Howard J. Krongard, the State Department's inspector general, has repeatedly thwarted investigations into contracting fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan, including construction of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and censored reports that might prove politically embarrassing to the Bush administration, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform charged yesterday in a 13-page letter.
His alleged naughtiness includes:
- Refusing to send investigators to Iraq and Afghanistan to investigate $3 billion worth of State Department contracts.
- Preventing his investigators from cooperating with a Justice Department probe into waste and fraud in the construction of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
- Using "highly irregular" procedures to personally exonerate the embassy's prime contractor of labor abuses.
- Interfering in the investigation of a close friend of former White House adviser Karl Rove.
- Censoring reports on embassies to prevent full disclosure to Congress.
- Refusing to publish critical audits of State's financial statements.
UPDATE: The Post article doesn't mention this, but according to the NY Times the "close friend" of Karl Rove is Kenneth Tomlinson, noteworthy hack, who was tipped off by Krongard about investigations into his misconduct. Why would he do favors for Karl Rove's friends, or block the very investigations it was his department's job to conduct? No reason that I can find, just yet. Krongard appears to be somebody's Manchurian Candidate in State though, and I'm sure the breadth of his connections to people in the White House will be made clear before much longer.