Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The End of Wolfowitz?

The Wolfowitz story at the moment: he's heading toward the door. It appears that the White House is not going to make a stand for one of the chief architects of the Iraq war. Here's what Bloomberg is reporting:

The Bush administration and World Bank directors are negotiating President Paul Wolfowitz's departure from the world's biggest aid agency, said two bank officials.

Eli Whitney Debevoise II, who represents the U.S. on the bank's board, is discussing terms for the resignation with a panel of directors that admonished Wolfowitz for his role in a pay raise for his partner, said one of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ABC News reported that Wolfowitz may leave today. Debevoise wasn't immediately available for comment.

Wolfowitz was today told he won't be welcome in Germany next week for a development conference, while South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said in an interview that there "should be a parting of the ways." Wolfowitz made aid for Africa a priority since his term began almost two years ago.

"I think we must live with the decision by the executive board," said Manuel, who oversees Africa's largest economy. "It's unfortunate, but c'est la vie."

The White House is under mounting pressure from European nations, which have led the drive to oust Wolfowitz, the former U.S. deputy defense secretary. The dispute among the bank's biggest donors threatens the poverty-fighting agency's ability to raise the $28 billion bank officials say they need for the next three years. Wolfowitz's lawyer, Robert Bennett, wasn't immediately available for comment

German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul today repeated that Wolfowitz should quit in order to restore the credibility of the bank. Asked if Wolfowitz would attend a forum on Africa in Berlin on May 21-22, she said: "I would advise him not to do so.'' Wieczorek-Zeul is hosting the forum as part of Germany's presidency of the Group of Eight leading nations.

The tide appears to be too strong--even for the most stubborn swimmers at the White House. Yesterday, Wolfowitz met with the Bank's board of directors and pleaded for his job. He tried to pin part of the blame for the controversy over the generous compensation package for his girlfriend on other Bank officials, claiming they had supplied him bad advice. He did not concede the point suggested by the board panel that investigated the deal: he and Shaha Riza, his girlfriend, had taken financial advantage of the situation. (See here..) Instead, Wolfowitz promised to be a better manager. (Better than he was when he oversaw the run-up to the Iraq invasion and the subsequent war?)

As the news accounts come out today, it seems that promise was not enough. Wolfowitz has been done in by his own actions--regarding a dame. (Imagine the Paul-Shaha pillow talk these days--if they're still talking.) True, many at the Bank were gunning for him. But no one (except maybe Riza) made him give his gal-pal a lucrative deal that broke the rules. Wolfowitz previously escaped accountability for his world-changing misrepresentations and misjudgments about Iraq. Now he's being hammered for mundane corruption. Justice can be a bitch.

Posted by David Corn at May 16, 2007 03:29 PM


micki said...

O'Reilly, I think perhaps they were spying on the Dems and on the media -- it was an election year and General Rove and the rest of the Rethuglicans were in panic mode.

I mean Ashcroft was a zealot when it came to TERRORISM -- if the syping was down to hunt down terrorists and the push to reinstate the program was about terrorism, why would Ashcroft balk? Ashcroft may be many things (including a religious nut), but he may actually believe in the rule of law, so he refused to reauthorize illegal activity.

This is a potential bombshell. (Or should be!!)

I see Chuck Hagel said today that Al Fredo must resign.

capt said...

Impeach George W. Bush over North American Union agenda says Republican Presidential candidate

Republican Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul says U.S. President Bush has presided over a system wide doctrine of violating the Constitution, from the Iraq War in the "War on Terrorism" and pursuing a North American Union agenda, without legally required Congressional oversight. Such oversight is legally prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.

During an interview with Alex Jones on the GCN Radio network, Paul had outlined the likely scenario as to how impeachment proceedings would unfold.

"I'd be surprised if they win both - I think they're going to win one body and if they win the House right now they do not say they would have an impeachment but I think the way that place operates I think they probably will make every effort," said Paul.

"If they happened to have a ten or fifteen vote margin that would be a political thing - it would be payback time."

Paul said that Bush should be impeached not under the umbrella of partisan vengeance but for ceaselessly breaking the laws of the land.

"I would have trouble arguing that he's been a Constitutional President and once you violate the Constitution and be proven to do that I think these people should be removed from office."

Opining that the U.S. had entered a period of "soft fascism," Paul noted that the legacy of the Bush administration has been the total abandonment of Constitutional principles.

"Congress has generously ignored the Constitution while the President flaunts it, the courts have ignored it and they get in the business of legislating so there's no respect for the rule of law." said Paul.


*****end of clip*****

I hope everybody sends some Impeachmints to their representatives, congress-critters and senators.


capt said...

An Army of Rove-Bots -- Captain Iglesias, Obstruction of Justice, and the Theft of 2008

The wheels have come off, the engine is on fire and no one is driving," Captain David Iglesias told me yesterday. I'd asked the Naval Reserve officer, heading off to duty in Norfolk, why he didn't want his old job back, United States Attorney for New Mexico.

