Rachel Maddow Show in Ten Minutes


For those checking in on the blog now, I’ll be talking about Wolfowitz and the state of play now at 6:30 pm EST on The Rachel Maddow Show.
It’s been quiet today — but Tuesday is the new deadline for Wolfowitz to make his case. And Wednesday is thought by most to be the day to watch for fireworks.
Reuters has just reported that more than half of the World Bank’s board wants Wolfowitz out.
Can you imagine what a purge of personnel there will be and how much recrimination and vengeful acts will be pursued if the effort to oust Wolfowitz fails? Everyone in this battle is playing for keeps.
More soon.
— Steve Clemons


12 comments on “Rachel Maddow Show in Ten Minutes

  1. kotzabasis says:

    Robert M, by your own opening you must belong to a dying breed. I might be a “Platonic Elitist”, even if I didn’t read Allan Bloom, but you definitely are a ROMANTIC elitist of the hoi polloi whom so many of your international brethren led, with their good intentions, to the gates of hell and thus maded it easier for the “inernationally oriented” less centrists to shove into the pit of hell.
    Once again in your incurably destructive mimetic mode you are repeating the errors of the past by dividing your own people, this time before the mortal threat posed by fanatic Islam not only against America but also against Western civilization. Thus your beloved hoi polloi are led again to the gates of hell by the liberal intelligentzia and hence making it easier for the Islamists to throw them into Allah’s hell.
    Did you say proud to be a liberal?


  2. JohnStuart says:

    From internal postings by unhappy World Bank staff come four new vignettes about Paul Wolfowitz:
    “1. Shortly after Wolfowitz joined the World Bank, British Airways wrote to the Bank to complain about PW’s behaviour when flying first class from London Heathrow to Washington DC. Apparently, PW had spread his personal papers out on the aisle floor and on the adjacent seats. When the flight attendant approached and requested that he keep his papers within his seated area because the other first class passengers were complaining and that he was in breach of BA’s in-flight rules, PW lost his temper; launched into a tirade and verbally abused the attendant. In complaining to the Bank, BA asserted that PW’s behaviour had bordered on “air rage” and that he would be expelled from its frequent flyer’s club.
    2. On this or another occasion (I’m not sure whether it was the same trip), Robin Cleveland was travelling with PW from London to DC. While checking-in at the airline counter, Cleveland demanded an upgrade to accompany PW in first class. The check-in clerk politely replied that an upgrade to first class was not possible. Apparently Cleveland would not take “no” for an answer and argued the toss, claiming her status as a senior Bank official. It’s alleged that she flew into a rage and caused an embarrassing scene with her shouts, screams and use of four letter words. Apparently this was all in ear shot of PW who did not intervene to calm the situation. Needless to say, she was not upgraded.
    3. One of the alleged factors prompting Kellems’s resignation was that he was aware that senior Bank officials had caught wind of allegations that he had embarrassed himself and brought the Bank’s reputation into disrepute while travelling on overseas missions with PW. The allegations involve his drunkenness at night while staying at hotels, running down corridors knocking on doors and being found lying naked in a drunken state in a stairwell. It is also claimed that he exhibited a fondness for exotic ladies of the night.
    4. It is rumoured that Rich Folsom has attempted to close down the Bank’s internal online staff discussion board. Apparently various staff members have been commenting on the merits or demerits of claims in external blogs that she has been conducting an affair with PW. She is apparently outraged by such discussions and has threatened to sue for libel.”
    The bank staff postings also say
    “Apparently PW and Riza are no longer an item and separated quite some time ago. It is claimed that he’s now involved with a blonde lady in her 40s in Germany and that he stayed with her during his last trip to Berlin”


  3. Robert M. says:

    Proud to be a Liberal? Sure, kotzabasis, or more precisely what’s left of the good old internationally-oriented CENTER, trans-parties. But more importantly,
    and the reality for several people in this now sordid scandal is as Public Service outlined.
    Of course, if Wolfie has already abandoned Shaha, and her current income source is in that much jeopardy (and with a Dem admin you bet your bippy it is), perhaps we can look forward to the Coda to L’Affaire Wolf: Shaha rolling over to prosecutors or face significant tax charges & certain deportation. Unlike Claire W, PW has no hold over her, unless a “third party” arranges another sinecure for her out of this country.
    Fighting all the way to the end, they are.
    Must be a lot of stuff under those rocks.
    By the way, kotza, that was a very well done “troll” message, with style using old chestnuts but having no substances. The tumbril canard is always to hand, isn’t it? From the cave analogy, I take it you are a Platonic Elitist, comfortable with Necessary Lies told to the hoi polloi. O the rot perpetrated on so many young minds by Allan Bloom! You’ve imbibed it too, somehow. Please contribute substance the next time.


