Archive for June, 2013

A reader sent this today. It is sad that things keep sliding downhill. Is no one in authority still left uncorrupted? Things that were fixable problems in decades past have been allowed to run downhill at a rapid rate by those that do not wish real security or government oversight to function at all. If you still care and have some personal knowledge of this mess, please by all means contact your elected politicians before they hold their hearing. GFS

G Florence:

So the Senate is going to examine the security clearance process.  And it sounds like people want to blame the Office of Personnel Management for everything that is wrong.  Seems like I remember the Defense Investigative Service, now the Defense Security Service, had this mission from the early 1970’s until just recently.  I also remember continuous problems with the security clearance process while it was under the Defense Security Service. 

So do you think that the Senate will ask the first hard question?  If the Office of Personnel Management has really taken over the personnel clearance mission, then why has the Defense Security Service halted a majority of the periodic reinvestigations for Top Secret personnel clearances?  The Defense Security Service is claiming budget issues.  Are personnel clearance budget dollars still being funneled through the Defense Security Service?  And if so, why? The Defense Security Service can’t manage their own internal budget.  Why would anyone trust them with the budget of another agency’s mission? 

If you remember, the Defense Security Service spent an average of $1 million or more dollars each year for the past five or more years on their internal All Hands junket meetings in many places to include Atlantic City, Las Vegas and Orlando.  This after the Secretary of Defense directed all Department of Defense agencies, by DoD Directive, not to hold such meetings.  The Director of the Defense Security Service ignored the Secretary of Defense’s directive, and called the junkets “trainings.”

The Old Navy Man

The Washington Post: Senate hearing will examine security clearance in wake of NSA leaks

By Josh Hicks, Published: June 19, 2013 at 6:00 am

A Senate panel on Thursday will examine federal security-clearance processes, continuing a brief round of hearings this week in response to contractor Edward Snowden leaking information about the nation’s sweeping electronic-surveillance program. The Senate subcommittee that deals with contracting and federal workforce will raise questions about a perceived lack of oversight, limited IT capabilities and insufficient information sharing between government agencies, according to an announcement from the group. A report from the national intelligence director showed that about 1 million contractors and more than 3.5 million federal government employees including military personnel hold security clearances. A recent article from Federal Diary columnist Joe Davidson explored the issue of whether contractors should do national security work. The Defense Department handled security clearance processes until 2005, when the Office of Personnel Management’s investigative services division took over the responsibility. Since then, OPM has implemented several changes to decrease clearance-request backlogs and improve the quality of its reviews, according to the subcommittee’s announcement. The hearing on Thursday will feature testimony from OPM’s inspector general and an associate director of investigations for the agency, as well as from the head of the Defense Department’s defense security service, among other officials. Senior government officials also testified Tuesday, saying the government’s electronic surveillance program has thwarted more than 50 terrorist plots in the U.S., according to a Washington Post article about the hearing.

Here is a story regarding more antics of Boeing that have come into the light, thanks to a reader who stays alert for such stories. GFS

G Florence:

Straight from federal Executive Order to the Secretary of Defense, one of the federal requirements for continuing participation in the National Industrial Security Program: “The company must have a reputation for integrity and lawful conduct in its business dealings.” But then we read articles like the one below, and that’s when we realize that Boeing is bigger than the federal government.  $13.7 million dollars does not even represent a slap on the wrist to Boeing. The Old Navy Man

Boeing Told to Repay After Charging $2,286 for $10 Part

By Tony Capaccio – Jun 19, 2013 8:30 AM PT The Pentagon’s purchasing agency says Boeing Co. (BA) must refund $13.7 million in excessive prices charged on spare parts, including a $10 device for which the defense contractor charged $2,286 apiece. 

The Defense Logistics Agency “is seeking a refund from Boeing,” spokeswoman Michelle McCaskill said in an e-mailed statement. “The refund will be for the full $13.7 million identified” and will be requested by July 31, she said.  

