who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Look for a Wolfowitz resignation in the next few days. I have no particular information to confirm this, but my years of experience in Washington tell me an outline of a deal has been reached. Wolfowitz has lost , the Bush administration has now finally realized he can no longer be saved.

The US has more of an interest now in not pressing for a vote on the board of directors than Europe. The US knows if they press for a vote, they will not only lose, but may end up losing the power to name the next president of the bank and see US global leadership status diminish considerably. (By way of background read this New York Time report)

If the US wins a less than out right vote to fire Wolfowitz by the board, they will only manage to end up with a disgraced, and the lamest of all lame ducks as head of the bank. The potential loss on the other hand is enormous politically for the administration, the republican party, and the country as a whole. Its a fight that only the most reckless of administrations will insist on having

My bet is that Wolfowitz will most likely resign by Tuesday, that's when he is scheduled to appear before the board of directors - and most probably before.

Here is your chance to put in your own bet

A Washington source ~ May 11, 2007


With you on this one. No other way out. I've ended up with muchos admiration for the staff and governments who stood firm. The "US foreign policy by other means" and domineering behavior by the PW group were what got me most ticked. If this site goes dark on Wednesday we will all be the losers; it has been a fun and interesting place to hang out and the substantive issues matter.

Peter Quennell ~ May 11, 2007, 05:14 AM

I may be alone in this corner, but I feel the Board should extend the deadline for Wolfowitz to respond to Monday at 10am.

Paulson needs to have that much time to sew up a deal and line up an acceptable replacement.

None ~ May 11, 2007, 05:14 AM

Since the Japanese are still supporting PW, might it be an idea that they give him assistance in defending his post?

The following items would seem to be in order.

- Hakamachi (head band) with 'must win' written on it.

- A Katana sword

- A Tanto dagger

- A copy of the Bushido code

- Highlight the section on seppuku

If Mr. Makoto Hosomi were a real friend of PW, he would offer to perform Kaishakunin.

The question is, what would the Ronin do afterwards?

Nun ~ May 11, 2007, 05:17 AM

That decision is not a personal one. It will follow after some negotiations that give PW some financial security and the White House a face saving exit. Superlawyer Bennett found out that PW is kriptonite and that the Board is not a jury of peers but a political entity.
OK, if I were a betting man I would bet Friday.

Lycanthropos ~ May 11, 2007, 05:19 AM

If true (and it probably is) Bennett just negotiated his client a deal. He played what he had like a fiddle, got an extension of time to respond, and if this pans out as predicted played all his cards right, and got his client out before any adverse action was taken.

Not too shabby, considering he is dealing with politicans.

DC Worker ~ May 11, 2007, 05:47 AM

Personally, I hope that President Wolfowitz retains the support of George Bush and keeps his job. It is clear the Europeans don't have the guts to stand up to George Bush, and, as we all know, President George W. Bush does not back down.

CowDad ~ May 11, 2007, 06:35 AM

President GW does not back down.... neither do a rag tag bunch of 'insurgents'.

One of these days, go to a 'rehab' facility or a VA hospital and take a look at some of the people who find out what it means to face another bunch who really do not 'back down'.

Real neat experience being hit with an IED and missing a few limbs, with a brain injury to boot.

Ask the families (esp the young spouses and kids) what it means.

It is real easy not to back down when you are playing with someone else money and lives.

Nin ~ May 11, 2007, 12:18 PM

"It is clear the Europeans don't have the guts to stand up to George Bush"

Governance in the UN is by consensus not confrontation, and the Europeans are playing a brilliant game here.

As the bad-cop stuff ain't such a wild success, perhaps Bush will win some by a little more of the good-cop stuff. The Europeans are showing him how.

Peter Quennell ~ May 11, 2007, 01:05 PM

What Bennett really got his client is an unmitigated disaster.

He managed to get what was suppose to be a confidential administrative proceeding done largely in public, with the release of the Wolfowitz statement (and Riza's statement) to the public, leading to PUBLIC releases from other former Officials who disputed Wolfowitz's case.

