Daily Revolt

September 18, 2007

State Dept. Official Accused of Blocking Inquiry

From The New York Times. Sounds to me like another major Bush White House scandal:
A top House Democrat began an inquiry on Tuesday into accusations that the State Department's inspector general repeatedly interfered with investigations into fraud and abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan, including security defects at the new United States Embassy in Baghdad.

Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent the inspector general, Howard J. Krongard, a 14-page letter spelling out accusations made by several current and former employees of Mr. Krongard's office who documented their charges with e-mail messages.

Some of the accusers have sought whistle-blower status, which protects government employees from being punished for reporting possible malfeasance, Mr. Waxman said.

More abuse of power from a administration that has very little regard for the law:
One facet of Mr. Waxman's inquiry reportedly involves Blackwater USA, the security company that was banned by the Iraqi government from working in the country after a shooting on Sunday that left eight Iraqis dead. Mr. Waxman told Mr. Krongard that he had been accused of impeding an investigation of a security company suspected of "illegally smuggling weapons into Iraq." The Associated Press reported that the unnamed company was Blackwater.

[...]Last year, when Republicans still controlled Congress, they tried to do away with the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which had uncovered numerous construction abuses and contract violations. Mr. Waxman was furious, and he has made no secret of his relish in probing activities of the Bush administration now that Democrats are in control.

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