  4. Public Service says:

    Three women, Iraq, and the World Bank: Clare Wolfowitz, SAIS girlfriend, Shaha Riza
    Clare Wolfowitz is a class act. Her kind comments in the May 10 Washington Post Style section article about the other woman, Shaha Ali Riza, stand out in the sordid mess the same man has made of their lives.
    Clare tried to warn everyone in late 2000 when President-elect Bush was putting his cabinet together about her husband’s proclivities. Her personal letter to President Bush was intercepted by Scooter Libby.
    Clare provided evidence of his philandering while Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and then with the woman he met at the National Endowment for Democracy (Shaha Ali Riza). She pointed out to President Bush her husband’s attempts to cover up his actions and that he was susceptible to embarassment and coercion.
    The evidence was damning enough that Paul Wolfowitz’s proposed internal Administration designation to head the CIA was withdrawn and he was diverted to the number two slot at the Pentagon. That is why George Tenet stayed on as CIA Director from Clinton to Bush (and why now we have, in addition to TCS, the parallel “Tenet book – Richard Perle / neocons on each other” situation).
    However, Wolfowitz was not to be denied the intelligence role he saw as central to launching the Iraq war — he then set up the parallel Office of Special Plans at DOD under Douglas Feith (also now bickering with Tenet and both on the same faculty at Georgetown University).
    One can only imagine what Wolfowitz would have done on Iraq had he prevailed in becoming the “slam-dunk” CIA Director. We will never know due to Clare Wolfowitz and Shaha Ali Riza.
    These two women are central to understanding how we came to this point on the eve of a momentous ethics decision at the World Bank. But Clare cannot share her story and Shaha is not talking.
    Not to be trifled with, Paul Wolfowitz put a gag on Clare. Through his lawyers, he forced her into a non-disclosure agreement. Even the existence of the non-disclosure agreement is non-disclosable. Her husband’s threat: any more talk about his girlfriends and there will be no alimony or child support. Clare signed. He is used to getting his way and getting away.
    Clare alluded to her inability to reply honestly in her responses to a 2005 interview for an article by “Mail on Sunday” reporters Sharon Churcher and Annette Witheridge: “On the claim that she wrote a letter to Bush, she said: “that’s very interesting but not something I can tell you about.” The reporters did not ask why not and, up to now, they have let Clare get on with her life. We all owe her.
    The other party we have not heard from is the first “partner” while he was married and Dean at SAIS. Massachusetts Avenue insight is that the pattern is always the same: pick a subordinate, pay them off, shut them up. Throughout TCS we have heard nothing from victim number two.
    Number Three, Shaha Ali Riza, now confronts great legal jeopardy, but sympathy is tempered. She went along as a fellow traveller, perhaps naively. Her lawyer should, by now, have made clear to her that:
    — she violated the terms of her G-4 visa when she accepted the 2003 SAIC contract. That is not something she can blame on the World Bank–she covered up her true activities from her supervisors. As a charter member of The Neocon Cabal, she swept aside the visa restrictions she assumed when she gave up her previous work permit to get a tax-free-income G-4 visa when she became a full-time Bank employee in 1999.
    Wolfowitz paid no attention to legal requirements when he ordered ORHA to hire her (or at any other time in 2003 and 2005 when directing Riza’s future). He ignored the fact that, as a G-4 visa holder, she was not legally eligible to be “detailed or seconded” anywhere except to another G-4 eligible international organization. 2005 was a repeat of 2003 — pick up the phone, tell Liz Cheney what you want, Liz Cheney instructs Scott Carpenter what to do.
    While it may seem counterintuitive, the Department of State is not a G-4 international organization. Yet, as recently as his May 2 rebuttal to the Melkert/Danino statements to the Ad Hoc commitee, Wolfowitz continues to inisist (page 3) that Riza was “seconded” to State.
    For his part, following legal counsel’s advice, State NEA Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Carpenter continues to insist that, contrary to his September 16, 2005 letter, Riza was not “seconded or detailed”. Both Wolfowtiz and Carpenter are in jeopardy if the opposite case prevails and the precise status has a determining bearing on Riza:
    — she violated IRS rules on income earned while working for SAIC, the Department of State and the Foundation for the Future (it must be a World Bank activity on which the G-4 visa is based),
    — she remains in violation of visa and tax law while parked at the Foundation for the Future, which the Department of State publicly does not list as a G-4 eligible international organization and the World Bank has no association with.
    Riza has to go back to the Bank. Period. Or — she has to do something else, not G-4. Thanks to Wolfowitz, her status in the US is now uncertain and her recognized career is a shambles. If Wolfowitz leaves the Bank, does she return?
    Wolfowitz and Riza are no longer living together. He did not marry her, with great malice aforethought he arrranged for the Bank to pay her off and set her on her way, while he remained a decade at the helm of the Bank. The pattern is always the same, pay them off, shut them up.
    In the first Inspector General ethics investigation of March 25, 2005 at DOD, Wolfowitz points the finger at Liz Cheney and Scott Carpenter. They, not he, ordered Shaha Ali Riza to be hired by ORHA. Now he argues that it was the Ethics Committee, not he that set in motion TCS.
    Clare Wolfowitz knows better.


