Archive for March, 2009

A site called Rural Geek had an interesting article today regarding the Crash of the Turkish Boeing Plane, the FAA and more. Please follow the link for the full story. -GFS


Dumb Luck Although the FAA would have everyone believe that “We are currently in the safest period in commercial aviation history” (Statement of Lynn Osmus, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, on the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009, Before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Aviation, February 11, 2009), it’s only because there hasn’t been a big body count from an airline crash in the United States; not because there haven’t been any crashes; nor because of any methodical or measured approach to flying safety. A crash in Amsterdam on February 25, 2009 highlights what is a foolhardy and dangerous approach to correcting problems with aviation safety.


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House lawmakers reintroduce bill to protect federal whistleblowers

By Brittany R. Ballenstedt March 12, 2009



House lawmakers on Thursday reintroduced legislation that would strengthen whistleblower protections for federal employees who report fraud, waste or abuse in government programs.


The bill’s sponsors — Reps. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Todd Platts, R-Pa.; Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., and Bruce Braley, D-Iowa; — said at a press conference on Thursday that stronger whistleblower protections for federal employees are especially necessary as the government seeks to ensure proper oversight and transparency in the management of the $787 billion economic stimulus package.


“As part of the recovery package, the federal government will make an unprecedented investment in our country,” Van Hollen said. “We must ensure this money is spent transparently. This legislation will protect federal employees who expose corruption or mismanagement and in doing so will help protect the taxpayers’ funds from waste and misuse.”


The House in January unanimously passed the bill as an amendment to the economic stimulus package to try to quell concern over how the funds are spent. But congressional negotiators stripped the amendment from the legislation over national security concerns. The final version of the recovery package included protections only for whistleblowers at the state and local levels as well as employees of institutions that receive stimulus funding.

Specifically, the legislation would grant federal employees the right to a jury trial in federal court, protect government scientists who report efforts to alter or suppress federal research, extend protections to FBI and intelligence community whistleblowers, strengthen protections for contractors, nullify the government’s use of state secrets privilege, and bar the Merit Systems Protection Board from ruling in favor of an agency before whistleblowers have the opportunity to present evidence of retaliation.


The measure also would grant comparable due process rights to employees who provide information on wrongdoing during a government investigation or who refuse to violate the law, and would remove the Federal Circuit’s monopoly on precedent-setting whistleblower cases. It also provides whistleblowers with the right to collect compensatory damages.


The bill also would give enforceable whistleblower protections to 45,000 Transportation Security Administration officers and the ability to seek a remedy from an external independent fact-finding body.

Towns, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said on Thursday that he plans to hold a hearing on the legislation as soon as possible with the aim of passing the bill before the stimulus money starts being spent. “The money is going to be out there, and we have to make certain the money is being spent properly,” he said.


“The House should act quickly to reaffirm its mandate and lock in accountability before the stimulus gears up,” said Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project. “Otherwise, unprecedented new spending will be an unprecedented opportunity for fraud, waste and abuse.”

I guess you have to decide what kind of person you are: one who thinks all people at the root are bad or one who thinks all people at the root are good. The first type of person tends to be very pessimistic, feeling that there is no hope. The second kind of person holds out hope and keeps trying, even though some human beings, given choices, make bad ones.

I throw my vote in with Carol. I am not naïve. I’ve seen too much and survived too much to be. I understand Mr. Kinan’s disgust with how things have been going in government offices and the sense of despair that nothing will change and whistleblowers will continue to be beat up. But having said that, I must add that we cannot give up. We cannot do as a famous American general once said; “leave the enemy in command of the field.” We need to keep reaching out to find others who are not so jaded that they’ve lost hope.  It seems the surest way to control a population and maintain control…take away their hope and faith in the possibility of improvement and change.  And those malevolent persons and groups most certainly have been applying this strategy in recent years. 

