Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fuck Them

Paul Wolfowitz, the embattled president of the World Bank, has had his public image further tarnished by revelations that he poured abuse and threatened retaliations on senior World Bank staff if his orders for pay rises and promotions for his partner were revealed.

The revelations were contained in a report prepared by investigators that has been sent ot the bank's governing board.

In the report, one witness (Xavier Coll, head of human resources at the bank) gave testimony that Wolfowitz said:

"If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too."

The report criticises Wolfowitz for his "questionable judgment and a preoccupation with self-interest"


"Mr Wolfowitz saw himself as the outsider to whom the established rules and standards did not apply."

As any experienced and ethical business leader will tell you, it's not just what you do but what you are seen to do and how you conduct yourself that counts. You need to be whiter than white, when you are given the privileges and responsibilities of office.

The report pooh poohs Wolfowitz's defence that he thought he had been asked to arrange Ms Riza's pay package, "the interpretation given by Mr Wolfowitz ... simply turns logic on its head".

In other words, the report calls Wolfowitz a liar.

The report states that Wolfowitz's actions "had a dramatic negative effect on the reputation and credibility" of the bank.

It concludes that "the damage done to the reputation of the World Bank group" should lead the bank's board to "consider whether Mr Wolfowitz will be able to provide the leadership needed to ensure that the bank continues to operate to the fullest extent possible".

"..Mr Wolfowitz's contract requiring that he adhere to the code of conduct for board officials and that he avoid any conflict of interest, real or apparent, [was] violated."

In other words it calls for him to be fired, because he broke the rules.

It really is a simple as that, the fact that Wolfowitz chooses not to accept this means that the governing body will have to publicly fire him; a humiliation for the bank, Wolfowtiz and President Bush (who appointed him).

Wolfowitz appears before the bank's executive board today to make a final defence of his actions, with the board meeting tomorrow to consider the report and make a statement later in the week.

Ironically vice president Dick Cheney defended Mr Wolfowitz, saying: "Paul is one of the most able public servants I've ever known .... I think he's a very good president of the World Bank, and I hope he will be able to continue."

Public support from the likes of Cheney can hardly add to Wolfowitz's credibility; for Wolfowitz it is but a matter of time before he goes, he is finished.

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