Paul Wolfowitz’s surprising–and seemingly ineffective–character reference for his protégé Scooter Libby, read to a captivated court at Libby’s sentencing hearing, should remind us of the unfinished HR business at the Bank. Nominee Robert Zoellick launches his worldwide listening tour and charm tour, but let’s not forget the housecleaning that everyone’s anticipating to get them, and the post-Wolfowitz Bank, back to work.
Reread Voice of Reason’s May 14 “watch what Shaha Riza and Paul Wolfowitz do, not what they say.” This insightful piece during the drama put some context around Shaha’s career at the Bank. Her contribution was not, ahem, quite as Paul Wolfowitz believed, and would have had the Board believe. His handling of his lover’s career was the incident that helped unravel his deeply flawed presidency.
Shaha is desperately negotiating her return to the Bank now that the conflict of interest–Wolfowitz–is about to be removed. It’s not finished, though, until the Bank and State complete their investigations into Bank employee Shaha’s jaunt to Iraq, apparently as an employee of defence contractor SAIC.
It now seems that it was apparently Shaha advising Wolfowitz not to resign and how to handle the Board and others so aggressively right up to the end. We always thought it was Robin Cleveland (banished to a broom closet but still very much on Bank premises) but it was just as much Shaha all the way along.
With advice like this, it’s hard to imagine how, based on her own account of her results during her absence from the Bank, Shaha will never qualify for the promotion(s) to which she so angrily felt so richly entitled. Even to a promotion panel of her own choosing, imagine what she will write:
“advised Bank President to draw a line in the sand, admit no wrong, defend me and hold his ground. Oh, dear, that didn’t work, he is no longer World Bank President.”
This candour should certainly help her apply for positions back in the Bank once Paul Wolfowitz leaves, removing the conflict of interest that led to her boyfriend’s helpful and, for her at least, lucrative threats to the hapless Xavier Coll and her resulting unmerited promotion, her very generous, ultra vires salary raise, and her departure from the Bank to unknown duties at the State Department for Liz Cheney.
Maybe Alison Cave should write performance evaluations for all the cronies (Robin, Suzanne, Juan-Jose, and all their cronies).
For Robin Cleveland, the Bush regime has committed to find her a job somewhere deep back in the US Government bureaucracy. As Dick Cheney looks for a place (“secret and undisclosed location”?) for her to burrow in, there are a few things to point out about how she has spent the last two years since she was elevated from “a third level official” (departed Air Force Secretary Roche describing her role in the Boeing tankers scandal) to the woman shouting from behind the curtain in the Wolfowitz Bank.
An assessment of Robin’s results and contribution might include:
- “provoked crises over Bank relations with China, Chad, India, Uzbekistan…”
- “minimal progress toward gaining a perspective on global development”
- “poor listening skills”
- “demonstrated lack of respect for the ideas of others”
- “abusive in resolving differences”
- “poor at sharing knowledge”
On the human relations front, recall Robin’s famous remark to a staff member who came to her office. “Thank goodness, an American. Finally. I can’t understand half the people here because they don’t speak English properly” might go verbatim into her development action plan to find her some good diversity training. and to the Ad Hoc Committee about Shaha “you are going to meet her this afternoon, and you can decide whether she’s someone you’d like to have working for you.”
Ah, the references Robin can look forward to from her soon-to-be-former Bank colleagues.
And the enthusiastic reception Shaha Riza can expect come July 1 as she returns to the Bank, her work organizing the staffing of the Foundation for the Future. Not a lot to show in the democratic Middle East, according to Michael Slackman in the IHT. At least with Robin gone along with Paul Wolfowitz, there will be a small office for Shaha to share.