Is There a Breach of Nat’l Security Protocol in the Wolfowitz Girlfriend Scandal?

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Sidney Blumenthal has an excellent article in Salon today about the Wolfowitz girlfriend scandal. The outrage this far has focused on these facts:

In 2006 Wolfowitz made a series of calls to his friends that landed [his girlfriend, Shaha Ali Riza] 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 by $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.

Okay, old hat, right? Well, not exactly. In order to get the job Riza got at the State Department, she’d need a security clearance. And those aren’t given to foreign nationals who formerly worked for international aid organizations. Riza is “a Libyan, raised in Saudi Arabia, educated at Oxford, who now has British citizenship” and according to Blumenthal, “Granting a foreign national who is detailed from an international organization a security clearance, however, is extraordinary, even unprecedented.” Did Paul Wolfowitz compromise national security just to get his lover a job?

Blumenthal is calling for an investigation. It would be downright Al Capone-esque if the disgrace that finally rid us of Paul Wolfowitz’s nefarious influence came about NOT because of the ill-advised and disastrously-executed war he schemed up, but because he gave away a few too many perks on the way to the bedroom.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate