Among those relishing the exposure of World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz's manoeuvres on behalf of his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, in recent weeks was almost certainly the former US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld was driven from public life thanks to the catastrophe of Iraq, and for the moment at least lurks in obscurity. Wolfowitz, his deputy until 2005, contributed in almost equal measure to the debacle, yet managed to slide from the Pentagon into the presidency of a leading international institution with every chance to redeem himself. Blame for torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, bungling over troop levels, chaos in Iraq's reconstruction, and the general meltdown in Pentagon management has all too often been laid at Rumsfeld's door alone. However, Wolfowitz was an energetic enabler of these outrages and many other notorious initiatives.
To cite just one example: among the most infamous documentary testaments to Rumsfeld's place in the hierarchy of torture is the First Special Interrogation Plan for use at Guantánamo that received his approval in December 2002. It cleared the way for prolonged sleep deprivation, 20-hour interrogations, and sexual and religious humiliation, along with other favoured techniques. But as the document signed by Rumsfeld notes, the plan had earlier been reviewed and approved by "the deputy", ie Wolfowitz.
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