LONDON -- Departing World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz in a radio interview broadcast Monday blamed an overheated atmosphere at the bank and in the media for forcing him to resign.Or maybe it was the overheated atmosphere in Wolfowitz's pants.
Wolfowitz, who has announced he will step down June 30, denied suggestions that his decision to leave was influenced by an apparent lack of support from the bank's employees. "I think it tells us more about the media than about the bank and I'll leave it at that," he told the British Broadcasting Corp. "People were reacting to a whole string of inaccurate statements and by the time we got to anything approximating accuracy the passions were around the bend."Clearly Wolfowitz is suffering from "Bush Syndrome" ... which is to never accept the obvious as fact.
Wolfowitz said that he was pleased the bank's board accepted that he had acted ethically, and in good faith in his handling of a generous compensation package for his girlfriend and bank employee Shaha Riza in 2005.The board knows he's buy-sexual, but were forced to accept a gag order imposed by bullies in the Bush administration.
"I accept the fact that by the time we got around to that, emotions here were so overheated that I don't think I could have accomplished what I wanted to accomplish for the people I really care about," he said."My trousers were overheated, but Shaha wasn't going to sleep with me again unless I could promise another salary increase ... and the damn media made THAT impossible."
By tradition, the United States _ the bank's biggest financial contributor _ names an American to run the institution.And decides what the board can say to the press.
Wolfowitz's departure ends a two-year run at the development bank that was marked by controversy from the start, given his previous role as a major architect of the Iraq war when he served as the No. 2 official at the Pentagon.
And we all know how well THAT is going.
Wolfowitz would be wise to simply take his $400,000 severance package and go quietly into the night. Who knows, with that kind of pocket change he might be able to buy a Saturday night date for the rest of the year.