Howard J. "Cookie" Krongard (born December 12, 1940), is an American attorney and former government official who served as Inspector General of the Department of State during the George W. Bush Administration. After being accused of averting probes into contracting fraud in Iraq and a possible conflict of interest regarding investigations into Blackwater Worldwide, Krongard left his post on January 15, 2008, and was not eligible for retirement.
|Inspector General of the Department of State|
May 2, 2005 – January 16, 2008
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Cameron Hume (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Harold Geisel (Acting)|
|Born||December 12, 1940|
|Relatives||A. B. Krongard (brother)|
|Education||Baltimore City College|
Princeton University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)
Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Krongard was raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the brother of former CIA Executive Director A. B. Krongard. He graduated in 1961 with a degree in history from Princeton University, and was a First Team All-American goaltender in lacrosse, which earned him a place in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1964, then did postgraduate work at the Trinity Hall, Cambridge from 1964 to 1965.
State Department probesEdit
In a 14-page letter on September 18, 2007, House Oversight Committee chairman Henry Waxman charged Krongard with actively impeding probes into waste and corruption related to the war in Iraq and other matters. In a three page follow-up letter issued on September 28, 2007, Waxman informed Krongard that allegations of witness intimidation had been made against Krongard's staff.
Aides to Krongard threatened two U.S. State Department investigators with retaliation, including termination of their jobs, if they cooperated with the investigations into Blackwater USA and Krongard, according to a report released by the U.S. House of Representatives.  Krongard directly interfered with federal prosecutors when they asked his office for help with investigating possible Blackwater arms smuggling. In an e-mail, he wrote, to his staff,
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,
That was sent to a subordinate on July 11, 2007, and was disclosed by Waxman's Congressional investigation, who revealed the e-mails. Krongard denied this, however.
On November 14, 2007, Krongard testified to Congress, regarding his brother,
I can tell you, very frankly, I am not aware of any financial interest or position he has with respect to Blackwater. When these ugly rumors started recently, I specifically asked him. I do not believe it is true that he is a member of the advisory board that you stated. And that's something I think I need to say.
However, Krongard was confronted with a July 26 letter from Blackwater founder and CEO Erik Prince to A.B. Krongard asking him to join Blackwater's advisory board, followed by a September 5 letter welcoming Krongard to the board and a report from Rep. Elijah Cummings stating that A.B. Krongard had been expected to attend a Blackwater board meeting earlier that week. Krongard then called his brother during the ensuing break in the hearings and learned of this conflict of interest for the first time, saying "I'm not my brother's keeper, and we don't discuss our business with each other". He then recused himself from the investigation. Democrats on the committee argued that this had a negative impact on Krongard's credibility, which also cast doubt on his denials of the accusations of interfering with Justice Department investigations of Blackwater and other State Department contractors. Committee chairman Henry Waxman issued a memorandum summarizing the discrepancies between the two brothers' recollections of what they told each other.
- "PIN-STRIPE PLAYERS SPARKING LACROSSE; BY JOHN B.FORBES", The New York Times, May 30, 1982. Accessed October 23, 2007. "Three years ago, Richard Meister of Princeton, a public finance officer with Goldman Sachs & Co., and Howard Cookie Krongard of Montclair, associate counsel for Peat Marwick Mitchell, the accounting firm, decided that there were enough good players in the New Jersey area to form a team that could reach the top."
- Richter, Paul (2007-12-07). "State Dept. official resigns". LA Times. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
- Kessler, Glenn; DeYoung, Karen (September 19, 2007). "State IG Accused of Averting Probes". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- Associated Press. Krongard Biography. The Washington Post, September 18, 2007.
- Stout, David. Democrat Opens Inquiry Into Whether State Dept. Official Impeded Investigations, The New York Times, September 18, 2007.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-09-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) | Letter from United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
- Henry A. Waxman, Chairman of United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (September 28, 2007). "Letter to Howard J. Krongard" (PDF). United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2007. Retrieved September 29, 2007.
- Warren P. Strobel, Sacramento Bee, "Blackwater fact-finders threatened?"[permanent dead link], September 29, 2007.
- Warren P. Strobel, Mcclatchy Newspapers, "Blackwater investigators threatened, U.S. officials say"[permanent dead link], September 29, 2007.
- Brother of State Dept. Official Linked to Blackwater, Matthew Jaffe, ABC News, November 14, 2007
- State Dept. official withdraws from Blackwater probe by Matt Kelley, USA Today, November 14, 2007.
- The ballad of Cookie and Buzzy Krongard. - By Bonnie Goldstein - Slate Magazine
- Howard J. Krongard, Inspector General Archived 2007-09-21 at the Wayback Machine, United States Department of State. Accessed September 20, 2007.