Following the release of the panel’s report, 37 of the bank’s 39 country directors sent a letter to the board demanding it “practice what it preaches on governance and accountability.”
The letter, obtained by the Financial Times, stopped short of directly recommending that Mr Wolfowitz go.
In a written response, Wolfowitz maintained that he acted in good faith in seeking to resolve an obvious conflict of interest. He accused the bank's ethics committee of forcing him to oversee the raise for his longtime companion, Shaha Riza, as compensation for her transfer to a different job. The ethics panel was afraid to confront her, Wolfowitz said, because its members knew she was "extremely angry and upset."
The ethics committee told Wolfowitz he could not directly supervise Riza, who also worked at the bank, after he arrived in 2005. He said, however, that the panel declined to oversee her job transfer and compensation, instead ordering him to handle those tasks
I wish he'd go away so that I can begin to forget the comb-in-the-mouth visual.
“From the time Ms. Riza presented her terms to Mr. Coll (head of human resources) until Mr. Wolfowitz instructed Mr. Coll to accept those terms, neither Mr. Wolfowitz nor Mr. Coll consulted with Bank counsel concerning whether the terms were in the Bank’s interest. Mr. Coll states that during his August 10 meeting with Mr. Wolfowitz and Ms (Robin) Cleveland, they told him he “could not talk to anyone” including the General Counsel about his conversation with Ms. Riza. Mr. Wolfowitz has not denied that the General Counsel was excluded from the negotiations. However, he explains that he did not consult with the General Counsel because he considered the General Counsel to be conflicted from providing advice to both the Ethics Committee and management.” (Note 47, page 21)
Wolfowitz also blamed Riza for his predicament, saying that her "intractable position" in demanding a salary increase as compensation for the disruption to her career forced him to satisfy her to pre-empt the possibility of a lawsuit.
Thus in the past kids wore kids' clothes, and adults wore business clothes...
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, there wasn't any doubt about which branch of the service I'd join. My thoughts immediately turned to naval aviation. College was coming up the following fall, but that would have to wait. The sooner I could enlist, the better.
Six months later I got my diploma from Phillips Academy Andover. Secretary of War Henry Stimson came from Washington to deliver the commencement address. He told members of our graduating class the war would be a long one, and even though America needed fighting men, we'd serve our country better by getting more education before getting into uniform.
After the ceremony, in a crowded hallway outside the auditorium, my father had one last question about my future plans.... "George," he said, "did the secretary say anything to change your mind?"
"No, sir," I replied. "I'm going in."
Dad nodded and shook my hand.
In that exchange, so long ago, between Prescott and George Bush, there is real nobility; it is a perfect expression of the upper-class ethos at its tight-lipped, firmjawed best. These were not people brought up to talk endlessly, or at all, about their "feelings." A nod and a handshake were more than sufficient to convey the father's pride in the son. With that handshake the boy became a man; and the man went on, as the world knows, to become the youngest aviator in the Navy, flying 58 combat missions off the pitching decks of aircraft carriers, getting shot down in his TBM Avenger and rescued at sea by an American submarine, and coming home with the Distinguished Flying Cross on his chest. He need not have left home at all. A word from Prescott Bush to Secretary Stimson or some other highly placed acquaintance, and George might have had a comfortable billet in the Pentagon or as an adjutant on some general's staff behind the lines. But that was not his way, or the way of his class.
Now flash forward to 1969. J. Danforth Quayle, scion of a rich and politically influential family, has a problem. Like millions of others, he has held off the draft for four years with a Selective Service rating of 2-S--student deferment. But now he has graduated, from DePauw University, and because his grades weren't so good it's going to take some doing to get him into law school. Meanwhile, he has had his physical examination, the last step before the machinery of Selective Service will grind out his induction notice. He applies for a spot in the National Guard, as the state militia is called, but the demand for places is so great that he will have long since been drafted if he waits his turn. Fortunately, a senior employee at one of the family's newspapers is a retired major general in the Guard. Telephone calls are made. A spot is found.
Throughout the book, he concedes -- and deplores -- the errors of his ways, for all practical purposes assuming personal responsibility for the Vietnam debacle. The list goes on almost in the fashion of a litany. The secretary of defense was a key figure in decisions to escalate the war between 1961 and 1965, and he readily concedes that the assumptions upon which he and his colleagues acted were badly flawed. They approached Vietnam, he recalls, with "sparse knowledge, scant experience and simplistic assumptions." Victims of their own "innocence and confidence," they foolishly viewed communism as monolithic, knew nothing about Indochina, and were "simple-minded" regarding the historical relationship between China and Vietnam. They badly misjudged Ho Chi Minh's nationalism and consistently overestimated South Vietnam's ability to survive. Regarding the key decisions of 1965, he admits he should have anticipated that bombing North Vietnam would lead to requests for ground troops. He concedes there should have been a public debate on the July 1965 decision for war. Over and over he acknowledges that he should have examined the unexamined assumptions, asked the unasked questions, and explored the readily dismissed alternatives.
McNamara was the primary war manager for both John F. Kennedy and Johnson, and here too he admits error. He concedes a lack of candor in his reports to the public, defending himself only to the point of wondering how top officials can be frank without aiding the enemy. He regrets on numerous peace initiatives that "we failed to utilize all possible channels and to convey our position clearly." He admits that he and his military and civilian colleagues repeatedly underestimated the ability of the North Vietnamese and National Liberation Front to endure losses.
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