Posted by: sean | April 12, 2007

Who says Wolfowitz doesn’t love Arabs?

According to the Post, Wolfowitz ordered a big pay raise for his Libyan girlfriend:

Wolfowitz’s tenure, contentious from the start because of his earlier role as an architect of U.S. policy in Iraq, has been marred in recent months by a series of controversies. World Bank staffers disclosed that a woman with whom Wolfowitz is romantically involved received big pay raises from the bank. Sensitive board minutes regarding China have been leaked to the press, and blistering criticism has been leveled at Wolfowitz on an internal electronic bulletin board.

…Wolfowitz sought to defray questions about the pay raises in a briefing with reporters yesterday and to focus attention on his priorities, which he has defined as dealing seriously with environmental problems, rooting out governmental corruption and fighting poverty, particularly in Africa.

Wolfowitz noted that a committee has been appointed to review the situation involving Shaha Riza, to whom he has been romantically linked. “I’m comfortable with that, and that’s all I have to say on that,” Wolfowitz said. “I don’t think its fair to the rest of the agenda to take up this valuable time with that.”

Riza was transferred to the State Department shortly after Wolfowitz took over the World Bank in 2005, in accordance with conflict-of-interest rules. She is still paid by the bank and she has received raises that increased her pay to $193,590 from $132,660 after she was moved to the State Department in 2005, according to the bank’s employee association. A Wolfowitz spokesman, who has previously said that Wolfowitz played no role in the raises, would not comment yesterday. Riza has made no public comment.

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