Olbermann: Is there a third 'Blackwater brother' nicknamed Corruptee?
State Department Inspector General Howard "Cookie" Krongard has been at the center of a firestorm of criticism over his alleged attempt to suppress investigation of Blackwater's shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians, combined with his apparent lies about the position of his brother, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, on the Blackwater advisory board.
House Oversight Chair Henry Waxman announced on Friday that he would call both brothers to testify about what Cookie knew and when he knew it. This brought forth a letter from Krongard's lawyer, requesting that Waxman drop the hearings because "There is no legitimate legislative purpose to be gained by publicly pitting two brothers against each other."
Keith Olbermann took up the matter of Howard Krongard and his lawyer's astonishing statement on Monday, asking John Dean, former Nixon White House counsel and author of Broken Government, "Of the many, many, many rationalizations for leaving broken government broken, is this the silliest combination ever?
"Obviously, one of the key purposes of any committee is to find out whether it's gotten truthful testimony," Dean replied. "Why he let his lawyer even send this deservedly puts him in your oddball file."
Olbermann then cited a report by the New York Times that "Howard appears to be estranged from several family members. ... Buzzy Krongard has said that when Howard called him a few weeks ago as he prepared his testimony, it was their first conversation in months." He suggested that Howard should have nothing to fear from hearings that might relieve him of suspicions of partiality towards his brother.
Dean replied that the situation might not be that simple. "I'm certainly curious as to what, indeed, Buzzy may have told Blackwater about his relationship with his brother," he stated. "Did he tell them, for example, that 'We have a strained relationship,' which would cause a problem for his brother and stop him investigating Blackwater?"
Olbermann insisted again that it would seem Howard ought to welcome Buzzy's testimony, because "the Buzzy version of this conversation is that not only did he tell his brother ... but his brother said 'Why would you do that? Are you sure that's a good idea?' ... If he actually doubted the appropriateness of his brother joining their board, that might be the most principled stand by anybody during either of Mr. Bush's two terms."
Dean laughed, but also offered a less benign interpretation of the conversation, saying, "Is he warning his brother that he has insider information, trying to tell him not to go there because the government is headed that way and there's trouble ahead? ... There are all kinds of implications, justifying further investigation."
Olbermann finally asked Dean, "Is Congressman Waxman here at Oversight missing the forest for the trees on this one? I mean, the Buzzy and Cookie show is entertaining, obviously, at the nickname level, and then, you know, brother slap-fight way in a macabre kind of way. But is this not really just a component?"
"It is a component of a larger investigation," Dean asserted, "and I cannot escape the metaphor that has been running through my head, that we might see Waxman running into a cookie that is starting to crumble because it's run into a buzzsaw brother. ... Waxman isn't one who will turn away from digging this entire matter out."
"I‘m just wondering ... if there‘s a third Krongard brother whose nickname is Corruptee," Olbermann concluded.
A full transcript of Olbermann's interview with John Dean can be found here.
The following video is from MSNBC's COUNTDOWN with Keith Olbermann, broadcast on November 19, 2007