No Doubt – Blackwater and Deloitte
Oh black water, keep on rolling
Mississippi moon won’t you keep on shining on me
There’s no doubt many of you have read my post about Deloitte’s interesting activities in extraordinary parts of the world. Although their spokeswoman denied direct involvement by Deloitte in places like Iraq, I have had emails and calls since those posts from individuals who confirmed such activities. These individuals were verified by me as capable of having the connections and knowledge of such activities within Deloitte.
The catch is that a firm like Deloitte does not get involved directly and send an invoice to Baghdad on their letterhead. Their US-based professionals, for example, have had experience in any number of law enforcement and military organizations prior to joining Deloitte, (CIA, FBI, various military branches, Pentagon, NCIS and other military investigative groups, etc.) They often continue to have the relationships and connections to those agencies and the contractors they use, such as Blackwater. Because of, and as a result of those ties and, of course, to protect Deloitte, they sometimes freelance on special missions in Asia, the Arab world and South America. These are places where no typical Deloitte professional, if there is such an animal, typically goes.
Proof of how deep Deloitte’s ties with the US presidential administration and the administration of Bush Père is found every day, in the campaign contributions, in the none-too-subtle messages from their leadership and from the never ending involvement in international politics and policy of their advisors and former leaders.
No doubt you have also heard about Blackwater and the investigation of the September 16 episode in which Blackwater security personnel shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians. FBI investigators have found that at least 14 of the shootings were unjustified and violated deadly-force rules in effect for security contractors in Iraq.
The Deloitte connection centers on the Krongard brothers — who have carried childhood nicknames, Buzzy and Cookie, through long careers — and are tied up in the tangled story of Blackwater.
Alvin Krongard, 71, who left a $4 million-a-year job in investment banking to serve in top posts at the Central Intelligence Agency from 1998 to 2004, played what he describes as a routine role as an intermediary in helping Blackwater get its first big security contract from the agency for guards in Afghanistan in 2002.
Meanwhile, Howard Krongard, 66, a former general counsel at the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche who took the State Department job in 2005, was grilled this week by House Democrats. They accused Mr. Krongard (who does not use his nickname professionally, as his brother does) of alienating his staff and improperly interfering in investigations, including a Justice Department inquiry into allegations of weapons smuggling by Blackwater employees.
“We have now learned that Mr. Krongard’s brother, Buzzy Krongard, serves on Blackwater’s advisory board,” Mr. Waxman declared, saying the inspector general had “concealed this apparent conflict of interest.”
At the hearing, Howard Krongard, who did not respond to a request for an interview for this article, described himself as an apolitical auditing lawyer whose reforms have met resistance from subordinates who resent supervision.
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