What Happened to Wolfowitz the Strategist?

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paul wolfowitz.jpg
Paul Wolfowitz has all but conceded that he is leaving his perch as CEO of the World Bank. The only question that remains is what gets scribbled in the last paragraph of the story on whether the “blame” for his departure is shared — and whether he resigned under his own steam or was actually, formally fired.
What is odd about this entire encounter is that “Wolfowitz the strategist” seems to be missing — and that may have been the problem all along.
Many officials in the Bank did not like Wolfowitz because of his central role in designing, planning and launching the Iraq War. But had the former Deputy Secretary of Defense come into the Bank with a compelling plan for global economic development that built on the strengths and addressed some of the weaknesses of the Bank’s relative skill sets, a relationship of mutual trust and respect, even if grudging, would have taken root.
Even one of Wolfowitz’s closest friends and the not-often discussed third political appointee (the other two were the more controversial Kevin Kellems and Robin Cleveland) brought in by Wolfowitz, Karl Jackson, has reportedly told numerous World Bank and diplomatic pals of his that “Paul has no plan. Everything is ad hoc, reactive — first we go this way, then we go that.” If his friends are saying that, imagine what Wolfowitz’s enemies think.
And in this sad public battle over whether Wolfowitz acted appropriately or not regarding the employment options, compensation, and performance evaluations of his girlfriend, Wolfowitz also seemed to operate in exactly the mode Jackson describes — without a plan, reactive, ad hoc, first this way and then that.
After the revelations of the stellar pay raises Shaha Riza, Wolfowitz acknowledged serious misjudgment and the mistake he had made. He apologized. But I guess people are getting sick of apologies with little other price being paid and little commitment to resolution of underlying problems.
So the problem continued and Wolfowitz and his big-gun lawyer Robert Bennett attacked his critics for launching from their perspective a vicious “smear campaign” against a now innocent and wrongly besmirched Wolfowitz.
Wolfowitz proceeded to blame the Bank’s Board and Ethics Committee for “giving him no choice” but what he did. He also blamed his girlfriend. He practically blamed everyone for his problems but himself.
Then he insisted he wanted his job and would not leave. The Bank in response was compelled to go through a formal, transparent process of reviewing all the circumstances involved — including his perspective and proffered evidence. And now Wolfowitz has heard the verdict — doesn’t like it — and wants to cut a new deal that if the Bank officially disavows its formally developed position, he will now leave.
If Wolfowitz had resigned expeditiously, not gotten ugly with the Bank’s executive directors, and arranged some form of elegant departure, the Bank Directors would have been glad to work out a deal, give him some handsome severance package, and not push hard on the actual reasons for his resignation. The investigative review that the Bank was formally committed to would have been shut down for the most part.
So Wolfowitz — the man with the ten year invasion plan for Iraq, who whether he got it right in the Iraq War or not, who is considered to be a strategist and mathematical wizard — failed to offer any serious strategy when he came into the Bank and failed to deploy a rational strategy when being forced out.
Whichever way the Bank’s board goes today in either allowing him honor as he exits, or just leaving things messy and not nicely packaged, Wolfowitz is done.
— Steve Clemons
Editor’s Note: I am blogging about Paul Wolfowitz and doing some media interviews on the World Bank controversy this morning down near Muir Beach, California and am at the rustic Pelican Inn. I’m here to spend some time talking foreign policy issues with some fascinating people here for a philanthropic board retreat.
Standing at the bar yesterday, I heard from the shadows, “Aren’t you Steve Clemons?” This was not a blog reader of mine but was my friend Jim Repath who is the bar manager here and who I used to run with. We have not seen each other or had contact in 24 years. If anyone has been out to the Pelican Inn, which I highly recommend, you might understand why the small world thing doesn’t quite capture it. Anyway, just a nice encounter I wanted to note.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

36 comments on “What Happened to Wolfowitz the Strategist?

  1. Alex Postallian says:

    Wolfowitz,a con man.

    Reply

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    Reply

  3. Mike Scott says:

    I suspect President Bush will be awarding Wolfowitz the “Medal of Freedom” in the near future.

    Reply

  4. scott in san rafael says:

    Steve:
    Welcome to Marin County. The Pelican Inn and Muir Beach are absolute treasures!

