Thursday, May 17, 2007
Defeat for Paul Dundes Wolfowitz
World Bank * Henry Waxman and Karl Rove
According to reports he will leave by the end of June. Corporate America and universities might consider him toxic but he is sure to find a berth in one of the conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute. And there will be a book in which he will write about the unfair treatment he received and that he did nothing wrong. George Tenet did just that. Not many people believed him. Karen DeYoung in The Post: "Yesterday, two years later, Wolfowitz resigned from the World Bank, effective June 30. He has become a virtual pariah, forced out by the bank's executive board for ethics violations and reviled by much of the staff as an arrogant intellectual who cared more about his ideas and image than about the institution or its customers."
Wolfowitz and others like him felt that they could roll over those who didn't agree with their management style and policies. Wolfowitz brought two aides from the Bush administration and installed them to do his dirty work. They,too, abused their power. One of them, Kevin Kellems, left before the boss. The second, Robin Cleveland, is most likely involved in job search.
- The immediate cause of Wolfowitz's resignation was a pay deal he ordered for Shaha Riza, a bank employee with whom he was romantically involved. But the public vitriol that poured from the bank once his fall began in late March with revelations about the deal underscored wider problems.
- Far from respecting the bank, member governments and staff charged, Wolfowitz surrounded himself with doctrinaire former White House and Republican officials and gave them wide authority. He altered long-standing policies and imposed new ones without consulting the staff or member governments. He risked the bank's credibility and the future of the poor countries it serves.
Statement released by the World Bank indicates that the Board did concede some points to Mr. Wolfowitz: " Over the last three days we have considered carefully the report of the ad hoc group, the associated documents, and the submissions and presentations of Mr. Wolfowitz. Our deliberations were greatly assisted by our discussion with Mr Wolfowitz. He assured us that he acted ethically and in good faith in what he believed were the best interests of the institution, and we accept that. We also accept that others involved acted ethically and in good faith. At the same time, it is clear from this material that a number of mistakes were made by a number of individuals in handling the matter under consideration, and that the Bank's systems did not prove robust to the strain under which they were placed. One conclusion we draw from this is the need to review the governance framework of the World Bank Group, including the role as well as procedural and other aspects of the Ethics Committee. The Executive Directors acknowledge Mr. Wolfowitz's decision to resign as President of the World Bank Group, effective end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2007). The Board will start the nomination process for a new President immediately."
Henry Waxman and his Investigations
Interesting column in the post by by Robert Novak The untouchable Mr.Rove might not continue to remain so much longer.How things have changed after the mid-term election last November. A year ago it would have been unthinkable. The White House had Congress in its pocket. Now the tremors of the shift in power are being felt thoughtout the Bush Administration.
How sweet it is.
On the day presidential senior adviser Karl Rove administered a tongue-lashing to a Republican congressman, disturbing news about his former executive assistant was spread on Capitol Hill. GOP House members learned that Susan Ralston is requesting immunity to testify before Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman's investigating committee.
If her testimony is a dud, that could embarrass Waxman. But he has many other weapons. Since assuming the chairmanship on Jan. 4, Waxman has acted as though he had spent the past dozen years in the congressional minority contemplating how many investigations he could launch. His committee has aimed at the General Services Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, constraints on global-warming scientists, the misrepresentations of Cpl. Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan, private contractors in Iraq and the Plame leak, among other things.
The Bush team has seemed confused and disorganized in the face of this fusillade. Warnings by Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, Waxman's Republican counterpart on the committee, fell on deaf ears at the White House. The president's agents appear uncertain about how much they should meet Waxman's demand for documents.