Paul Wolfowitz when on the offensive today against the accusations being made against him at the World Bank. And he hit back hard.
WASHINGTON –President Paul Wolfowitz on Monday decried what he called a "smear campaign" against him and told a special bank panel that he acted in good faith in securing a promotion and pay raise for his girlfriend. He reiterated that he had no plans to resign, and gave him a fresh endorsement.
In a prepared statement to the panel, Wolfowitz said the institution's ethics committee had access to all the details surrounding the arrangement involving bank employee Shaha Riza, "if they wanted it."
Wolfowitz told the panel, "I acted transparently, sought and received guidance from the bank's ethics committee and conducted myself in good faith in accordance with that guidance."
The special bank panel is investigating Wolfowitz' handling of the 2005 promotion of bank employee Riza, who was scheduled to appear later in the day.
The controversy has prompted calls for the resignation of Wolfowitz, an architect of thewar in his preceding job. The bank's 24-member board is expected to make a decision in the case this week.
Bush, meanwhile, said Wolfowitz "ought to stay. He ought to be given a fair hearing."
Wolfowitz lamented that the controversy over the pay package was part of an effort to oust him from the office, which he has held for nearly two years. The institution's mission is to fight global poverty.
"The goal of this smear campaign, I believe, is to create a self-fulfilling prophecy that I am an ineffective leader and must step down for that reason alone, even if the ethics charges are unwarranted," Wolfowitz said.
He called the charges "bogus" as well. I'm glad he's pushing back against these tactics. These nasty little anonymous selective leaking techniques for priming the media are really getting out of hand. That the media continues to play along with these campaigns is one of the reasons I believe they are in decline. I think people are getting fed up with the hyped-up Scandal Of The Week™ campaigns.