documents that exculpate Wolfowitz. Everything I've seen to date indicates that that Riza's career took some extraordinarily, ahem, fortuitous turns when Wolfowitz came on board. There's no shortage of world-class talent at the World Bank, so it's a little hard to see how she rated such special treatment. And even leaving all that aside, the entire episode shows nothing but extremely bad judgement on Wolfowitz's part. He burned his benefit-of-the-doubt ticket long ago -- and his "management" credentials are shit anyway.

Posted by: sglover on April 18, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Al, you poor demented fool You continue to make 1+3= any number you want it to. Why on earth would disclosure of conflict of interest between the few couples that have such be detrimental?

Just like justice needs to be seen to be done, hiding relationships that have inherent conflicts of interest make it seem like there is something to hide.

There's nothing wrong with acting like grown-ups.

Your rant against people you probably know very little about makes it apparent that you never did achieve maturity.

Posted by: notthere on April 18, 2007 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Ishape, that's an interesting post. David in NY, you may be miles ahead of me. Still, while keeping in mind all the caveats about selectively released documents, I'd say the ones in this link (http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:21299683~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html) seem somewhat exculpatory. I'm not trying to give Wolfowitz a pass--just not convinced I've seen enough to be angry yet. But I may just be a slow reader.

Posted by: T.A. Frank on April 18, 2007 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Didn’t Riza get sent to the State Department (while retaining her WB salary, benefits and a raise) to work in the Near East Affairs bureau with Dick Cheney’s other daughter Elizabeth who was the principal deputy assistant secretary? (It is all a family affair with these folks) As I understand it she was there to set up a fund to assist in the neocon ‘reform’ project in the Middle East Region. But both have since left the State Department and now Riza is running the “Broader Middle East and North Africa Foundation for the Future” which hardly has a staff at this point.

Pretty interesting how the neocons work. They get put into powerful positions and use public money to enrich their family and friends and set up autonomous foundations to further their interests. The Houston Chronicle reports “The U.S. contributed almost two-thirds of the foundation's $56 million budget, according to the State Department, which says the foundation plans to hire a chief operating officer and chief financial officer next month.” Someone needs to follow Mr Norquist's agenda (where is he these days?) and defund the beast.

Posted by: bellumregio on April 18, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

their alliance of homosexualists, polygamous Islamists and "alternative species lifestylist" can have all the power.
Al (natch)


Gosh, Al,until the last election I had no idea there was so many of those people. It's scary! Why, you would probably be in less danger if you enlisted and patrolled Bahgdad! Your morals, for one thing, would be in a lot less danger.

Posted by: Mooser on April 18, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

I gotta say, with the Whitehouse obstructing justice with the RNC e-mail, this power couple crap is more than frustrating blogging from WM.

Wolfowitz is/was/always a ditz, a putz, and a completely self-centered moron. The fact that he shoved an unqualified sleep-over friend into a position that has now embarrassed them both and our country is just another day at the office for the neocons.

Posted by: Sparko on April 18, 2007 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Frank, I'm with you! There's no particular reason why those in position to help commit the US to wars around the globe should adhere to any particular standard of morals or ethics.

Posted by: Mooser on April 18, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

If Hitchens defends him, that's enough to call for his head.

Posted by: ogmb on April 18, 2007 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

In the New Yorker profile last week the Iraqi war planner said he had nothing to do with his lover's pay raises. Then this week I hear he apologized for being invloved with his lover's pay raises. Wolfowitz should be terminated from his employment at the bank for lying, but if he is fired because of a vendetta for helping start the war and occupation of Iraq, then that at least provides some little satisfaction, but hardly justice for his crimes.

Posted by: Brojo on April 18, 2007 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Well, let's review- the totally unqualified Wolfowitz is given a job where he can divert money away from the intended purpose of development, and the first thing he does is arrange for his girlfriend to get a big raise and work at a "foundation" that may not even exist.

Why sure, this is exactly the guy who should campaign against corruption! That is, if you think Al Capone did a good job of keeping Chicago peaceful and putting [other] gangsters out of business.

What has happened to this country that Kevin can even make this post seriously? I can think of at least 150 million people in the US who would be better qualified to run the World Bank and fight corruption. How did Wolfowitz get on the short list?

Oh, that's right- as a result of his proven skills at lying and causing other countries to get blown up. Well, that's just insane.

Posted by: serial catowner on April 18, 2007 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Neocon has now come to meet a con artist of marginal talent.

These folks give righteousness a bad reputation.

