A Pentagon panel has cleared Paul Wolfowitz in its investigation of his involvement in his girlfriend's Iraq junket.
Paul Wolfowitz, while serving as deputy secretary of defense, personally recommended that his companion, Shaha Ali Riza, be awarded a contract for travel to Iraq in 2003 to advise on setting up a new government, says a previously undisclosed inquiry by the Pentagon's inspector general.
That Wolfowitz's girlfriend was hired by DOD contractor SAIC to go to Iraq was reported in the New York Times earlier this week.
The Defense Department directed a private contractor in 2003 to hire Shaha Ali Riza, a World Bank employee and the companion of Paul D. Wolfowitz, then the deputy secretary of defense, to spend a month studying issues related to setting up a new government in Iraq, the contractor said Monday.
As was the fact that the assignment took her well outside of her World Bank job's purview.
It was not clear why the Pentagon specifically asked for Ms. Riza to travel to Iraq. At the time, however, the World Bank did not have a relationship with Iraq. Normal bank rules do not allow the bank to provide economic assistance to an area under military occupation.
The irony is just a tad hard to miss. This maneuver issued from the same neoconservative cabal that moved heaven and earth to destroy Ambassador Paul Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame Wilson because of supposed nepotism. But then, Wilson's findings in Niger discredited a key element in their plan for war in Iraq.
Time magazine's Matthew Cooper has written that he was told by Karl Rove on July 11 "don't get too far out on Wilson" because information was going to be declassified soon that would cast doubt on Wilson's mission and findings. Cooper also wrote that Rove told him that Wilson's wife worked for the agency on weapons of mass destruction and that "she was responsible for sending Wilson."
Of course the nepotistic boondoggle charge was as false as the rest of the case for war.
Over the past months, however, the CIA has maintained that Wilson was chosen for the trip by senior officials in the Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division (CPD) -- not by his wife -- largely because he had handled a similar agency inquiry in Niger in 1999. On that trip, Plame, who worked in that division, had suggested him because he was planning to go there, according to Wilson and the Senate committee report.
So if you're trying to keep up with the logic here, it's pretty simple. Fact finding missions that advance the Administration's aims are good, even if they are recommended by the paramours of those who undertake them. Fact finding missions that disprove the Administration's assertions are bad, even when they come at the behest of officials other than the spouses of those who undertake them. So bad that the White House feels fully justified in assassinating the character of both husband and wife, ruining the wife's career, and undermining the CIA's efforts to track WMD. It comes down to priorities.
Indeed, the White House continues to affirm its support of Mr. Wolfowitz, in spite of nepotistic machinations that have resulted in a massive job promotion and, it appears, the highly unusual action of granting security clearance to a foreign national, who holds no other such classification.
Riza, who is not a U.S. citizen, had to receive a security clearance in order to work at the State Department. Who intervened? It is not unusual to have British or French midlevel officers at the department on exchange programs, but they receive security clearances based on the clearances they already have with their host governments. Granting a foreign national who is detailed from an international organization a security clearance, however, is extraordinary, even unprecedented. So how could this clearance have been granted?
As of this writing, Wolfowitz still has his World Bank job. That may change as the World Bank's board expands its investigation of Wolfowitz to include the hiring and contracts of his closest advisers. Apparently he's surrounded himself with Bush Administration insiders.
Did I mention that the position Wolfowitz finagled for his lady love reports to the Vice President's daughter? I've said it before. I'll say it again. It's the hypocrisy, stupid.
Friday, April 20, 2007
The things I miss when I'm at work during the day. Demetrius posted this story in the comments to this thread at Howard-Empowered People yesterday
That's a funny guy I married. And he was a sweetie to design this logo for the upcoming blogswarm.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 3:33 PM
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I guess it all depends on what you consider to be "obscene". I'm not overly fond of "f-bombs", and tend to use them sparingly, if at all.
As I was just commenting here, I'm working some overtime hours this week and won't have as much time for posting. But I thought this comment by Hardheaded Liberal at My Left Wing was a good one, and worth a quick front-paging before I go:
Markos probably has heard and accepts that rape, like domestic violence, is about power and domination over women (or vulnerable men in prisons). But in any event he doesn't understand that threats of violence have the same function of "keeping women in their place" and supercharging the belief of the bully (online or other) that he has a "natural right" to do whatever he wants to to keep any woman "in her place."
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I was thinking of the whole issue of online abuse and harassment this morning as I was scrambling to leave for work on time. And I had this "Aha!" moment--or maybe more accurately a "Duh!" moment. Took a lot of self control to head out the door rather than tossing up a post before I left.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 9:17 PM
Monday, April 16, 2007
I just saw this at Crooks and Liars: The troops want to “finish the job”?
...last week, once soldiers started hearing about Bush extending their tours, there were “outbursts of anger and frustration laced with dark humor.” Specialist Rodney Lawson, to no one in particular, said, “If I get malaria, I get to leave, right?”Earlier today, I saw an essay in the Columbus Dispatch (originally from the New York Times News Service) entitled Flat Daddy leaves mommy deflated. Alison Buckholtz, the wife of a Navy pilot and mother of two small children shared her thoughts on having a "Flat Daddy"--a life-size cutout of her husband's likeness--in her home.
...He was a fake husband whose frozen cheerful expression -- the same dimpled grin I'd fallen for on a steamy August evening at a cafe in Washington -- gave me no comfort. He only reminded me of what I was missing.Ms. Buckholtz goes on to say that she admires the creativity and generosity of the people who are offering Flat Daddies (and Mommies) to the families of those serving in the military overseas, but "it's all in how it works for each family". She came to realize that, for her own family, a better solution was to tuck Flat Daddy away in a corner of the guest room, and spend more time talking with the kids about how real Daddy's absences were affecting them.
I can't help but think that I'd like to see Flat Daddies and Mommies sent to the people who are pushing to continue this war. I want them to have to look at those faces every day, and be reminded that they are actual human beings who are being kept from their families, and who are missing important milestones as their children grow up.
Cross-posted at Diatribune, My Left Wing and BlueSunbelt
But the sick sojourn, which some say uses ill 9/11 workers as pawns, has angered many in the responder community.
Ok, let’s review. Michael Moore offers to give a group of New Yorkers -- suffering for years from cancer and various respiratory maladies and are experiencing little or no relief from their own government -- a two-week, all expense paid trip to Cuba in search of decent, low cost health-care, and rightwing news rags like the New York Post try to make it sound like some kind of an overblown publicity stunt.
Is there anything these guys won’t try to spin into anti-left rhetoric?
Apparently, Castro’s Cuba has made great strides in the advancement of biotechnology, and has recently started to export its cancer treatments to 40-countries around the world. As a result, according to the AP, even the anti-Castro U.S. government granted an exception to its economic embargo against Cuba, allowing a California drug company to test three cancer vaccines developed in Havana, in 2004.
Of course, the Post just had to head out to the streets of the big apple and find ill 9-11 workers who rejected Moore’s offer.
Regardless, some ill 9/11 workers balked at Moore's idea.
“Stiffed by Moore? Yeah right, I bet that’s just how it all went down. I almost believe it… NOT!
Again, I ask: where do these guys come from?
And, I say this to Michael Moore: “Rock on, Michael! Keep on exposing the lies, hypocrisy and greed of this administration and their corporate cronies.”
As for “Sicko,” so far, the Weinstein’s, distributors of the film, are hush-hush about the U.S. release date for the film.
I’ll admit I don’t know much about it and I’ll wait for the movie before I pass judgment on Cuba’s social medicine program, but in case you’re looking for more information, here’s a few links:
Posted by Flirtin with Disaster at 5:05 PM
It was the slur heard 'round the world.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 11:40 PM
Books are still my favorite toys.