“He is the Very Model of a Postmodern Inspector General”

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Time will tell whether the emergence of the quasi government is to be viewed as a symptom of decline in our democratic government, or a harbinger of a new, creative management era where the purportedly artificial barriers between the governmental and private sectors are breached as a matter of principle. — Kevin R. Kosar, “The Quasi Government: Hybrid Organizations with Both Government and Private Sector Legal Characteristics” (Congressional Research Service, February 13, 2007)

I did this within a philosophical framework, and a moral and legal framework. And I have been turned into a cartoon of the greatest villain in the history of lobbying. –Jack Abramoff

Uproar Over Blackwater Escalates (W$J).

The brother of the inspector general in charge of overseeing contractors sits on the board of one of those contractors.

Brazil? Mexico? Peru? Bolivia? Venezuela? Costanagua? San Marcos? Indonesia? Bangladesh? The Philippines under Marcos?

The United States Department of State.

Which may explain why diplomats down here get really pissed off when you paint their countries as “banana republics,” as Tom Tancredo did in the case of Mexico in a recent hearing. See

We are all banana republics now. Another case in point:

The really astonishing thing, however, for people who live in such places and who dedicate their careers to making their countries less banana-republican — a risky job that often pays badly — is that the United States, beacon of democracy, would itself embrace banana-republicanism with such giggling glee, as it has in recent years.

Elections-rigging, Brooks Bros. Riot Squads, media-driven moral panic, covert state propaganda, bloated state bureaucracies, crony capitalism, “blogging for democracy,” Dick Morris, Karen Hughes …

The brother, “Buzzy,” is the former CEO of the Alex Brown investment bank, sold in 1997. He joined the CIA in 1998. To do what? Run their venture capital fund?

If Howard Krongard knew about Blackwater’s approach to his brother before this week’s hearing, he “should have known better” than to stay quiet, said Stephen Epstein, a former high-ranking lawyer in the Pentagon general counsel’s office.

Loophole:

Laws prohibit contractors from paying or otherwise benefiting a spouse or a child of a government contracting official. But those rules aren’t geared to the inspector general’s office, which doesn’t award contracts.

Also known as the Billy Carter Rule.

Howard Krongard is, however, subject to conflict-of-interest rules issued by the federal Office of Government Ethics. The rules, among other things, bar activities that would raise questions about an official’s impartiality, including any potential conflict of interest involving “a relative with whom [the government official] has a close personal relationship.”

The brothers are quoted as denying they have a close personal relationship. What, were they tragically separated at birth and raised by different packs of wolves?

Howard Krongard has recused himself from all Blackwater-related investigations and from continuing probes into allegations of corruption involving U.S. Embassy construction in Baghdad.

The State Department asks the White House to probe charges that the State Department inspector general laid off investigations that might embarrass the White House:

The State Department already had asked White House officials who oversee inspectors general to look into Mr. Krongard’s performance because of allegations inside the department that Mr. Krongard hadn’t aggressively pursued investigations that might cause an embarrassment to Blackwater or the Bush administration. Mr. Krongard has disputed these allegations.

Put Patrick Fitgerald on the case. He’s a Republican. He also seems to be something of a responsible adult. Which is actually a more important qualification than partisan affiliation at this point.

Read Anya Politkovskaya’s last book about what happens when the spies get cozy with the private sector and start engaging in governance arbitrage on a massive scale. Was that what Bush saw when he “saw into Putin’s soul”?

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