    Reply

  5. Eli Rabett says:

    There are two important issues here. The first is that getting Wolfowitz gone provides an example that will unleash an avalanche with Gonzales and others to follow. It would be much better if the Bank had simply fired him, but it will be equally important, and here is where people like Steve Clemons come in, to continue publicizing the corruption that Wolfowitz was involved in at the Bank and at DOD and SAIS, especially in light of the “deal” being worked out.
    The second part is that corrupt bullies such as Wolfowitz stay in power by threatening others. To get rid of them you have to accept a measure of pain and problems. Both sides get hurt in fights, but if you don’t fight a Wolfowitz you will always lose. If the Europeans had simply fired Wolfowitz there would have been immediate problems but in the end the Bush administration would have modified its behavior. As it is the issue is still up in the air.

    Reply

  6. pauline says:

    from http://www.firedoglake.com/
    I saw Senator Schumer on Hardball and he is pitching the idea of the Senate holding a no confidence vote indicating that they have zero confidence in Alberto Gonzales.
    Wow, talk about public humiliation.
    But I don’t think that is the point. i think the significance of this is to start getting Senators into shape for much more important votes that may be coming in future. If the “no confidence” vote comes in at the magic 67, we will have taken one more step closer to IMPEACHMENT TO CONVICTION.
    Here’s the point I have been trying to make over and over to those frustrated folks who weep and wail in the comment threads about “why won’t the House vote Articles of Impeachment?”
    Answer, if you are going to shoot at the king, you damn well better kill the king. Congress (House and Senate combined) has only one shot at the target and they know it, bless them. Otherwise, if you shoot before you can convict, history will record both the Clinton blow job impeachment and the Bush shredding the Constitution impeachment as equivalent, tit for tat, partisan acts. They only way to get vindication for the Constitution and the rule of law is to convict. Think how different life would be if Fitzgerald had LOST the Libby case? Ahhh, now you see my point!
    Mr. Ex-Prop used to be a certified sharpshooter (thick FBI files on guys with those kinda skills) and he has lectured our family dinner table many times on the importance of not taking your shot prematurely. Experienced snipers will often pass up their first, second and even third clear shot (or so I am told — I can shoot a shotgun at a clay frisbee, but that’s about it for me and guns) until they are rock solid certain that they have scoped out the perfect angle and lead. ( A lead is when your gun moves ahead of a moving target and you squeeze off a split second ahead of time so that the target “catches up” with the bullet/ or buckshot).
    I expect there will be a number of dry runs like this “no confidence” vote and other trial balloons before both houses of Congress are sure they have both a case that will win in the court of public opinion and the votes they need for conviction in the Senate. You know even if they have the votes to convict, if the case doesn’t resonate with and convince the American people, it will be a phyrric victory that could backlash against the rule of law contingent.
    So how can we help? We can do everything in our power to keep the USA firing story on page one. We do everything we can to make sure that the public is clamoring to know the rest of the details of the dark of night visit to AG Ashcroft’s hospital room.
    Yesterday NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell asked the President if he had sent Gonzales and Card to the hospital. His answer was the most hilarious example of doublespeak I have seen in a long time. But what really got me was the expression on his face.

    Reply

  7. pauline says:

