Yes, Dan Satterberg, King County Prosecutor, and those that worked with him in the prosecution against me, should be ashamed for letting themselves be played like violins by Dan Satterberg’s major campaign contributors, Boeing and law firm Perkins Coie. (A partner at Perkins Coie, perhaps the chief benefactor of Boeing retainers for defending Boeing against any culpability for their white collar personnel’s crimes, was also head of Satterberg’s campaign for King County Prosecutor.) Their efforts to prevent Boeing criminality from coming to anyone’s attention that might be so ethical that they would want to do something about it that they demonstrated during the prosecution of me for going to the press about Boeing misconduct of the highest order should forever go down as one of the “highest achievements” ever in the annals of the history of King County Prosecutor misconduct.
I do in no way mean to suggest that my personal fate is of any great import, but his attempt, per the very, very ardent wishes of his noted campaign contributors to put blue collar people in prison on trumped up charges for daring to oppose the real and high crimes of Boeing’s numerous white collar criminals is “pay to prosecute” misconduct of the worst possible kind. It’s a corruption of our government that makes Blagojevich’s corruption look tame by comparison, as the whole concept of Justice itself is at stake, and not just money, as was the case in that widely publicized case of blatant corruption in Illinois.
But, in King County, Justice is for sale to the biggest campaign contributor or benefactor to the current King County Prosecutor. In King County, Justice is in effect peeking through her blindfold at the amount and source of campaign cash put on the scales she is holding. Those who contribute most receive whatever “justice” they want, even if what they actually want is injustice. In that way, King County Justice is surely blind because of Dan Satterberg’s actions and inaction, as the meaning of justice and injustice are thusly variable for Satterberg if the bidding is high enough.
Surely, even if campaign cash and related powerful people of those donor companies had not come into the way of how the King County Prosecutor’s Office interprets “justice” so directly, just the mere fact that Dan Satterberg belongs to a political party that has so steadfastly defended the moneyed elite’s interests over the interests of all other citizens would explain somewhat his bias against unbiased justice in this case. However, there are good Republicans out there, to be sure. Dan Satterberg is just not one of them.
Thankfully, for Dan Satterberg, cases like mine when he has to choose either justice, or inflicting the injustice wanted by his family friends, campaign contributors, and campaign heads, don’t come along too often, and are not covered in the press in sufficient detail to make clear to the public his office’s sale of justice to the highest bidder. But, then again, perhaps Dan Satterberg doesn’t care about the risks of his own corruption being outed if the money and other rewards for said corruption are high enough. I don’t presume to know, however, what precisely goes through his white collar biased “criminal mind,” however. Those of us interested in true justice (which, of course, doesn’t include Dan Satterberg, as noted) should hope that Dan Satterberg doesn’t successfully keep his “pay to prosecute” corruption hidden from accountability much longer, and this blog is in the spirit of such openness that is needed to end such corruption.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and well before he won election with Boeing’s and Perkins Coie’s money and other help, Dan Satterberg had held absolute power for far too long, even if it was only for the relatively short time between the last King County Prosecutor’s death and his own election. Dan Satterberg breaks no new ground there, even though his corruption of “his” office is unprecedented, except for perhaps the time before Norm Maleng took office. That Dan Satterberg’s campaign was highly distasteful (at the least) is surely attributable to his Perkins Coie campaign manager and his own “ethics.” I had never before seen a candidate for office try to “surf his way” into office on his predecessor’s coffin. That they had to essentially pry Dan Satterberg from Norm Maleng’s coffin so they could bury it while he had the cameras rolling, in effect, was distasteful, indeed, and while apparently effective with all of Boeing’s and Perkins Coie’s campaign cash to publicize it, I do not want to see any candidate for office stoop so low ever again. But this and Satterberg’s selling of justice to the highest bidder does say much about Dan Satterberg’s “ethics,” I believe. Being thusly so closely associated with the worst people in Boeing Management and Boeing Legal does not carry the public connotation it should have, however, even in these days when Boeing Management’s unethical antics are perhaps becoming most widely known.
Dan Satterberg could have avoided his office’s corruption by investigating and charging the vastly greater crimes of the company that reported my purported crime of communicating with a reporter in the media. That wasn’t going to happen on Dan Satterberg’s watch, however. His office made no effort to contact me or ask the Seattle Police Department to do so, even though the evidence of Boeing misconduct being the sole driver of my contacts with the press was inescapable. Why did he not do so? Were his hands as dirty as Boeing’s obviously were at that point in his career? Possibly. But it was perhaps the fact he knew Boeing’s “hands” were so dirty that led him to not thusly “bite” the dirty hands that would feed his campaign, and quench his thirst for more absolute power. Thusly not “biting” Boeing’s dirty “hands” was not a hard choice for one of the ethics of Dan Satterberg, no doubt.
