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

| Thu Apr. 19, 2007 9:57 AM EDT

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.