Bennett's posturing to the press, including the attack on Riza ("She made him do it") poisoned any attempt to present a united front by the cronies, leading to Kellems breaking ranks to preserve his future viability in the development community.

The combative response penned by Bennett for Wolfowitz left little or no room for compromise. It is a good way to fight a court case ---- appear tough in the public filings and then negotiate in private, but precisely the wrong thing to do in a diplomatic setting. Bennett lawyered himself into international diplomacy by poisoning the well.

PW would have been better off if he had no formal response to the ad hoc committee. His initial response, "I made a mistake... willing to accept the remedies the Board...[decides]", gave him the best chance of keeping his job or getting another job elsewhere. The Bennett/Wolfowitz response is, in one word, stupid. Could have done better if Bennett went to the ad hoc meeting and got in a fist fight with the EDs.

Sure, he managed to slow down the process, but it was reluctantly and grudgingly given by the other side.

Bennett's public posturing, if anything, toughened the Bank's stance and turned even would be supporters against his client. It is interesting to note that the Board, in a rather unusual rebuke, specifically mentioned (or leaked) that the public airing of the laundry is one of the key reasons why Wolfowitz has to go.

Bennett could have played gentleman, diplomat, instead of trial lawyer.

Belatedly, he learned this and is now much more circumscribed.

But, it is too late to save his client.

Greenmail? Sure, give PW some, it is cheaper than to damage the relationship with Bush.

But would the donor countries hand a $20 billion check over to the Bank under PW's watch in the future?

Good luck.

Just watch --- in the settlement will be something that pays off Bennett well.

With this track record, PW is nearly untouchable for any institution (do you want to hire someone who has hired lawyers to fight their past employer?).

Irrevocably damaged goods is what PW has now become --- whereas if he gracefully exited, he could have been rehabilitated after a period of time (like Don Imus) and reappear elsewhere.

At the rate he is going / gone, PW is going to be 63, out of a job, and living on pension checks.

Unless he left the SAIS door open (is he on leave still?), he can't even go back to a prominent school as a tenured professor.

It is not the first, or the last time, that lawyers that do not have a long term interest in the process leave their client worst off.

Noon ~ May 11, 2007, 01:11 PM

My 0.02 US $. He will issue a Communique through his learned-lawyer on Sunday saying that, for the good of the poor people of this World, he is resigning from the World Bank ( with a nice settlement of course which will NOT be in the press release but in his resignation documents to the Board) so that the Bank can continue its good work w/o him being a hindrance.

yul ~ May 11, 2007, 02:16 PM

Right-on, Noon. Hard-line creates equal and opposing hard-line. PW was toast from the day Bennet was retained. Oddly, Bennet was reckoned to have been retained precisely because negotiation is his forte. Hmmm...

Peter Quennell ~ May 11, 2007, 02:51 PM

There are two fundamentally conflicting kinds of negotiations.

In Legal Negotiations, the public, filed documents that outline the disputes before a court are the 'maximum case' by both sides, and then negotiations are conducted leading to a compromise that is far, far from either side's maximum cases.

In diplomatic negotiations, the public case are the 'minimalist' case, while the private positions are considerable tougher, more hardline.

The goal of diplomacy is to leave public space for both sides (with very hard line positions in private) to compromise.

The goal of legal contest is to make the most extreme case in public and hope for a settlement in private that is the midpoint of both cases.

The key difference between these two worlds is that in diplomacy, there is a fundamental recognition that no matter what happens (short of total war), the parties involved have to live with each other in a relationship thereafter.

In a legal contest, the presumption is that there is no need to preserve a working relationship after the case is over.

What Bennett has done for PW works great in law before a court, and are precisely the wrong things to do for the negotiation he had to do to get PW a good deal.

It speaks volumes about PW that he did not see this fundamental distinction between diplomacy and legal contests, and he hired the wrong attorney, and then, went on the wrong track with his attorney to poison the well.

