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
The Last Inspector