Why They Keep The Doors Closed

The Vice-President stood up for Wolfowitz today, in advance of his (Wolfie's) appearance before the board tomorrow:
The proceedings are not public.
Well, of course not, because shining the light of day on this matter would vindicate Wolfowitz and get people asking some serious questions about doings at the World Bank. See this NYT piece, e.g., headlined
Bank Files May Undercut Wolfowitz, Critics Say
Anonymous officials at the Bank are telling the Times reporter that Bank evidence refutes Wolfowitz and "proves" he went behind the board's back.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity because the bank bars disclosure of evidence in the case, the officials said Mr. Coll’s testimony and notes have become central to the charges Mr. Wolfowitz is fighting.
Yeah, right. If such evidence exists, let the leakers provide it.
The officials did not provide the documents.
Well, now, why not? Wolfowitz provided his. It gets better:
It was unclear whether Mr. Wolfowitz’s supporters would read the same information differently and insist that it buttressed his insistence that his actions were encouraged by others and subsequently cleared by them.
Incredible! The Times has not seen the documents, recall. That means that their sources, on being pressed, admit that this damning evidence may actually vindicate Wolfowitz! So where the hell is the story, exactly? Hiding behind closed doors at the World Bank, where Bank Files May Vindicate Wolfowitz, Critics Admit.

There is a really big story there waiting for any reporter who wants to ask a few questions and demand a little "transparency" at the Bank--and he or she would be doing a great favor to the world's poor by asking them. Probably no Pulitzer potential, though. So we get the NYT piece. And this piece from Reuters, which is supposed to show that Africans hate Wolfowitz, but the reporter just went around to random people who are responding to what they've read in the headlines. It's very telling that the one guy interviewed who knows something about these matters is favorable to Wolfowitz:
Kenyan anti-corruption campaigner Mwalimu Mati said the bank under Wolfowitz had done a good job fighting graft, by viewing it as a barrier to development and making a country's efforts against it a benchmark for aid.
"The Wolfowitz problem is of less concern to me than whether the bank will generally live by its own rules," in deciding if he had broken them, Mati said.
I want interviews with the African delegates. I want profiles of all the accusers. I want press to attend the hearing tomorrow. Otherwise, this is not a story. It's just malicious gossip created by folks who have an interest in thwarting Wolfowitz' campaign to hold the Bank to its mission.