That, in and of itself, says he does not have the mental equipment and the capabilities to do a job that primarily involves diplomacy: like being the President of the World Bank Group.


Noon ~ May 11, 2007, 03:18 PM

Noon: It speaks louder when you fail to realize that internal procedures are distinct from diplomacy. In this case, you have ask Bennett to look to the good of the Bank as opposed to the interests of his client. Funny how a group that loves the term "conflict of interest" fails to fully comprehend that such a stance defines that term. The World Bank's Board and the President's rights in this case were directly in conflict with one another, and the process was adversarial in nature. Bennett cannot look to the interests of the World Bank in representing his client any more than a criminal defense attorney can look to the interests of a corporation when representing an officer of that corporation.

As for picking the wrong attorney, please provide us with your qualifications to make such a learned statement. From where I sit, PW was in a bad situation from the moment he chose Bennett to represent his interests. If this case goes as claimed above, Bennett will have done far more good than harm for Wolfowitz, gaining a concession from the Board that the ethic's committee's statement was less than clear. Such a concession from a body that has never been known to admit to its own failings is actually an eye-opener, and left the wiggle room necessary if things went badly. It opened the door for negotiations from a better position than when he started, and cast some doubt on the entire proceeding and the Bank's own mistakes in the process.

As I stated previously, that was good work on Bennett's part. Nor are you privy to what has been happening behind closed doors. I would think that negotiations have been going forward this entire time contrary to your claims to the contrary.

DC Worker ~ May 11, 2007, 03:49 PM

On Riza's future: what is important to stress is that Shaha Riza while working at the WB was heavily involved in political activity, even before going to Iraq on a DOD contract. She was working for the US Department of State, with Cheney's daughter. She was using her WB staff for the mentioned support activity to the State Department. In MNA everybody knows this. Now it has also been proven by many journalists. Bottom line: if she does not get fired for this, who will? If she is not fired, how will the WB be able to stop its staff to work for DOD of national countries? She needs to be fired to restore credibility. Also, what is said that she was an high-flyier is not true. She was aG level (senior level, quite low in the renks) and she was not well liked, as she was aggressive and has humiliated many people in MNA. Most importantly, her judgment calls (starting from the Iraq was, which she heavily promoted in the Bank) were to say the least questionable. To end, it is to be noted that she actively campaigned in the Bank for Bush's election, telling people and staff to vote for him (this is forbidden by the code of conduct, if I am not wrong).

Riza's future ~ May 11, 2007, 04:07 PM

DC Worker writes as if PW had already decided to quit when he retained Bennett. That is not at all clear. Bennett hardly helped if PW did want to stay on. His hard line eliminated the staying-on option. Noon's analysis is spot-on.

Peter Quennell ~ May 11, 2007, 04:22 PM

The bottom line: The Europeans do not have the guts to stand up to President George W. Bush. If they did, they'd have done it by now. That's how Wolfowitz knows his job is secure.

CowDad ~ May 11, 2007, 04:38 PM

EUROPEAN leaders have told the Bush administration that Paul Wolfowitz must resign as president of the World Bank in order to avoid a vote next week by the bank's board declaring that he no longer has its confidence to function as the bank's leader, European officials said.

The officials said Thursday that the board was drafting a resolution reflecting its view that the relationship between Wolfowitz and the governing body of the bank had "broken beyond repair." They noted that, if he remained in office, some European countries were planning to reduce contributions to the World Bank that would aid poor countries and instead would channel the money to European agencies and other groups for distribution.

"The administration has been told that its battle to save Wolfowitz cannot be won," said a European official, who, like others who discussed the matter, asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. "His relationship with the board is not only damaged. It is broken."

Bank officials said that the growing determination to oust Wolfowitz had led to a polling of the 24 members of the bank board and that a majority favored his removal.


