Wolfowitz Getting Out of Town?


World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has to present his defense to the Bank board by close of business tomorrow [Friday]. He may resign (or be told he’s effectively fired) then or late that evening (sneaking past the news cycle). . .or may just decide to do nothing and leave town for a bit.
Reports are that he still plans to fly to Slovenia on Wednesday, May 17th to present an essay competition prize.
Guess the topic.
That’s right. . .Anti-corruption!
— Steve Clemons
Ed. Note: I really, really, really liked this quick game snapshot of players and their views in the Wolfowitz Battle that started with a question from Martin Wolf and led Brad DeLong to pen a clever response.


16 comments on “Wolfowitz Getting Out of Town?

  1. Pissed Off American says:

    Now THIS is scary!
    U.S. Jews Must Protect Wolfowitz
    May 11, 2007 12:00 PM EST
    by Scott Sullivan
    US Jews must protect Wolfowitz because the allegations against him are baseless and Germany’s motives in pushing these allegations are suspect. Meanwhile, President Bush wants to purge his administration of anti-Iran policy makers. As his legacy, Bush wants to make a strategic partnership with Iran’s Nazi President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Firing Paul Wolfowitz is the down payment on Bush’s strategic partnership with Iran.
    First, the charges against Wolfowitz are baseless. If not, why the rush to judgment? Why a 600 page report? This is a snow job, not a report. Most likely, the World Bank’s ethics regulations are contradictory and confusing. Besides, you can be sure that Wolfowitz, as a seasoned bureaucrat, would be sure to jump through all the bureaucratic hoops in arranging for the promotion and transfer of his friend.
    In other words, Wolfowitz is most likely innocent, like Captain Dreyfus in late 19th century France, who was falsely accused of treason.
    Second, Germany’s motives in pushing these allegations against Wolfowitz are suspect. Reverting to form, Germany is hounding the Jews in order to take political power. Germany wants to assume command at the World Bank and is using the Wolfowitz controversy as a pretext.
    Third, President Bush is going along with Germany because he wants an Executive Branch purge anti-Iran policymakers as part of Bush’s strategic partnership with Iran. Bush also wants Wolfowitz to be the scapegoat Bush’s failures in Iraq. By purging Wolfowitz from the administration, Bush hopes he will find smoother sailing in dealing with Congress on Iraq-related issues.
    To put it another way, Bush thinks that he is Nixon, Ahmadinejad is Mao, and that the US and Iran will cooperate, as the US and China did in the 1970’s. The Iran-US strategic partnership will be Bush’s legacy, and the penultimate rationale for all of the carnage in Iraq brought about by Bush’s policies.
    The problem with this picture is that Ahmadinjad is not interested in a strategic partnership with the US. Iran already has Germany. Iran does not need the US. Moreover, Ahmadinejad is not a Mao; he is a Hitler, and the US cannot do business with Hitler.
    What can US Jews do on behalf of Paul Wolfowitz? First, they can insist on a fair World Bank hearing for Wolfowitz, with no rush to judgment. The World Bank is now discussing a final decision on Wolfowitz’s future by this coming Wednesday. This is absurd.
    Second, US Jews should make Germany pay for hounding Wolfowitz and helping advance Ahmadiejad’s agenda. They can ask Germany to clarify the issue of whether Germany would issue a visa for Ahmadinejad after he has violated German law by denying he Holocaust. All of us, not just the Jews, would like to know.
    Third, US Jews should protect US national security by insisting that President Bush clarify his policies on Germany and Iran. Bush, by picking Germany and Iran as strategic partners, may have picked the wrong side, the losing side, in the Middle East.
    In conclusion, if Wolfowitz is purged from the World Bank, US Jews — again in the interests of US national security — should insist that President Bush appoint Wolfowitz as Special Envoy to Iraq and the Middle East, with his first task one of brokering an agreement on the future of Kirkuk and the Kurds with Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. Wolfowitz would be perfect for the job, and his appointment would signal Germany and Iran that the US is still looking after its own interests.


  2. Pissed Off American says:

    Hey, check it out, Steve’s favorite Condisleazy is backing ‘ol Wolfie. Gads, these people are scum. I can’t wait till ’09. It will be so refreshing to have a White House full of fresh slime to detest. I’m tired of being disgusted with the current batch.
    Rice Comes to Wolfowitz’s Aid
    Associated Press
    May 11, 2007
    By JEANNINE AVERSA – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice quietly has come to the aid of World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, whose job is in jeopardy for his handling of a promotion and pay package for his girlfriend.
    Rice, in telephone calls to foreign ministers in Europe and elsewhere, has put in a good word for him.
    ‘This is something, just over the course of the past couple of weeks, in a couple of her conversations, in the course of her ongoing conversations with some of her counterparts, she mentioned her personal high regard for Paul Wolfowitz and the work that he’s doing at the World Bank,’ State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
    Continues at…..


