Wolfie Was Probed on '03 Iraq Deal for Riza
A previously unreported DOD investigation takes Paul Wolfowitz's hubris to a higher plane than previously thought.
New information has surfaced, thanks to Britain's Channel 4, on Wolfowitz's sweetheart deal for gal pal Shaha Ali Riza at the start of the Iraq invasion in 2003.
The Government Accountability Project previously reported on the shenanigans of Wolfie's aide Doug Feith sending Riza, then a World Bank employee, to Iraq on a contract with the defense contractor SAIC.
This was long before Wolfie sent Riza to the State Department to work with Dick Cheney's daughter Liz, a story that I broke in September 2005.
Now Channel 4's Sue Turton, in an explosive report yesterday (watch it), takes that story a big step farther, revealing that Wolfowitz was directly involved in touting Riza for the SAIC job. Turton uncovers an internal Defense Department investigation undertaken in 2005 on the hinky hiring of Riza by SAIC.
This story is getting almost no play here in the U.S. But don't let that stop you from taking a look at it.
It won't be long before Wolfie exits the bank. His support even by the White House has practically vanished, no matter how little play U.S. papers are giving that particular matter. If you don't believe me, check out White House flack Tony Snow's press briefing yesterday. Snow tries to shunt all questions to the Treasury Department, for God's sake.
Back to the British TV scoop: The stunning document was produced in March 2005 by DOD's stunningly named Directorate for Investigations of Senior Officials. That puts Wolfowitz's hubris on yet a higher plane: He had been grilled and investigated about a 2003 favor he did for his girlfriend just before he started maneuvering in the spring of 2005 to get her a cushy job and big pay raises.
GAP grabbed the document that Turton revealed. Some excerpts follow; keep in mind that the blacked-out names are known beyond doubt to be those of Riza and two others:
I like how Wolfowitz told investigators that he didn't remember whether he recommended Riza for the 2003 job in Iraq. Please.
But it did make sense for him to send Riza over there. After all, she had had contacts with Ahmed Chalabi and other goniffs being used by the neocons to excuse the invasion.
Wolfie started blowing his own house down a long time ago. It turns out that even while he was the architect of the Iraq war he still had time to do a solid for his girlfriend.
Cheney took care of his pals at Halliburton. Wolfowitz took care of his gal pal. That invasion was an employment bonanza for the Bush regime. No wonder George W. Bush announced as early as May 2003, "Mission accomplished." For the latest casualty report, click here.
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