Saturday, Jun 25, 2016
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Wolfowitz returns

HOW'S this for irony? Paul Wolfowitz, one of the godfathers of the Iraq war, has been given a new senior position at the Department of State - heading a board that deals with disarmament and nuclear weapons agreements.

Mr. Wolfowitz was one of the administration's neoconservative hawks who helped drag the United States into invading Iraq and refused to admit error, even when it was determined that Iraq had neither weapons of mass destruction nor links to al-Qaeda.

He left that job in 2005 for appointment by President Bush as president of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development - the World Bank. And he was dragged kicking and screaming from that post last year in the wake of a scandal in which he engineered a promotion and more generous salary for his girlfriend, Shaha Ali Riza, who was also employed at the bank.

Then it was on to the American Enterprise Institute, a right-wing Washington think tank. The problem for Mr. Wolfowitz at the institute undoubtedly was low pay.

So now he has been appointed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be chairman of the International Security Advisory Board, which deals with disarmament, nonproliferation, and U.S. nuclear agreements, a job with significant responsibilities.

Unfortunately for the sake of accountability, it does not require Senate confirmation, which would present the opportunity for some important and unanswered questions to be asked in public.

Given a track record that is undistinguished to some and downright venal to others, giving Mr. Wolfowitz yet another senior government post on the taxpayers' dime cannot be justified.

Let his conservative brothers and sisters support him with fees for speeches and other honoraria. He has done nothing to merit a new role in the public arena.

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