Posted by: ml on April 18, 2007 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Au contraire mon frere! Wolfowitz did not follow the ethic's committee's suggestions. The EC is an advisory board that trys to stay above the fray. Hence its limited to non-existent role in the specifics in this matter. Wolfowitz was instructed by the EC to instruct the VP-HR, with the participation of the World Bank General Counsel and VP-MENA, to have a conversation with Ms. Riza informing her of her options. Mr. Wolfowitz did not involve the GC or VP-MENA in this matter. (Mr. Wolfowitz's contention that the GC could not represent both him and the EC was a ruse to avoid oversight). Mr. Wolfowitz did not instruct the VP-HR to inform Ms. Riza of her options. Instead, Mr. Wolfowitz instructed the VP-HR to offer Ms. Riza a position of her choosing outside the bank and then laid out the financial terms. In his memo to the EC, Mr. Wolfowitz never disclosed the terms of his decision and stated that he complied with the EC's instructions. It appears that Mr. Wolfowitz purposefully avoided oversight from all the key players. This link provides supporting information for this post. http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/Ad%20Hoc%20Group%20-%20Wolfowitz.pdf

Posted by: skeptic on April 18, 2007 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

bellumregio >"...Someone needs to follow Mr Norquist's agenda (where is he these days?)..."

Just a hunch but I think he is in that bathtub trying to keep the government from rolling over on top of him and crushing him to death.

"There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept." - Ansel Adams

Posted by: daCascadian on April 18, 2007 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

It should be further noted that Ms. Riza landed in a position that would seem to have marginal relevance if any to the World Bank's Misson. In her position at State, Ms. Riza worked with Karen Hughes to improve America's image in Iraq. Funny how Ms. Riza got a huge raise and then worked on Mr. Wolfowitz's pet project (Iraq).

Posted by: skeptic on April 18, 2007 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

as Frank noted, the documents on this link appear to be exculpatory:

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:21299683~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html

most of the "facts" alleged by people on this thread are directly contradicted by these documents. that's what you get for only hearing one side.

Posted by: Nathan on April 18, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

furthermore, "skeptic"'s claims above are directly contradicted by these documents.

whoops!

Posted by: Nathan on April 18, 2007 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

How did this crook ever get to where he is today? What powerful ally enabled him to plan the needless destruction in Iraq and then made sure he got a golden deal at the World Bank. Does anyone know? Brojo, do you have any thoughts?

Posted by: Pat on April 18, 2007 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

The reason that so much is being made of this minor scandal is that Wolfowitz had, through a very clumsy, unilateral implimentation of his anti-corruption program, already alienated the World Bank staff, the developing world governments the Bank deals with, and the developed world governments that sit on the Bank's board of directors. Everyone was just looking for a chance to throw him out, and so they jumped all over the scandal.

Posted by: bobo the chimp on April 18, 2007 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan: "...as Frank noted, the documents on this link appear to be exculpatory...."

Actually he said "somewhat exculpatory".

However, talking about "one side" of the story, and this, too, would be it. He knew about this conflict before he accepted the job, and could have settled it before joining as president.

He still inserted himself directly into the negotiation and set minimum levels of promotion acceptable. He inserted himself as Riza' advocate which he could easily have avoided by using an arbitrating attorney. But he didn't. And she was way over-rewarded which, in todays atmosphere, is only the minimum to be expected or accepted, obviously, by some, but rubbed the bank staff the wrong way as an obviously preferrential, biased and unfair action.

As bobo and myself pointed out, Wolfowitz's actions run way beyond this and he can't expect friends when he pisses everybody off. And it doesn't avoid the charge of corruption and nepotism that he sets himself against.

He failed the test, and he is not an effective president for the bank. He should go.

Posted by: notthere on April 18, 2007 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Funny. Those documents seem to have disappeared at this time. I've been dying to see them, since the published reports indicated that it was Wolfowitz who chose the terms of his paramour's new employment. In fact, I thought he had admitted as much, but go figure. We'll see if those documents come back.

Posted by: David in NY on April 18, 2007 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan- Maybe you should read my comment a little more carefully and then reread the quotes. Even better why don't you read the World Bank's report on the matter (link in my post above). As you have neglected to show how my comment was contradicted by the information you provide I won't respond further.

Posted by: skeptic on April 18, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

OK, I see the documents now. Thank you for link to them, Mr. Frank. It is most helpful in this internet age, if you link to them initially, since the beauty of this system is that we are all first hand participants and need not rely on your assessment of them. (As you may note, I cited the authorities for my positions -- in particular the reporting of the Washington Post.) I only wish the entire documents, not merely excerpts, were available.