  5. kotzabasis says:

    The liberal intelligentzia and its motley of thoughtless followers in their primitive taste and state, will love to have the scalp of Wolfowitz as another trophy of their war against the neocon members of Bush’s cabinet. Indeed, filled to the brim with their cave instincts, “recrimination and vengeful acts will be pursued” against them with glee.
    In a farcical repetition of the French revolution when arched eyebrows were considered to be a capital offence by the citoyens of the revolution, likewise the highbrows of the Bush administration will be put in the tumbrils by the citoyens of liberalism, to be taken to their ceremonial execution.
    Indeed, it’s proud to be a liberal.


  6. David N says:

    It becomes more and more difficult to find something to add to this exchange of views, because so much of what others are saying is so much in line with my views.
    I caught most of the interview, Steve, on the way to tennis. Well done, say I!! You were both making serious, valid points and doing it in a fun, entertaining manner. The two are not incompatible.
    As to the Norquist goal of drowning the beast, my own way of saying it has long been: The only part of government that these people value is the parts that kill people: police (to keep their gated communities safe from the rabble) and the military (to keep the masses of foreign rabble from our shores, except those allowed to work for slave wages under Bush’s “guest worker” program, whose goal is to have a large underclass of workers with no retirement benefits, no health benefits, and no rights).
    Anyway, Steve, good on ya.


  7. Carroll says:

    Posted by Robert M. at May 11, 2007 09:28 PM
    Yea..well.. my bumper sticker says “Burn Washington to the Ground and Start Over”.


  8. cebm says:

    All four of the above posts exactly reflect my thoughts and feelings about this mess. We are truly infected from within and I fear for this country and right thinking people of whatever political stripe.


  9. BurgerAndFries says:

    The neo-cons are missing genes coding for empathy. They are truly mutants. The current, specific scandal at the World Bank could not have been and certainly wasn’t planned in a Star Chamber somewhere. However, there was indeed “planning” of a more general sort. Where to put Wolfie after he was no longer politically viable in his prior position (he certainly was and IS viable in the neo-con cause which is now, too-little-too-late-to-prevent-the-mess, under siege)? What better place to put “our” man in Havana than the World Bank? What would a good neo-con do with such a loyal soldier?
    There is no secret chamber where the neo-cons gather for their ritual sacrifices; or a Sauron with a magical ring that rules them all. But there is a definite philosophy that binds them. The Starve-the-Beast approach that some conservatives have advocated when it comes to taxes has now become Infiltrate-the-Beast and gut the beast from within (like a Trojan horse). Look at FEMA, DOD, multiple cabinet posts (that don’t typically make the front page but stink to high heaven in terms of incompetence). The World Bank debacle IS by design in this general short-circuiting sense.
    Washington has become a bullpen for “players” where lucrative post-“public service” positions await them in the private sector. The neo-con contempt has completed a sinister equation: starve it + cripple it + rob it. I am sure these twisted sociopaths sleep at night because they feel they are on a mission (from God I imagine for some of them) to kill the devil incarnate (i.e. government).
    The sad fact is that the average american voter (i.e. dolt) can’t identify the vice president let alone be moved to a sense of urgency that something is seriously wrong; that our so-called leaders have slithered their way into power. They have done SO MUCH damage while the sleeping, easily duped (helped along by the sicophantic press) populous drools on the sidelines.
    As POA as frequently stated, we are so screwed.


