Paul Wolfowitz and Accountability
Paul Wolfowitz was President Bush’s key architect of the Iraq war. He is now president of the World Bank and a self-styled fighter of corruption.
Wolfowitz’s girlfriend was a senior World Bank employee. When he became president of the World Bank, the Bank’s ethics rules would not allow him to keep her on staff under his supervision. So he transferred her to the US State Department but kept her on the Bank’s payroll, and gave her a US$60,000 pay raise. Her salary rose to US$193,590, higher than Condoleeza Rice’s.
Then Wolfowitz hid the evidence of what he’d done.
Fighting corruption is a key to ending poverty, which is one of the stated aims of the World Bank. But there should not be one standard for the rich and powerful and a different one for everybody else.
The 24-member board of the World Bank, which uncovered Wolfowitz’s corruption through a special investigation, is now deciding his fate. Surely he should be sacked.
Wolfowitz claimed the Iraq war would spread democracy, but it sparked a civil war. He promised to fight corruption, but engaged in it himself.
He has a lot to say about accountability. But if he really believed in it he’d already be walking.