Inspector General Allegedly Blocked Probes

The State Department's Inspector General Howard Krongard has been accused of blocking fraud investigations into contracts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A congressional committee is investigating allegations that Krongard's office squelches investigations in order to protect the Bush administration's image.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, was tipped off that there might be problems in State's IG office while reviewing the construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. There were allegations that a Kuwaiti company was bringing in foreign workers against their will.

Rather than sending experienced investigations to look into the reports of human trafficking, Waxman says Krongard did the report himself. He ultimately exonerated the Kuwaiti contractor of wrongdoing.

The congressman says Krongard also refused to cooperate with a Justice Department investigation into other problems with the embassy.

"It seems from what we're hearing from people in the State Department that he was deciding to be a good partisan Republican and not do anything that might embarrass the Bush administration," Waxman says, "but he wasn't — according to these allegations — doing his job of finding out about wasted and perhaps fraudulent takings of U.S. taxpayers' money."



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