    poa,
    here’s some dc dirt that may be alot more than gossip!
    from Wayne Madsen —
    May 18-20, 2007 — On Wednesday night, CBS Late Night host David Letterman referred to our report about Dick Cheney being a client of the Pamela Martin & Associates escort agency in the 1990s. That earned Letterman a stinging commentary by Radar Online, a Hollywood gossip web site that leans decidedly to the neo-con right. Radar called Letterman a gap-toothed “comic.” This editor remembers other late night TV hosts — Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, and Tom Snyder. None of them were considered “comics.” They were TV variety show hosts, not “comics.”
    In his monologue Letterman quipped, “Here’s a story we’re working on now. Apparently, there are rumors coming out of Washington that Vice President Dick Cheney, when he was the CEO of Halliburton, used to go visit prostitutes. This could explain why one girl was paid two billion dollars. I mean, I was thinking about this and Cheney … I mean, going to a prostitute, that’s … I mean, I can’t believe a good-looking guy like that would ever have to pay for sex, you know what I’m saying?”
    Radar once had the backing of neo-con Mort Zuckerman. In something that should be of interest to Don Imus’ attorney, Radar – which does not hide its sympathy for the Bush administration, is also backed by a consortium that includes Yusef Jackson, the son of Jesse Jackson. Jesse Jackson, along with Al Sharpton, were the chief instigators behind Imus’ firing by CBS and MS-NBC. The current attack by Radar on Letterman appears to fit a pattern. Jackson and Sharpton have long been considered agents provocateur for certain special interests. One of Radar’s original co-financiers, Jeffrey Epstein, was charged on July 27, 2006 with solicitation of prostitution from female minors.
    This editor checked out a few more Radar stories. One criticized the TV commercials directed by Oliver Stone for Moveon.org that were against George Bush’s Iraq war. Another pooh-poohed the discovery of two of Karl Rove’s emails concerning the US Attorney firings as largely unimportant.
    What is unimportant is the delusional self-importance of many entertainment executives who support the neo-con Bush cause. To report that Disney-owned ABC News caved on the DC Madam story is heresy — an attack on Tinsel Town and New York megamedia and all that they represent. Some of these infotainment cockalorums make the worst politician in Washington look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms by comparison.
    Yesterday, Radar referred to this editor as a “weird and lonely” blogger. Anytime anyone in the neo-con corporate media executive office suites (and they know who they are) wants to compare life styles on the weirdness meter, I stand ready. By the way, when I’m lonely I don’t have to resort to calling escorts or engage in phone sex. And as far as the name calling is concerned, when all Cheney’s friends can do is muster up Gopher from the “Love Boat” and an on-line gossip column to throw stones, its merely a question of “mind over matter” — I don’t mind and they don’t matter.
    It is interesting how the right-wing corporate media is now treating the DC Madam story. After attempting to have ABC News put a lid on the story, the Cheney revelations have caused the media barons to relegate the matter to the gossip sector. However, this tactic is not working. As anyone familiar with national security knows, there are two signs that someone is a security risk: sudden and inexplicable affluence or a radical change in demeanor and personality stemming from blackmail. Colin Powell and Brent Scowcroft have both said that the Dick Cheney of today is not the same person they knew as Secretary of Defense. Cheney’s reported dalliances during his time at Halliburton and his radical personality change call for a full national security investigation. If a foreign power or foreign interests had access to Cheney’s phone records from the 1990s — and many foreign intelligence agencies would have been interested in communications in the neighborhood of the CIA where Cheney lived — there is a distinct possibility that blackmail is behind Cheney’s push for the war in Iraq. The right-wing focused on Bill Clinton’s comments to Monica Lewinsky during one of their conversations that he had been warned that a “foreign power” could be listening to his conversations. What was good for Clinton then should be good for Cheney now.
    Thanks go to David Letterman for keeping this important story in the public eye. Note to Cheney and company: attempts to have a “work up” or “work over” done to this editor, whether from Washington or London, will surely fail as much as the Bush-Cheney administration has failed. Call off your dogs, Mr. Cheney.

    Reply

  8. Sandy says:

    Pissed Off American, you have said it….in your last two posts…better than I ever could have. Thank you. Exactly.

    Reply

  9. Pissed Off American says:

    “To have such a prominent official act in such crass and self-serving terms, while showing little-to-no capacity for the task given him is a terrible face to be showing our allies and the world at large.”
    You act as though the world community isn’t expecting it by now. Hell, they’ve watched six years of this shit unfold. Now, they’re going to watch as these criminally arrogant monsters are not held accountable, and simply continue to act unethically, immorally, and illegally in America’s name, then as they slither away to book deals and speaking engagements.
    We ought to take out an ad in the New York Times apologizing to the rest of the world, and explain that we the citizens no longer have any control over what these lying criminals in Washington are doing.
    Maybe we could beg the world community to invade the United States, and effect a “regime change” here. Do you think they would make the hangings public? I hope so.

    Reply

  10. JonU says:

    All questions of Iraq, ethics and morality aside, as an American this is just flat out embarassing.
    To have such a prominent official act in such crass and self-serving terms, while showing little-to-no capacity for the task given him is a terrible face to be showing our allies and the world at large.
    Is this the best we can put forward? Are these the cream of the crop we use to interact with the larger world? If conservatives think so, what does it say about their judgement?
    As an American, this whole episode is humiliating.

    Reply

  11. Kathleen says:

    The Democratic Party essentially told this adminstration that they could get away with murder when they took Impeachment off the Table. How stupid.
    Busholini and Captain Ahab only understand one thing: SELF INTEREST.
    Therefore, Democrats need to hold the Sword of Damocles over their most precious part and start impeachment proceedings ASAP.
    Sweep the creeps out all at once and be f**king done with it, already. Do they have to Goose Step to the bank for Dems to get it?
    My response to Das Bush’s Surge n Purge Policy is Like it or Lump it, Baby. It’s woodshed time.

