I like to write on issues were somehow our countries are connected. At the time the Wolfowitz incident with his girlfriend was going on, Ad Melkert was the chairman of the Ethical Commission. Melkert, a socialist, kinda technocratic, Dutch politician denies that the EC was involved in the settlement of Shaha Riza career break, caused by Wolfowitz assignment as head of the World Bank (The bank forbids a private relationship in hierarchical lines). He stated that was simply not the commisions jurisdiction. Wolfowitz though states he brought the matter to the commission himself, which then instructed him to deal with the matter and, given she was about to have promotion, ensure this was fairly arranged. From the worldbank’s website:

August 8, 2005 – Letter from Ethics Committee Chairman Ad Melkert to PW

“1) The EC cannot interact directly with staff member situations, hence Xavier (yoh-there: Xavier Coll, Human Resources VP) should act upon your instruction.

2) The interaction with the staff member at this stage is only for information purposes, by way of courtesy, as both you and the EC have been preoccupied from the outset to have a procedure in place and an outcome reached that would duly recognize the record and career perspectives of the staff member, taking into account the scope of the EC which is limited to Board officials.”

Note that while there the contradiction is de-jura superficial, de facto Paul, the Iraq-war-string-puller, seems to to have a de-facto case. The fact that Ab thanked Paul informally for his prudent resolve of the tough matter, and by the way, why don’t you and Shaha stop by for dinner soon, doesn’t help either.

Disclaimer: the quote above is not a complete representation of the letters. The snippets shown on the worldbank’s site aren’t either.

Added: D’uhh, for me it is so obvious Melkert is a Dutchman, I only now realize I didn’t write that.

Added: It seems Wolfowitz days are counted. The United States administration changed its tune from blunt support to “do whatever is best for the Worldbank”. The Europeans want his blood. The developing countries are estranged by the impossible anti-corruption tactics and the focus on Iraq. For those who don’t know, the US, by unwritten law, supply the Worldbank president, while the Europeans choose the president of the international Monetary Fund. The US surely doesn’t want to give up this priviledge, but the situation is no longer maintainable. The ad-hoc commission investigating the case concluded that while the Ethical Commissions instructions were not very clear, Wolfowitz arranged Shaha’s transfer and raise completly between him and Xavier Coll.

Added May 18th: He resigned per June 30th.