imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Blackwater and the Brothers Krongard: How Cookie Crumbled

by motherjones.com Friday, Nov. 23, 2007 at 4:29 PM

Accused of blocking an investigation into Blackwater, State Department IG Howard Krongard told Congress that his brother Buzzy has no ties to the military contractor. Buzzy says different.

Bruce Falconer

November 14 , 2007

Howard "Cookie" Krongard hasn't failed at much in life. Until recently, in fact, you would have thought him an unqualified success, a well-bred man who came from plenty and went on to plenty more. His resume is the definition of East Coast privilege: Princeton, Harvard, Cambridge, All-American lacrosse player, and successful corporate attorney. So, it must have been with some bewilderment that he found himself sitting before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform earlier today, facing charges of corruption, mismanagement, and incompetence in his latest station in life as the State Department's Inspector General. In his performance there, Krongard displayed a penchant for protecting political allies while obstructing investigations—and today, he may have committed perjury.

Krongard, a silver-haired man in his late sixties, fidgeted in his suit as committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) listed the accusations, many of which originated in congressional interviews with Krongard's State Department deputies. As alleged in a 41-page report released today and distributed to journalists at the hearing, Krongard stands accused of inadequate oversight of construction contractors at the new, 0-million U.S. Embassy in Baghdad; refusing to pursue procurement fraud charges in a case related to a DynCorp contract; intervening in an ongoing investigation of former Broadcasting Board of Governors Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson; questionable auditing of State Department financial statements; and an "abusive management style" that has contributed to an almost wholesale revolt against him by his own staff.

But perhaps the most serious charge relates to a subject that has become a continuing headache for the State Department: Blackwater. According to Waxman's report, Ronald Militana, a special agent for investigations in Krongard's office, launched an inquiry last March into allegations that Blackwater had smuggled weapons into Iraq. (The weapons ultimately wound up in the hands of the PKK, a Kurdish separatist group in southeastern Turkey and a U.S.-designated "foreign terrorist organization.") Militana interviewed State Department officials and a Blackwater attorney, and briefed an assistant U.S. attorney on the details of the case in preparation for a criminal prosecution. In June, with the initial legwork complete, Militana's boss, John DeDona, sent an email to Krongard, updating him on the status of the case. Krongard's cryptic response: "Please do not treat anything in the email below as having been seen by me, advised by me, or understood or approved by me. If there's something significant in the message below, please come and tell me about it."

Two weeks later, Militana, by then working in conjunction with Justice Department attorneys in North Carolina, put in a request for copies of Blackwater's State Department contracts and related documents. When Krongard learned of this, he immediately demanded a meeting and directed investigators "not to proceed in any manner until the briefing takes place." Militana was forced to cancel an appointment with a State Department official at which he expected to receive copies of the Blackwater contracts.

Justice Department officials traveled to Washington in late July, where they met with Krongard and Terry Heide, a congressional and media relations director in the Inspector General's office. They asked that Heide be excused from the meeting, as she was not involved in the investigation, but Krongard insisted that she remain, referring to her as his "alter ego." According to the sworn testimony of one of the Justice Department lawyers, Krongard "indicated his strong concerns about the participation of multiple agencies [in the Blackwater inquiry] and the potential impact of the investigation on the Department of State's efforts in connection with the war in Iraq." He went on to say that the lawyers were "wasting his time." The Justice Department officials ultimately convinced Krongard to allow Militana to continue working with them, but the Inspector General imposed a condition: Heide, his lieutenant, was to be looped in. As she later explained, she believed her role was to maintain "situational awareness" of the investigation on Krongard's behalf.

Heide's participation slowed the investigators' progress. At Krongard's direction, she became a choke point in their requests for documents. According to one Justice Department attorney cited in Waxman's report, "We have become obliged to engage in a cumbersome and time-consuming investigative process that relies primarily on communications with State officials, rather than the investigative efforts of IG agents…. For reasons that remain unclear, the line IG agents… have been forced to funnel requests within their own agency through a congressional and public relations official. This is not the usual practice." As of last week, Justice Department lawyers had still not received documents relevant to their investigation of Blackwater.

So, should we chalk this up to interagency rivalry and bureaucratic incompetence? Perhaps. But according to Waxman and congressional Democrats, Krongard's interference was more calculated than that. As it turns out, his brother—A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard—may have played a part. Until his resignation in 2004, Buzzy was the executive director of the CIA, where, in 2002, he reportedly facilitated Blackwater's first "black" contract—a .4 million deal for covert services in Afghanistan.

During his opening statement at this morning's hearing, Krongard strayed from his prepared remarks to deny his brother's association with Blackwater. "To put it finely, I am not aware of any financial interest or position he has with respect to Blackwater," he said. "It couldn't possibly have affected anything I've done, because I don't believe it…. I have specifically asked him. I do not believe it's true that he is a member of [Blackwater's] advisory board."

Krongard's statement put into motion a carefully staged ambush by congressional Democrats led by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). As staffers distributed copies to reporters, Cummings produced a pair of letters from Blackwater CEO and founder Erik Prince to Buzzy Krongard. The first was an invitation, dated July 26, for Buzzy to join the firm's advisory board. "Your experience and insight would be ideal to help our team determine where we are and where we are going," it read. Cummings then confronted him with an email, sent September 5, in which Prince thanked Buzzy "for accepting to be a member of the Blackwater Worldwide Advisory Board" and invited him to attend a meeting, which was held in Williamsburg, Virginia, earlier this week. Buzzy was to be flown there on a Blackwater plane, put up in a hotel, and receive a ,500 honorarium for his time. If that weren't enough, Cummings said that congressional investigators had called the hotel this morning and confirmed Buzzy's attendance.

Faced with evidence of his brother's close ties to Blackwater, Krongard stuck to his story, saying that Buzzy "has been involved in a lot of activities involving security, so it's no surprise that someone like Prince would invite him to continue to support security, peace, and freedom." Apparently ignoring the letter of acceptance, Krongard continued, "There is nothing in here that suggests that my brother accepted this July 26 invitation…. As far as I know, he did not."

According to Waxman's report, Krongard started intervening with the Blackwater investigation before the invitation was extended to his brother. But what seemed so suspicious was his continued denial of Buzzy's Blackwater connections. Tough questioning continued until Waxman adjourned the meeting to allow fellow members of the committee to vote. After the break, Krongard changed his story. He said he'd called his brother, reaching him at home. Though Krongard had testified that he'd specifically asked Buzzy about the Blackwater matter in early October, during this more recent conversation, he said, his brother acknowledged that he was a member of the company's advisory board and had attended the meeting yesterday. Krongard then recused himself from "any matters having to do with Blackwater." Asked about the suspicious timing of his change in testimony by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), Krongard responded, "I'm not my brother's keeper." Apparently Buzzy feels the same way. After the hearing, he told TPM Muckraker's Spencer Ackerman that he'd informed Krongard three weeks ago of his decision to join Blackwater's advisory board. If true, and Krongard knowingly lied to Congress under oath, his troubles may be just beginning.

Bruce Falconer is a reporter in Mother Jones' Washington, D.C., bureau.

http://motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2007/11/Krongard-Blackwater-State-Department-Brother.html

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy