Is there any depth to which Paul Wolfowitz will not stoop in order to
sore [Ack!] shore up his relationship to Shaha Riza?
The pressure on Paul Wolfowitz to resign as president of the World Bank intensified last night amid allegations the Pentagon had interfered in his girlfriend’s career at the bank as long ago as 2003.
A private US contractor was reported yesterday to have alleged that the Pentagon ordered him to hire Shaha Ali Riza for a trip to Iraq shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Mr Wolfowitz was the deputy defence secretary in the Pentagon at the time.
Miss Riza was ostensibly hired by Science Applications International Corporation to spend a month in Iraq and report on the best way to establish a government.
However SAIC insisted it had “no role in the selection of the personnel” involved, and said it had been directed by the defence department’s under secretary for policy, Douglas Feith, who reported to Mr Wolfowitz.
Miss Riza was then working for the World Bank and her trip raised concerns among officials who questioned who had asked her to make the visit when it was against bank policy for its officials to go to Iraq at the time.