The busted, burning, ghost-mobile he described is the Department of Justice, driven by Alberto Gonzales. Or is Karl Rove at the wheel? Or no one? Whomever, he didn't want to jump back into Bush's Justice Jalopy.

Today, Iglesias is in Washington to pull the junker off the road, meeting with the Office of Special Counsel where Obstruction of Justice may be swirling around in the old oil pan laying on the garage floor.

The ex-prosecutor and I, long, long ago, had both worked for the Attorney General of New Mexico, a state where the snakes have less venom than the politicians.

First, there's Senator Pete Domenici, whose hiss is as smooth as his bite is deadly. Domenici, softball interviewer Chris Matthews notes, is a nice guy. On TV. However, the Republican Senator's call to Iglesias at his home, just before the 2006 midterm election, asking the prosecutor about filing charges against Democrats in the week before the vote, was downright rude. When the prosecutor replied in the negative, the Senator hung up.

And apparently, the Senator contacted one Monica Goodling, who scribbled on a notepad: "Iglesias -- Domenici says he doesn't move cases." Oops. Goodling, a political stooge working for Gonzales, was listing the reasons for firing U.S. attorneys. Now, rudeness was no longer the issue. Firing a prosecutor for failing to "move cases" - handcuff citizens at the request of a Senator - is Obstruction of Justice.

No wonder Monica took The Fifth.


David B. Benson said...

capt --- Several hunded million dollars more on the Iraqi war cost meter in just the days since you put it up...

capt said...

The cost is completely insane.


capt said...

But it was impossible to save the Great Republic. She was rotten to the heart. Lust of conquest had long ago done its work; trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home; multitudes who had applauded the crushing of other people's liberties, lived to suffer for their mistake in their own persons. The government was irrevocably in the hands of the prodigiously rich and their hangers-on; the suffrage was become a mere machine, which they used as they chose. There was no principle but commercialism, no patriotism but of the pocket : Mark Twain

I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions. This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream -- a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man's skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality: Martin Luther King, Jr.:

"At the heart of racism is the religious assertion that God made a creative mistake when He brought some people into being" : Friedrich Otto Hertz quotes

Today the tyrant rules not by club or fist, but disguised as a market researcher, he shepherds his flocks in the ways of utility and comfort: Marshall McLuhan - Source: The Mechanical Bride (1951)


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

Senate Defeats Iraq Withdrawal Measure

WASHINGTON — The Senate today handily defeated a measure to effectively end most U.S. combat operations in Iraq by next April, but the 29 senators who voted for the amendment represented the highest number yet that have united behind a proposal to force President Bush to bring home American troops.

The plan by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did not garner nearly enough votes to pass. Sixty-seven senators — 47 Republicans, and 20 Democrats — opposed the proposal.

Their amendment won the votes of 28 Democrats and one independent. But support for the Feingold-Reid measure — which followed a similar House vote last week — provided another indication of how public pressure to end the war has pushed congressional Democrats to embrace once politically taboo plans to challenge Bush’s management of the war.

"It is clear that change is in the air ," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said after the vote. "Our resolutions have not passed, but they will pass."

Among the measure’s supporters were all four Democratic Senate leaders, as well as the four Democratic senators running for president: Delaware’s Joseph Biden, New York’s Hillary Rodham Clinton, Connecticut’s Christopher Dodd and Illinois’ Barack Obama.

California’s two Democratic senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, also backed the plan.

The Feingold-Reid plan introduced last month would cut off funding at the end of March for all but a limited range of military operations, which include protecting U.S. personnel, training Iraqi forces and conducting limited counter-terrorism operations.

"Congress cannot wait for the president to change course," said Feingold, one of the war’s harshest critics.

"As long as the president’s Iraq policy goes unchecked, our courageous troops will continue to put their lives on the line unnecessarily, our constituents will continue to pour billions of dollars into this war, our military readiness will continue to erode and our ability to confront and defeat Al Qaeda will be jeopardized," Feingold said on the Senate floor.


capt said...

Opium in Afghanistan: A bad trip

The opium economy in Afghanistan is a key component of the counterinsurgency campaign, yet remains one of the most difficult issues to tackle. It is a critical problem facing international efforts to create a functional government in Kabul that can prosecute counter-terrorism on its own territory.

A successful counter-narcotics intervention would have the added benefit of undermining an important terrorist funding source in arenas as diverse as Chechnya, Xinjiang and Central Asia.

While coalition and Afghan officials regularly acknowledge the power that the narco-economy has over their ambitions, it has proved exceptionally challenging to turn this into a national strategy that incorporates counter-narcotics into counterinsurgency and provides the resources for its execution. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), opium production had a boom year in 2006, rising to 6,100 tonnes.

This marked a 49% increase over 2005, yielding an estimated US$755 million to farmers on the basis of a slightly decreased farm-gate price of $125 per kilogram of dry opium. With the national government's revenues at less than $350 million for 2006, the opium economy is a formidable financial power base beyond the state's control. Good weather conditions are expected in 2007, suggesting another huge harvest.


*****end of clip*****

Blackmarket "Mission Accomplished"


capt said...

New Thread