By joining together, I know we can make a difference for ourselves and for those in the future. I ask everyone to report what they know, particularly if they are industry or government employees reporting corruption of the oversight or contracting process, and do what they can to support not only whistleblowers, but also organizations which can help them. -GFS







From: Kyle Stone, Public Citizen []

Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 1:16 PM

Subject: Blowing the Whistle on Washington Begins Sunday




National Whistleblowers Assembly


March 8th – 11th, Washington, D.C.

It’s Your Turn to Blow the Whistle!




Public Citizen and the Make It Safe Coalition work to achieve the strongest possible protections to ensure that brave government employees who call attention to waste, fraud and abuse do not have to fear retaliation.


Next week, an important assembly will convene to urge Congress to take the next step forward in strengthening accountability and transparency in government.


What Is It?

Organized by the Make it Safe Coalition, the 2009 National Whistleblower Assembly is a gathering of whistleblowers and advocates.  Together they will lobby members of Congress, share stories and educate the public.


When Is It?

The Assembly will be held in Washington D.C. from Sunday, March 8th – Wednesday, March 11th.  View the schedule of events.


Why Should I Care?

Whistleblowers ensure real accountability, protect Americans’ tax dollars in the stimulus and other government spending, and are indispensable to a healthy, non-corrupt government.


What If I Can’t Make It?  What Can I Do?

1) Take action now:  you can join the whistleblowers and advocates coming to Washington by contacting your members of Congress, or you can sign the petition. 


2) Join the Facebook page and invite all of your friends!


3) Please spread the word to friends, family and colleagues by forwarding this message!


For more information about this event and whistleblower and taxpayer rights, visit us here.


Thank you for all you do,

Kyle, Angela, and the rest of the action team at Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

To learn more about Whistleblower Coalition, please visit:


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I wanted to let you know that as it currently stands, government whistleblowers don’t have the protections we would expect for our public servants. When scientific research is altered or suppressed, government contractors waste millions of taxpayer dollars, or national security documents are falsified, federal employees need to know that they can blow the whistle without reprisals endangering their careers and their lives. 


This upcoming Assembly will bring together whistleblowers from all over the country.  The stories they share with attendees at these meetings are in many cases like horror films which have been personally experienced!  I wanted to personally invite you to come with me and share the experiences of many of these people.


The intimidation of government whistleblowers results in waste, fraud and abuse of the public trust. I know since I personally have been there where my supervisors bullied and professionally abused me, and then removed me from federal service while totally ignoring federal codes and laws.  President Obama is now realizing the waste and abuse in government contracting.  While I was working at Navy as a Contracting Officer, I considered it a privilege to protect the American taxpayer’s dollars by assuring Program Managers were getting usable products for dollars being spent.  Unfortunately for both me and the American taxpayers, my superiors at Navy were more interested in advancement of their careers than in obtaining usable products at a reasonable cost to support our troops.  The Senior Executive Service (SES) official who ignored the Federal Code and Regulations while removing me from federal service and then when I won the right to a hearing from the Federal Circuit, he lied under oath as to why he removed me.  This SES is now the Director of Contracts at Homeland Security!  How can we expect government contracting to be honestly run when we have people such as him at the helm?  Whistleblowers need to have their cases heard and they need stronger laws to ascertain that managers such as what I experienced are punished rather than being promoted to higher level positions.


Last year, strong whistleblower protection bills were passed in both houses of Congress. Now it’s time for Congress to put aside politics and finish the job for the American people by passing a final bill.  The main reason Senator Collins objected to including the Whistleblower Law in the stimulus package was cited as National Security.  In my opinion, the doors of National Security should NEVER give any organization, and especially a government organization, the right to ignore laws, rules and regulations which have been established to protect the citizens of the United States.  Our country is in a great financial crisis and the only way we can get out of this is by good, honest citizens banning together and taking a STRONG STAND for the democracy we cherish.


You can help! Learn more and sign the petition at  Please join me in helping to make our great nation morally, ethically, and financially strong once more.




