Time to Vote Wolfowitz Off the Island

TIME TO VOTE WOLFOWITZ OFF THE ISLAND….Like Mark Kleiman, I haven’t commented on the Paul Wolfowitz/World Bank affair because I wasn’t sure what to think about it. I may not like Wolfowitz much, but it still seemed plausible that he had acted properly in a difficult situation and was now being railroaded by Bank employees who don’t like him any more than I do.

But Wolfowitz has always maintained that the pay and promotions he arranged for his companion, Shaha Riza, were entirely above board and that he kept the Bank’s ethics committee fully informed of his actions at all times. On Friday he admitted that this wasn’t quite true:

Roberto Daniño, the bank’s chief legal adviser at the time, testified that Mr Wolfowitz “incorrectly” awarded pay and promotions that “far exceeded, and were granted in addition to, those recommended by the ethics committee”.

He said none of these additional “benefits were disclosed to or approved by the board, the ethics committee or the general counsel”.

….Mr Wolfowitz’s aides claimed in recent weeks that all arrangements concerning Ms Riza were made at the direction of the board and with the knowledge of the ethics committee.

As grounds for such claims, Mr Wolfowitz yesterday pointed to a letter from the ethics committee acknowledging that it had reviewed an anonymous e-mail from a member of staff who was angry about Ms Riza’s pay.

So it appears that, to Wolfowitz, “keeping the ethics committee informed” actually means “someone else found out about the arrangements and blew the whistle in an anonymous email.” Sounds like it’s time for Wolfowitz to resign.

UPDATE: Steve Clemons has more juicy gossip.

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