The agency overpaid about $1.3 million for 573 of the aluminum “bearing sleeves” used on an aircraft’s main landing-gear door that should have cost $10 each, the Pentagon’s inspector general said in an audit labeled “For Official Use Only.”

Wasteful spending resulted from agency personnel failing to negotiate good deals or to perform adequate oversight, and from Boeing’s failure to pass on savings it won from subcontractors, according to the complete audit report. A summary of the findings was reported by Bloomberg News on June 7.

Boeing “has been working with the Defense Logistics Agency” and the inspector general “throughout the audit process,” Ellen Buhr, a spokeswoman for Boeing’s Global Services and Support unit, said in an e-mailed statement. “We are working with DLA to review the official report and to understand the issues identified.” 

Second Time 
The audit marks the second time in two years that the inspector general has cited excessive parts pricing by Chicago-based Boeing, the Pentagon’s second-biggest contractor after Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) A May 2011 inspector general’s audit of two Boeing contracts for an Army depot in Corpus Christi, Texas, found about $13 million in overcharges on $23 million in orders. 

The Pentagon has recovered $2.67 million in that case, according to Bridget Serchak, a spokeswoman for the inspector general’s office. The Defense Contract Audit Agency is reviewing the contract to see if more refunds are in order, another spokeswoman, Army Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Robbins, said in an e-mailed statement. 

In the more recent audit, the inspector general took what it described as a “nonstatistical sample” of 60 spare parts on 2,659 delivery orders valued at about $81.1 million and found issues involving prices for parts on 1,469 orders valued at $27.2 million.

The sample was part of almost 3,400 spare parts valued at about $142 million that the agency had purchased. 

Aircraft Parts 
The excessive prices were found on a sample of parts requested under a 2009 “basic ordering agreement” for components and assemblies used on B-1B and B-52 bombers, E-3 surveillance aircraft, KC-135 tankers, Minuteman nuclear missiles and AC-130U gunships. 

Boeing overcharged the Defense Logistics Agency’s aviation unit the $13.7 million on 1,469 delivery orders after government personnel failed to negotiate “fair and reasonable prices,” according to the inspector general’s audit. 

“If prices are not corrected, DLA Aviation will continue to overpay on future sole-source spare parts procured from Boeing,” it said.

Boeing “did not maintain complete cost and pricing data for 20 delivery orders valued at $3.4 million” because of inadequate agency oversight, the inspector general found. The company issued internal guidance in December emphasizing the need to maintain adequate documentation, it said. 

In addition, inspectors found cases in which Boeing failed to pass on savings it obtained. 

Negotiating Prices 
“Boeing either negotiated for lower prices from its suppliers or obtained spare parts at lower prices from different suppliers,” the audit found. The company “is not required to notify” the agency “when the subcontractor changes its prices, and Boeing did not pass on any cost savings.” 

In one example cited, Boeing in February 2008 cited a price of $8,474 each for a “control surface part kit” that attaches to an aircraft’s left elevator. 

Auditors obtained Boeing purchase orders indicating it paid about $4,080 for the kit, “resulting in an overpayment of approximately” $4,394 per kit — or about $1.2 million for 273 of them. 

Boeing charged the defense agency $17,628 apiece for a “channel” engine structural support on the AC-130U gunship that company documents showed cost about $1,354 each, or an overpayment of more than $16,000, according to the audit. 

The logistics agency overpaid about $22,600 for two metal tube assemblies that cover aircraft engine struts. The Defense Logistics Agency accepted as “fair and reasonable” Boeing’s proposed price of $12,467 each.

“Based on our review of Boeing’s purchase order,” the agency “should have paid a unit price of approximately $1,167,” according to the audit. 

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Capaccio in Washington at                                                         
To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at

Another Whistleblower Supporter sent this in to me recently. This is the winning of an appeal. The MSPB still has things that must be resolved. It is rather incredible how long whistleblowers must struggle before finally getting through the legal system, if they are allowed to proceed to the legal system at all Here is the material I was sent, verbatim. Enjoy! GFS


After a decade!

Way to go Robert!

Today the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in MacLean v. Department of Homeland Security. In 2003, Robert MacLean blew the whistle on the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Agency’s (TSA) plan to remove U.S. air marshals from long distance flights during a heightened terrorist alert. Mr. MacLean was concerned that the suspension of overnight missions created a danger to the flying public. He complained to his supervisor and to the Office of Inspector General; both responded that they could do nothing.
Mr. MacLean then gave information to a MSNBC reporter about the TSA’s plan. The reporter published an article criticizing the plan. The TSA withdrew its plan after criticism from the public and members of Congress. The TSA subsequently fired Mr. MacLean.
A major issue on appeal from the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”), was whether or not Mr. MacLean was covered under the Whistleblower Protection Act (“WPA”). Specifically, the WPA prohibits individuals in positions of authority from taking a “personnel action” against a government employee when the employee makes a disclosure, which the employee reasonable believes to evidence a “substantial and specific danger to public health and safety, if such disclosure is not specifically prohibited by law.” The Court of Appeals held that MacLean’s disclosure was “not specifically prohibited by law.”
The Court vacated the MSPB decision which upheld Mr. MacLean’s termination and remanded the case back to the MSPB to determine whether MacLean’s “disclosure qualifies for WPA protection.” The MSPB must determine whether Mr. MacLean “reasonable believed” his disclosure evidenced a “substantial and specific danger to public health and safety.”

This Press Release etc. is from Robin Petersen, the whistleblower who was held captive in Saudi Arabia after being injured working there for a Boeing Subsidiary. Quite an ordeal. Mr. Petersen has been struggling since to get justice and prevail against an employer who intends to take no responsibility. GFS

See materials he sent:


The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday, April 26, 2013 that Plaintiff Robin P. Petersen, a pro se litigant, will have his case heard against “The Boeing Company” and its wholly owned subsidiary “Boeing International Support Systems, Saudi Arabia.” The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case back to the U.S. District Court of Arizona.

Mr. Petersen a former Navy pilot with the rank of Commander was recruited in Arizona by “The Boeing Company” to work as a flight instructor for Boeing International Support Systems (“BISS”) in Saudi Arabia. Petersen alleges that the Boeing Company and BISS engaged in fraudulent recruiting practices, trafficking in persons, and in a “Bait and Switch Operation” that defrauds Veterans and the American Tax Payers. Mr. Petersen also stated that he and other U.S. Veterans (Navy, Air Force and Army) were first defrauded within the United States by Boeing and BISS representatives who were operating from St. Louis, Missouri and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His legal claims include (1) Common Law Fraud, (2) U.S. Passport Confiscation, (3) False Imprisonment, (4) RICO violations, (5) Breach of Contract, (6) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress and (7) Failure to Pay Wages.

The Ninth Circuit of Court of Appeals concluded:

“We hold that the evidence submitted and the allegations made by Petersen were more than sufficient to create a triable issue of fact as to whether the forum selection clause an issue here is enforceable under Bremen. The district court therefore abused its discretion by granting BISS’s motion to dismiss without convening an evidentiary hearing. It also abused its discretion in denying Petersen leave to amend his pleadings. The district court abused its discretion by dismissing on the basis of the forum selection clause without at the very least holding an evidentiary hearing as to whether Petersen was induced to assent to the forum selection clause through fraud or overreaching.”

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cited several Appellate cases stating :

“Petersen did precisely what we held that the employee in Spradlin needed to have done, and what the employee in Murphy did do: he provided specific evidence sufficient to demonstrate that he would be wholly foreclosed from litigating his claims against Boeing and BISS in a Saudi forum”

The Boeing Company in recent past has suffered scrutiny by Congress for unethical activity and criminal violations which can be found at
Mr. Petersen urges that American Citizens and Veteran’s Organizations provide support by contacting local, state and federal officials asking them to further investigate this matter.