Carol Czarkowski





Dear Folks:


The Convention’s goals and objectives are commendable but be assured that whistle blower protection, which is what the America really needs, is a myth.  There is no such protection and never will be.  The “government” found out that there is no money in eliminating public corruption, fraud, waste and abuse.  There is only money to promote it by ignoring it and growing it.


Whistleblowers shall continue to be punished and fired because public corruption is what many top officials in government prefer, as we see in the case of the DoD IG’s office.  Most of the SES officials in that office are totally corrupt.  Since I name names, the lowlifes include, Leonard C. Trahan, Jr. James L. Pavlik, John Crane, Thomas Gimble, Don Horstman, former SES lowlifes Joseph Schmidt, Uldric Fiore, Jr., and L. Jerry Hansen.  There are others and I shall keep you posted. Do you suspect that any one of these lowlifes who are using their government position to commit high crime against the government would sue me for defamation of their lowlife character?    


Consider the low life conduct of Bernie Madoff who stole the hopes, dreams and promises of millions of people and who did big damage worldwide.  In addition, he wiped out the charitable organizations who delivered much needed services to so many needy kids.  You cannot get any lower than Madoff. 


Here is one reason why whistleblower protection will never happen.  During the years that Madoff and his family were stealing, Madoff was paying off key people in high places and in government so that when he got caught, he would have maximum protection from these same beneficiaries. These “insurance payoffs” served him well.  Sure enough, Madoff got caught and sure enough he has protection.  Madoff’s punishment:  He was banished to a $7 million penthouse with a maid, steaks, chops and lobster dinners.  In China, he would have been shot the next morning. Despite the fact that Madoff has done worldwide damage, he is a penthouse and negotiating deals with the Justice Department.  Pretty sick stuff.


Carol Czarkowski was an exemplary government employee but she lost he job because she was working on behalf of the people and complying with the law, the rules and regulations.  of it.  One of the individuals involved in Carol’s removal was a lowlife coward named Thomas Essig and another lowlife coward named Leonard C. Trahan, Jr. 


Trahan’s record of framing innocent individuals is one of the worst in government.  He is a coward of cowards – no courage, no morals, no ethics.  He hosts nothing but misery.  I can imagine what his family life must have been.  He is a dark operator and deserves only pity.


Attached is my 30 page affidavit, which tells you more of what Trahan and his lowlife group are all about.


All comments and request for official government evidence will receive a response.


Please give this email and my affidavit wide distribution.


Thank you.


