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Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 02:09 AM CDT

Bush the Flip Flopper Rises Again

Whited Sepulchers

Bush's always standing BEHIND his supporters, until he has to distance himself from their Crimes. Delay who?

Bush dilutes support for embattled Wolfowitz
By Alex Spillius
The White House has indicated that its support for Paul Wolfowitz, the under-fire president of the World Bank, is slipping away.

At a briefing today, spokesman Tony Snow qualified the previously resolute support George W Bush has shown for the former deputy defence secretary throughout the eight-week controversy over his future.

He said there were two "tracks": the White House's continued endorsement; and the best interests of the bank.

"Again we support him, but we also know, and he has said that he is willing to be sitting down with members of the World Bank to try to figure out the proper way to serve the best interests of the institution," Mr Snow said.

His comments came as Mr Wolfowitz prepared to appear before the World Bank board later today after an internal report found he broke rules by securing a generous pay deal for his girlfriend, fellow bank employee Shaha Riza.

Mr Wolfowitz was expected to fight hard for his job, having described the findings as "unbalanced and flawed".

The board will discuss and decide his fate probably by the end of the week.

It can vote to sack him, recommend censure, or reach a quiet compromise with the White House, whereby Mr Wolfowitz would go but the European states who oppose him would drop their campaign to end the tradition of Washington appointing the bank's chief.

Critics have said the conflict of interest scandal has made his position untenable given his crusade against corruption in primarily African states receiving bank funds.

The panel's 600-page report said: "Mr Wolfowitz's contract requiring that he adhere to the Code of Conduct for board officials and that he avoid any conflict of interest, real or apparent, were violated."

"The salary increase Ms Riza received at Mr Wolfowitz's direction was in excess of the range established by Rule 6.01," it continued.

In what the panel described as the "central theme" of the matter, Mr Wolfowitz "saw himself as the outsider to whom the established rules and standards did not apply."

It also cited "questionable judgment and a preoccupation with self-interest over institutional best interest."

Ms Riza was seconded to the State Department when her partner took over the bank in 2005.

From the start he was a controversial choice by President Bush to head a global institution combatting poverty, because of his neo-conservative background and high-profile role in planning the Iraq war.

He has admitted making mistakes but claims his opponents have exaggerated the seriousness of the issue in order to oust him.

Mr Snow added: "He has said - and we agree - that certainly a lot of mistakes were made in the personnel process. But it's not a firing offense."

Asked whether the White House was sending mixed messages, he said: "We're not trying to send a wink, wink, nudge, nudge signal."

But it sounded very much like that.

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