EU Rocks! ~ May 11, 2007, 06:24 PM

Look, this has been going on for two months now. If the Europeans had the guts to stand up to President Bush, they'd have done it by now. Sure, they're hoping he tells Wolfowitz to resign--that's why they're pretending they might stand up to President Bush, but Bush can see that it's a bluff. Bush has outsmarted the Democrats over and over, again and again, walked over them. The Europeans aren't much of a match for him either.

CowDad ~ May 12, 2007, 01:45 AM

Cowdad, I think you are dreaming! Maybe the European (and perhaps the majority of the board) do not want to take the Bushes head-on since now the important order of the World Bank business is about what happen after Wolfie, which they will have to work with the US government like it or not. Therefore, think they are taking a “go slow” approach, make sure Wolfie can not claim that he is treated “unfairly” when they show him the door.
Next Tuesday will be an important date, as the Board expected to rule that Wolfie violated the rules, even if the Board fail to vote Wolfie out on Wednesday, WB staffs will mobilize and chase him out of town, on the fact that the board have found he violated the rules (leading by example!). I’m working at the WB, looking around, I found 95% of my colleagues would like Wolfie to go, even the ardent Republican conservative colleagues, if Wolfie stay on, he won’t even be a lame-duck, but rather a dead-duck. The longer he stays, the more humiliation he will gets.

another WB worker ~ May 12, 2007, 02:28 AM

another WB worker, in case you hadn't noticed, Alberto Gonzales is still the Attorney General, and there is no way he can have the confidence of anybody who works for him, other than a few political appointees. President Bush is not affected by what the workers at the WB think, and Paul probably doesn't care one way or the other either. At least you do admit that the Europeans are not anxious to stand up to President Bush, though you don't come out and agree with me that it's because they're scared. If Paul were going to resign on his own, he'd have done it by now, but Paul is resilient enough to withstand the humiliation of having his name drug through the papers everyday for two months. Paul is still holding his head high. When did Paul ever care what the staff at the WB thinks. He's not going to start caring what they think next Wednesday. He'll just keep doing his job.

CowDad ~ May 12, 2007, 06:03 AM

Being stubborn helps leaders rise to the top. They like to get their way, to be right, and to win. Taken too far, that lovable bull-headedness becomes naked obsession, ego, or self-will – signs of addiction. Recovering addicts, like great leaders, know when to admit defeat. It's not too late for our leaders to set and stick with an objective, measurable standard for losing.
Chest pounding and all guts from G.W.B addicted cultists is a common approach, from the ultraright. Remember that force and no reason at the end are defeated.

The ones who pay for all this are the brave women and men who die everyday in Iraq because of the Wolfowitz-Bush war.
GWB (Guts Without Brains)
Guts without brains
gives the world
too much pain.

Euro Smarter is Tougher ~ May 12, 2007, 05:20 PM

here's a scenario: let's say, as rumored, the Board passes a vote of no confidence this week, without a finding that PW acted in good faith. everyone assumes this is intended to leave him no option but to resign.

let's then say that PW doesn't take the hint, and that with the support of the loyalty brigade in the white house, he thumbs his nose at the world and tries to stay.

is this not only possible, but also the worst possible result?

Joe Mama ~ May 13, 2007, 08:28 PM

Another scenario: Is full moon, the strong willed Wolfowitz looks at the mirror, spits his comb and combs his hairy wolfie toes. Howls madly and declares that blue ribbons are weapons of mass distraction. The whitehouse loyalists hear what they want to hear: the weapons of mass destruction are in DC!! Red Alert!!!! They ask the attorney general to prepare the invasion of the world bank.
Nothing happens,
Why? Because the whitehouse memos get deleted and Mr. Gonzales forgets what he was going to do.
(CowJoe... say hi to yo papa and mama on Mother's Day)

EuroSillier Thanthou ~ May 13, 2007, 10:09 PM

JoeMama, if Paul could take a hint, don't you think he'd have taken it by now? A rebuke from the board is not going to mean anything to Paul. The only way they're going to get rid of him is by force. He'll have to escorted forcibly from the building. That's why a no confidence vote from the board means absolutely nothing. If the board wants Paul to leave, the board is going to have to vote to authorize security to forcibly remove him from the premises, and they don't have the guts to do this.

