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Wolfowitz's New Girlfriend Scandal

Salon: (watch short ad for day pass) Not only did the World Bank president find his companion Shaha Ali Riza a cushy job in the State Department, b

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Salon: (watch short ad for day pass)

Not only did the World Bank president find his companion Shaha Ali Riza a cushy job in the State Department, but she received a security clearance -- unprecedented for a foreign national. [..]

(I)n 2006 Wolfowitz made a series of calls to his friends that landed her a job at a new think tank called Foundation for the Future that is funded by the State Department. She was the sole employee, at least in the beginning. The World Bank continued to pay her salary, which was raised from $60,000 to $193,590 annually, more than the $183,500 paid to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and all of it tax-free. Moreover, Wolfowitz got the State Department to agree that the ratings of her performance would automatically be "outstanding." Wolfowitz insisted on these terms himself and then misled the World Bank board about what he had done.

Exactly how this deal was made and with whom remains something of a mystery. The person who did work with Riza in her new position was Elizabeth Cheney, then the deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. And Riza's assignment fell under the purview of Karen Hughes, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy. But these facts raise more questions than they answer.

Ah, but Bush has nothing but "full confidence" in the job Wolfowitz is doing. In any other reality, this guy would be out on the sidewalk filing for unemployment. But in BushWorld, this level of corruption is a good thing.

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