Last week I had a lot of bad things to say about Paul Wolfowitz. Now I am not so sure. Evidently World Bank officials are cool to requests by W’s new attorney Robert Bennett to lay out the case for the embattled bank president. I don’t have any inside information on this, but I am becoming increasingly suspicious that the real issue here is not Wolfowitz’s behavior toward his girl friend, but far bigger fish – the Iraq War and, yet more importantly, Wolfowitz’s professed struggle against corruption among recipients of World Bank aid. This seems to me a genuinely good (and necessary) fight against a group of highly-entrenched (and often self-deceiving) adversaries. Was Wolfowitz fighting it well? I have no idea. But I would imagine it’s not easy. Indeed, this latest refusal even to hear his defense is an indication of just how hard it is.
UPDATE: Michael Totten pointed me to Christopher Hitchens’ eloquent defense of Wolfowitz and Riza, which appeared on Slate a few days ago.