Howard "Cookie" Krongard, the State Department inspector general, has some explaining to do. Yesterday he told Congress that his brother, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, never told him that Buzzy joined the advisory board of State Department contractor Blackwater. Only Buzzy told me
that he told Cookie precisely that
in a phone conversation about two or three weeks ago. It's going to be a fun Thanksgiving for the Krongards.
Cookie Krongard pledged at yesterday's House oversight committee hearing to recuse himself
from any Blackwater investigations. But here's the question: if Buzzy is telling the truth -- and he has much less motive to lie than his brother does -- why didn't Cookie recuse himself as soon as he learned of Buzzy's ties to Blackwater? Buzzy's timeline puts Cookie's knowledge of the family Blackwater ties near the time when Amb. Patrick Kennedy was reviewing
the State Department's relationships to security contractors. Did the inspector general's office contribute to that review?
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) said
at the hearing yesterday -- but did not elaborate -- that Krongard concealed his brother's ties to Blackwater from his own deputy. How did the deputy learn of the concealment?
Furthermore, with Blackwater remaining a central focus of State Department internal inquiry, how can State function with an inspector general who can't take part in the probes?
We've got calls out to the State Department and to Krongard's office to learn the answers to these questions. Updates to come.