Now that Dan Satterberg has “absolute power” to define the meaning of the term “justice” in King County (even to mean its opposite meaning), he is no doubt also probably one of the chief advocates to make the King County Prosecutor a non-partisan office, and even for public financing of elections. Now that he is in the office, doing so would only help quench his thirst for ever more “absolute power” if he succeeds in keeping his office's base corruption out of the press.
Boeing is perhaps the entity with the most dirty hands ever to report a crime in King County, albeit perhaps a murderer has before similarly reported the jaywalking of someone who was on their way to the police department or prosecutor to report that same murderer’s crimes, and the police or prosecutor also similarly ignored the murderers crimes and threw the book at the jaywalker instead with a vengeance, perhaps having also had their “decisionmaking” on the subject also “helped along” by the murderer giving them cash to do so. I do not mean to insinuate what I did in contacting the press as a whistle-blower was akin to “jaywalking,” or that Boeing’s ongoing criminality is akin to murder. The many people that have died because of the corruption I steadfastly tried to end are not “murders,” to my knowledge, as I have no evidence the many corrupt Boeing managers I witnessed the actions of that made those deaths much, much more likely and directly resulted in many of them actually wanted them to die and watched the coverage of plane crashes on CNN with glee anticipating a new order shortly from the affected airline. I believe they are first degree manslaughter, however. As for the crimes I reported to the press in Boeing giving Stealth Bomber technology to proscribed countries by stealing it from the true owners for use on commercial airplanes, that is a crime that is potentially even graver for our country in terms of consequences than the complex fraud in Boeing Quality Assurance that I tried to end, and that Dan Satterberg intentionally overlooked for the benefit of his campaign contributor extraordinaire Boeing.
But the party Dan Satterberg belongs to has, of late, not been at all about protecting the average person, no matter how well Dan Satterberg makes himself seem otherwise by prominently posting what he is doing to help the needy (and ensure his re-election) on the King County Prosecutor’s website. It has instead been about increasing the number of needy and outsourcing their jobs. To that end, Boeing is a good complement to Satterberg, as Boeing has outsourced untold thousands of jobs and likes to take credit for the charitable giving of their relatively few remaining employees. To his credit, I don’t believe Dan Satterberg has outsourced any King County Prosecutor’s office jobs yet, whatever he feels about the wisdom of Boeing’s own outsourcing. Maybe he believes, as his kind of Republican does, that Boeing’s outsourcing is good because it allows them extra money with which to contribute to his campaign, but, alas, the subject of outsourcing is not related to the issue at hand.
That Dan Satterberg has been the willing puppet of the company that still most arrogantly flouts the law is not surprising, if you know his actions well, as I do. Satterberg will protect Boeing misconduct as long as he is in office, just as he has up until now. In that, Boeing’s contributions and Boeing contributions funneled through other companies have been a relatively cheap bargain. After all, what price would you put on your freedom from prosecution if you were a Boeing white collar criminal? I don’t presume to know the status of Boeing’s actions in other counties to similarly ensure corrupt actors in high offices. Maybe, as most corrupt Boeing white collar criminals work and live in King County, Boeing has not had to get their hands even more dirty elsewhere in the state than in King County.
Even though Dan Satterberg has a Complex Fraud department that would presumably be ideal in prosecuting Boeing’s complex frauds (both the ones I witnessed and others), he has so far used it to arrogantly protect Boeing’s own complex frauds and to cover up any evidence of Boeing’s complex frauds. It has therefor been turned 180 degrees from its supposed duty, just as the word “justice” has also been defiled under him.
I wish I and others could truthfully report that Dan Satterberg was not a discredit to the restoration of the Republican Party’s good name. To that end, Dan Satterberg defiles his own party’s name just as much as Blagojevich does to the Democrats. Blagojevich tried to sell an office to the highest bidder, whereas Satterberg sells King County “justice” thusly to the highest bidder.
Maybe one day the King County Prosecutor’s Office will one day be inhabited by people at least as ethical as I am. Until Dan Satterberg leaves office, however, the King County Prosecutor’s Office can never aspire to be anywhere near being that ethical.
Perhaps those of you that are not abhorred by Dan Satterberg’s selling of justice to the highest bidder can be disgusted by the amount of King County and Seattle Police Department money Satterberg wasted in his attempts to ruin my life, imprison me, and send a message to other potential Boeing whistleblowers out there. I wish, too, that Dan Satterberg had spent that money where it could have been much more ethically and effectively spent, in the prosecutions of the numerous white collar criminals at Boeing, some of whom Dan Satterberg "worked together" with much too closely and for far too long in order to ensure my unfair trial and imprisonment that was apparently not unfair enough for both Satterberg and Boeing to reach their goal.
It was sad that Dan Satterberg used the good name Norm Maleng had built up for the department in furthering efforts by Boeing to retaliate against me for brazenly trying to have them imprisoned by having me imprisoned instead. Surely the jury would have begun deliberations far more in my favor if Satterberg had not tried to have his direct reports stack the deck against a fair trial in my case in order to ensure the bidding of his chief campaign contributors was done to their satisfaction. Unfortunately, a large part of a jury pool will assume you are guilty as charged even before the trial begins, especially if the public has a high opinion of the office, as they did until Dan Satterberg defiled the office Norm Maleng had built, apparently with Satterberg asleep near the wheel during that time. They will skip the hard job of deliberations depending on what they think of the ethics of the prosecutor’s office. Sadly, Dan Satterberg used that hard won name Norm Maleng had built for the department in unethical if not illegal efforts to ensure his election by pleasing the most well-heeled campaign contributors to be had in the state.
Of course Perkins Coie for the most part was just doing their job in protecting the white collar criminals at Boeing that Boeing retained them to protect. I do have a problem, however, with one of their partners using a personal friendship with a U.S. Attorney to get that U.S. Attorney to try to bluff me into signing a Perkins Coie/Boeing written/approved “continuance for dismissal.” I also have a problem with them currying favor with Dan Satterberg for naked business interests on the part of their clients. I think they should rely on the validity of their legal arguments rather than personal and campaign favor induced favor with government officials in order to do their work. But maybe they know something I don’t know. Perhaps Boeing’s retention of their firm is contingent on such highly questionable behavior on Boeing’s behalf that occurred in my case. It would be nice if my case was the last that used such “who you know” and “how much money do you have” favor to circumvent the wheels of justice.
Even though incredible amounts of pressure were brought to bear on Dan Satterberg by Boeing in order to get him to do the wrong thing doesn’t mean he should have succumbed to that pressure and did the wrong thing, as he did.
No doubt I would have willingly submitted to trial for any tiny “jaywalking” type law I might have conceivably broken if Boeing’s white collar criminals were also tried just as heartily for the serious and systemic crimes they are and were involved in that have cost lives and weakened our national security in the name of “maximizing profitability.” Such would be a small sacrifice to give and a “price to pay” in order to achieve real justice for the many people and citizens harmed by Boeing so grievously. I would have been honored to be tried by a prosecutor’s office with anywhere near such minimal ethics. However, the stacked and totally unfair trial Dan Satterberg subjected me to while turning a blind eye to the real white collar crimes at Boeing that the Complex Fraud unit was obviously the perfectly named unit to try cannot, and should not, be forgiven. Voters should not let themselves be bamboozled again by the campaign favors Dan Satterberg has accepted from companies that have committed far more serious crimes against justice than I was even unfairly accused of.
A Time for New Hope|CONTENT|Tomorrow, at 12 PM EST, begins a new era in America, and a time for renewed hope that our government will begin to work for all Americans again, and not just for the moneyed elite and corporations for which it was ran in the last eight dark years for accountability and ethics in government.
While it may be too late to resurrect our country or even the entire planet from the mismanagement of the last eight years, it will no doubt be possible to make fundamental reforms, some almost immediately, once 12 PM EST comes, in some of our most important institutions in government.
While the list of government agencies that need to be totally reformed and pointed from their assigned duties of the last eight years of destroying their effectiveness and instilling bias within, to restoring their effectiveness and the lack of such bias is long, I have my favorites on that long list that I believe should be placed at the top of the list of those agencies that are in the most urgent need of fundamental reforms back to their true missions.
And, as you likely guessed if you follow my blogs, the specific areas in government that are most in need of reform, in my opinion, are the FAA, and the enabler of FAA misconduct, the DOT/OIG.
This informed opinion is based upon the systemic corruption I witnessed in those parts of the DOT during my extensive contacts with them in futile efforts to get them to do even their most basic of functions in protecting public safety by ensuring laws and regulations are followed by transport aircraft manufacturers, namely Boeing, by oversight of Boeing, and in the DOT/OIG’s case, oversight of the FAA itself.