Douglas Kinan



2910K   View   Download  




Scandal at Treasury: Official Quits Amidst Fraud Scandal Darrel Dochow allowed IndyMac bank to cook its books, investigators say. The man at the center of a fraud scandal at the Treasury Department has been allowed to quietly quit and retire from his job as a government regulator, despite allegations that he allowed a bank to falsify financial records and amidst outcries from investigators who say the case shows how cozy government regulators have become with the banks and savings and loans they are supposed to be checking on. Darrel Dochow, the West Coast regional director at the Office of Thrift Supervision who investigators say allowed IndyMac to backdate its deposits to hide its ill health, quit last Friday. Prior to his leaving, Dochow was removed from his position but remained on the government payroll while the Inspector General’s Office investigates the allegations against him. Treasury Department Inspector General Eric Thorson announced in November his office would probe how Dochow allowed the IndyMac bank to essentially cook its books, making it appear in government filings that the bank had more deposits than it really did. But Thorson’s aides now say IndyMac wasn’t the only institution to get such cozy assistance from the official who should have been the cop on the beat. Investigators say Dochow, who reportedly earned $230,000 a year, allowed IndyMac to register an $18 million capital injection it received in May in a report describing the bank’s financial condition in the end of March. “They [IndyMac] were able to maintain their well-capitalized threshold and continue to use broker deposits to make loans,” said Marla Freedman, an assistant Inspector General at Treasury. “Basically, while the institution was having financial difficulty, it kept the public from knowing earlier than it otherwise should have or would have.” In at least one instance, investigators say, banking regulators actually approached the bank with the suggestion of falsifying deposit dates to satisfy banking rules – even if it disguised the bank’s health to the public. The federal government took over IndyMac in July, after the bank’s stock price plummeted to just pennies a share when it was revealed the bank had financial troubles due to defaulted mortgages and subprime loans, costing taxpayers over $9 billion. Critics Point to Cozy Relationship Between Banks and Regulators In order to backdate the filings, IndyMac sought and received permission from Dochow, according to Freedman. “That struck us as very unusual,” said Freedman. “Typically transactions are to be recorded in the period in which they occur, not afterwards. So it was very unusual.” One former regulator says Dochow’s actions illustrate the cozy relationship between banks and government regulators. “He did nothing to protect taxpayers in losses,” former federal bank regulator William Black told ABC News. “Instead of correcting it [Dochow] made it worse by increasing the accounting fraud.” Meanwhile, IndyMac customers who lost their savings have launched their own website and are demanding answers from the government. They were further infuriated after learning Dochow was also the regulator in 1989 who oversaw the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan, a scandal that sent its CEO Charles Keating to prison. “He’s the person that claimed that he looked into Charles Keating’s eyes and knew that Charles Keating was a good guy and therefore ignored all of the professional staff that told him that Keating was a fraud, and he produced the worst failure of the Savings and Loan Crisis at $3.4 billion. Now he’s managed more than triple that,” said Black, now an economics professor at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, Missouri. Following the Lincoln scandal, Dochow was demoted and placed into a relatively obscure office, but later, inexplicably was brought back into the Office of Thrift Supervision. Dochow declined to answer questions from ABC News. IndyMac Customers Furious After Ronnie Lopez was killed in Iraq, his mother Elaine invested the life insurance proceeds at IndyMac. She lost $37,000 of it. While Dochow could end up losing his job, neither he nor his colleagues are expected to go to prison. “This is criminal with the small ‘c’,” said Black. “No one within the regulatory ranks may go to jail, but they have done the worst possible disservice to the taxpayers of America.” Link to

Now, if someone will just include Hanford in these investigations…. GFS


DOE: Broken System for Protecting Nuclear Material Could Compromise Los Alamos Operations


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February 26, 2009

In the midst of trying to account for 80 missing or stolen computers, the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is now under fire for a new problem. Critical deficiencies in its system for keeping track of its huge stocks of plutonium and highly enriched uranium—enough for hundreds of nuclear weapons. According to a February 23 internal Department of Energy letter, the amount of nuclear material that LANL could not account for in January “exceeded alarm limits.” While Los Alamos says there is no suspicion of theft or diversion, if it does not know where the material is, it cannot say for certain that the material has not been stolen.


DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) sent a Special Review Team earlier this month to assess Los Alamos’ Material Control and Accountability (MC&A) program. The Team found inaccuracies in accounting, a lack of adherence to requirements, and that “key personnel in critical positions lacked a basic understanding of fundamental MC&A concepts.” In fact, in light of the Team’s findings, both government and contractor officials have recently been removed from their positions. According to the letter, if identified weaknesses remain unresolved it “would impact the ability of the facility to continue operations.”


POGO met with NNSA staff yesterday, who would not talk about the issue, claiming it was classified. Yet today, Los Alamos sent out a press release on the subject. The release misleadingly states that the problem was first reported to NNSA in January, yet MC&A concerns was an issue for a greater part of last year. According to the internal DOE letter, there were MC&A “issues identified during assessments over the last year,” including an on-site review in June 2008. Also, POGO had raised concerns about these MC&A problems in a September 2008 press alert.


Despite being aware of MC&A problems during the 2007-2008 performance period, DOE still granted LANL the full $1.43 million performance award fee for security, which includes “Material Control and Accountability,” as one of the areas of performance evaluated.