CowDad ~ May 13, 2007, 10:42 PM

Why is it that I get the feeling that PW will pull a Cho Heung-Sui ?

Come to the Board room with chains and lock the doors behind him, then pull out his weapons and start shooting?

It should be pretty clear to most people by now that PW is not exactly mentally stable.

He has already barged in on one Board meeting, so the line of physical intimidation has been crossed.

The next line is physical violence.....

I do hope the EDs have armed police ready form PW and his cronies.

Nin ~ May 14, 2007, 02:09 AM

Nin, that's a thought there, but I think it's getting a little out there to think that Paul would do something like that, as mild mannered as he is, but, come to think of it, most shooters are mild mannered. Hopefully, the building has metal detectors that all must pass through.

I'm just hoping the world bank staff has their cell phones ready when Paul is unceremoniously and forcefully removed from the premises. That will make some great YouTube videos. I still believe the Europeans are scared of standing up to President Bush, but in this case, I think even the Europeans can figure it out that a prez with a 28% approval rating is nothing to be scared of.

This has been a great show. Personally, I don't care if Paul is president of the World Bank or even if there is a World Bank at all. But I haven't seen a show this good in a long time. I just hope and pray nobody gets hurt.

CowDad ~ May 14, 2007, 05:07 AM

Let us go up and sit under the great lindentrees that grow on
john piercing pagoda*
In conversation like this the hours glided away till at length

dtdvtom ~ May 14, 2007, 06:44 AM

USA: Where Liberty is a Statue.

Who leaves those cryptic little droppings of nonsense?

SON 4GW No ~ May 14, 2007, 07:46 AM

Bank Files May Undercut Wolfowitz, Critics Say

Published: May 14, 2007

WASHINGTON, May 13 — Documents circulating at the World Bank suggest that Paul D. Wolfowitz, the bank president, understood that his role in ordering a pay increase and promotion for his companion in 2005 might be seen as a conflict of interest but insisted on proceeding anyway, bank officials who are critics of Mr. Wolfowitz said Sunday.

The officials, speaking on the eve of a fateful week for Mr. Wolfowitz’s efforts to remain head of the bank, said testimony and notes that Xavier Coll, vice president of human resources, provided to a bank committee investigating the matter supported the charge that Mr. Wolfowitz was aware of engaging in favoritism. One said the documents were “devastating” to Mr. Wolfowitz’s case.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity because the bank bars disclosure of evidence in the case, the officials said Mr. Coll’s testimony and notes have become central to the charges Mr. Wolfowitz is fighting.

The officials did not provide the documents. It was unclear whether Mr. Wolfowitz’s supporters would read the same information differently and insist that it buttressed his insistence that his actions were encouraged by others and subsequently cleared by them.

Robert S. Bennett, Mr. Wolfowitz’s lawyer, in an interview Sunday evening disputed that any such evidence existed and suggested that there might be some misinterpretation of the evidence. Mr. Bennett has reviewed extensive amounts of the testimony in the case.

“Because of the instructions of the World Bank board, I am very uncomfortable talking about the evidence of the case,” he said. “But I will say that a careful review of all the documents shows, if anything, that there was no bad faith on Mr. Wolfowitz’s part.”

He added that the evidence from Mr. Coll and other officials shows that Mr. Wolfowitz “agreed that he should not be involved” in setting the arrangements for his companion, but that the ethics committee “wanted him to get a concrete, practical result in a very sticky situation.”

At the heart of the dispute between Mr. Wolfowitz and his accusers is what each side claims to have known about the other’s actions and intentions. The decision to transfer Shaha Ali Riza, Mr. Wolfowitz’s companion and a bank employee, was made after an initial discussion by both sides, although Ms. Riza hired legal representation to fight the transfer.