I have published posts previously about Mr. Petersen’s unfortunate experiences that led to him becoming a whistleblower. Please look at the archives or use search on the Whistleblower Supporter blog to see those posts. If anyone can be of help and assistance to Robin Petersen, and/or would like to see the PDF of the Ninth Circuit Court Documentation, please contact Mr. Petersen by email:

A reader sent this in today. It is more on the changes that have been unfortunately occurring that have helped take down government services and oversight. I noted some time ago of the problem of government agencies/activities outsourcing their complaint (whistleblower and other) and grievance processes to non-governmental contractors, who have clerks who screen and “handle” complaints to hotlines or written complaints, making decisions about what will be passed upward to people who will possibly (read that only possibly) investigate the complaints. I thank the Old Navy Man for alerting me to this article, he also included for this post. GFS

G Florence:

Some of us told Clapper and the counter-to-intelligence community many years ago that bringing contractors into the process was a very bad idea. But the politicians and federal executives were more concerned with presenting the image of “downsizing” the federal government to the public. Secondarily, no one wanted to pay people for the expertise needed to keep intelligence and counterintelligence within the federal government. So now we’re all paying the price for that decision.

If the public only knew. The news media and the public need to take a close look at where the federal government has ‘hidden’ the federal government’s ramping up of intelligence and counterintelligence personnel. The feds have actually expanded the number of employees and agencies that are now in the collection business.

The Department of Defense has farmed out intelligence and counterintelligence billets to a number of government activities. Just one example, the Defense Security Service. The number of intel billets in the Defense Security Service has increased dramatically, and yet the Defense Security Service is not an intelligence or counterintelligence agency. But no one is asking why. So Stanley Sims (the director), with the blessing of James Clapper, is growing his federal business in counterintelligence and cyber collection.

But the same is true for the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, etc., etc. And all these agencies have contractors and subcontractors.

So where has the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Oversight been all this time? That would be: Dianne Feinstein (California, Chair); Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia); Ron Wyden (Oregon); Barbara Mikulski (Maryland); Mark Udall (Colorado); Mark Warner (Virginia); Martin Heinrich (New Mexico); Angus King (Maine); Saxby Chambliss (Georgia, Vice Chair); Richard Burr (North Carolina); Jim Risch (Idaho); Dan Coats (Indiana); Marco Rubio (Florida); Susan Collins (Maine); and Tom Coburn (Oklahoma).

Apparently the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Oversight thinks everything is just fine.

The Old Navy Man

Growth of intel outsourcing no secret, but now Congress taking notice

By Tracy Connor, Staff Writer, NBC News / June 15, 2013

A growing chorus on Capitol Hill is questioning whether U.S. intelligence agencies are farming out too much work to private contractors like Edward Snowden, the Booz Allen Hamilton systems analyst who has claimed credit leaking classified details about surveillance programs.

“Maybe we should bring some of that more in-house — with employees of the federal government, with the oath of office that we take to protect and defend our country and that seriousness of purpose there,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.

In the days since Snowden professed to be the source of reports on secret surveillance programs, others in Congress have also expressed concern about the number of private employees who have access to sensitive information and suggested it will be the subject of hearings.

While the average American may have been surprised to learn a 29-year-old civilian could tap into secret government files while drawing a paycheck from a for-profit firm, there is nothing new or unusual about it.

Last year, 483,236 private contractors had top-secret security clearances, compared to 791,200 government employees, according to a report by the office of the Director of National Intelligence. Another 582,542 contractors had the less-stringent confidential security clearance, compared to 2.7 million government workers, the report said.

National Security Agency and CIA facilities have government employees with blue badges working side by side with contractors, known as green badges, performing similar work and reporting to the same boss at the site. Because intelligence contracts are classified, it’s difficult to nail down how much taxpayer money is going to firms like Booz Allen.

In his book, “Spies for Hire,” author Tim Shorrock reported that a DNI official told an industry conference in 2007 that 70% of intelligence spending went to private sources. Experts say it’s part of trend that began two decades ago when an intelligence community that shrunk after the Cold War needed to ramp up and looked outside for technology and bodies without increasing the government head count.

