Lots going on in the Dutch news today, with "Iron" Rita Verdonk finally getting chucked from her party, to the release of Jose Maria Sison.
I was waxing philosophical about Rita just the other day.
However, sometimes I see it as my duty to look at what's falling between the cracks and not being reported. Or in this case, translated.
So: the Nederlands Dagblad had an interview today with Herman Wijffels. Who the %$%# is Herman Wijffels?
I'm glad you asked. Herman Wijffels is a Dutch politician who wound up on the board of the World Bank and chaired the investigation into Paul Wolfowitz's ethics that ultimately led to his ouster as president.
Some say Wijffels, together with Ad Melkert, were the architects of Wolfowitz's downfall, and some leftists think there's a hunt on to take Melkert down at his current job at the UNDP as revenge. With the "Cash for Kim" scandal as putative reason.
Previous blah blah
and more blah
Here's the man:
(thanks for the so-so photo by Flickr's 'Hans on Experience.' Beggars can't be choosers...)
The Nederlands Dagblad was extremely cautious in its wording and attribution, so I suppose I owe it to them to do the same. In essence, it said that "third parties" went rooting around in Wijffels' bank accounts (how? it doesn't say) and looking for evidence of extramarital affairs in order to discredit him.
The paper didn't just come out and say these were Bush supporters, but did say that "The White House had a major influence in the fight over the leadership at the World Bank."
Here are Wijffels quotes, translated:
"People went rooting around in my past in a shocking manner"
"There was nothing they could find about me, but among my colleagues at the World Bank there was great consternation. There were very clear attempts to discredit them."
Wijffels also said that whenever a country was being discussed at the World Bank where U.S. interests were at stake, everyone would "skirt the issues."
Not quite sure what he's getting at there.
Anyhow, I guess it goes without saying: don't believe everything you read.