Wolfowitz on Trial Today

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World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, staffed by legal counsel Robert Bennett at his side, will have an opportunity to respond to allegations of nepotism and inappropriate conduct at a meeting today. The stakes are high for Wolfowitz and the Bank. If one wins, the other loses.
Sources tell me that there probably will not be action on Wolfowitz’s petition today — but his fate will be determined within the week.
The real issue at hand is corporate governance inside the bank — and this of course, is one of the Bank’s central themes in its interactions with client governments and collaborating partners and institutions.
Reports are bubbling out from Bank staff and World Bank clients that there is no way that Wolfowitz can go back to his position and keep the place from revolting against him, boycotting his presence and work, and the like. Some governments have already issued private communications to Wolfowitz not to visit them — at least not until this imbroglio is settled. The Bank staff is in open revolt, and many fear that they will be purged by Wolfowitz if they lose this high-risk battle.
All sorts of players are lining up on this. Former Atlanta Mayor and Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young fell a few notches in my eyes for his obsequious piece calling on us to give Paul Wolfowitz “another chance.” Young fails to mention that part of Wolfowitz’ “portfolio problem” is that he elevated two monstrous personalities who had virtually no development experience to two of the most important jobs in the Bank.
Kevin Kellems — former spokeman for Vice President Cheney — came into a key role at the Bank that should have been reserved for those elevated through meritocratic selection. Kellems has been hounding and harassing Bank staffers who were blowing the whistle on the Bank President’s “absence of a plan” as well as for those he felt were at ideological odds with Wolfowitz — particularly on the Iraq War. According to numerous sources, Kellems has had issues not to different from those related to Randall Tobias of late. Even Wolfowitz has been infuriated with a few judgment lapses by Kellems — with reports of Wolfowitz screaming at him on the phone in Brazil for private misbehavior that also seriously delayed the World Bank delegation and plane flight.
In another new development, I have learned that Robin Cleveland will accompany Wolfowitz to his hearing today and be asked to explain her role in a faked email draft that is pivotal in the case — and may be evidence of an effort to cover-up some of the massaging of girlfriend Shaha Riza’s employment trajectory.
More soon.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

5 comments on “Wolfowitz on Trial Today

  1. Gadfly says:

    Or maybe Marcia their motto should be:–
    “YOUR BUCKS$$$ STOP HERE … (in my private bank account)”
    War-profiteering used to be considered (by FDR, Churchill, Truman, etc.) to be an act of treason by blood-sucking opportunists… Now, it is the stuff of crooks like Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove, Gonzales, Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle, Rumsfeld, et. al.– blood-sucking neo-con arm-chair chicken-hawks who never served our country (because like Cheney, they had “other priorities”).
    Of course, our U.S. Soldiers, Reservists, and the innocent Iraqi men, women and children– all of whom have been killed or maimed for life by the neo-con Bushies never had a chance to pursue their own “priorities” (which surely was not a disastrous fiasco of a war waged based upon treasonous lies, deceptions & falsehoods)!

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  2. Marcia says:

    Mistress is perhaps rather old-fashioned. She might better be called his high paid compagnon..Tax-payers picking up the tab.
    Morally Wolfwitz is a bankrupt figure, a poor creature of failure, corruption and greed.
    It is curious than none of these neocons, Cheney, Feith, Perle ever have enough of anything, be it power or money. Their motto should be “More, More, More.”
    They are like sponges that suck life from all that surronds them.

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  3. Sandy says:

    Using “Girlfriend” is exactly like “misled” instead of “LIED”. Please stop using “girlfriend”.
    If Wolfowitz is not yet divorced, Riza is his M-I-S-T-R-E-S-S.
    Call her his Mistress…..as she is.
    (George Lakoff is right — words….and framing….matter.)
    Report it like it IS, please.

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  4. Zathras says:

    Steve, I hope your characterization of Kevin Kellems’ “issues” is dead accurate. I do not know this man, and am besides rather inclined to look askance at close associates of Paul Wolfowitz. However, I would think less of anyone who published insinuations of this character against any public figure without being absolutely certain of his facts.

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  5. Gadfly says:

    “…Wolfowitz is angry at the Bank at all those other than his closest spear-carriers…
    […]
    … Reports are bubbling out from Bank staff and World Bank clients that there is no way that Wolfowitz can go back to his position and keep the place from revolting against him, boycotting his presence and work, and the like. Some governments have already issued private communications to Wolfowitz not to visit them — at least not until this imbroglio is settled. The Bank staff is in open revolt, and many fear that they will be purged by Wolfowitz if they lose this high-risk battle…”… – Steve Clemons
    In this environment, it is untenable for Wolfowitz to continue in his position as president of the World Bank. For anyone who has managed a large institution knows, confidence is vital to an executive– and having lost it, Wolfie’s continued presence would be disruptive; unproductive; and, frankly downright destructive.
    But of course, Wolfie doesn’t care– just as neither Alberto “Torture Guy” Gonzales; Condi “There Isn’t A Lie I Won’t Regurgitate for My Hus**** George” Rice continue in positions for which they too are unfit.
    The message sent by the neo-con Bushies to the American people- foreign governments- and the poor of the world is:– “screw you”!
    Wolfie has absolutely no integrity whatsoever– he’s a soul-mate to George W. Bush:– for they both only care about themselves, and do not care who they destroy in the process… Of course, this makes Wolfie unfit to continue at the World Bank.
    Let us hope that donor nations and contributors boycott any funding of the World Bank until Wolfie is fired or resigns. Then, Wolfie should be banned from any position in any institution or organization that serves the public trust or requiring ethics, principles and integrity (as well as sound judgment, which Wolfie also lacks).
    I’m certain that when and if the World Bank board has the courage to stand-up to the neo-fascist neo-con Bush/Cheney junta, that the staff will gladly tell Wolfie not to let the door slam him on the as* on the way out! Good riddance to bad rubbish!

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