A former bank official, Ad Melkert, acknowledged that he told Mr. Wolfowitz to take care of a compensation package for Ms. Riza. But Mr. Melkert said that, contrary to what the bank president maintains, Mr. Wolfowitz went behind bank officials’ backs to arrange the terms of the promotion and salary increase, which was large, as Ms. Riza was transferred to the State Department.

Mr. Melkert represented the Netherlands on the bank board and headed its ethics committee. He is now at the United Nations Development Program.

Mr. Coll, a Spanish physician and public health professional who has worked for several years at the World Bank, has declined to comment about the charges against Mr. Wolfowitz since they broke into the open last month.

A third accuser, Roberto Daniño, former general counsel at the bank and former prime minister of Peru, has also testified that Mr. Wolfowitz went behind his back on the Riza matter. Bank officials say that with Mr. Wolfowitz’s word pitted against these three officials, it would be hard for the bank board not to side with the accusers.

One of the bank officials who spoke Sunday said that one document appeared to suggest that Mr. Coll had told Mr. Melkert and Mr. Daniño that he was told by Mr. Wolfowitz not to tell them about the details of the compensation package for Ms. Riza.

Many bank officials have said that Mr. Wolfowitz was under pressure from Ms. Riza and her lawyers to resolve the matter quickly.

“Coll was in a very uncomfortable situation,” said a bank official who spoke Sunday. “For me, it is clear that Wolfowitz knew what he was doing, and that what he was doing was a violation of staff rules.”

A special committee investigating the allegations of misconduct will transmit its findings to the larger 24-member board of the bank on Monday. Also to be transmitted is a recommendation on how or whether Mr. Wolfowitz should be censured.

The bank board will listen to Mr. Wolfowitz’s testimony on Tuesday and decide what to do on Wednesday.

None ~ May 14, 2007, 11:38 AM

Note the May 14 NYT article by Steven Weisman specifically quoted Robert J. Bennett about being told to not discuss the evidence of the case.

He was most likely also told to stop talking to the press.... but that advice he elected to not hear or disregard.

In contrast, Riza and her lawyer heard loud and clear, and chose to stay silent. Wise.

Bennett and PW, however, did not post their response 'in public', which show he is not totally incapable of learning.

Sadly, it is too little too late.

Once again, he misread the nature of the proceedings.

This is an administrative proceeding before a tribunal of international diplomats and NOT a judicial proceeding.

Hence, there is no rules that bar the seeking and inclusion of additional evidence to either support or refute the assertions made by successive briefs Bennett / PW presented AND public statements made by Bennett, which have the force of formal positions taken in international diplomacy.

By putting up a fanciful defense, "I did nothing wrong", PW/Bennett set such a high standard of conduct by PW that it made it easy to shoot down his defense in successive rounds.

If PW and Bennett had gone in acknowledging fault / guilt, came clean, that would actually have limited the investigation.

Since the committee has expanded the investigation to include not only PW, but the appointments he made, etc. and INT, and also, inter alia, false and misleading representations PW / Bennett made to the ad hoc committee, it goes without saying that the maximum case they made is disatrous to the defense of PW.

Likewise, one of the key actions Bennett took, which is to be the 'public' spokesman for PW, making statements to the press that are part and parcel of a maximum defense, like the statement to NY Times today that read, “But I will say that a careful review of all the documents shows, if anything, that there was no bad faith on Mr. Wolfowitz’s part.” puts the ad hoc committee into the position of having to go out to GET the evidence of acting in bad faith by PW.

Bennett's statement is a big step down from the initial assertion by Bennett/PW that he "did nothing wrong". Now it is down to he did something wrong, but he didn't intend to do it.... standard criminal defense tactic of saying there is no intent, hence, no criminal act. Actus rea admitted, mens rea denied.

But this is not a judicial, let alone a criminal proceeding.

What Bennett did with this latest hoof in mouth, is to send the committee to go out to get additional evidence of PW's intent.