“This letter shows that DOE is not afraid to use vigorous inspections for identifying potential security problems. Unfortunately, DOE did not use its power of the purse to get its contractor to quickly resolve the problem,” says Peter Stockton, POGO Senior Investigator. “A sharply worded letter is a good step, but without financial penalties, improvement is much less likely.”


DOE and LANL have tried to downplay the risk of stolen bomb-making material by pointing to LANL’s “strong and effective physical security.” However, based on the results of security tests throughout the weapons complex, including last year’s debacle at Livermore Lab, POGO is concerned that the weak MC&A program at Los Alamos could be exploited by an insider and pose a serious security threat.


DOE appears focused on preventing this latest bad news from becoming publicized and sent out messages to staff warning them not to release critical information to the public. If the information was sensitive enough to pose a security concern, there is a process in place at DOE to classify the information. However, the letter is stamped “Official Use Only,” which is not a classification marking but is generally used to prevent internal documents from seeing the light of day. POGO finds this objectionable, as taxpayers have a right to know what they are getting for their $2.7 billion tax dollars spent at LANL.


Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and honest federal government.

This has been a long and ugly struggle.  Good to know that the whistleblowers involved are finally vindicated, although terrorized, if they still work for Boeing. 




L.A. Court Reaches Final Judgement Amount in Boeing, ICO Case


March 3, 2009

[Satellite Today 03-03-09] A Los Angeles Superior Court overseeing litigation by ICO Global Communications against Boeing Co. and its satellite subsidiary has denied nearly all of Boeing’s post-trial motions, ICO announced Mar. 2. 

    The court’s final rulings denied six of seven Boeing motions and granted one motion regarding pricing fraud, reducing the judgment amount of $631 million, previously entered against Boeing in January, by approximately $28 million. As a result of the rulings, a judgment amount of $603 million is now final. 

    The rulings complete a trial court process that began in 2004. In October, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury ruled that Boeing had breached its contract with ICO and engaged in fraud, and that Boeing had tortiously interfered with ICO’s contract. The jury further found that in dealing with ICO, Boeing acted with malice, oppression or fraud. The verdicts totaled $371 million in compensatory damages and $236 million in punitive damages. 

    “If Boeing appeals and posts the nearly $1 billion bond necessary to prevent immediate efforts to collect the judgment, we will continue to vigorously pursue ICO’s rights. In the meantime, post-judgment interest will accrue on the judgment in the amount of 10 percent, over $60 million, per year,” said John Flynn, executive vice president and general counsel for ICO, in a statement. 

Current and Former Federal Employees – Your Help Needed!

I’m working on a piece about what the heck happened to federal government oversight. Would you be willing to help? You can be quoted as an anonymous federal employee if you like, or I can share the info without quoting. Your choice.

If you are willing, what do you think? Here are some questions to get you started:

1. How did oversight work when you started your career compared to now. (Please give approximate decade references for comparison’s sake)

2. What was the institutional attitude about the oversight job you do when you first began your career? Has it changed? Explain how and when.

3. How were education and training handled when you began your career?

4. Have you seen any changes over the years (decades) in how education and training have been handled, or provided to employees? How about the amount allowed or offered?

5. How is the balance and distribution of senior employees (investigators, security specialists, special agents etc.) to junior or inexperienced employees?

6. In your opinion, are the senior people in the field as well trained and knowledgable as they used to be?

7. Are your managers well-trained senior employees? In answering this, give information about years of experience and status of your managers prior to being selected or appointed to their current management positions.

8. Is your agency allowing you to do your job? As an oversight employee, do you feel you can investigate and develop a case without pressure or interference from managers above you or others? Please explain as you can.

If there is anything else that you wish to share that will be illuminating, please continue. I am suspecting some things have changed rather a lot in the last 30 years and would like to see if there is more anecdotal information to round out the story.

