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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 08:16 AM
Original message
Paul Wolfowitz's Girlfriend Problems Raises Other Big Questions
Paul Wolfowitz's girlfriend Shaha Ali Riza, is not a U.S. citizen. She is a Libyan, who was raised in Saudia Arabia, and who now has British citizenship. Although termed a "qualified expert" by Pentagon sources, there have been no reports that she has ever served any other government in any capacity, has any experience in intelligence work, nor has she ever worked for a security agency.

However, in 2003 she worked under a Pentagon contractor - Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC). To do so she would have to had to receive a national security clearance. Particularly since she isn't even a U.S. citizen. While she was apparently given this clearance, it is unclear who at the Pentagon granted it, and under whose authority. Since her boyfriend got her the job with SAIC in the first place, one must presume she received the clearance as result of this.

Unfortunately, issuing a national security clearance to a foreign national under instructions from a Pentagon official would constitute a violation of the executive orders governing clearances, says the State Department.

Likewise, her stint as the sole employee of the think tank Foundation for the Future, funded by the State Department, also required similar security clearance. And in order for her to use the Pentagon clearance, there would have to be a "credentials transmittal letter" in her State Department file. But no one at State can find one of those either. And who was her boss at State? Elizabeth Cheney. {There's always sleaze if Cheney's are involved}.

Three Questions:

1. How does a foreign national with no prior experience in intelligence or security get a top level security clearance, giving her unfettered access to wander the halls of the Pentagon and State Department, at-will?

2. Who granted her this clearance?

3. If national security laws have been violated in granting her the clearance, who is responsible?

This is a good piece. Check out:
"Wolfowitz's Girlfriend Problem" - Sidney Blumenthal / Salon
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Benhurst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
1. Recommended #!
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
2. Once again item 13 on the list of 14 Characteristics of fascism
...jumps out at us in the Sidney Blumenthal article:

Surrounded by his Praetorian Guard, Wolfowitz insulated himself at the World Bank from the career staff. There, as at the Pentagon, Wolfowitz pushed aside the professionals and replaced them with a small band of politically reliable assistants. Wolfowitz rewarded them, too, on his own authority, with enormous tax-free salaries.

That item 13 reads:

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.


http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
3. Kick
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
4. i'm not clear on the conclusion that she had clearance
just because she worked for saic. those big contractors have lots of jobs that don't require clearances.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. agree--it's huge, with many employees who don't have them
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. But she is a foreign national....
...and as such, she would need to have some type of clearance. Even at SAIC. The job she held was purportedly was to aid the Pentagon in developing plans for the nascent Iraqi government in 2003 as it related to women's issues.

However, the post she held at the State Department's Foundation for the Future would require national security clearance as her work assignment fell under the purview of Karen Hughes, Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, and she reported directly to Elizabeth Cheney. Yet no one has the paperwork at State showing she has clearance. They said she has to have it to work there....

=================================================================
"A spokeswoman for Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC, said the Defense Department's policy office directed the company to enter a subcontract with Shaha Riza, under which she spent a month studying ways to form a government in Iraq."

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/04/18/worldbank.wo... /

"Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Wolfowitz, a former No. 2 official at the Pentagon and key architect of the Iraq war, may have recommended Riza for the job, but she was also recommended by others and was uniquely qualified."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070420/ts_nm/worldbank_wol...

"Riza was unhappy about leaving the sinecure at the World Bank. But in 2006 Wolfowitz made a series of calls to his friends that landed her a job at a new think tank called Foundation for the Future that is funded by the State Department. She was the sole employee, at least in the beginning. The World Bank continued to pay her salary, which was raised by $60,000 to $193,590 annually, more than the $183,500 paid to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and all of it tax-free. Moreover, Wolfowitz got the State Department to agree that the ratings of her performance would automatically be "outstanding." Wolfowitz insisted on these terms himself and then misled the World Bank board about what he had done.

Exactly how this deal was made and with whom remains something of a mystery. The person who did work with Riza in her new position was Elizabeth Cheney, then the deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. And Riza's assignment fell under the purview of Karen Hughes, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy. But these facts raise more questions than they answer.

The documents released by the World Bank do not include any of the communications with the State Department. How did Elizabeth Cheney come to be involved? Did Wolfowitz speak with Vice President Dick Cheney, for whom he had been a deputy when Cheney was secretary of defense in the elder Bush's administration?

Riza, who is not a U.S. citizen, had to receive a security clearance in order to work at the State Department. Who intervened? It is not unusual to have British or French midlevel officers at the department on exchange programs, but they receive security clearances based on the clearances they already have with their host governments. Granting a foreign national who is detailed from an international organization a security clearance, however, is extraordinary, even unprecedented. So how could this clearance have been granted?

State Department officials familiar with the details of this matter confirmed to me that Shaha Ali Riza was detailed to the State Department and had unescorted access while working for Elizabeth Cheney. Access to the building requires a national security clearance or permanent escort by a person with such a clearance. But the State Department has no record of having issued a national security clearance to Riza.

State Department officials believe that Riza was issued such a clearance by the Defense Department after SAIC was forced by Wolfowitz and Feith to hire her. Then her clearance would have been recognized by the State Department through a credentials transmittal letter and Riza would have accessed the State Department on Pentagon credentials, using her Pentagon clearance to get a State Department building pass with a letter issued under instructions from Liz Cheney."

http://www.salon.com/opinion/blumenthal/2007/04/19/wolf...
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. she spent ONE month STUDYING ways to form a gov't as relates to womens' issues?
security clearances are issued for people who need to know classified information, or who physically need access to secured facilities (e.g., janitors).

it is NOT required for someone who is writing up a research paper culled from public sources. if she was given classified information, then absolutely, she needed clearance. if she worked physically at the state department and was free to be unescorted, then absolutely, she needed a security clearance.

but if she worked off-site (not unreasonable for someone writing a research paper) or if she required an escort at all times (not unreasonable for someone working for only one month, ESPECIALLY someone's girlfriend!) then she did not require a security clearance.


don't get me wrong, i think this whole thing stinks to high heaven; i just happen to know enough about how security clearances work to not (yet) be sold on this.
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. The work she did for SAIC....
...has pretty much been "unspecified," from all the reports I've read. Aside from her fluency in languages, I've never seen what it was that qualified her to consult on women's issues related to the formation of the new government in Iraq back in 03.

I've done some work as a consultant for the feds myself in the past. I had to have a FBI background check just to be able to walk the halls of HUD in the 90s!!! And when a firm I consulted with submitted on an RFP for international development work in Africa, we were informed that everyone would have to have CIA clearance if the contract was won. They didn't and I didn't have to meet any spooks (thank goodness).

But she did have unfettered access at State. How she got this, no one is prepared to say with any certainty -- yet. With foreign nationals who already have security clearances with their own governments, reciprocal exchange arrangements are made. But she doesn't have that either. I'm not even sure if she has a green card.

And you're right, it stinks to high heaven. But then its BushCo, we couldn't expect anything less....
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The Count Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
7. Yup. And again: mistress, not girlfriend - single men have girlfriends.
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Rydz777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
8. The stink is getting thicker
I read an account that said that Riza's supervisor at the State Department was (is) Elizabeth Cheney. One scandal after another, and this one has legs.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
10. I can't wait to hear that they found out she's a spy. Perfection achieved.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
11. neither cronies
nor sacrificial pieces of ass need no steenking clearance.
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Marrak Donating Member (332 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
12. Oh, the twisted web they weave....
Kick-out him out!
:kick:
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-21-07 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
13. Sorry... I'm just still stuck on the very idea that this hideous schmuck
actually has a girlfriend. I'm having some serious trouble just getting beyond that fact.

EEEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUWWWWWW!!!!!!
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