The corruption at Boeing that I went to the FAA in futile efforts to end was corruption that I had witnessed first hand extensively. The highest levels of Boeing management were unwilling to end Boeing’s systemic breaking of laws and regulations meant to ensure the quality, safety, and reliability of commercial and military aircraft. So, it was not then too surprising that my portion of the vast matrix of Boeing management I reported to never reformed itself, as it was just doing the illegal bidding of “Boeing Legal,” the Chief Counsel of which I had the displeasure of interfacing with. After all, correcting a serious problem that places untold numbers of lives at unknown levels of extra risk would be an admission that Boeing had such a problem in the first place, if you place your “I’m a corrupt Boeing manager” hat on, something I have had to do far too often in my efforts to understand their “thinking” and reform them to some minimal level of responsibility in those key positions of Boeing management whose actions or inactions affect the quality, safety, and reliability of Boeing military and transport aircraft. They couldn’t afford that admission, and they certainly decided that they couldn’t afford to actually start inspecting production of its commercial and military aircraft per even the most minimal interpretations of laws, regulations, and procedures. Thankfully, we don’t live in a totally Adam Smith-like country, so I had a place to go when “market-based” Boeing “internal controls” intentionally failed to address this ethical, legal, and safety related problem. Going to the FAA was the only the only place I could have gone in this situation, except perhaps for the case of going directly to the FBI. However, I think I made the correct logical choice in going to the FAA first at the time, as the safety related aspects of Boeing’s corruption were more pressing to address than the criminal nature of its management, I believed.
Unfortunately the FAA was and is a place where Boeing had already bought and paid for those in key management positions, and they intentionally flubbed the investigation rather than investigated an area of Boeing management corruption that they knew they were just as culpable in abetting themselves. To risk investigating the corruption in Boeing management that was so well documented in my report to the FAA would have necessarily resulted in them having to risk investigation of their own internal corruption as well, opening the possibility of themselves doing time for their own crimes, as they and Boeing were “working together” in said corruption. They weren’t about to let that happen. They would have cut off any hopes of getting their “quid pro quo” cushy jobs at Boeing or industry associations Boeing belonged to and/or ran by their doing so. Tom McSweeney’s hiring by Boeing and Marion Blakely’s hiring by an industry association are such cases that they wanted to emulate for their own personal gain. Reform at the FAA is many years past due. Thankfully, not the “entire apple” is rotten. There are those in the FAA, especially at the lower ranks that see the corruption in their management and in Boeing’s management that also see the urgent need for reform so that they can begin to do their safety critical jobs without any reprisal for doing so. However, the problem will be in finding out which are the bad “apples” and which are the good. We can’t just throw them in water and see which “drown” and which “swim,” ala apples, to separate the corrupt from the good. To do that will require investigation, although, as a first step, all management who have not demonstrated independence from their corrupt FAA management could be replaced ASAP with great accuracy as to whom is corrupt and who is not. Firing such corrupt FAA management wouldn’t even be required short term. That would require too much time to investigate, time that passengers and crew on commercial and military aircraft affected by this corruption do not have. Paying a corrupt FAA manager to stay home and replacing them would be the best interim option, just as paying a bad mechanic to stay home would be better than allowing them work on an airplane.
But, what was even more disappointing than a corrupt FAA was a corrupt DOT/OIG that refuses to even investigate to end that corruption. Their failure proved to me the systemic nature of our government’s corruption at a time when other government agency corruption was beginning to become well known. Reform to get the “bad apples” out of that portion of the DOT will be also needed as well to ensure the FAA is reformed and stays reformed.
The DOT/OIG uses the same methods as Boeing and the FAA do to keep corruption in place—intentionally incompetent investigations, as well as “investigations” that do find some of the problems, however they only correct a few of them over such a long time scale totally opposed to the real urgency of the problem for the public, they end up with ineffective fixes for even those few problems. And those are just some of the more “ethical” ways such corruption is abetted rather than ended.
Such has become the state of our government—where even our most critical agencies to the safety of our and the world’s citizens are so corrupted.
Thankfully, such corruption has not caused as many deaths as it could have, albeit each life it has cost has an immeasurable value. Pure luck may be part of that, and who knows, maybe the prayers of those on defective commercial and military aircraft are being answered. Flaming commercial aircraft that only explode when the last passenger or crew member gets off of them. Certainly that wasn’t because of any action by corrupt Boeing or DOT management. Indeed, the aircraft’s explosion in the first place was because of their intentional “oversight” of the most basic laws, regulations, and procedures.
Tomorrow’s inauguration brings new hope that these and other instances of corruption affecting so many people’s lives will start to be addressed with the urgency and sincerity required. While there is a hopefully slim chance that the new administration will be just as far in bed with Boeing than the last one was as far as corruption goes, I see that as an unlikely outcome, no matter how arrogantly Boeing tries to continue its corruption past noon, EST, tomorrow.
It is good that President-Elect Obama is so popular and so many people are so optimistic he will succeed where others have failed. Hopefully the mood is suitably dark tomorrow in the Boeing management offices in Chicago and elsewhere. Maybe new accountability in government will bring accountability in Boeing management that so far has escaped any for its, in many instances, intentional mismanagement.
It has only been through the efforts of people like me that the current Boeing management has not succeeded in totally destroying the company thus far. Per Boeing’s belief (rightful or not), I am the sole reason what little of the 787 is built by Boeing is assembled in “non-right to work” state Washington. If not for me, hear Boeing tell it, 787s, if they were to deliver to customers some day, they would be delivered from South Carolina, instead of Washington. Maybe one day Boeing management will come to terms with reality and thank me for purportedly “making them” site the 787 in Washington, when they consider what even more a debacle it would have been had it been sited entirely in South Carolina. But, likely not. Arrogance knows no bounds, and Boeing, the self-described most arrogant company on the face of the entire planet, may arrogantly assume they would have succeeded where they so far have failed if thusly given more “bullets” to shoot their “feet” with. But, alas, to the current management at Boeing, failure has been redefined as “success,” so the meanings of those terms are in effect meaningless at Boeing, as they are interchanged in meaning at will.
I watched CNN for the first time in a while today, and to hear it reported that Obama is so popular and people are so optimistic as far as his ability to make changes for the better goes is heartening. I have been paying too much attention to the eighteen or so percent who think the glass is half or less empty. I have never before seen such a miserable group of people so deluded and so hateful. Maybe they have been neutered for the last eight years by themselves by not having the ability to critique the current president they support, and they are relishing returning to the mindlessly partisan attacks on the president of the Clinton years. But some of them have broken new ground, it seems. I don’t remember a previous president being called anything as abhorrent as the “N” word or losers of an election calling for the “A” word (assassination), like I’ve seen from them lately. A new low in “political discourse,” I believe. Fortunately or unfortunately, it is the same 18 percent that still support the current president that are taking part in these inhuman attacks on the next president, I believe. That the vast majority of Americans don’t believe as they believe is great news, indeed.
The time for mindless partisan and racist attacks is as long past as it’s ever been. Even some Republicans are hoping Obama succeeds, smartly, while others still seek to mindlessly blow holes in the “bottom of the boat” in which we all live. While some will still labor to undermine our government from without come noon EST tomorrow, hopefully both parties will work together to make government accountable, effective, and ethical from within. And that is especially urgent as noted for reform of the FAA and DOT/OIG.
While corruption still thrives within Boeing and the FAA today, tomorrow, literally, begins the hope of reform of the FAA and its overseer, and thereby hope that at least the corruption in Boeing QA management will at long last be brought to an end. While I began that effort years before both Boeing and the government were willing to address it, I hope that others will now help see it through for the safety of everyone in this new era of reform now upon us.
The last eight years were an experiment gone horribly wrong. Repealing or otherwise not enforcing regulations (as in the case of the corrupt FAA) is neither good for business nor good for people. The foolish ignore history, and the reasons regulations were put in place, and, if put in charge, doom us all to repeat that history again. Corporations are free to flout laws and regulations at will, however, they should not escape the consequences for doing so, especially when those laws and regulations were put in place to protect lives, and especially when whistleblowers report that corruption to the relevant government agency. So far Boeing’s management has escaped those consequences by being “too big to regulate” and by having its arrogance rewarded rather than punished. An obvious fix to this problem would be to require Boeing to break up into companies that are not “too big to regulate” and are small enough to never again become so arrogant. You would think that a corporation could be reformed without such drastic action. Sadly, corruption is so ingrained in Boeing’s current management that it may not be able to be cut out like the cancer it is for the company. Incompetent and corrupt Boeing managers have shown a great unwillingness to be held accountable for any of their actions, and so far have placed their own personal interests in maintaining their jobs at Boeing above the interests of the corporation as a whole. Meanwhile, it seems that more and more people are becoming convinced that most of the current Boeing management should not be allowed to manage any company other than one whose products are no more complex to produce and no more safety critical than products like “post-it” notes are with each new 787 delay or other similar announcement.
Tomorrow begins a new era in the hope to end such corporate and government corruption. That is reason enough to celebrate.
P.S.: Don't forget to write [url=http://www.change.gov]www.change.gov[/url] as GFS suggests as noted in my previous blog
Good Advice from a Tireless Whistleblower Supporter, G. Florence Scott (GFS), Urging Former or Prospective Whistleblowers and Their Supporters to Write to the Obama Administration with Their Views on What Needs to be Done to Empower Whistle Blowers
I've decided to pass on some very good advice from a great whistleblower supporter, G. Florence Scott (GFS).
GFS is urging that any former or prospective whistleblowers and their supporters write to the incoming Obama Administration ASAP with their views on what needs to be done to ensure that whistleblowers (who are often now harassed, fired, transferred, and/or otherwise retaliated against for raising valid issues), are protected from such retaliation, and the issues they report are adequately investigated.
