The dispute has come to a head with the appointment last week of Suzanne Rich Folsom, a counsellor to Mr Wolfowitz with close ties to the Republican party, as the new director of the Department of Institutional Integrity, the internal bank watchdog that investigates suspected fraud and staff misconduct.
Her appointment has raised objections that a person close to Mr Wolfowitz, and with a political background, has been put into a senior position at a unit that was seen as independent of the president’s office since it was set up in 2001.
Robert Hindle, previously the senior manager of the unit and a long-time World Bank employee, resigned in November largely as a result of what four current and former bank sources said was concern at the targeting of employees who had worked on projects that developed corruption problems, and pressure on two occasions from Ms Rich Folsom to bypass internal rules on investigating the e-mail records of a number of employees.
This is an interesting development: The World Bank’s been an independent entity, but now that Bush advisor Paul Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the Iraq War, is heading the institution, he’s following a fairly standard script for neocon usurpation of power. Not only has he brought in a Republican activist, but the bank has begun to go around established procedures for accessing employee email possibly to target people based on political views rather than actual performance. That the program is designed to ferret out corruption sounds noble, but the reality has been that Bushmen tend to call any disagreement with their agenda a plot or corruption.
Wherever you go in Bush’s America, your privacy is in a shambles. We need to keep a close eye on this campaign to see if it is legitimate or politically motivated.
I also went into the privacy principles in question over at ZD Net….. (read more).