USA: Wolfowitz at American Enterprise Institute

This satirical video is about the ouster of Paul Wolfowitz over the revelation of a promotion and pay raise he secretly gave his girlfriend who worked for the World Bank.

It says about itself:

These are dark days for Paul Wolfowitz. His girlfriend broke up with him last week, after he left his job in disgrace for getting said girlfriend a gig. That, after helping start the Iraq war…his downfall would be tragic if it weren’t so completely fucking awesome.

From the blog of James Pinkerton in the USA:

Like Napoleon at Elba, Wolfowitz Finds Contentment at AEI

Paul Wolfowitz, former Deputy Secretary of Defense and former President of the World Bank, has been named Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. But while AEI is known as a hub for hawkish neoconservatives–including Richard Perle, David Frum, and Michael Ledeen–Wolfowitz will not be working on any more foreign wars, according to AEI President Chris DeMuth. Instead, as the July 2 press release informs us, Wolfowitz will “work on entrepreneurship and development issues, Africa, and public-private partnerships.” …

In other news, Napoleon announced that he was perfectly content to remain at Elba, denying rumors that he would attempt a comeback in France. Also, the Kaiser Wilhelm II reiterated his long-held opposition to plunging Germany into a two-front war. And finally, President Lyndon Johnson forcefully declared, “We are not about to send American boys 10,000 miles away to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.”

See also here.

And here.

AEI update, July 2008: here.

Wolfowitz resigns in nepotism scandal

Cartoon about Wolfowitz and his paramour

Paul Wolfowitz will resign from the World Bank in his nepotism scandal.

Not for ethical, but for political reasons, as the United States is the most powerful country in the world, the World Bank board communique on his dismissal is milder than this nepotism in the case of his girlfriend Shaha Riza warrants.

So, about now, quite some unattractive people and things are quitting, all in their own ways: Jerry Fallwell, Donald Rumsfeld, Tony Blair, all of Bush’s “Justice” Department bigwigs except so far its boss Gonzales, Harry’s Place blog …

Dick Cheney and George W. Bush should be next.

See also here.

And here.

And here.

Wolfowitz blames his paramour Riza for his World Bank nepotism scandal

Wolfowitz and Riza cartoon

From the Washington Post in the USA:

Wolfowitz effectively blamed Riza for his predicament as well, saying that her “intractable position” in demanding a salary increase as compensation for her career disruption forced him to grant one to pre-empt a lawsuit.

He is scheduled to appear before the board this afternoon.

The board is expected to begin deliberating on how to respond as soon as tonight.

Board members are inclined to issue a resolution expressing a lack of confidence in Wolfowitz‘s leadership, senior bank officials said.

Dick Cheney (for as long as it lasts) still supports Wolfowitz.

Update: Wolfowitz threatens World Bank staff: here.

Wolfowitz’ four-letter words: here.

World Bank Panel Finds Wolfowitz Broke the Rules

Bush and Wolfowitz, cartoon by Steve Bell

From ABC in the USA:

World Bank Panel Finds Wolfowitz Broke the Rules

Report Says Bank President Broke Rules Over Pay Package for Girlfriend

May 14, 2007

An ad hoc World Bank panel has concluded that bank president Paul Wolfowitz broke bank rules when he orchestrated a promotion and raise for his girlfriend, a bank employee, after he became bank president in June 2005.

The report, submitted to the bank’s board and released Monday, concluded that Wolfowitz‘s actions represented a “conflict of interest.”

The report added that there is a “crisis in the leadership” at the World Bank.

Wolfowitz is expected to appear before the bank’s 24-member board on Tuesday.

The board could vote to oust the president, an unprecedented action.

If the board decides not to vote Wolfowitz out, it could ask him to step down, offer a vote of no confidence, or reprimand him.

World Bank panel says Wolfowitz is guilty of nepotism

Wolfowitz and Riza cartoon

Reuters reports:

World Bank panel finds Wolfowitz broke rules

Tue May 8, 2007 1:02AM EDT

By Lesley Wroughton

WASHINGTON – A World Bank panel has found that bank President Paul Wolfowitz‘s handling of a promotion and pay increase for his companion represented a conflict of interest and broke rules, but made no recommendation on how he should be reprimanded, board sources said on Monday.

The former U.S. deputy defense secretary, a key architect of the Iraq war, has been given several days to respond to the findings of the panel involving a lucrative deal for his companion, Shaha Riza, a World Bank Middle East expert.

One source close to the World Bank board said the panel found Wolfowitz‘s actions amounted to conflict of interest, while another source said the panel found he broke internal rules by personally directing Riza’s transfer to the State Department with a promotion and salary increase.

A meeting of the 24-nation World Bank board, which will determine whether Wolfowitz should be fired for his actions, is now scheduled for later in the week, possibly on Friday.

See also here.

And here.

Juan Cole on Wolfowitz: here.

World Bank ex-ethics commission chair says Wolfowitz is ‘economical with the truth’

Bush, Wolfowitz, and Shaha Riza scandal, cartoon by Steve Bell

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

President Wolfowitz of the World Bank misrepresents what happened re the promotion of his girlfriend.

This says [Dutch] Ad Melkert, who then as the chair of the ethics committee advised Wolfowitz on that issue.

Wolfowitz says he acted according to the advices of the ethics committee.

That had agreed with the move of the girlfriend and a financial compensation for income lost.

If Wolfowitz would have acted according to that advice, he would not have been in trouble now, Melkert says.

However, Wolfowitz gave his girlfriend an extra promotion and an extra raise in salary.

Also, he kept being involved in the issue.

USA, Wolfowitz-Shaha Riza nepotism scandal

Bush and Wolfowitz, cartoon by Steve Bell

From US comedian Andy Borowitz:

The following is a forecast of next week’s news, for the week of April 30, 2007:

Monday, April 30: World Bank overseers will demand an investigation into Paul Wolfowitz‘s girlfriend, issuing this statement: “We deserve an answer to this question: why would anyone date Wolfowitz?”

Wolfowitz tried to cover tracks of his nepotism

Paul Wolfowitz and Shaha Rizi, cartoon

From British daily The Independent:

Wolfowitz tried to cover his tracks over lover’s job

By Robert Verkaik and Mary Fitzgerald

Published: 29 April 2007

The president of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, tried to cover his tracks after approving a promotion and substantial pay rise for his girlfriend, it has emerged.

Documents released by the bank’s ethics committee show that Mr Wolfowitz, controversially appointed to the World Bank from the Pentagon, where he was a leading architect of the Iraq war, tried to limit access to employee salary information after the bank launched an inquiry into the affair.

If it can be shown that Mr Wolfowitz acted improperly by helping his lover, Shaha Rizi, to a pay rise and a high-earning post in the US State Department, then he is expected to pay with his own job.

This month, the bank ordered a committee to advise on Mr Wolfowitz’s future, and also to look into appointments of staff to his private office. Today, he is due to meet members of the inquiry committee.

It now emerges that in a letter written in response to a “brief conversation” and dated 13 July 2006, the bank’s vice-president, Xavier Coll, told Mr Wolfowitz that it was “virtually impossible” to shut off access to individual salary details, although some staff had had their access “revoked”.

The news will come as a further blow to the embattled bank chief, who has been accused of acting with “reckless disregard” of his duties and offering “outlandish compensation packages to the people closest to him”.

More problems with Wolfowitz, including his enormous security costs: here.

A Nigerian comment on Wolfowitz:

Both Mr. Tobias and Mr. Wolfowitz are from President Bush’s administration that pride itself of and with, moral certainty about everything, including abortions, abstinence and wars!

How is it, that these extremely conservative, these far right and right wingers of the Republican Party cannot keep their pants zipped?

How is it, that they do all these things and then, they engage in public hypocrisy about the morality of the rest of us?

By the way, “Mr. Tobias” is the aptly named

Randy Tobias Director of USAID or United States of America Aids for International Development has resigned after his telephone number was found in the Washington DC Madam’s list of who is who … patrons who patronized her escort service that was being prosecuted by those with moral certitude

Bush clique´s abstinence only sex education, cartoon by Mikhaela

Wolfowitz sent his girlfriend to Iraq to set up puppet government

Wolfowitz and Riza cartoon

From the International Herald Tribune in the USA:

WASHINGTON: Paul Wolfowitz, while serving as deputy secretary of defense, personally recommended that his companion, Shaha Ali Riza, be awarded a contract for travel to Iraq in 2003 to advise on setting up a new government, says a previously undisclosed inquiry by the Pentagon’s inspector general. …

The inquiry, as described by a senior Pentagon official, concluded that there was no wrongdoing in Wolfowitz’s role in the hiring of Riza by the Science Applications International Corporation, a Pentagon contractor, because Riza had the expertise required to advise on the role of women in Islamic countries.

Ever since Bush’s 2003 invasion, there has been a catastrophic decline in the position of women in Iraq.

Women’s rights, which they really oppose, are used by George W. Bush and his cronies like Wolfowitz as a smokescreen for much different goals, like profits for oil corporations, weapons corporations, and corporations like Science Applications International Corporation.

The disclosure of Wolfowitz’s role in Riza’s contract in 2003 provides a new indication of his involvement in her employment, at a time when the World Bank‘s board is investigating his role in arranging for a large salary increase, a promotion and a transfer for Riza when he came to the bank in 2005.

The disclosure also came on a day of swirling pressure at the bank, where the 24-member executive board met into the evening to discuss the situation amid mounting calls for Wolfowitz’s resignation.

Bank officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were divulging proceedings that were not supposed to be made public, reported that the rift between employees and the president had become a major distraction from their work, with some employees wearing blue ribbons in a display of defiance against his leadership. …

The World Bank board is also examining the contract [of its employee Riza with Science Applications International Corporationand the Pentagon] to see if it complied with bank rules requiring employees to get permission for outside consulting work when it might conflict with their duties at the bank.

At the time of the contract, it was against bank policy to have dealings with Iraq, on the ground that it was a country under foreign military occupation.

US Daily Show mocks Wolfowitz, with video: here.

Shaha Ali Riza and the ‘Foundation for the Future’: here.

Update on Wolfowitz: here.

Naomi Klein on Wolfowitz: here.

Worldwide calls for Wolfowitz to resign

Bush and Wolfowitz, cartoon by Steve Bell

IPS reports:

Call to End Wolfowitz’s Reign Goes Global

Emad Mekay

WASHINGTON, Apr 17 – The calls for embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz to step down have gone global, coming from newspapers, officials, activists and even Internet bloggers from across the world.

Wolfowitz, who took over as the 10th president of the World Bank in June 2005, has admitted to ordering a 60,000-dollar pay increase for his lover and Bank employee, Shaha Riza, before seconding her to the U.S. State Department as a part of an exorbitant compensation package.

The revelations have been reverberating for the past week and received unprecedented media attention.

The controversy was complicated by a self-styled anti-corruption campaign that Wolfowitz kick-started at the World Bank and wanted to make a signature for his tenure.

Critics say the campaign makes Wolfowitz’s loss of credibility even worse.

The accusations of nepotism not only created troubles for the 63-year-old Bank president, best known internationally for his role as an architect of the ill-fated U.S.-led war in Iraq, but further soured his already tense relationship with the Bank staff.

Some Bank staff appear to be behind a new website,, launched this week, to rally support for the call on the World Bank president to go.

The site says it showcases World Bank staff as they speak out and tell the world “about the corrupt, unethical, and bullying behaviour of Bank president Paul Wolfowitz and his inner circle” as well as share information about “Wolfowitz’s reign of sleaze and corruption at the World Bank.”

The site has a letter-writing campaign in which visitors can sign petitions in 12 languages, including English, Spanish, French and Arabic.

Some 38,000 people from across the world have already added their names to the demand for his departure.

“If our president is not capable of acting with transparency and accountability, how are we as staff supposed to promote good governance and anti-corruption among our clients?” the letter says.

In the United States, Wolfowitz’s home country, influential columnists and newspapers added their voice for those who want to see Wolfowitz leave his job at the helm of one of the most important international financial institutions.

The Los Angeles Times, a major U.S. newspaper, also ran an editorial advising Wolfowitz to resign, with the headline, “Wolfowitz should walk”.

“A World Bank president who grants favours to his girlfriend can’t convincingly chide other leaders for corruption,” it says.

The New Republic, another U.S. publication, concluded a lengthy piece by simply saying: “He should quit”.

The New York Times, one of the largest U.S. newspapers in terms of circulation, also joined the chorus on Monday: “What might Mr Wolfowitz himself say if he discovered that a government receiving World Bank loans was making similar sweet arrangements for the personal friends of its president?”

“There is no way Mr Wolfowitz can recover his credibility and continue to be effective at the bank,” it adds.

Many international publications echoed these sentiments.

The Brisbane Times in Australia said that Wolfowitz has become “a liability at World Bank” while the Australian said “Wolfowitz should be shown the door”.

In Pakistan, the Daily Times warned of negative consequences to the Bank if Wolfowitz is allowed to stay in office. “Mr Wolfowitz will have to roll too or you can say goodbye to the World Bank,” the paper said in an editorial.

The Khaleej Times in the United Arab Emirates said Wolfowitz shouldn’t wait for the results of an investigation by the Bank’s 24-member board who are trying to determine how serious Wolfowitz’s violation was and if it merits a request for him to file and resign by his own accord.

“Considering the sensitivity of the high office Paul Wolfowitz has occupied, it would perhaps be more prudent for him to willingly step aside, as opposed to some inquiry’s finding compelling him to pack his bags,” the paper said.

In the Philippines, the Manila Times said: “Wolfowitz must go”.

“At the rate he is going at the World Bank, he is going to fail,” continued the paper. “He has lost credibility as an anticorruption crusader. He has lost the respect and support of the World Bank staff. And he has lost the backing of the World Bank’s major owners, except the United States.”

In Africa there were rebukes for African finance ministers who had praised Wolfowitz as a “visionary” during the two-day spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund here in Washington over the weekend.

“Don’t try to make Africa his saving grace,” said Njoki Njoroge Njehu, executive director of Nairobi-based Daughters of Mumbi Global Resource Centre.

“African politicians do African peoples no favours by making excuses for corruption and for the corrupt; Wolfowitz must resign.”

International trade unions, development groups and activists have also been calling for his resignation.

The Congress of South Africa Trade Unions said that “Mr. Wolfowitz embodies all the worst features of the international financial institutions — the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.”

Transparency International, while not calling outright for his departure, said it was concerned by the controversy and the Bank’s strategy to fight corruption.

“Clearly in this case, serious errors of judgment and a breakdown in the system for handling conflicts of interest have occurred,” said the organisation in a statement Tuesday.

Earlier, European development groups also called for his removal.

“The World Bank’s reputation will nose-dive further if Wolfowitz is allowed to stay,” said Nuria Molina, of European Network on Debt and Development in Brussels.

Activists in Washington say they will protest on Wednesday outside the World Bank’s headquarter with “guerrilla theatre, music and a photo op”.

Wolfowitz’ deputy tells him: quit!