Often the act of reporting the misconduct of companies or government agencies brings about swift and relentless retaliation against a whistleblower. Additionally, these organizations often succeed in covering up the misconduct reported, and many are so arrogant that they also ensure that the misconduct itself can continue in the process. Ultimately, many such corrupt organizations never have to face justice for these actions, or justice for the misconduct itself.
Please follow the advice of G. Florence Scott below (after my introduction), and go to www.change.gov and post your letter advocating reforms that will offer whistleblowers greater protection from retaliation, as well as calling for real changes to ensure that those whistleblowers’ messages are indeed heard and acted upon by the relevant investigative/enforcement authority.
If you want to skip my "whistleblower biased" introduction and go straight to GFS's urgent message, just start reading past the asterisks below.
Due to the American public sweeping in change on a vast scale last November, it seems clear the public is as tired of government and industry corruption as me. And many have been learning as I did that the corruption often proves to be between government officials and officials of companies in industry. It is no wonder in this environment that it has been so difficult for whistleblowers.
A new largely Democratic Congress will be sworn in two days from now, on January 6th, followed two weeks later by the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. I know that the Obama Transition Team has made an unprecedented attempt to seek advice from as many people as possible during the transition, in order to make informed decisions on the best policy choices for the American people that reflect their values and views. And that is why GFS has called for you to write to President-Elect Obama and Vice President-Elect Biden in support of whistleblowers.
While corruption and incompetence (purposeful or not) in the outgoing Bush administration was obviously a main reason behind the electoral landslide that swept Barack Obama and other Democrats to victory, it is clear that this is not a one party problem. A corrupt governor in Illinois is doing his best to show that even usually (relatively) corruption adverse Democrats have their problem members as well. Having said that, even considering the Blagojevich aberration, a fundamental difference can be seen in how each party handles such politicians in their party. One party is disgusted by them and wants them gone from their party and from office ASAP. The other is, unfortunately, more tolerant of such "pay to play" politics as well as other forms of official misconduct. While no party is blameless when it comes to corruption, the public has spoken. And at least in the case of Federal offices, the public has shown they prefer politicians who want to work much more for the average citizen, rather than those that serve almost exclusively the companies that employ them.
Most sensible people, including Republicans, can now see that the "trickle down" theory didn't really work, or at least it didn't mean exactly what it was purported to mean, and presidential candidate Obama rightly called it by labeling the current financial crisis in America "the final verdict of history" on the failed experiment of "trickle-down" economics.
The wealth didn't trickle down as promised. The greedy that unfortunately comprise a large portion of the wealthy elite of this country wanted more, more, and ever more, even after the overly generous tax cuts the Bush Administration gifted them. They put their windfall profits from tax cuts and other Bush Administration largess into tax shelters overseas. They outsourced formerly US jobs overseas to "maximize profitability" (as Boeing called it); they busted or prevented the formation of unions to decrease wages or outsourced formerly union jobs to the lowest non-union bidder, among many other tactics, to ensure as little wealth as possible trickled down into average US taxpayer's hands.
I do not mean to vilify all people with wealth. There are many good people among the wealthy—especially those who in their view have accumulated more than enough wealth and want to give some large portion of it back to the least fortunate among us, and those that have accumulated wealth but are not economically ignorant like many of their greedy neighbors in their communities of the ultra rich. These economically astute people among the wealthy realize that the U.S. economy does need workers with enough disposable income to be enthusiastic consumers of their products in order for their businesses to remain successful and thrive. They know that they cannot enhance their profitability long term and ensure their continued wealth by killing well-paying U.S. jobs.
So, while the economic crisis did not help Republicans who wanted to control the Presidency longer, it was not the main reason for their rejection. Corruption played a key role as well. People realized they could no longer trust the current administration to tell the truth. An almost daily stream of revelations of past or new corruption has bombarded us. DOJ U.S. Attorneys and career DOJ and other agency officials appointed or chosen for party and ideological bent, and an anti-U.S. law enforcement bias have created an atmosphere where violation of laws and ethics have been the rule rather than the exception. Lies abound about the justifications for a costly war in terms of lives and dollars. Industry has been allowed to rewrite the regulations for their own industry's oversight and/or they wield disproportionate influence over those in government who have the power to change or remove regulations that affect their industry. New regulation has become politically impossible to achieve. Real controls and regulations have become a mere shadow of what they should be; those that remain on the books are not being enforced. Whole agencies appear to be awash in corruption, even critical agencies, like the DOJ and DOT/FAA, are as corrupt as the worst companies they are supposed to oversee, as well as investigate and prosecute, if necessary.
The public obviously made an informed choice this time. They didn't allow fear of terrorism to overcome their ability to reason. They wanted more accountability, and much less corrupt government and politicians. I believe they have made the correct choice. However, as we have seen, power (independent or uncaring of the will of the people) ultimately will corrupt, and corrupt absolutely.
