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Thursday, April 26, 2007




(Chicago)(April 27, 2007) The Paul Wolfowitz spectacle at the World Bank is working its way to its ultimate demise. On April 14th I became the first columnist to state the obvious: Wolfowitz must go. He is still hanging on. But probably not for long. The leadership of the World Bank wants him out.

Wolfie has hired himself a lawyer, Robert Bennett. Mr. Bennett has represented people-in-trouble in Washington, DC, and he is good at cutting “deals.” Emphasis on deals.

It is obviously a pathetic situation when an “employee” needs to hire a lawyer to talk to his bosses. Wolfe is trying the same kind of tough talk at the World Bank that worked so well when he got Bushie to blunder into Iraq. But like the wolf of Three Little Pigs legend, Wolfie can huff and puff but he can’t blown down the board of the World Bank.

He’s through.

While Bennett tries to strike a deal, the Wolfowitz spectacle grinds on. Wolfie’s ultimate fall is not in doubt. In fact, this column is going to be a major factor in hastening his demise. Wolfie has passed through a spectrum of notoriety and embarrassment from ridicule to ultimate spectacle. A very sad spectacle. It is an ignoble way for any career to end. It may not be time for rachmones, yet, but we are coming close. De mortuis…

And so what is the elephant in the room of which I speak?

How am I closing the circle? Or bringing down the curtain. Or whatever?

Why Paul and Shaha and Valerie and Joe. They are there staring us in the face. The four of them.

Ah, the elephant in the room.

You will remember that the Bush administration “outed” CIA operative Valerie Plame, and destroyed her clandestine career, as well as the career of I. Lewis Libby, all because Bushies were outraged that Valerie Plame had apparently recommended her husband for an assignment in Niger. Plame’s unpardonable sin: sponsoring her husband, Joe Wilson for a mission to Niger that cast doubt on Iraq’s efforts to purchase “yellowcake” uranium.

The Bushies thought Plame’s favoritism was the height of arrogance and corruption, and worthy of public flogging, CIA secrecy or no. And so L’Affaire Plame exploded on Washington, and damaged or destroyed many careers.

As one of my law professors used to ask, Quare? “If it was a hanging offense for Valerie to sponsor Joe, why isn’t it a hanging offense for Paul to sponsor Shaha, to Iraq in 2003 and the State Department in 2005?”

Good question. Sauce for the goose, and sauce for the gander. Or sauce for someone.

The parallels are so striking I am surprised no one has yet mentioned them. They are eerie. How can Wolfowitz argue with a straight face that what he did with Riza is acceptable behavior when the Bush Administration has never stopped condemning Plame for what she did with Wilson?

This nugget was left to the tender mercies of, and we serve it up all basted in the irony of ironies. Sauce, gander, goose and all.

Finally, some writers have suggested that removing Wolfowitz from public life based on a minor sexcapade is akin to jailing gangster Al Capone for tax evasion. They want Wolfie's scalp for the disaster in Iraq, and rightly so. But life and the law do not work that way. Big bad guys often fall for small reasons.

And the writers miss the obvious point. Tax evasion put Capone in jail and ended his career. L’Affaire Riza will end Wolfie’s.

Paul and Shaha will now be able to ride off into the sunset together. I hope they really love each other.

Maybe they will even run into Valerie and Joe on the retirement highway. Early bird specials, anyone? But I suggest these couples avoid the “yellow cake” for dessert.

If only walls could talk. If only elephants could talk, especially when they are in the room with Paul and Shaha and Valerie and Joe. Together forever. Another page in the book of life.

That is a book even Bushie would enjoy reading.

Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world politics with forty years of personal experience. Columns also posted at; Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites:;


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