    Reply

  12. Kathleen says:

    The Democratic Party essentially told this adminstration that they could get away with murder when they took Impeachment off the Table. How stupid.
    Busholini and Captain Ahab only understand one thing: SELF INTEREST.
    Therefore, Democrats need to hold the Sword of Damocles over their most precious part and start impeachment proceedings ASAP.
    Sweep the creeps out all at once and be f**king done with it, already. Do they have to Goose Step to the bank for Dems to get it?
    My response to Das Bush’s Surge n Purge Policy is Like it or Lump it, Baby. It’s woodshed time.

    Reply

  13. IMF says:

    FROM INTERNAL BANK STAFF EMAILS TODAY
    Strike One: In late 2000 the administration of Johns Hopkins University had determined to take significant action against Paul Wolfowitz, then Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), for an improper sexual relationship with a SAIS subordinate. University action was interrupted when Wolfowitz informed the University he was leaving to take a position with the Bush Administration.
    Strike Two: In early 2001 the Bush Administration was preparing to nominate Wolfowitz to be Director of the CIA. Wolfowitz’s wife, Clare, wrote the President and detailed her husband’s extramarital affairs at SAIS and with Shaha Ali Riza, whom he had met while Dean at SAIS and Riza was at NED (before she joined the Bank as an employee in 1999). Clare pointed out that her husband had a sexual relationship with a non-American citizen and that he was seeking to keep these relationships “non-disclosed.” Scooter Libby intercepted Clare’s letter which terminated the CIA appointment but the Administration then nominated him to be DOD Dep Sec. In retaliation, Wolfowitz unleashed his lawyers on his wife and forced her to sign a non-disclosure agreement or forego financial support (also see Wolfowitz’s May 3 rebuttal reference to non-disclosure agreements). Clare Wolfowitz signed. At this point, the White House was fully cognizant of Wolfowitz’s personal habits and chose to cover-up his activities. In other, similar cases, individuals are denied a national security clearance not due to the extramarital activities, but due to the possibility of blackmail stemming from “non-disclosure.” In Wolfowitz’s case, Riza was seen in his company at official Administration events (he was still married).
    Strike Three: 2003 (SAIC contract), 2005 (“assignment, not “seconded or detailed” to State Department), 2006 (Foundation for the Future). On the latter, World Bank staff need to focus more carefully on the May 2006 $21,000 World Bank contract and November 2006 speaking contract to Anwar Ibrahim–who informed Robin Cleveland in October 2006 that he was selecting Shaha Ali Riza as Director of the Foundation (while retaining her G-4 tax-free income at an ineligible organization). Ibrahim, close Friend of Wolfowitz, became Chairman of the Foundation in July 2006 after his World Bank contract ended.

    Reply

  14. IMF says:

    FROM INTERNAL WORLD BANK STAFF EMAILS TODAY:
    Strike One: In late 2000 the administration of Johns Hopkins University had determined to take significant action against Paul Wolfowitz, then Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), for an improper sexual relationship with a SAIS subordinate. University action was interrupted when Wolfowitz informed the University he was leaving to take a position with the Bush Administration.
    Strike Two: In early 2001 the Bush Administration was preparing to nominate Wolfowitz to be Director of the CIA. Wolfowitz’s wife, Clare, wrote the President and detailed her husband’s extramarital affairs at SAIS and with Shaha Ali Riza, whom he had met while Dean at SAIS and Riza was at NED (before she joined the Bank as an employee in 1999). Clare pointed out that her husband had a sexual relationship with a non-American citizen and that he was seeking to keep these relationships “non-disclosed.” Scooter Libby intercepted Clare’s letter which terminated the CIA appointment but the Administration then nominated him to be DOD Dep Sec. In retaliation, Wolfowitz unleashed his lawyers on his wife and forced her to sign a non-disclosure agreement or forego financial support (also see Wolfowitz’s May 3 rebuttal reference to non-disclosure agreements). Clare Wolfowitz signed. At this point, the White House was fully cognizant of Wolfowitz’s personal habits and chose to cover-up his activities. In other, similar cases, individuals are denied a national security clearance not due to the extramarital activities, but due to the possibility of blackmail stemming from “non-disclosure.” In Wolfowitz’s case, Riza was seen in his company at official Administration events (he was still married).
    Strike Three: 2003 (SAIC contract), 2005 (“assignment, not “seconded or detailed” to State Department), 2006 (Foundation for the Future). On the latter, World Bank staff need to focus more carefully on the May 2006 $21,000 World Bank contract and November 2006 speaking contract to Anwar Ibrahim–who informed Robin Cleveland in October 2006 that he was selecting Shaha Ali Riza as Director of the Foundation (while retaining her G-4 tax-free income at an ineligible organization). Ibrahim, close Friend of Wolfowitz, became Chairman of the Foundation in July 2006 after his World Bank contract ended.