That is where we come in. While some very bad actors were removed from office this last round of elections by will of the people, we must ensure that both the new and the seasoned politicians govern with our advice and consent, with our best interests in mind—not just catering to the interests of those who are wealthy enough to hire lobbyists.
We must lobby our government ourselves on what we want our government to do for us and what values we want our government to govern with. And that is why GFS's call to write change.gov about the critical whistleblower reforms needed is such a great idea. We need to tell them early and often what we, the people, desire and demand from our leaders.
I believe the whistleblower issue is one of the most important, whichever side of the political aisle you're on, and irrespective of my personal experiences as a whistleblower. There are hundreds or thousands of whistleblowers like me, many of whom could not be tarred and discredited by the corrupt company or agencies they reported, as I was. And there are thousands of prospective whistleblowers in the wings because of the actions of ne'er-do well corrupt management of agencies or companies like Boeing's, who have kept silent until now because corrupt management of agencies and corporations have been so successful in engaging in retaliation against both high and low profile whistleblowers over the past several years of de facto government of, by, and for corporations. (See my website and blog for specifics on these egregious behaviors.) Your letter supporting reforms to protect both government and industry whistleblowers from retaliation and put real penalties in place for retaliation committed against whistleblowers is one of the best areas in which you can advise the incoming Obama administration. (See one example letter below.)
Everyone, even "common-sensical" Republicans, should write that believes in a government accountable to everyone.
Whistleblowers are in essence the conscience of a company or government. When a company or government does not listen to whistleblowers, and all too commonly, even retaliates against whistleblowers, then that company or government is operating without a conscience. In essence, a company or government that does not listen to whistleblowers is the very definition of a corrupt organization—a company or government that has decided it won't have a conscience and that it doesn't have to obey the rules. And in extreme cases, such corrupt organizations attempt to "kill" the whistleblower (their "conscience") via retaliation against them. These hostile actions toward the unwanted conscience (whistleblowers) intentionally send a message to every other prospective whistleblower that organization has.
Such retaliation is the "cancer" that destroys totally any meaningful existence of the organization's "conscience," often, ultimately, with disastrous consequences for that organization. Think about it. Had the multiple whistleblowers in the Bush administration been listened to and had their reports been adequately investigated and acted upon per laws and regulations, the administration would have not embarked on many of the actions that cost their party control of the White House and resulted in increased Democratic majorities in Congress.
Republican control of the White House and Congress has shown us the dangers of one party control that seemingly only cares about public input come election time. That is another reason that we, the people, are taking a much more active role in our government this time around while the Republican party regroups, hopefully becoming a party more representative of the average American's interests and less beholden to special interests running the government instead. (Even though my current party affiliation is perhaps too well demonstrated here, even I will change parties if power ultimately corrupts my current party more than the alternative party.)
Please write to the Obama administration as GFS did to ensure whistleblower support is a key issue in their policymaking. The future of a government of, by, and for the people by politicians on both sides of the aisle is at stake. We have seen what happens to our economic interests when special interests rule the day, and government does not hear our voices. They are often, unfortunately, interests that are not in the best interests of the people of the "Main Street" we've heard mentioned so often lately. Calling for the protection of whistleblowers from retaliation is one of the best things we can do to ensure our government and industry do what's best for all as incorporated in our laws and regulations, as opposed to doing what is best for just the pocketbooks of the managers of those organizations that have "cut out" any vestige of a conscience via whistleblower retaliation.
Please follow GFS's wonderful example of what a good citizen can do to effect positive change for whistleblowers and the organizations they are trying to save via their whistleblowing, as noted below. Real protections for whistleblowers will force organizations to face problems and do the right thing rather than sweeping them under the rug and "killing" the messenger.
You may send letters of information and concern to the Obama-Biden offices of President and Vice President Elects: www.change.gov
You also may view reader questions and take part in a ranking of importance of questions on this site, as well as submit questions of your own for the incoming administration.
Below is an example letter, this one about protecting federal employees/whistleblowers.
Be empowered. Stand up and take action! -GFS
January 4, 2009
Dear President-Elect Obama and Vice-President-Elect Biden:
I recently received an article titled "Obama Faces Legacy of Lawlessness at Justice" by Daphne Eviatar, The Washington Independent. This article is a must read for anyone who has noted the increasingly evident lack of vigor in the Justice Department and the malfeasance demonstrated in meeting the missions of the various agencies and departments. The anonymous federal government investigator who sent it to me gave me permission to pass his comments along to interested readers. He stated:
Excellent article about Lawlessness at Justice. Many politicians have talked, and talked and talked for the past eight years about the injustices of the Bush administration. And, dare I say almost all, have backed away from any meaningful confrontation with the Bush Administration.
