(Photo of Paul Wolfowitz by Yuri Gripas/Reuters via The Sydney Morning Herald.)
I see the talented and discreetly applied behind-the-scenes negotiating skills of Bob Bennett at work for his client, and some public pushback by disgusted World Bank employees and supporters who think that the rules — all the rules — should apply to their ersatz boss. Via NYTimes:
Bank officials said the committee was also preparing a recommendation on what the full board should do in light of its finding but would not be disclosing that to Mr. Wolfowitz.
The committee is considering whether to recommend an outright removal or some kind of no-confidence vote that may persuade him to resign. That part of the conclusion is not likely to become known until later, bank officials said.
The committee’s delay in drafting its conclusions made it likely that deliberations over Mr. Wolfowitz would be delayed at least until the end of the week. Mr. Wolfowitz has rebuffed suggestions that he resign and has accused critics of waging a “smear campaign” to force him out….
It was not clear why the committee missed its target, but bank officials said they understood it was because of difficulties in drafting the particulars against Mr. Wolfowitz, not because there were any negotiations to arrange for him to resign voluntarily before the draft was completed.
Bank officials said that there were such discussions about a voluntary resignation three weeks ago, but that there was no evidence they were under way this weekend. (emphasis mine)
A good lawyer knows how to keep his mouth shut until the deal is concluded and inked, and then will present that "best face forward" publicly once the handshake is struck. I have that Bob Bennett press conference feeling for this week — and am wondering if it will be on Thursday, while AG Gonzales is providing a useful distraction with his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
I would say that Bennett is trying to allow some way for Wolfowitz to leave the World Bank with his dignity intact, some face-saving maneuver, but it is much to late for that with the farce that his tenure has become in so short a time at the helm. The Village Voice has more, as does Al Kamen at the WaPo. And McClatchy had a great editorial on this (via the Fort Wayne News-Sentinal), including my favorite line which pretty much sums up the whole Bush Administration and their rampant cronies in a nutshell:
Apparently Wolfowitz forgot that the same standards he demands would also be asked of him.
As with all the folks in the insular Bush sphere of malignance and ruin, in their minds the rules only apply to others outside their fetid little bubble. More on that coming up in a bit…