Thanks, GFS

  National Whistleblowers Center
3238 P Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20007  

Michael D. Kohn (202) 230-3806 (Cell)
Lindsey M. Williams (570) 362-3179 (Cell)



Full Implementation of President Obama’s Commitment to Crack Down on Federal Contract Abuse Cannot Happen Without Federal Whistleblower Protection



Washington, D.C. March 5, 2009. The National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) applauds President Barack Obama‘s commitment to crack down on federal contract abuse, especially in the defense industry.  As President Obama observed, the contracting process is “plagued by massive cost overruns and outright fraud.”

According to Michael D. Kohn, General Counsel of the NWC, “Federal employees are all too well aware of the ‘crack down’ they face when they have tried to confront the cozy relationship between contractors and agency officials.”

Bunnatine (“Bunny”) Greenhouse is a prime example of what happens to federal employees who try to protect the public.  When she objected to the cozy relationship between Halliburton and government contracting officials during the ramp-up to the Iraq war, the excessive duration of the contract, and the failure to seek competitive bids she was removed as the Army Corp’s chief of contracting.  “Without meaningful whistleblower protections, federal employees will remember what happened to Bunny Greenhouse and remain silent instead of exposing waste, fraud, and abuse,” Kohn said.

Congress has taken the first step in ensuring oversight and accountability by including whistleblower protections for employees of private contractors and state and local governments who receive stimulus money in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The stimulus whistleblower protections are already having an effect on corporate culture

The law firm EpsteinBeckerGreen recently issued a client alert on the whistleblower provisions contained in the stimulus legislation.  EpsteinBeckerGreen is a respected employer-side law firm of over 350 attorneys. The firm’s statement provided an extensive briefing on the whistleblower protection provisions and urges every company to undertake extensive voluntary compliance actions in order to avoid becoming entangled in a high-profile whistleblower case:


“Employers receiving covered funds should take proactive steps now to prevent whistleblower claims under ARRA [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act]. As part of a comprehensive compliance program, it may be worthwhile to assure appropriate procedures are in place to prevent and detect mismanagement, fraud, waste, situations creating public danger, abuse or unlawful activity concerning covered funds. Broadening existing hotline or other reporting channels and complaint procedures to cover matters under ARRA may be in order. ARRA also may occasion review and updating of policies and related orientation, training and monitoring programs, with specific regard to employee whistleblower issues that accompany the receipt of covered funds.”

EpsteinBeckerGreen “Client Alert,” dated Feb. 27, 2009.


This is precisely the impact that the NWC and other whistleblower rights groups hoped would be triggered by including strong whistleblower provisions in the stimulus-spending package.  Only when employers know that their employees are being encouraged to detect and report fraud – and when those employees have effective legal protections and rewards – will employers undertake the kinds of voluntary reforms necessary to create a change in culture that will save the taxpayers billions of dollars.  

Congress now must act swiftly to ensure current ARRA protections are made permanent and are extended to cover all employees (including federal employees) and all taxpayer spending.

“The stimulus whistleblower provision is already impacting internal corporate culture and will undoubtedly reduced fraud and create an environment where private sector employees are encouraged to tell the truth” and “it’s about time federal employees had the same protections as the private sector when it comes to saving taxpayer dollars” Kohn said.

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Danielle Brian, 202-347-1122


The president’s statement today on reforming government contracting was welcome news to the Project On Government Oversight.  His recommendations go to the heart of the systemic failures of how the federal government currently spends hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars.


This is great news coming from the White House. By giving this speech, President Obama has highlighted the culture of corruption in contracting in Washington , and is embracing the necessary changes to fix it,” said Danielle Brian, Executive Director, POGO . “The hard part will be to reach down into the incestuous government contracting world and change how Washington does business.”


Last October, POGO sent the Presidential transition teams a set of recommendations addressing the federal contracting system.


Founded in 1981, POGO is an independent non-profit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and honest federal government.


The FAA collects $7.5 million dollars in fines for Southwest Airlines risky safety practices and lack of inspection of Boeing 737 Airplanes.  Are the cracks mentioned a function purely of hours of use or is there any culpability also for the manufacturer?  -GFS




Southwest Airlines settles with FAA for $7.5 million


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