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Krongard, recall, is the State Department inspector general accused by his own subordinates of scuttling Iraq-related corruption investigations and then retaliating against his accusers for snitching to Henry Waxman. (Allegedly!) Pointing to the hearing's cavalcade of State-related corruption problems -- cost overruns on building the U.S. embassy in Baghdad; lax supervision of a $1.2 billion DynCorp contract to train Iraqi police; that whole Blackwater thing -- Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) asked if perhaps having a more "vigilant" IG might have been helpful.
Rice's answer? Nah, not really.
Krongard, she said, "very much" wants to respond to the committee's "allegations against him," and she all but promised he'll finally testify. But she emphasized that, in several cases -- the DynCorp controversy, for instance -- the State Department had uncovered for itself the extent of corruption-related problems in Iraq and either provided that information to the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Stuart Bowen, or took action itself. Sometimes, even, Krongard's "very active" office contributes to "how we find things."
Why Rice thinks it's exculpatory that the State Department is aware of billions of dollars worth of corruption problems despite the problems' persistence is, well, a bit unclear. But take that, Waxman! Every now and then, Krongard actually does his job.