Sunday, January 31, 2016

Former Inspector General accusing Hillary Clinton of lying quit State Dept. after being accused of lying and interfering with Blackwater probe

"The State Department is lying when it says it didn’t know until it was too late that Hillary Clinton was improperly using personal e-mails and a private server to conduct official business — because it never set up an agency e-mail address for her in the first place, the department’s former top watchdog says," Paul Sperry reported for the NY Post earlier today. However, the article fails to mention that Howard J. Krongard, who was the chief of the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of State, resigned after being "accused of improperly interfering with investigations into private security contractor Blackwater USA and with other probes," as the LA Times reported in December of 2008.

“'This was all planned in advance' to skirt rules governing federal records management, said Howard J. Krongard, who served as the agency’s inspector general from 2005 to 2008," Sunday's NY Post article continued. "He also points to the unusual absence of a permanent inspector general during Clinton’s entire 2009-2013 term at the department. He said the 5¹/₂-year vacancy was unprecedented."

Krongard added, "This is a major gap. In fact, it’s without precedent. It’s the longest period any department has gone without an IG."

On December 8, 2008, Paul Richter noted in his LA Times article, "Krongard, 66, has been accused by current and former members of his staff and by congressional Democrats of thwarting investigations of waste and fraud in Iraq. Among those are allegations of arms smuggling by Blackwater, the North Carolina-based security contractor that protects U.S. diplomats in Iraq and has been accused of using excessive force against Iraqi civilians."

"I am writing to you about an exceptionally serious matter: reports that your senior staff has threatened officials that you could fire them if they cooperate with the Committee's investigation into your conduct," Democratic Rep. Henry A. Waxman, who chaired the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wrote in a letter (pdf link) sent to Krongard on November 11, 2007.

Waxman added that in an earlier letter he had "described allegations from seven officials in your office that you interfered with on-going investigations in order to protect the State Department and the White House from political embarrassment." He added that "John A. DeDona, the former Assistant Inspector General for investigations and Ralph McNamara, the former Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations" said "that they had resigned after you repeatedly halted or impeded investigations undertaken by their office. This week, several current employees in your office - including two who have agreed to go on the record - informed the Committee that your senior staff attempted to coerce them not to cooperate with the Committee's inquiry and threatened their jobs and careers."

A year before resigning - which created "the gap" that the former IG chief appointed by former Republican President George W. Bush complained to the New York Post about on Sunday - Krongard "removed himself from investigations involving security contractor Blackwater Worldwide on Wednesday after admitting his brother serves on the company's advisory board," as Matt Kelley reported for USA Today on November 14, 2007.
"State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard first told the House Oversight Committee that his brother, former CIA executive director Alvin "Buzzy" Krongard, has no connections to Blackwater, which is being investigated by the FBI for a September shootout in Baghdad that left 17 Iraqis dead. After a break, however, Krongard said he had called his brother, who confirmed taking a seat on the Blackwater board and attending its first meetings this week.

'I'm not my brother's keeper, and we don't discuss our business with each other,' Krongard said.

The abrupt about-face stoked accusations from Democrats on the committee that Krongard was not credible when he denied subordinates' accusations of interfering with Justice Department investigations of Blackwater and other State Department contractors.
Even though Krongard may be right about the State Department and/or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "lying" or deliberately misleading about the current scandal, the New York Post was wrong not to note in their exclusive that he left his position under scandal after being accused of lying himself.

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