In other news, one of embattled World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz' top aides resigned today to pursue "other opportunities." Kevin Kellems was a White House employee before Wolfowitz tapped him to become his adviser at the bank. In a statement to the Associated Press, Kellems said, "Given the current environment surrounding the leadership of the World Bank Group, it is very difficult to be effective in helping to advance the mission of the institution."
Yo Kevin, I hear the Justice Department is looking for some people with your background. And don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
From the NY Times (login required):
A committee of World Bank directors has formally notified Paul D. Wolfowitz that they found him to be guilty of a conflict of interest in arranging for a pay raise and promotion for Shaha Ali Riza, his companion, in 2005. The findings stepped up the pressure on Mr. Wolfowitz to resign.The nerve of those Europeans thinking they can tell the President of the U. S. of A. how to do his presidentin'. It's about time for The Commander Guy to once again express his complete confidence in Wolfowitz because there is no way a bunch of pansy euroweenies will push Dubya around. He may have to get his flightsuit prepped. A bigger codpiece may even be in order. Given Bush's propensity for belligerence, there is little doubt that he will tell the EU to piss off when they challenge him much like he has done with Congress. What happens after that should be highly entertaining.
It was not clear whether the committee, consisting of 7 of the bank’s 24 board members, would remove Mr. Wolfowitz from his post or, more likely, express a loss of confidence in his leadership in a manner that might persuade him to resign. Bank officials say that a majority of the bank board has concluded that he should go.
European officials at the bank said that if Mr. Wolfowitz resigns, either now or some time in the future, Europeans may be willing to let the United States continue to exercise its customary prerogative of choosing the next bank president.
Since the bank was established as part of the post-World War II global economic architecture in a conference at Bretton Woods, N.H., the United States has always chosen the bank’s president, in part because it has always had the largest single share of voting rights at the bank, currently 16.4 percent.
A senior European official said that Europeans have informally told Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. that many of their governments, some of whom asked for the custom to be discarded in 2005, would now renew their demand, especially if Mr. Wolfowitz is forced out by a vote of the bank board.
This official said that the overwhelming sentiment in Europe, as expressed in editorials, political commentaries and even web logs, was that European governments should never again let the United States pick the president of the World Bank all by itself.