Post Editorial Page Embarrasses Itself

A Washington Post editorial (taking a page from David Brooks) defends Paul Wolfowitz’s candidacy to the World Bank. The editorial is an embarrassment for the paper. Here’s why:

1. The principal argument of the editorial is that Wolfowitz’s critics should “get beyond their dislike of his role in the Iraq war.” Of course they would say that. The Post editorial page teamed up with Wolfowitz to sell the American people false information about Iraq’s supposed WMD capability. In a February 3, 2003, editorial titled “A Case for Action,” the Post editors wrote, “the United States should lead a force to remove Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and locate and destroy its chemical and biological weapons and its nuclear program.” For the Post to argue that people should “get beyond” Wolfowitz’s involvement in pushing the nation into war is completely self-serving.

2. The editorial says we should support Wolfowitz because “somebody has to think through the trade-offs between the environment and indigenous lifestyles on the one hand and the need for electricity and development on the other.” If we should have a World Bank president who is mindful of the impact of the organization’s policies on people, Wolfowitz seems a poor choice. After all, appearing before Congress in March 2004, Wolfowitz — the deputy secretary of defense — couldn’t even remember how many U.S. soldiers had died in combat in Iraq.

3. It doesn’t mention a single reason why Wolfowitz is qualified for the job.