This is fatal to PW/Bennett's efforts to salvage as much as possible for PW for one reason: there is a treasure trove of not only emails, but personal notes, verbal testimony, and other material that a disgruntled Bank staff is more than happy to serve up to the committee.

Unlike a regular corporation or a middling government, the Bank is the bureaucrat's bureaucrats, where virtually everyone religiously take notes, log events, and keep records. The 'everyone' are the creme de la creme of civil servants in the world, highly educated and trained, and formidable in a fight that involves documentation, evidence, files, and notes.

The bald face lies that Bennett did for his client (he is a lawyer, he can claim he is only an advocate, he didn't know the truth) only serve to empower and encourage the hornets nest of Bank staff to dredge up devastating evidence about PW's behavior ---- Not just in this case, but in many others.

It mattered little that there was only the weekend for the committee to get the additional evidence ---- you can bet your bottom dollar that an SOS went out from the committee's staff to get evidence to refute the PW/Bennett submission of Friday nite, and it was all delivered by Sunday morning --- giving the committee plenty of time to include the counter-evidence in their Monday report.

Again, Bennett did not seem to realize that while it is a standard tactic of a lawyer to make assertions that are unsupported by accepted facts on behalf of their clients, (ie imagine Cho Heung-Sui's lawyer making the case that he 'didn't do it, it is mistaken identity), this is precisely the wrong tactic in diplomacy.

In diplomacy, the public pronouncements carry with it the credibility of the actor (nation, minister, official, etc.) and once spoken, it becomes a very difficult climb down. It also makes it very difficult for the other side to climb down.

The precise opposite is true with a lawyer acting for a client in a court of law. The public assertions of a lawyer are not under oath, and carry NO credibility and is clearly seen as the stance of an advocate in partial possession of the accepted truth / facts. It may or may not represent the truth that is actually admitted into evidence or how it is weighed by a court.

Likewise, whereas a legal proceeding is closed after a well defined round, in diplomacy, the presumption is that it is never closed ---- there is a continuing relationship. Hence the need to not make public statements that would damage the credibility of either side.

What Bennett has done by each ridiculous statement he made to the press "not act in bad faith", he just made the committee work harder over the weekend to document the case that he did act in bad faith. On top of this, it is probably a major issue in the report by the ad hoc committee that PW/Bennett repeatedly lied to the committee in successive submissions.

Now, the committee cannot back down. It is not just about Rizagate, but fundamentally, about the willingness of PW to lie and misrepresent the truth to the EDs. The more the committee dug, the more lies it uncovered is not a good way to continue a relationship with the committee.

What PW/Bennett needed, but did not have, is a credible 'leak' that is unidentified (hence do not attach their credibility to it) that supports their case. That is fair game and certainly, the Bank played that game of leaking and counter leaking to the hilt. Where is Bennett's network of trusted leakers?

To sum up, PW would have been better served to have come to the ad hoc committee hat in hand, kowtowed, told the truth, and begged for mercy.

The reality is that the EDs are very use to dealing with senior politicians and officials who make transgressions, and they were fundamentally disposed to hear PW and the out, forgive, issue a bland report that satisfied the staff, imposed a mild sanction like a mild rebuke (ie, a statement that the ED direct PW to comply with Bank rules), and that would have ended the matter.

If PW were to do a real class act, he would have done something like offer up a plan to 'fix' the wrongs he is responsible to the EDs, etc. and the Board would almost certainly have little choice (in the face of strong White House support) to just cave in.

As it is, PW not only got himself into more hot water, but his 'defense' guaranteed that he will have lost far more than if he had simply caved.

In a roundabout way, that is how his tenure in the Bush administration ended --- they had a golden opportunity to root out al qaeda everywhere in the world with the strongest international consensus behind the US since the first Iraq war, and they squandered it to remove Saddam.

"History always occur twice. The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."

Nin ~ May 14, 2007, 12:54 PM

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