“The only reason we have contractors is because of a government that loves selling the myth of the smaller government,” said George Washington University law professor Steven Schooner, who specializes in government procurement law.

The amount of intelligence outsourcing skyrocketed after 9/11 as the budget and the demands for data collection and analysis and other services ballooned. Giant firms like Booz, SAIC and Northrup Grumman got big slices of the pie, but smaller firms also lined up.

Richard “Hollis” Helms, who worked on counter-terrorism for the CIA for 30 years, started a company called Abraxas after retirement with $5,000. Four years after 9/11, it had 225 employees, many of them government retirees. In 2010, it was sold for $124 million.

The benefits of such outsourcing were being debated well before the time when Snowden says he copied files at his office in Hawaii, fled to Hong Kong and leaked the information to reporters.

One 2008 congressional report cautioned that the annual cost of a private employee can be double the cost of a government worker, though others note the feds can avoid pensions and other legacy costs on the back end with contracts.

Contracts are also a way to get retired agency workers with crucial experience back on the job. And using private companies allows the government to surge on manpower in times of crisis without adding permanent employees who may be not be needed in the long run.

“If I’m the government, I can hire this database administration contractor because I have the money right now…and if I don’t have the money in a couple of years, I can just cut the contract,” said Charles Faddis, a retired CIA operations officer who is now a consultant who does work for the government.

In the wake of Snowden’s actions, the financial worries are taking a back seat to security concerns.

While contractors and government workers go through the same process for security clearances, Snowden’s ability to cull and share information about secret programs raises the question of how private companies vet and monitor their hires. Faddis said the explosion in information technology that drove the hiring of Snowden and his ilk also means they have access to such a tremendous amount of data that a single breach could make Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers look like a post-it note.

“Then you have the post-9/11 focus on sharing information and breaking down stovepipes,” he said. “I agree with that but we have gone in typical Washington fashion so much farther that you now have throughout the government all sorts of people at very junior levels who have access to intelligence of staggering quantities.”

There are vague calls for a clampdown. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein said Thursday the public can expect “legislation which will limit or prevent contractors from handling highly classified technical data.

” The government, of course, is not leak-proof. Snowden, a onetime Army recruit, says he had worked directly for the CIA before Booz Allen and other private firms, and Bradley Manning wore an Army uniform.

“There is no empirical evidence that contractors are better or worse than people in the military or the government,” Schooner said.

But William Arkin, who has written extensively on intelligence outsourcing, told NBC “Nightly News” that some of the contractors are different from government employees.

“They’re not motivated necessarily by patriotism. They’re not motivated necessarily by a scar of 9/11. This is a job,” he said.

It’s unclear whether there will be more or fewer of those jobs when the smoke clears from the Snowden case.

Many of the big multibillion-dollar contracting corporations have lobbyists. Some of their top executives worked for the CIA or NSA and retain close ties to the intelligence agencies. The concept of a smaller government is still prized by politicians, and the demand for intelligence services is not waning.

“The train has left the station on outsourcing,” said Schooner. “Do we think Congress will appropriate to hire tens of thousands of employees for pick-your agency? It’s not going to happen.”

I hope all of you are keeping track of all that has suddenly exploded into the media. It rather is too little too late, but if someone will finally prosecute the wrongdoers, we may make some progress.  (Read that Eric Holder must go and someone who will carry out clean investigations and prosecutions must be put in his place.)  A broken Justice Department is a big part of the problem.  The dog no longer has teeth to  bite, nor a will to do so.  And, it is apparent that the amount of collusion and corruption surrounding contracting, incompetence of federal oversight management, and collusion and corruption shared between certain contractors and some federal government management and some politicians have only gotten worse and the problems deeper.  Cronyism, nepotism, and the notorious revolving doors between government and industry continue to run amock and no one is making any effort to stop any of this, or even apply the regulations and laws we currently have.  It is all broken, or as one of my sources reported, “FUBAR.” 

