There have been a lot of comments posted on the Seattle Post Intelligencer’s website following the articles of PI Reporter, Andrea James, in the past several weeks in response to her articles about the trial of Boeing Whistleblower, Gerald Eastman.  This is a post I submitted on 4-12-08, upon viewing many of the posts submitted by said employees or retired employees of the Boeing Company.  GFS

 

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Comments Regarding Industry, Government, Ethics, Contracting and Whistleblowing

 

It is quite tragic in many ways that so many Boeing employees seem to undergo such a brainwashing during their employ at the company.  Perhaps in some cases it is some pangs of guilt or dismay at seeing glimmers of what their company has become.  Things are not what they have been in the past.  Denial is a basic human reaction to shock or dismay upon finding things are not the way your filter system allowed you to believe they are.  People don’t generally want to believe the worst about the companies they work for and reply upon for more than ample salaries.  Some work through it and steel themselves to deal with reality; others flail about trying to out-shout the often lone voices of truth which pop up from time to time, in an attempt to silence those who threaten the illusion that all is right in the corporate vacuum, if one can call it that.   There is a lot of fear and delusion in these people that they do not seem to be able to overcome, in some cases, even after retirement. 

 

Repeating lies or half-truths, does not make them true, no matter how loudly or how long you shout them.   The last post before me (zinger) is an example of this.  Frankly, in my opinion, industry has shown itself totally incapable of policing itself, and the trend in the past decade toward letting industry do that has been a critical mistake. 

 

I believe that allowing the corruption of the oversight agencies (FAA and others including many of our OIG’s) and crippling of their ability to do their oversight jobs is criminal.   It has led to the conditions that have caused some employees, (usually those out working in the field, trying to make oversight work correctly), to find they have to stand up while in the course of doing their jobs both in industry and in government and attempt to right wrongs in an extremely hostile environment.  They do what they believe is right, and best for our country, and their companies, only to find themselves labeled “whistleblowers” and treated in such a way that they are the recipients of record abuse, retribution, personal attack, attacks to their families, destruction of their careers and lives.

 

Gerald Eastman is but one example of this.   Do not allow self-serving corporate voices to convince you otherwise.  Do not allow them to spin this as though it is only one employee.  It is not.  There are many employees out there trying to do the right thing and being punished by their employers for doing so.  Do not allow these companies when an example of their corruption is found out, to spin it as “just one bad apple working in isolation alone.”  Investigate what is going on in the company involved, from top to bottom.   There is a lot of less than ethical corporate business behavior going on.  Much of the incidence of this is not common knowledge to the public for a variety of reasons.   We have been going through a period of time where corporate greed and the avaricious ambitions of those in even our highest levels of government have created a remarkably corrupt and twisted environment which protects and shields the wrongdoing and wrongdoers from public scrutiny, both in industry and government.  Read the news.  Visit sites, which report these kinds of stories and collect them so they may be viewed not as disjointed unconnected aberrant phenomena, but as connected pieces of evidence of a larger purposefully corrupt environment. 

 

 

The way to strengthen our country, and our economy is to clean up business and government contracting.  Make our own U.S. companies, (if we can still legitimately call these companies that), models of true ethical business practices.   Make these companies live up to their responsibilities so that their employees, the public in the communities where they do their business, and the taxpayers who pay the huge sums of our monetary resources to them, can truly be proud of them and with a clear conscience support them in their bidding for tax payer funded projects.  Make these companies worthy of the loyalty of our government above international interests due to genuine quality of product, integrity in contracting, and fulfillment of contracting requirements including attention to security in protecting technology and our ‘”edge” economically and in defense.  Make them models of workplace ethics and fairness, which will do more to enhance people’s work-lives and job satisfaction than anything else we can do. 

 

It is time to clean up the mess, both in industry and in government.  It is not necessary to commit unethical acts to be successful in business.  It is not required to see wrongdoing and keep silent out of some misplaced sense of loyalty to a corporation.  Particularly when the corporation, by the very character of the actions they are willing to commit for their skewed sense of what is necessary for the financial benefit of the stock holders and CEO’s, has shown itself not to be worthy of that trust and loyalty.  Short changing quality of product particularly in cases where public safety is an issue should bring about a sharp and definitive reaction from both government oversight and the public.  Compromising security and lackadaisical handing of technology and cutting edge products should be dealt with swiftly and surely, when these products are contracted by and belong to the taxpayers of the United States, and are not proprietary possessions of the corporation.    It should be a part of our national paradigm to have these kinds of expectations and to firmly enforce them at every turn.

 

Please support government refocusing and recommitting itself to making oversight work responsibly.  Help empower oversight employees and depoliticize their supervisors and work environment so they may do their jobs without fear of persecution and retribution.  Write your politicians and support those who have the courage to stand up and speak exposing those who do wrong.  Demand that oversight be allowed to do its job ethically.  This will not be easy and it is going to take more of us speaking up, and applying pressure.  But it is critically needed and well worth our effort.  After all, it is essential to the security and sovereignty of this nation. 

 

GFS

 

 

 

 

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