Sunday, October 07, 2007

You Get What You Pay For

Or maybe not. McClatchy (10.06.07):
"The latest problem with the trouble-plagued new U.S. embassy complex in Iraq is that the sprinkler systems meant to contain a fire do not work, according to officials in Congress and the State Department.

The previously undisclosed problem in the $592 million project was discovered several weeks ago when the fire-safety systems were tested and pipe joints burst, State Department representatives recently informed Congress."

Even sprinkler systems fail at U.S. embassy in Baghdad

"The embassy complex, being built by First Kuwaiti General Trade and Contracting Co., has been marred by repeated problems. In May, when kitchen facilities at a guard camp that is part of the embassy complex were tested, the electrical system malfunctioned and wires melted."

Why? "A subsequent inquiry showed that First Kuwaiti had used counterfeit electrical wiring that did not meet specifications, according to testimony at a congressional hearing in July."

But never fear; Krongard's here. "Former top investigators for State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard have charged that Krongard refused to aggressively investigate allegations of misconduct by First Kuwaiti and deficiencies in the Baghdad Embassy."

Ahhh yes. Howard. He may be many things, but at least he gets the job done. Financial Times (09.19.07):

"The chief internal watchdog at the state department has been accused by former and current officials of systematically interfering with investigations to protect the White House from political embarrassment.

Henry Waxman, the chairman of the House oversight committee, said the officials had contacted his office to complain that Howard Krongard, the state department's inspector-general, 'repeatedly halted or impeded' investigations undertaken by his office, including probes into wasteful spending and procurement fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan."

US probes 'halted' to spare White House

Welcome to the Ivy League, eh? Howard [Princeton - '61] has an older brother, Alvin [Princeton - '58]. Alvin's nickname is Buzzy. Buzzy's very well-connected too. Buzzy's also a little, uhhh, intense.

Howard's nickname is Cookie, BTW.

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