We all know the story and the legacy of the corruption rampant throughout Bush's administration. Some of us have experienced it firsthand! For those of us that have, our lives and careers have been trampled upon. For those of us approaching retirement age, there will be no recouping from that damage – the damage is done, and we will continue to suffer into retirement through lost jobs, lost promotions, lost opportunities, lost wages and lost retirements. For those of us that have served under and been punished under the Bush administration – enough talk by politicians! We need to see some justice and some action by those politicians supposedly serving the people of this great nation.
How does this new administration propose to extricate the damage and toll to those public servants and people's lives and careers that have been destroyed by the Bush administration?"
There are many federal employees who feel the same (as this anonymous federal government investigator does).
I hear from some of them due to my blogs for and about whistleblowers (or those who are labeled whistleblowers for trying to ethically do the jobs they were hired to do). You have never heard of most of these people. And the majority you probably never will hear about.
Few whistleblower situations actually are made public in the media. And unless you know one very well, personally, few federal employees or whistleblowers will volunteer the details of their personal nightmare, for fear of more retribution or loss of job, career and retirement. For that reason, the majority of whistleblowers or would-be whistleblowers, though they lurk about websites that post information of interest and use to them, do not ever leave comments, even anonymously. And due to the many challenges to any kind of privacy online and over land and wireless communications systems as a part of increased "spying" on the American Public that the past eight years has brought about, I do not blame them. The extreme corruption, excesses and greed exhibited by members and associates of the Bush Administration are leaving our government at an all time low. It will not be a clear field for the new administration. Even now, just days before the change of administrations, the outgoing one seeks to hobble the incoming one.
So this will be a major challenge for the new Obama-Biden administration. There are a large number of predominantly silent people out there watching and waiting to see what will be done to establish a system which respects those who try to stand up to wrong doing, those who feel integrity is an important part of the oath they took when beginning the adventure that was to be their career federal job, those who hold their responsibility to uphold the United States Constitution and laws above all else. Who will stand up for these courageous federal employees who serve as prosecuting attorneys, investigators, security specialists, contracting officers, and all manner of oversight of government business as well as of contracting of companies to the federal government? How and when will full protections and rights be firmly put into place which will allow them safety and dignity as they do their jobs without fear of retribution and destruction of their careers and lives?
Another career Federal Employee commented last night:
"If the new administration expects would-be whistleblowers to disclose violations of law and danger to public safety and national security, it should give immediate relief to the current whistleblowers who are enduring constant subtle retaliation while at their current job, resigned under duress, or were fired."
I ask that the Obama–Biden Team take definitive action on this problem and come forth with clear policy and a plan to assure protection and assistance for those loyal federal employees who have been trying to do their jobs and have been pounded into the ground for doing so.
G. Florence Scott
A comment on this blog entry by GFS:
Thank you Gerald! Powerful statements! I knew there was no better person to speak to employees of industry, including defense contractors and other large companies doing business with the government.
A lot of lip service has been paid, by members of both major parties in recent years, to passing effective legislation that would protect whistleblowers. Although some minor changes have been made, most of the time the legislation proposed by stand-up leaders who value the integrity of our whistleblower's actions, have been thwarted at every turn. And the legislation has either been put on hold, disemboweled, or watered down to the point it hasn't been able to do the job. Also some employers have been able to manipulate elements of the current laws and defuse their intended purpose as well, leaving whistleblowers dangling in the wind.
I again want to encourage everyone who is a whistleblower, could be a whistleblower in the future, or cares about whistleblowers and issues of ethics and fairness, to write to President-Elect Obama and Vice-President Elect Biden. Again, their site is located at www.change.gov. You can send them your story, the link is at the top. Or you can write to them using the link for "contact" at the very bottom of the page. Scroll down and look at the short column on the right.
The more concerned citizens they hear from with compelling messages, the more seriously they will have to take this important message. While you are at it, send another copy to your Senators and Congresspersons. This is the best opportunity for change we've had in a long time! -GFS
Thanks, GFS. You are correct on how difficult it has been to get meaningful legislation passed to protect whistleblowers. I hope as many people as possible will answer your call to action. That, as well as the new blood in Washington, D.C., may finally turn the tide in our favor, and consequently the nation's. Whistleblowers should not have to traverse the current mine fields they have to in order to protect the public. With protection of whistleblowers, corrupt government or industry officials will find continuing their corruption an increasingly dangerous thing to do. Fittingly, they will face the danger of termination and/or prison, rather than the whistleblowers who reported their corruption.
Thanks again for bringing this great opportunity to guide our government's reform efforts to everyone's attention.
The Last Inspector
The Last Inspector