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Did Wolfowitz's cheating on his wife break up their marriage and is he still cheating?

Did Wolfowitz's cheating on his wife break up their marriage and is he still cheating?

By Jackson Thoreau

Ah, the hypocrisy in these Republicans just keeps bubbling over.

Washington, D.C., is buzzing over Jewish neocon and Iraq invasion proponent Paul Wolfowitz's "personal relationship" with Shaha Ali Riza, an Arab Muslim and the acting manager for external relations and outreach for the Middle East and North Africa region at the very World Bank that Bush nominated "Wolfie" to lead.

For one, it's unclear whether Wolfie is actually divorced from Clare Selgin Wolfowitz, the mother of his three kids, whom he married in 1968. The Washington Post claims he is divorced, but several reporters, including yours truly and some British ones, have not been able to unearth any divorce papers.

The London Mail on Sunday reported that Selgin refused to "confirm her marital status - reports of his appointment repeatedly describe Wolfowitz as divorced but The Mail on Sunday has been unable to find any records. Asked if she is separated or divorced, Clare replied:
'That's my business.'" [see]

The Mail adds this juicy tidbit: "They have lived separately since 2001, after allegations of an affair with an employee at the School of Advanced International Studies where [Wolfowitz] was dean for seven years. According to one Republican administration insider, Clare was so upset by rumors about the affair that she wrote to then President Elect Bush, saying if the story were true it could pose a national security risk."

There is also this report at
from consultant Barry O'Connell, a former Republican and present conservative Democrat:

"Reports indicate that Dr. Clare Selgin Wolfowitz separated from Paul because he had an affair with a woman at Johns Hopkins University.
Paul Wolfowitz was Dean and Professor of International Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of The Johns Hopkins University. During that time he used his position to prey on woman under his authority. When the scandal broke, he and his wife Clare separated but appear not to have divorced. At this point it is unclear if the relationship with Shaha Ali Riza predates the scandalous affair at SAIS. One may wonder if Wolfowitz has trouble keeping track of his women, but I have it on good authority that he uses his protective detail of federal officers to manage his affairs and shuttle him from assignation to assignation."

Wolfowitz's Pentagon spokesman has even acknowledged the personal relationship, releasing a statement quoting Wolfie as saying, "If a personal relationship presents a potential conflict of interest, I will comply with bank policies to resolve the issue."

The Washington Post also reported at
that "Wolfowitz regularly spends the night at Riza's home. Two residents told us that Wolfowitz's guards wait in a car outside until he departs early in the morning. "

Since "morality" is such a key issue among Republicans these days, I think we have a right to ask Wolfie whether he is still technically married to his wife when he is spending the night at Riza's home. We have a right to ask Wolfie whether he is really having an extramarital affair now, and whether he had one years ago that led to his marriage's separation.

We have a right to ask Wolfie, Bush and other Republicans how such alleged affairs square with their party's morality stance. We have a right to ask Americans who voted for these clowns why they support such hypocrisy.

Remember how many millions of tax dollars Republicans spent to dig into Bill Clinton's private life? We at least should be able to ask questions about Republicans' private lives, especially when they're shoving a "holier than thou" attitude in our faces, should we not?

Jackson Thoreau is a Washington, D.C.-area journalist/writer. The latest book to which he contributed, Big Bush Lies, was published by RiverWood Books of Ashland, Ore., and is available at bookstores across the country. He can be contacted at or




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