Rich Galen

Paul Wolfowitz is the President of the World Bank.

If you are known in the popular press as a "neo-con" and; if, moreover, you sat at the right hand of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the run up to the war in Iraq and; if, moreover, you got your undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Cornell University (sted Yale) and your PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago (sted Harvard) it is not likely that the Washington Post would come to your aid.

For those who have been completely consumed with who, if anyone is actually changing the diapers of Anna Nicole Smith's baby, you may have missed this latest poke in the eye of the Bush Administration.

The World Bank is, as its name implies, a multi-national organization. It is based in Washington, was formed in 1944 as a way to help the reconstruction of post World War II Europe and, according to its website is:

"made up of two unique development institutions owned by 185 member countries-the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA)."

Notwithstanding the 184 other "owners," the President of the World Bank has traditionally been proposed by the President of the United States and ratified by the World Bank's Board of Governors.

The current President of the World Bank, the aforementioned Paul Wolfowitz, who is in some considerable hot water over the fact that he has a Significant Other who worked for the World Bank before he got there but then got a hefty salary increase, a promotion, and a move over to the State Department - seconded from the World Bank.

As you can imagine there have been howls of outrage that Wolfowitz gave his honey a huge salary bump and a cushy job while people in Africa are starving.

No justice, no peace, baby!

Oops. It seems that Dr. Wolfowitz actually played by the rules and did whatever he did by the book. According to an editorial in the Washington Post yesterday:

Wolfowitz called the potential conflict of interest to the attention of the Bank's ethics committee which suggested the woman leave the bank; that she should be given a raise because she had already been "short-listed for promotion; then reviewed the situation six months later after receiving an anonymous complaint from a Bank employee; concluded that "on the basis of a careful review" the anonymous complaint did not raise "ethical issues appropriate for further consideration."

Oh. Hmm. That appears to cast a slightly different light on things.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at