    Reply

  15. marky says:

    It’s amazing that Wolfowitz can generate so much press over his scandalous behavior, which amounts to putting his unmarried sex partner on the dole, with his job apparently on the line, and yet Gonzalez may still keep his job.
    What a bunch of apes we are! If Gonzalez was caught in bed with a dead girl or a live Democrat, he’d be out of his job in a day, but trample the Constitution, lie to Congress, conspire to engineer election fraud…. *yawn*, wake me when he does something really bad.

    Reply

  16. Cherie says:

    Steve,
    Such a facinating story.
    What I want to know is why his girlfriend is often refered to as “female companion.” Is this a gesture toward passing her off as a nurse for him rather than his mistress or lover. Is she paid to take care of him? I would really like to hear more details about the relationship in general. Afterall we were not spared any of the details of the Bill Clintor “wild thing.”
    And I am wondering also if this whole thing is not a distraction to take attention away from Alberto Gonzales. If Wolfie leaves will we be saying tht one out of two is not bad. I’ve wondered about this because the Wolfie scandal followed so closely on the heels of the Attorney scandal. And now I read that there were more attornies who lost their jobs or were at least on the list. So is Wolfie a red herring?
    Keep up the interesting posts!
    Cherie

    Reply

  17. john somer says:

    Holefowitz’s appointment to the World Bank wa the result of a process that dates back to the period when the US GDP was about half of the world’s GDP and Europe’s was the second largest. These times are definitely gone but the appointment procedures at the WB and the IMF are still the same so as to maintain Wall Street’s influence on both organizations (see the “Washington Consenus” for confirmation). With the US the biggest debtor nation in the world and China the bigggest creditor, the rules governing both institutions need fundamental revision

    Reply

  18. Jon Gelbard says:

    Steve –
    If you head up to the Pantol Station off of Panoramic Higway, you will find the Steep Ravine Trail there to be something special of a redwood canyon, cascading waterfalls providing a phenomenal soundscape. Or you can head up the road opposite the entrance to the Pantol lot, park in the parking lot at the top, and take a nice little hike among the patches of grassland and forest at the top of Mt Tam. Wildflowers are still in bloom, though nearing their end for 2007. Enjoy your stay out here in CA, and keep up the outstanding work. Cheers – Jon

    Reply

  19. Ajaz says:

    Crooks get caught ultimately. That is what has happened to Wolfowitz, hence the strategy is out of the window!

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  20. downtown says:

    Didn’t Wolfie out-strategize that noted Military Planner Eric Shinseiki? Didn’t it turn out that Wolfie was right about every aspect of the Iraq invasion. Didn’t he claim that the number of troops Shinseiki recommended was “vastly overstated”? The costs would be covered by Iraqi Oil Revenue? Look at the facts! Lot’s of blood on his hands!!
    http://members.aol.com/Custermen85/ILDUCE/Mussolini.htm

    Reply

  21. Carroll says:

    Well I appreciate this post on Wolf because I have always said the so called neo-intellectuals were actually stupid. I don’t count math whizs toward true intellect, it might be a niche ‘talent’, but it isn’t a full blown, fully rounded intellect.
    How can anyone be delusional and smart at the same time?..one would tend to cancel the other out wouldn’t it?
    If someone is both smart in an narrow area and delusional at the same time there is a medical clinical term for that and it isn’t intellectual.
    I listened to these neos carefully from the begining and all I heard was hubris (which comes from not being able to understand history’s lessons and the nature of the beast) and misfits who studied only one side of human nature for their purposes and completely ignored the flip side and also thought everyone would be so dazzled by their orange apples they wouldn’t see thru them. These three “intellectual failings” are big, big stupids to me.
    They have done for the intellectual label what food poisoning did for peanut butter.
    I would rather stick to “experts” who have studied that, been there, done that …and pray we get a truely SMART leader who will gather these experts and know how to sift thru their advise and knowledge and one who has that “innate” gift of being able to put his nose to the wind and sniff out the right direction.

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  22. vachon says:

    It sounds like Wolfowitz lives up on his head with a pencil and paper. What he imagines and writes looks good, sounds good and wins armchair quarterbacks like him money and plaudits. When he is confronted with real life, he reacts in a very immature way, with child-like petulance. The adults around him are stunned and disgusted in response.
    The Bush administration lives in it’s head, just like him. He is a perfect caricature of the rest of his friends.

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  23. Hank Essay says:

    Wolfowitz, the strategist? Are you kidding? Do you think his 10-year Iraq strategy included the launch of “several civil wars?” Sounds to me like his World Bank tenure has had as much success as his Iraq strategy.

    Iraq is on the verge of collapse: report
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s government has lost control of vast areas to powerful local factions and the country is on the verge of collapse and fragmentation, a leading British think-tank said on Thursday.
    Chatham House also said there was not one civil war in Iraq, but “several civil wars” between rival communities, and accused Iraq’s main neighbors –Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — of having reasons “for seeing the instability there continue.”

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  24. Texas Reader says:

    Dubya says he’s sorry “it has come to this ” and that Wolfowitz had the best interests of the World Bank at heart. Reporters should ask Tony Snow how it was in the best interest of the World Bank for Wolfowitz’ girlfriend to get a huge raise.
    The Bush regime and all its members disgust me to no end.

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  25. Robert M. says:

    Lets keep this simple.
    Wolfie (as a non-mathematician) rose to the Level Of His Incompetence at the Pentagon & then, as semi-loyal semi-Bushie* got booted up one more rung to his Total Incompetency Level.
    He is a very smart person but an operational bully, whose smarts got him this far. But a strategist?? Heck, he’s not even a tactician. And he like the Bourbons, he’s never learned anyhing though he’s forgotten precious little. Remember the story Steve told about the dinner that PW turned into a defense presentation? Strategists process information and learn. That’s essential in AI premises. But for this human? Nah.
    (The Peter Principle remains VALID, as does Sturgeon’s Law.)
    (* I reference Sidney Blumenthal’s essay in Salon this week on differentiating Full-Bushies and Semi-Bushies, and how easily the latter go to Non-Bushies.)
    Intelligence, especially mathematical, does not equal Real Smarts and/or Competence.
    I’ll always take the “Second Class Intelligence accompanied by First Class Temperament” anytime.

    Reply

  26. zoot says:

    It looks like Wolfowitz took the World Bank job as a consolation prize after failing at the Defense Department. If he had any respect for the mission of the World Bank, he would not have behaved as he did–and as he continues to behave up until today.
    I hope my personal meltdown is less destructive and less public.

    Reply

  27. Ben says:

    Steve,
    could Wolfowitz’s apparent lack of strategy in this case (fighting to stay and then bargaining to get back to the departure terms he could have had if he’d left at the outset) actually be a case where he fought hard having been given some sort of assurance from Bush/ Rove that he would be protected, which was later renegged on? I’d love to hear if anything like this happened, or at least more on what the administration did or did not tell Wolfie it would do to protect him.

    Reply

  28. Ben says:

    Steve,
    could Wolfowitz’s apparent lack of strategy in this case (fighting to stay and then bargaining to get back to the departure terms he could have had if he’d left at the outset) actually be a case where he fought hard having been given some sort of assurance from Bush/ Rove that he would be protected, which was later renegged on? I’d love to hear if anything like this happened, or at least more on what the administration did or did not tell Wolfie it would do to protect him.

    Reply

  29. Pissed Off American says:

    Meanwhile, Rice continues to ignore a congressional subpoena, Gonzales does the same. (As does the White House, in regards to e-mails.) A scandal of unprecedented illegality and disdain for the rule of law within the Justice Department unfolds, and the perpetraters brazenly say “fuck you” to everything this nation once stood for.
    But by all means, lets lament the lunatic ravings of an unseated neo-con monster, and quiver with tittilation as the Hollywood flavored saga of Wolfowitz’s all too common greed unfolds at the World Bank. We might not have Habeus Corpus tomorrow, and your Republican nieghbor might not be bound by the same laws the Democrat down the street is, but by God we will know just where Wolfie is dipping his wick, and how much it costs him to do so.
    This country is truly in deep shit.

    Reply

  30. Carl Bergquist says:

    Anyone interested in the World Bank itself? Or the shenanigans of various European governments? And what about Shaha Riza herself?
    I’m sure you’ve read yesterday’s WP editorial “World Class Mess”. If not, check it out
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/15/AR2007051502139.html
    Yes, yes, yes. Wolfowitz will go, made mistakes etc etc. Now, how about moving on from this personal focus and addressing the culture of the World Bank.
    Some have argued that this is what will happen and that Wolfowitz’s presence/behavior is the reason that it hasn’t happened yet. Does the Bank’s history present us with some evidence of self-criticism?
    Anyway, we shall see what happens in his wake. My guess is nothing.
    Meanwhile the outrage of EU Commissioner Verheugen lies is non-existent. That’s to be expected in the US since it’s a European matter. But in Europe itself, their bias blinds them and it’s Wolfowitz all the way. Again, what will happen once he leaves? Will they begin to clean house then?
    Advanace apologies if you find these concerns trivial. It’s just that hypocrisy is always hypocrisy, whether it’s Wolfowitz’s, Verheugen or World Bank VPs.

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  31. pauline says:

    from David Corn —
    “Wolfowitz, who never had to pay for the mistakes he made that led to the disaster in Iraq, is trying to dodge accountability. With the White House now signaling it would be okay with a Wolfowitz departure, Wolfowitz is trying to blackmail the Bank: if you don’t denounce the findings of your own panel and clear me, I won’t resign; I’ll force you to fire me.”
    more at —
    http://www.davidcorn.com/

    Reply

  32. JohnH says:

    As other posters have said, it’s a real stretch to suggest that Wolfowitz had a plan for Iraq. “Invade Iraq, take out Saddam, sell Iraqi oil assets” is a set of objectives, not a plan. What does seem interesting about Wolfie’s World Bank fiasco, however, is that the man seems to have suddenly lost his real gifts–promotion and self-promotion.
    Accuse me of schadenfreude, but I say let the man continue to humiliate himself publicly for as long as he wants. It’s a fitting end for a man whose life work appears to have been nothing more than creating a mirage.

    Reply

  33. susan says:

    it would appear at this point that Wolfowitz’ strategy is not to hold on to his position, but rather to inflict as much damage on the institution as possible.
    we’ve seen this tactic before: John Bolton and Abu Gonzales

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  34. Matthew says:

    Maybe Wolfie can take Daniel Pipes’s former place at the US Institute of Peace or spend his free time writing childrens book like “Muslims are People too.” It would be a real shame if this humanitarian were to leave the world stage. All those poor, lonely generals in Turkey and Indonesia will have no one to talk to.
    As Richard Perle says, we are all appeasers now.

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  35. pauline says:

    wolfie as a strategist? you mean a s-t-r-a-t-e-g-i-s-t?
    imo, traitor, murderer, liar, thief are much, much closer to this clown’s reality!!
    “On September13, 2001, during a meeting at Camp David with President Bush, Rumsfeld, and others in the Bush administration, Wolfowitz said he discussed with President Bush the prospects of launching an attack against Iraq, for no apparent reason other than a “gut feeling” Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks, and there was a debate “about what place if any Iraq should have in a counter-terrorist strategy.”
    “On the surface of the debate it at least appeared to be about not whether but when,” Wolfowitz said during the May 9 Interview with Vanity Fair’s Sam Tannenhaus, a transcript of which is posted on the Department of Defense website and is archived on Scoop. “There seemed to be a kind of agreement that, yes it should be, but the disagreement was whether it should be in the immediate response or whether you should concentrate simply on Afghanistan first.”
    more at —
    http://www.utne.com/web_special/web_specials_2003-08/articles/10739-1.html

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  36. MP says:

    Steve writes: “So Wolfowitz — the man with the ten year invasion plan for Iraq, who whether he got it right in the Iraq War or not, who is considered to be a strategist and mathematical wizard — failed to offer any serious strategy when he came into the Bank and failed to deploy a rational strategy when being forced out.”
    Steve, what’s odd about this is that Wolfowitz’s plan for Iraq was a no-plan plan as we’ve seen. Or at best, half a plan. So, from where I sit, his failure to plan ahead seems to fit perfectly with his performance at DOD. Given how badly the Iraq invasion has gone, it’s hard to see Wolfowitz as a strategist.

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