  10. Robert M. says:

    What antoniosfca said can be summed up in two words: Grover Norquist
    who’s bumper sticker should read “them’s thats got, should get more”
    [As in why is Halliburton moving to Dubai to reincorporate there so as to put another wall between itself & the SEC & the Congress, while STILL getting US contracts, while its wholly owned subsidiary in Dubai does 100% of business with IRAN?]
    Second set of two words re forward thinking:
    Karl Rove
    whose bumper sticker right should read “Benito! Phone home.”
    Which is why the Takeover of the DOJ has been percolating for 6 years. Notice that Grover hasn’t been indicted yet despite all that money laundering. Friends in high places.
    And of course the final set of two words
    Dick Cheney
    whose bumper sticker should read “Carriers are for Caring”
    Corruption after a while doesn’t even have to be an active process once the virus of “why bother” is effectively spread. A-Gon says to USA’s you work for the WH and NONE of them has the stones to stand up, whip out a GPO copy of the Constitution a la Sam Irwin and say [best Southern drawl] “I took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not an oath to kiss the President’s ass. Go ahead. Fire me and you know what will hit the fan.”
    No one did that; they’d already had 4 years of Ashcroft at sea with no hull scrapings — the worms were already eating from within. (Geezus, Schlozman at Civil Rights! Beyond an insult.)
    None of them stood up.
    But then neither has Powell or Armitage etc., among those you admire, Steve.
    Public Silence EQUALS Personal Complicity.
    They are all complicit in establishing the Rule of Men over the Rule of Law. Its now a 50.5% Political World out there, Steve. Eastern Establishment Republicanism, whose true operational style was always Diplomatic Internationalism (think Rockefeller on his own in South America or Ellsworth Bunker just working for the USA), is long dead — undercut by Bill Buckley’s prose and now gutted by Karl Rove’s Core Know-Nothings.
    You need to bear that in mind as Senator Hagel resists every chance proffered him to stand up for the true Heartland.
    Oh, by the way, on the other Wolfie Out By Friday post re WH press releases, I said Wolfie would still be in place a week from then. Looks like I should have found a turf accountant. Paulsen is now officially powerless–unless Josh Bolton can end run this weekend Addington who’s holding the fort for Cheney.
    All this only confirms that Dick Cheney is REALLY and STILL in charge. I mean threatening WAR from the deck of one of our carriers!! I thought only Secretaries of State and Presidents got to do FUN stuff like that. But then I remember Dulles and Eisenhower directly.
    What you do is not without positive consequences and moreso in the future. But you need to rethink certain assumptions on how some players think about the rules. And so what they are perfectly capable of.
    All it takes is for good men to do nothing.
    There’s already been a lot of “nothing” going around.
    Keep doing.


  11. Gadfly says:

    Both Steve Clemons and antoniofsca make valid points:– firstly, that that neo-cons & the Bush Crime Family want to destroy any vestage of a government which represents the interests of the poor & the middle-class, who these pathetic thugs & goons want to turn into their neo-serfs in their neo-Dark Age — and secondly, that heart-breaking death, human suffering, massive back-breaking debt are “collateral damage” to their insane goals:– to steal the wealth of the nation for their own greedy selves.
    If the World Bank lacks the courage & integrity to oust Wolfie, this most hateful traitor, liar and corrupt, incompetent neo-con– then it will witness its’ demise as European countries withhold funds that allow the neo-cons to coerce & blackmail poorer nations.
    Wolfie is such a scum-bag of enormous proportions that it is a wonder that anyone with sense and manners can stand to be in the same room with him… His ludicrous “defense” that World Bank rules were “ambiguous” is not only lame & smacks of desperation– but shows his utter contempt for the world community, which rightly asks that if he was “confused”, then why, for goodness sakes, did he not seek clarification before awarding his neo-concubine, the equally disgusting slut Riza a gold-mine in stolen goodies.
    It is clear that Wolfie is willing to recklessly squander both American & World Bank assets to enrich himself, his slut, and to achieve his sordid & squalid ends. He deserves to be charged with treason, theft and war crimes– and sent off to the Hague where he belongs, along side the rest of the despicable neo-con criminals.


  12. antoniosfca says:

    You are possibly 1 percent wrong!
    I heard you on the Rachel Maddow show and agreed with just about everything you said (99%).
    (a very rough paraphrase follows:)
    Rachel raised the possibilty that this whole Wolfowitz matter may have been part of the larger Neocon/Bush Crime Family/Republican goal of destroying social supporting government institutions; in this case, by ultimately having the US withdraw from participating from the World Bank.
    and you responded that you would accept that but for the amount of forward thinking that this would require and you have not seen much of that.


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