I guess that the most favorable view of the situation for Wolfowitz is that he took the job assuming that some kind of "recusal" would eliminate the obvious conflict; that the board's ethics committee disagreed, for reasons we don't know, but which might be germane; that Ms. Riza or Mr. Wolfowitz or both made "claims" or "demands", which resulted in an extraordinary deal for Ms. Riza. (One of the main objections to the arrangement is its scope and extraordinary nature.) I'm not sure whether this is exculpatory or not, as you also indicated you were not. One interpretation makes it look like a kind of blackmail on Mr. Wolfowitz's or Ms. Riza's part, taking advantage of a situation they should have known they'd be getting into. But perhaps that's too uncharitable.

I look forward to the full release of the negotiations between Wolfowitz-Riza and the bank as well as any relevant bank policies.

I must say, however, that Wolfowitz's complaints about the results of a situation that he got himself into justify the descriptions I have heard of him as arrogant (and I assume they were intended by him to show himself in the best light, since they were made after the situation erupted publicly).

I'm not sure, finally, that even the full release of the information is likely to solve the main problem here -- the appearance that nepotism is permitted at the bank but not among the countries with which the bank deals. If the bank is going to continue its anti-corruption policies, it would do far better to do so with someone who does not push "claims" on behalf of his spouse for unprecedented employment benefits.

Posted by: David in NY on April 18, 2007 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

I hope Wolfie and his hideous concubine live in wedded, lupine bliss.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 18, 2007 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

For Sailer and the impaired:

Obama didn't give his wife a raise. The University of Chicago Hospital gave her a raise.

Wolfowitz gave his lover a raise.

See the difference? Prove Sen. Obama had anything to do with engineering his wife's raise -- then you got something similar.

It's pretty simple, really.

Posted by: secularhuman on April 19, 2007 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

It is pretty simple:

1. The deal she got is unprecedented. Period.
2. If PW was open about his role in the deal (and I do not think he was), why did he apologize for having made a mistake ? Skeptic's post above (4/18/07 at 7:25 PM) is exactly right about what PW did to avoid oversight.
3. Her going to Iraq in 2003, without the knowledge of her VP, is grounds for dismissal. Whether she was paid or not is irrelevant. If you are a staff member of the Bank, and you want to do something outside (compensated or uncompensated; expenses paid or expenses unpaid) you have to get permission. You will have noticed that her former VP, Jean-Louis Sarbib (who iS an absolute stand-up guy) has said in the past couple of days that he was unaware of her assignment until after she got back.
4. The effect of this hypocrisy on the WB's relations with member countries is very bad.


Posted by: RKimble on April 19, 2007 at 6:23 AM | PERMALINK

Al: "They know that would have a chilling effect and drive normal heterosexuals out of public life, and leave the door open to special interest groups with their own urban agenda."

Are there fluffy pink clouds and hit-and-cold-running chocolate milk in your world?

Posted by: Kenji on April 19, 2007 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry. Anyone who has hired people at a large corporation and, more precisely, has been trained how to hire people and how to manage them, knows that what Wolfowitz did is a firing offense. It's using the company's money, resources, and power in a unilateral way to benefit a self-selected group of individuals for their personal benefit.

The proper way to handle the situation, if indeed his girlfriend was a rising star and would suffer by his appointment, would have been to have an internal group with no ties to either party make the decision abou compensation and jobs. Wolfowitz's arrival at the World Bank would have been an appropriate time to deal with the issue in a neutral way.

At the same time, since when does any company of any size have to mitigate the negative impact of this sort of circumstance? People are adults. If they want to sleep around and, oops, their lover is now their boss, they should have enough sense to deal with the issue as adults. And not expect to be bailed out by their company, using its resources to solve their personal problems. It's unfair to the employees and to the stakeholders.

Posted by: Fred on April 19, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

I think it would also be beneficial for the discourse if journalists would reveal when they are sexually involved with their sources or important players on the beats they cover. A few married couples come to mind: Jamie Rubin and Christiane Amanpour, Todd Purham and Dee Dee Meyers, Matt Cooper and his wife Mindy (I forget ger last name; she's a Democratic political consultant.) I've forgotten a few others.

The press is eager to expose conflicts of interest due stemming from sex in government and business, it should be willing to sacrifice either some its privacy or its freedom of action in return.

Posted by: Durango95 on April 20, 2007 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly