Bush Scandals List

106. Paul Wolfowitz (two disasters for the price of one: Iraq and the World Bank)

Paul Wolfowitz, after his disastrous hyping of the Iraq war, did a McNamara and went to the World Bank to do good. He brought his neocon values, a doctrinaire, secretive management style, and a real gift for poor leadership to rail against corruption in 3rd world countries while practicing some of it himself closer to home. Prohibited from supervising his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, a senior communications officer at the bank, he detailed her to the Department of State, gave her a raise of $47,340 twice what was permitted, and then a further raise of $13,000 bringing her salary to $193,000 tax free and making her the highest paid official in the State Department and that includes Condoleezza Rice. Wolfowitz’s eventual defense of the raise was that Riza was very angry at leaving the Bank and might have sued although as the Bank later pointed out she did not have grounds to do so. Her initial boss at state was none other than Liz Cheney. Her job through State was to set up the Foundation for the Future to promote civil society in the Middle East. After 1 1/2 years there, it still has no permanent office, executive officers, or staff and has yet to disperse a grant. There is also the matter of a security clearance that Riza, a non-citizen unaffiliated with an allied government, would need to work at Defense (through an earlier contract with the defense contractor SAIC arranged by Wolfowitz through Doug Feith) or more recently at State and which would be extremely unusual to give to someone in her situation.

Wolfowitz dragged out his departure from the Bank for nearly a month doing serious damage to the institution. He was eventually forced to announce his resignation on May 17, 2007 effective June 30, 2007. In keeping with his double standard on corruption and despite his disastrous stewardship at the Bank, he will not go cheaply into the night. His severance package will be in the neighborhood of half a million dollars. The poor should get such deals. On June 25, 2007, pro-business, free trader (and like Wolfowitz) neocon Robert Zoellick was approved as the World Bank’s new president.

In December 2007, Wolfowitz doing a stint at that den of current and washed up neoconservatives the American Enterprise Institute accepted an offer from Condoleezza Rice to take on the part time position of chairman of the State Department’s International Security Advisory Board. The post was last held by the somnolent and Presidential candidate Fred Thompson. The Board’s current 18 members are members in good standing of the nation’s military industrial complex with ties to Lawrence Livermore, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Bechtel and with a heavy concentration on nuclear weaponry.

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