  3. Frank says:

    Seppuku??…neocons committing seppuku? Can you attribute that much honor to those war criminals??


  4. JohnStuart says:

    Steve, since you are a Japan-phile I can’t resist posting this bit of input from a World Bank staffer who is upset about Japan’s support for Wolfowitz (or, more correctly, their support for the US in this matter).
    He suggests that the Government of Japan might demonstrate their support for Paul in a traditionally fitting way, buy providing him with:
    – A Hakamachi (head band) with ‘must win’ written on it.
    – A Katana sword
    – A Tanto dagger
    – A copy of the Bushido code
    – Highlight the section on seppuku
    He closes with the suggestion that “if [The Japanese member of the WB governing board] Mr Hosomi were a real friend of PW, he would offer to perform Kaishakunin.”
    The question is, what would the Ronin do afterwards?


  5. Marcia says:

    After he slinks away from the WB weighted down by the bags of money he will probably reap we all know what he will do…Publish an editorial every other day in the Washington Post when Richard Perle is recuperating from writer’s cramp. He too will be proclaimed an “expert”.
    Between the two of them there will be no end to the flow of vilifications of their fellow neo-cons and justifications of their own lack of judgement and willful intent to invade Iraq – as a starter that was to be followed by more war, more power, more death.
    Will the WB be reduced to picking their own pockets instead of those of underdeveloped countries to install their corporate cronies?
    Who cares as long as we get to name the Number One Guy. Avanti.


  6. Robert M. says:

    Wolfie is NOT a distraction to the world or us, Brigitte. Its clearly part of the SOP of the NeoCons & of B/R/C. This crowd here, despite some idee fixees, recognizies this. That crowd there are ALL about THEIR ENDS and DAMN THE MEANS. Rule of Law? Wolfie & Shaha, who will always have Davos, spice up the world-beat because they’ve added Adulterous Sex on top of Triumphant Egos.
    But its a side show to the upcoming Capitol hill Battle of the Titans. Of which Fredo A-Gon will likely become a central figure, even more so than now. Bush & Rove can’t give him up. The Congress would demand for confirmation that the new AG bring along the name of the Special Prosecutor. (I’m thinking that Pat Fitz will have Lord Black rolled up within another few weeks & so will have time on his hands.)
    So, looking forward to as fine a summer in these parts since that of 1974, which I hugely enjoyed, let me leave you with a murder mystery:
    Who killed Asst USA Tim Walsh of Seattle, and why does Main Justice not care about finding his killer?
    Between Wolfie chasing Shaha down the corridors of power at the Pentagon, & Certain Persons Aiding & Abetting (possibily) murderous campaign contributors (deductions?), we’ve got a James Michener epic novel that Gore Vidal thought he’d already written.
    (Hhhmm. Is that too old a reference?)


  7. Brigitte says:

    I think that this guy Wolfowitz serves as a welcome decoy for the administration in that nobody, for example, pays a great deal of attention to the Attorney General and his partisan designs.
    I know this may not be the right way to pay attention to this,but I nevertheless want to mention the pointed and short post of my colleague David Epstein at


  8. Robert M. says:

    ** GF **
    [Drat. Can we use html stuffie stuff?]
    CHERIE loves her job and all, but its not enough to keep Mr. & Mrs. Cherie in same style as Blair’s PM salary & FREE housing. Plus there’s more kids to be educated etc. So, all those speaking fees that Wolfie wanted to rake in on his contract, Blair will want to turn into $ to the X++++++++. And while Blair to the WB would be “creative” — that alone makes it implausible under this admin.
    And when the Dems come back, he and Billy C can just Team-UP as their own private League of Super-Heroes. Which will only increase both’s speaking fees.


  9. Robert M. says:

    Dear Prof Brad,
    Nope. To use the “hits nail on head” cliche would cheapen a succinctly done bit of thinking & presentation. I’d say more like “you took out that electric screwdriver and spun that baby home.” A zip & a whap. The exact opposite of PR drivel which I’ve done enough of. Undressing people who love to put on the noblesse & who are here now fighting over the ermine stole. Undressing putative emperors of both stripes. Benjamin Franklin & H. L. Mencken would have approved–and published it.
    I love them (1)s and (2)s, by the way. They function like 2 by 4s upside the mind.
    You are BOOKMARKED!


  10. GF says:

    Steve – what do you think about the gambit suggested here:
    interesting to consider the possibility of Bush switching our Wolfie for Tony….


  11. Bonethug Iranian says:

    Alas poor Wolfy, we knew thee entirely too well. Gosh, it’s kind of sad to watch spiteful conniving war criminals in over their nasty little heads running with the global big dogs. Wolfowitz and the World Bank, almost seems like banal serial fiction. Cereal? Get your Wolfwitz Toasties with the free raise for a girl friend in every box. Ethics? America don’t need no stinking ethics.


  12. JohnH says:

    Sandy raises an interesting question: does Wolfowitz’ position at the World Bank shield him from prosecution as a war criminal? High government officials are commonly immune until they leave office. What now for Wolfie? And for Rummie?


  13. ... says:

    i guess the anti corruption topic is on his mind of late…
    meanwhile rice is saying us/russia relations are not great at the moment.. i wonder if it occurred to her how relations between the usa and the rest of the world are not great at present? she didn’t comment on that.. i suppose it is a nice distraction but it makes one think of usa relations in general, which in this admins case is a pretty bad idea to bring up as a topic.


  14. Sandy says:

    I continue to be boggled by this ongoing fascination with Wolfowitz and his mistress, Shaha Riza.
    As though the World Bank “scandal” simply centers around him abusing his power — so enamoured was he — to get her a big pay raise! How disingenuous!
    Any honest person reading or writing on this topic would want to face the whole truth about Wolfowitz, right? Am I right?
    Then why keep IGNORING the issue of her SECURITY CLEARANCE? And, what that could mean to the U.S.?
    Take this excerpt:
    “Sidney Blumenthal first raised this issue in his recent Guardian article, “Wolfowitz Sinking Into Endless Scandal.” Shaha needed security clearances for her Wolfowitz-engineered “leave of absence” from the World Bank to her consulting job at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and later to her State Department job. But she apparently didn’t have them. “Who intervened?” Blumenthal asks. “It is not unusual to have British or French midlevel officers at the department on exchange programs, but they receive security clearances based on the clearances they already have with their host governments.”
    Did Shaha already have such a clearance from Great Britain? Not likely. Unless she had some kind of secret or classified employment in, say, intelligence, Shaha was merely a World Bank employee. “Granting a foreign national who is detailed from an international organization a security clearance is extraordinary,” Blumenthal emphasizes, “even unprecedented.”
    So how did Shaha get hers?
    Maybe Wedgwood knows. But, Blumenthal writes, the State Department itself has “no record.”
    “State Department officials believe” the Defense Department issued Shaha’s clearance “after SAIC was forced by Wolfowitz and [Douglas] Feith,” head of the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans, “to hire her,” Blumenthal relates. Shaha’s Pentagon clearance would have given her “a State Department building pass with a letter issued under instructions from Liz Cheney,” Blumenthal reasons. But State Department officials told Blumenthal “that no such letter can be confirmed as received,” and State “would never issue a clearance to a non-U.S. citizen” like Shaha as part of her SAIC contract.
    “Never.” It’s a heavy word for real lawyers.
    “Issuing a national security clearance to a foreign national” like Shaha “under instructions from a Pentagon official” like Wolfowitz or his deputy, Douglas Feith, “would constitute a violation of the executive orders governing clearances,” Blumenthal explains.”
    And, oh, btw, don’t forget Wolfie’s role as a W*A*R C*R*I*M*I*N*A*L!!!!
    If you REALLY want the (so-called) “truth”….then start speaking to THIS as well, please:
    April 26, 2007
    The Puppet Who Cleared the Way for Iraq’s Destruction
    As defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, was driven from public life thanks to the catastrophe of Iraq, and for the moment at least lurks in obscurity. Wolfowitz, his deputy until 2005, contributed in almost equal measure to the debacle, yet managed to slide from the Pentagon into the presidency of a leading international institution with every chance to redeem himself. Blame for torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, bungling over troop levels, chaos in Iraq’s reconstruction, and the general meltdown in Pentagon management has all too often been laid at Rumsfeld’s door alone. However, Wolfowitz was an energetic enabler of these outrages and many other notorious initiatives….” (read the rest, please!)
    Now then, can we please stop all this ridiculous speculation about if and when he will resign the World Bank over this “pay raise”?
    Let’s start talking about when he and his buddies are going to The Hague ….to face charges.


  15. Brad DeLong says:

    Why, thank you very much…
    Do you think I have it right, or do you think I’ve missed something here?
    Brad DeLong


  16. Robert M. says:

    Brad DeLong for Sec of T! He’s got the experience, he’s got the smarts, and he’s got the attitude! When was the last time Treasury press conferences were fun? I learn something from the charts every time I go over there, but as this little analysis shows, he understands how the human stuff should work when it meets the basic operational concepts. He’s clear on the truly important things. Thanks Steve for the pungent relief.


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