Most of us, once associated with the grievous distortions of evidence and outright lies justifying the invasion of Iraq, not to mention the horrid waste and death attendant upon the subsequent occupation that Wolfowitz oversaw, would feel the need to pause for a spell of critical self-reflection. Not so Wolfowitz, who, unmoved by the death and destruction he wrought, sailed on to the World Bank and announced that he would fight what he claimed was that venerable institution's penchant for, yes, he used the word, "corruption."
Toward that end, he would bring with him a score of Pentagon underlings whose hands were almost as bloody as his from the Iraq disaster. One of them, Kevin Kellems, former spokesman for Vice President Dick Cheney, suddenly resigned his $250,000-a-year job at the World Bank on Monday.
Another veteran from the Iraq buildup to be rewarded was Wolfowitz's lover, Shaha Riza, his resident Muslim expert, who was promoted to a State Department position paying more than Secretary Condoleezza Rice earns.
Not quite the $400,000 that Wolfowitz would be raking in at the World Bank, but Riza's salary had the advantage of being tax-free.
Such rich rewards for folks ostensibly fighting world poverty would not seem troubling to the PPs Vonnegut referred to, as they are suffering from a malady that renders them morally tone-deaf. Citing what he calls the classic medical text on PPs, "The Mask of Sanity," Vonnegut noted in his "Custodians of Chaos" piece: "Some people are born deaf, some are born blind or whatever, and this book is about congenitally defective human beings of a sort that is making this whole country and many other parts of the planet go completely haywire nowadays. These are people born without consciences, and suddenly they are taking charge of everything.
"PPs are presentable," Vonnegut reminds us, lest we be fooled by their equanimity on talk shows, "they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose!"
Vonnegut includes the executives who gave us the Enron and WorldCom scandals with the neo-conservatives to indicate the malady's extent. This could be dismissed as the standard liberal claptrap -- turning the culprits into victims whose illness made them do it. But I offer his observations as the most plausible explanation of the headlong pursuit of disaster, for themselves and the planet, on the part of these otherwise canny overachievers.
Yes, their mendacity does often catch up with them, and folks like Wolfowitz do not tend to be well regarded after they have lost the perks of power. The problem is that the truth arrives too late to prevent considerable suffering. Indeed, Wolfowitz's embarrassment at the World Bank is a minor inconvenience compared with the opprobrium he should be receiving after each day's dose of disaster news from Iraq disproves the cakewalk of a regime change that he had so assuredly promized.
Then, too, this lying lout will no doubt be rewarded with something similar to the $4 million contract that former CIA Director George Tenet recently received to share a few details of how he went about betraying us.
© Creators Syndicate
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Albion Monitor May
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