[OPE-L] Wolfowitz's world

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Wed Apr 18 2007 - 15:01:13 EDT

The plot thickens... In a message to the Dutch press, social democratic
ex-premier Ad Melkert denied any connection with the large salary hike
granted to Wolfowitz's girlfriend. Melkert was chairman of the Ethical
Commission of the World Bank in 2005 when Wolfowitz became president.
Melkert now claims "As former chairman of the Commission I reject all direct
allegation or suggestion that the Commission was in the know, or should have
been in the know, about the terms and conditions of the contract of Mrs Riza
for her transfer outside the World Bank."

Melkert claims he only gave Wolfowitz some advice, but did not instruct him
to act in any particular way. It was anyway not the brief of the Ethical
Commission to adjudicate on compensation levels, and he says Wolfowitz had
decided to instruct the personnel department himself, as well as dictating
conditions. In a letter to Wolfowitz dated 24 oktober 2005, Melkert then
concluded that "the conflict of interest was resolved in conformity with the
findings and advice of the Commission" and in a personal note to Wolfowitz,
Melkert thanked him for being so frank and constructive, and invited
Wolfowitz & girlfriend for dinner. It didn't occur to Melkert that another
conflict of interest might exist for his rich American mates.

Well anyway this story will probably drag on for a while. Ethical Commission
or no Ethical Commission, the "friends of the people" will find a way anyhow
to enrich
themselves and their mates out of public funds, and they will always have
another phraseology, another spiel to let themselves off the hook. The
social democrats and the neocons can be the best of friends in this respect,
because they both have the same interest in creaming off a nice little nest
egg, just for being there. The point is really that you can rarely be part
of an imperial bureaucracy without being tainted by corrupt practices in
some way, even if the fine print says that the corruption is not really
corrupt, because no rule was formally flouted.

In the Dutch Socialist Party, members who are parliamentarians and city
councillors do not get to keep the income which they get from their official
functions. They pay all their income directly into the SP foundation, which
in turn repays them a modest living wage. Since the number of party
representatives in councils and parliament as well as ordinary financial
members has grown enormously, the campaign funds available to the SP are now
the largest of any political party in the Netherlands.


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