Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Am Not My Brother's Keeper, says Buzzy's Bro, Howard Krongard...

Rep. Cummings: “This is a September 5th email that Eric Prince sent to your brother. It says, quote: ‘Welcome and thank you for accepting the invitation to be a member of the board.’ My question is this: did you know that your brother, Buzzy Krongard, was on Blackwater’s advisory board?”
Krongard: “Sir, I dispute that, as far as I know that is not correct. This is, you asked me to comment on this letter. Sir, my brother served honorably as a captain in the United States Marine Corps. He served as the Executive Director of the CIA. He has been involved in a lot of activities involving security. So it’s no surprise that someone like Erik Prince would invite him to continue to support ’security, peace, and freedom.’ There is nothing in here that suggests that my brohter accepted this July 26th invitation, what you have now shown me is an email form Erik Prince to a large number of people that I assume were all people who received this. I don’t see anything in here that suggests my brother accepted or attended, and as far as I know he did neither.”
Rep. Cummings: “Well let me go on, then, because I do think the letter indicates that he did accept. But Mr. Krongard, this is one of the most high profile issues facing the State Department, and your testimony today is that you didn’t know your own brother is on the Blackwater board. I find that very difficult to believe - let me ask you this, Mr. Krongard, did you know where your brother is this week, do you know?”
Krongard: “No sir, I don’t.”
Rep. Cummings: “According to this email, Mr. Prince invited your brother to be at a board meeting to discuss strategic planning. And this meeting is taking place right now, in Williamsburg, Virginia, this week as we speak. Staff contacted the hotel to speak to your brother and the hotel confirmed that he was scheduled to be there. Did you know that?”
Krongard: “No sir, I did not.”
Rep. Cummings: “And so, if your brother is a board member, which you said he’s not, but if he is - since I know you’re sensitive to conflict - would you agree that you should recuse yourself of anything dealing with Blackwater investigations?”
Krongard: “Yes, sir. And that was why - first of all, by the nature of my brother’s work, you should understand that we have never discussed his work or my work, so I had no reason to even think that he had any involvement with Blackwater. But, when these things surfaced, I called him and I asked him directly, he has told me he does have any involvement, he does not have any financial interest. If you’re telling me he does absolutely I would recuse myself.”
Rep. Cummings: “You will recuse yourself?”
Krongard: “Absolutely.”
Rep. Cummings: “Immediately?”
Krongard: “Absolutely.”


Buzzy Krongard was the director of the bank that placed “puts” on airline stock shortly before 9/11. This was reported by the San Francisco Gate Newspaper. His protoge, Charles Schattuck, left the same bank and became CEO of Constellation energy on September 12, 2001. Constellation Energy had a seat at the Cheney task force and was able to “fasttrack” re-licensing of a fleet of aging nuclear power plants on the east coast?

Heck of Job Brownie is put in charge of a fleet of aging nukes? Keeps me up late at night.

The bank they both worked at was Brown Brothers Harriman which Prescott Bush was a part owner along with the usual cast of Good Shepherds, Bonesmen from Yale....check this information out to know for sure what is going on here.

Blackwater fact-finders threatened?
By Warren P. Strobel - McClatchy Washington Bureau
Published 12:00 am PDT Saturday, September 29, 2007

Aides to State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard threatened two investigators with retaliation this week if they cooperate with a congressional probe into Krongard's office, the chairman of a House of Representatives panel and other U.S. officials said Friday.

The allegations are the latest in a growing uproar surrounding Krongard. Current and former officials in his office charge that he impeded investigations into alleged arms smuggling by employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA and into faulty construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Krongard has denied the charges and is due to appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee next month. In a statement e-mailed to reporters Friday, his office said it was cooperating with investigators.

"The Office of the Inspector General has cooperated with and will continue to cooperate with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's investigation," the statement said. "Furthermore, the OIG will continue to make any OIG employee available to speak with the committee, if they choose."

Officials at the State Department and other agencies said support for Krongard appeared to be slipping and it remained uncertain if he could keep his job. They spoke on condition of anonymity, because Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hasn't made a final decision in the matter.

The probe into Krongard's office is being led by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, who chairs the House oversight committee.

The two investigators said they were threatened with retaliation -- perhaps including losing their jobs -- if they cooperated, Waxman said in a letter to Krongard.

According to the letter, Krongard's congressional liaison told one of the two, Special Agent Ronald A. Militana, "Howard can fire you. It would affect your ability to get another job."

In a telephone interview, Militana confirmed that he has filed a complaint with Waxman's panel and said the congressman's letter quoted him accurately. He declined to comment further.

"I am appalled by these reports," Waxman wrote to Krongard. "Your office is supposed to be an example of how to protect whistle-blowers, not an example of how to persecute them."

Militana and the other investigator, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brian Rubendall, were among those pressing for an investigation into whether employees of Blackwater were illegally shipping automatic weapons and other military goods to Iraq without a license. Rubendall couldn't be reached for comment.

McClatchy Newspapers reported last week that two Blackwater employees have pleaded guilty in Greenville, N.C., to weapons charges and are cooperating with federal officials.

Blackwater, which has received roughly $835 million in State Department contracts, mostly to guard U.S. civilians in Iraq, is under intense scrutiny after a series of violent incidents involving its contractors. In the most recent, Blackwater teams were involved in a shooting at a busy Baghdad traffic circle Sept. 16 that killed 11 Iraqis.

According to an e-mail obtained by Waxman's committee, Krongard intervened when federal prosecutors asked for help from his office in investigating the Blackwater arms-smuggling allegations.

The investigations division of the inspector general's office "is directed to stop IMMEDIATELY any work on these contracts until I receive a briefing from the (assistant U.S. attorney) regarding the details of this investigation. SA Militana, ASAIC Rubendall and any others involved are to be directed by you not to proceed in any manner until the briefing takes place," Krongard wrote to a subordinate July 11.

Krongard denied those allegations on Sept. 18 and said he had made "one of my best investigators" available to help the Justice Department.

That investigator, Waxman wrote Friday, was Militana.

Several current and former State Department officials have sought whistle-blower protection after complaining about how Krongard conducted the inspector general's office, according to a U.S. official who requested anonymity.

In another development, Blackwater USA apparently has stopped its expansion projects, a likely result of fallout from the multiple investigations, the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer reported today.

On Wednesday, the North Carolina-based contractor canceled a $5.5 million deal to buy 1,800 acres of farmland near Fort Bragg, where it was going to set up a training ground for soldiers and corporate executives.

The fallout from the Baghdad shooting, combined with Tuesday's scheduled testimony before Congress by Blackwater Chairman Erik Prince, prompted Blackwater to put all new projects on hold, said the president of the firm that had agreed to sell the land to Blackwater.

Go to: Sacbee / Back to story

This article is protected by copyright and should not be printed or distributed for anything except personal use.
The Sacramento Bee, 2100 Q St., P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852
Phone: (916) 321-1000

Copyright © The Sacramento Bee

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home