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ROMANCE, CORRUPTION AT WORLD BANK

ROMANCE, CORRUPTION AT WORLD BANK

 

“Being Wolfie means not having to say you're sorry.”
Washington Post journalist Dana Milbank

Today’s commentary is about Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank and an architect of Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Apparently many bank staffers are upset regarding favoritism shown by the bank and the Bush administration towards the Wolfmeister’s one-time girlfriend, Shaha Riza.

http://cantankerousconsultant.blogspot.com/2007/04/romance-corruption-at-world-bank.html

Apparently the Wolfmeister tried to circumvent bank rules to allow him to work alongside his romantic interest. That, according to “the bank's ethics officers…would not be allowable, the problem appeared solved when Riza was detailed to work at the State Department's public diplomacy office in September 2005--even though her salary was still to be paid by the World Bank.”
[source of quotes from Murray Waas at Huffingtopost.com]

Riza received a promotion and payraise that brought her salary to $193,000. “That salary increase not only meant that Riza earned more than Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, but apparently made her the single highest paid State Department official.”.

The Cantankerous Consultant is pleased to be the first to reveal exactly how the Wolfmeister got himself into this mess. Through a confidential source, we have obtained a transcript of a private meeting between Wolfowitz and Riza:

Wolfowitz: “Not to worry, you’ll always be my special little development project. If you know what I mean, heh! Rest assured your salary increase will paid for. After all, we’ll have that revenue from the Iraqi oil fields.”

Riza: “Oh Wolfie, I love you! Ooh, is that your pipeline or are you just happy to see me?”

And now for a special and serious editorial commentary:

It's important to keep in mind that Mr. Wolfowitz has promised to get tough in the fight against corruption. In a speech to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation Awards Dinner, March 27, 2007, he said: “We are seeing many Africans literally putting their lives on the line in the fight for transparency and accountability…One such person is Nuhu Ribadu, Executive Chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. He is courageously leading his government’s effort to fight corruption, undeterred by the murder of two of his people.”

It doesn’t seem possible to excuse Wolfie or write this off as merely a personal scandal. What it comes down to is this: Some people dig deep to find the courage to put their lives on the line in the fight against corruption. Wolfie, in stark contrast, has summoned arrogance and gall, mouthing hollow slogans about corruption while at the same time putting his love life ahead of the mission of the Bank. Hardly the way to set an example for the staff he leads. There's a lot of good people at World Bank and they deserve better. Much better
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