Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Harper's corruption fighting government supports Wolfowitz

The fur ball surrounding Paul Wolfowitz and his personal involvement in getting his pelvic affiliate, Shaha Ali Riza, a whopping pay raise and a transfer out of the World Bank to the US State Department was reviewed by a special committee of the World Bank. They submitted their findings to Wolfowitz on Sunday, finding he did indeed do wrong and called for his resignation.

The president of the World Bank is traditionally appointed by the United States. That long standing arrangement is being put to the test by the European block at the World Bank.
European officials had previously indicated that they wanted to end the tradition of the United States picking the World Bank leader. But now the officials are hoping to enlist American help in persuading Mr. Wolfowitz to resign voluntarily, rather than be rebuked or ousted.

The goal, they said, is to avert a public rupture of the bank board over a vote, possibly later this week, to sanction Mr. Wolfowitz. Even if the vote is a reprimand, they said, it could effectively make it impossible for him to stay on.

The Europeans worked to arrange a quick exit for Mr. Wolfowitz as a special bank committee concluded that he was guilty of breaking rules barring conflicts of interest in arranging for a pay raise and promotion for Shaha Ali Riza, his companion and a bank employee, in 2005.

Basically, what the Europeans are saying is, Wolfowitz goes voluntarily or we will vote to have him removed. And the Europeans have enough weight to pull it off.

The United States has 16.4 percent of the voting share at the 24-member World Bank board that chooses the president. Europeans have twice that share if they stick together, which many bank officials say they have signaled they are willing to do to remove Mr. Wolfowitz.
There is hesitation among the Europeans at creating too much of a rift with the United States on the issue and while many would like to avoid confrontation with the United States, the European Parliament voted last month to have Wolfowitz removed.

The World Bank assumed some responsibility for not making the ethics of Wolfowitz's decision clear to him. However, the corruption is undeniable and Wolfowitz bears the majority of the responsibility according to the report.

So, one would expect that any government which provides a representative to the World Bank would be voting to remove Wolfowitz should he refuse to resign voluntarily. Of course, the US would vote to retain him since the Bush administration has been standing by him throughout this scandal and appointed him amidst a furor of protest from dozens of countries. That can be dismissed as a patently corrupt regime supporting one its corrupt operators.

You have to go down to the last paragraph of the New York Times article to get the full effect. Besides the United States supporting the retention of Wolfowitz, there are two other countries who would vote in favour of keeping Wolfowitz in his chair.

Bank officials say that, as of now, only the United States, Japan and Canada would vote in favor of Mr. Wolfowitz. They represent less than 30 percent of the voting shares.

So, the board of the World Bank issues a finding directly to Wolfowitz which boils down to explaining that he's a corrupt sonofabitch and Canada, instead of accepting the majority view of the board of that world body, intends to support the corrupt appointee of a corrupt regime.

And, just in case you were wondering, the marching orders for the Canadian member of the board on the World Bank come from the minister of finance, Jim Flaherty and the Prime Minister's Office.

These guys aren't even trying to hide it anymore.

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