Day By Day

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Muttering at the World Bank -- And at the CIA

I have on several occasions celebrated President Bush's determination to wrest control from corrupt bureaucrats both within the US government and in NGOs. One aspect of this reform was the appointment of Paul Wolfowitz to the presidency of the World Bank.

There, Wolfowitz has been cleaning house and enforcing anti-corruption measures with predictable results. The mid-level bureaucrats are getting restless.

At the World Bank, they are sometimes referred to as "the entourage," "the palace guard," or "the circle of trust," because of their close relationship with bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz. They are Americans with ties to the Bush administration, and the immense clout they wield has sparked a furor in the ranks of the giant development leader.

Their roles have rekindled fears among the staff that Wolfowitz, the former U.S. deputy defense secretary, is bent on imposing a conservative agenda on the bank. Wolfowitz has repeatedly sought to dispel such concerns since he became bank president in June. He has pledged his commitment to the bank's mission of alleviating poverty, and his unassuming manner has charmed many staffers who were averse to his role as a chief strategist of the U.S.-Iraq war.

But after months of seeming tranquillity, the bank is stewing with discontent over Wolfowitz's choice of several confidantes with administration or Republican connections to serve in key bank posts....

Read it here.

Ah yes, the keening cry of a mid- to upper-level bureaucrat whose career path has been blocked. It's becoming a constant refrain in Washington these days.


Bush appointee Porter Goss has been cleaning house at the CIA too, and the affected careerists have taken out their frustration, as they always do, in a constant stream of leaks to the press. The latest appear in an ABC News special that accuses Goss of conducting a "witch hunt" to track down and remove the leakers.

Read about it here.

Well, all I can say is..., it's about time! Go Wolfie, go Porter, go Wolfie, go Porter....

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