The recent  reporting of alleged Chinese Hackers “stealing all of these secrets and advanced technology,”  (from the listed items in the report referenced below), appear to me to be an ever escalating attempt to cover up the real culprits and those truly responsible for the losses.  Corruption,greed-driven corruption that the guilty parties in the defense contractor(s) and within the federal government (including Pentagon) have tried so desperately to cover up at each level and every step of the whistleblower’s report.   I can only hope that if the media will keep up the pressure, talk with the whistleblowers, and continue to pressure for real investigation and prosecution of those truly responsible for lost technology, and all of you continue to stand up and demand justice, we may eventually prevail. 

I have posted information about the infamous James Clapper previously.  He is but one cog in the machine, as the corruption appears to spread far and wide both within government agencies and activities, as well as in government defense contractors.  One of the whistleblowers that I am aware of currently has a federal investigation in progress that has been stalled every step of the way by those involved in a coverup of one of the compromises of technology listed in the report below.  Consider that the culprits who actually have committed the crimes and possible treasonous activities, as well as those who compromised themselves helping to cover-up said crimes,  are desperately trying (to the detriment of all of us), to find a way to blame something or someone else for the losses and the criminal actions.  It is the last overblown act by very desperate criminals to evade identification and prosecution. 

They have continued to try to derail investigations, lie to government investigators and Congress, interfere in the legal processes related to whistleblower complaints, derail the carrying out of prosecution of wrongdoing and more.   They have savagely attacked those who have tried to stand up to them.  Careers have been destroyed,personal lives devastated, and responsible federal and in some cases corporate employees harassed, undermined and targeted.  Would that the nefarious surveillance of phone, email , and other communication work the other way, so we could all see how plots are hatched and planned.  It does appear the miscreants  reached an apparently well-coordinated new level of outrage, ingeniously blaming Chinese Hackers for loss of the tech on the list, when the true miscreants are right here in the halls of the Pentagon, the offices of DOD agencies and activities and in the CEO and manager’s enclaves within the Defense Contractors unfortunately entrusted with handling our most sensitive and advanced technologies. 

No doubt Chinese Hackers are annoying and damaging liabilities, as Hackers from anywhere (including the US) may be, but the true causes and those who bring about the losses of technology that have so badly devastated both our real National Security positioning, and our economic security, are very much closer to home.  I maintain that they walk among us, and if allowed, will continue on with their corrupt and criminal activities to the detriment of real national security, economic, and otherwise. 

Here is something that one of my readers sent today.  I have written about several whistleblowers previously.  This may well be a followup on one of them.  -GFS

G Florence:

If you haven’t already read David Sirota’s excellent article “James Clapper Must Go,” please do so.  I realize that you have posted about the problems with James Clapper before.  I believe you will be interested in this.   I have a good friend and former coworker who served as a Special Agent for the Department of Defense. My friend is a scientist and was recruited into the Department of Defense because of their expertise in Advanced Technology compartmented research and development. Some years ago now, my friend found that a large aerospace defense contractor was intentionally and illegally handling Advanced Technology in their programs throughout the company. The company’s illegal handling of Advanced Technology lead to the loss of irreplaceable compartmented technology. My friend’s federal investigation of the incident was covered up by their agency and at the highest levels inside the Pentagon. And with the consent of James Clapper, my friend was harassed and psychologically tortured by their agency’s management. My friend was frankly, forced out of federal service.

Recently it became public through the release of the Defense Science Board report “Resilient Military Systems and the Advanced Cyber Threat” that the Department of Defense is trying to blame that advanced technology loss on “the cyber threat.” The report is interesting in that it references a table (2.2) that is not present in the unclassified version of the report. One of the listings on table 2.2 is the compartmented program department and the technology that my friend investigated the loss of. That loss was not from cyber collection. The loss was from the intentional and illegal mishandling of the Advanced Technology by the aerospace defense contractor. How many more cases like this has James Clapper participated in?

The Old Navy Man

Here is the article that the Old Navy Man referenced: