Wolfowitz Aide Kevin Kellems Out at World Bank

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Kevin Kellems, who previously worked as spokesman for Vice President Cheney and then became a senior adviser to Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank, has announced he is resigning his position.
He is the first to fall in Wolfowitz’s camp after the turmoil triggered by allegations of nepotism and mismanagement by Wolfowitz at the Bank. These allegations are not new on the whole and have been revitalized after revelations that Wolfowitz arranged abnormally large, automatic pay raises for his girlfriend.
A special committee established by the World Bank Board has concluded formally that Wolfowitz broke World Bank rules.
Kellems allegedly conducted hard-hitting crusades inside the Bank aimed at staffers not deemed loyal enough to Wolfowitz’s leadership. Many in the Bank who have remained neutral on whether Wolfowitz should stay or go have confided to this blogger that much of the Wolfowitz-Riza scandal is a proxy war for other serious misjudgments by the former Deputy Secretary of Defense and key architect of the Iraq War.
Several key journalists tell me that Thursday and Friday will be the next key dates in determining whether Wolfowitz stays in some crippled condition at the Bank, or departs.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

10 comments on “Wolfowitz Aide Kevin Kellems Out at World Bank

  1. Robert M. says:

    Wolfie needs to GO!
    No matter how the directors screwed up, he works for THEM. Its too bad if they change their minds, or excuse themselves their “bad” behavior. TOUGH.
    Its business, people. That’s how it works.
    Its Wolfie or the Bank. If Wolfie stays, the Bank is functionally DEAD for the next 2-plus, because we know that the next Dem prez’s 5th thing to do is fire his ass.
    That all this may involve “other things” is almost beside the point; Heck, IS beside the point. This is now all about Power.

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  2. jskdn says:

    I agree that it is a proxy war. The SF Chronicle article had the following:
    “A person close to the investigation said there was a recognition in the special panel’s report that some of the ethics committee’s direction concerning the matter wasn’t clear.”
    A NYT article said something similar. But it could be worse than that according to Ruth Wedgwood in a Los Angeles Times op-ed.
    “Moreover, the case reveals the bank’s executive board and its ethics committee as organs of haphazard judgment. In 2005, the ethics committee surprisingly denied Wolfowitz’s written request that he be allowed to recuse himself from all decisions touching on Riza’s status because of their relationship. Then it disqualified her from remaining at the bank yet insisted that she be compensated for this disruption to her career. Next, it insisted that Wolfowitz re-enter the chain of command to execute its advice concerning Riza. And now, board members apparently have criticized Wolfowitz for doing exactly what the ethics panel directed.”
    This seems to have all the ingredients of a classic Catch 22 situation. He may not be the best person for the job but does that mean that the no win situation set up from within the bank should be ignored?

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  3. jojo says:

    Mess #1 USA–McNamara gets Job at World Bank
    Mess#2 USi–Wolfowitz gets Job and gal at World Bank
    No wonder all the countries depending on the world bank never get out of poverty.
    Mess#3 in waiting–Olmert

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  4. jon says:

    This may be a proxy for Wolfowitz’s past acts, but this mendacity can stand on its own hind legs. This is simply one piece that fits seamlessly into the far larger pattern. But we can appreciate it in detail, on its own merits, without ignoring the vastly larger criminal enterprise from which it has sprung.
    Yesterday the Financial Times ran a piece that focused on the work that an aide to Wolfowitz did to paper over the agreement to place Riza at the State Department.
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/23b067b2-fcc9-11db-9971-000b5df10621.html
    This deserves a very close look.
    Apparently, with knowledge aforethought, the World Bank’s ethics committeee was provided with incomplete and misleading information on the financial package for Riza. When that committee did not immediately object to the arrangements, that was then presented to the board of the World Bank as approval and participation in the crafting of Riza’s deal.
    The ethics committee now objects.
    These actions have moved the issue past self-dealing and showing favoritism to perpetrating a fraud, and perhaps conspiracy.
    I don’t recall hearing a good explanation for why Riza (who allegedly wanted to remain at the World Bank) could not have been relocated in-house or otherwise shielded from being under Wolfowitz’s chain of command.
    The ‘hardship’ of being posted to the State Department has been offered as the justification for the 50% raise she received. The requirements that she receive further raises, positive performance reviews and advancement upon her return to the World Bank is just jaw dropping. However, he seems to have solved the immediate conflict of interest problem of managing a subordinate with whom he had a preexisting relationship. But not adroitely, and in a way that conferred phenomenal, unwarranted benefits.
    It’s nice that Wolfie wanted to let his lady know she was special. But couldn’t he just have bought her some jewelry?
    BTW, could we get an update on just what it it that Shaha Riza has been accomplishing over at the State Department, in exchange for all of that World Bank loot? I’m sure that once we learn about her uniquely qualified work everyone will see the wisdom of Wolfowitz’s solution.

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  5. liz says:

    All NeoCons are criminals.

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  6. Pissed Off American says:

    “I am working overtime with pins in my Wolfowitz voodoo doll and looking around to see what I can find to sacfrice to the Gods……..”
    May I volunteer an extremely tenacious ground squirrel I am doing battle with?

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  7. Carroll says:

    I am working overtime with pins in my Wolfowitz voodoo doll and looking around to see what I can find to sacfrice to the Gods…please, please, please let this be this criminal’s waterloo.

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  8. Ruffian says:

    “… the Wolfowitz-Riza scandal is a proxy war for other serious misjudgments by the former Deputy Secretary of Defense and key architect of the Iraq War.”
    Well, not totally a proxy perhaps but one more example of his mis-judgement. And all his judgements, unless he has disowned them in some way, are fairgame ideciding whether he should stay or go..isn’t that part of acountablility?
    Or is it-what I did on last job(s) should only count in getting a higher salary -never against me!

    Reply

  9. susan says:

    Nice toupee. kinda like Michael Milliken’s, only without the curls.

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  10. GPC says:

    “… the Wolfowitz-Riza scandal is a proxy war for other serious misjudgments by the former Deputy Secretary of Defense and key architect of the Iraq War.”
    OF COURSE IT IS!

    Reply

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