Why One Whistleblower is Important to the Safety, Security and Economic Welfare of All
The story of Boeing Whistleblower, Gerald Eastman, is a compelling one, the outcome of which will have far reaching effects on both employees of industry as well as government. In observing Mr. Eastman’s struggle, I see we have reached a significant turning point. Either we will achieve more transparency in our business (and government) operations or we will submerge into the swamp that is now business and contracting in America. I have become aware of Mr. Eastman’s Boeing Whistleblower case, via my interest in whistleblower issues. I have his permission to send out his first press release and website address in order to better publicize his experiences as a legitimate whistleblower caught up in a most unpleasant relationship with his former employer.
His case is singularly important as unlike many, he chose to stand up to his company about the fraud he saw happening on the line at Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Mr. Eastman was a Quality Assurance Inspector and oversaw the assembly line for airliners. Thinking it was just a few corrupt and irresponsible low level supervisors, he began an odyssey which led him through each level of the Boeing Company to the very highest levels of management, finding anger, corruption, avoidance, cowardice, and retribution against himself, for daring to not shut up and look the other way, all the way to the top of his corporate structure. After exhausting all internal paths for addressing the problems he then went to the oversight authorities in the U.S. government whose job it is to inspect and oversee the safety and integrity of manufacturing and found they were similarly corrupted and impotent. His former employer, the Boeing Company has done their best with every kind of retribution imaginable, to destroy Mr. Eastman. In spite of this Mr. Eastman believing that the fraud and the safety risks the fraud represented to the American public, military and anyone else who would fly on Boeing airplanes, continued to try to get the problems honestly addressed and resolved. Mr. Eastman was fired from Boeing, was essentially blacklisted in his field due to Boeing’s influence, and when he finally did get another job, was fired from that job as well, ostensibly because the small company he worked for had a large customer (ostensibly Boeing) who was not happy with him being employed there. He has lost the integrity of his family, and much else has been permanently and negatively changed in his personal life. It has been a devastating experience. I hope that there will be more media and Internet attention to his story and more of you will present it to your readers. The public should know what is going on around them and see how destructive this kind of greed and corruption is to all of us.
The truth is that Boeing has a lot to lose. The situation is doubly interesting due to the settlement agreement the U.S. Government maintains with Boeing from the end of the Darleen Druyun/Michael Sears/Original Tanker Deal. In order not to lose the ability to bid on more contracts Boeing had to promise to keep themselves clean and ethical. The current issue is that they have not been doing that. There are in addition to Mr. Eastman’s situation, several whistleblower cases and even criminal investigations ongoing at the current time against Boeing. These cases have been slowed, thwarted, and corrupted or crippled; oversight agencies including the Justice department itself, (think federal prosecutors) have been totally dysfunctional in many cases, leaving these cases open, but not going anywhere, and poised to wait for the applicable statute of limitations to run out. This is the functional (or dysfunctional) state of things under the current administration. Those who are a part of the corruption, or are under the control of the corrupted officials, which I am told go all the way to the top of our government, continue to try to keep any of these cases from being investigated, and if that is not successful, from being prosecuted. Unfortunately, at the current time, they are quite successful in that effort.
Mr. Eastman’s case however has reached a fevered pitch as Boeing, frustrated they could not shut him up by destroying his life, has tried to deny he is a whistleblower, used their economic and political power to control things and seek high stakes retribution. It appears that Boeing has managed to corrupt the King County Prosecutor’s office and Justice (judges and attorneys) as well. Only the jury refused to go along with Boeing’s planned execution. The first trial ended in a hung jury, as several jurors could see what was happening, and seemed to be frustrated with the judge not allowing them to fully consider all appropriate elements of the case, such as Mr. Eastman’s whistleblower status and current whistleblower law. To the credit of American jurors, many do not like to be herded to a predetermined end by the prosecutor or judge. The jury also advised the court that they felt the case should not be retried. Boeing, on a roll applying the bully tactic, has since tried to force Mr. Eastman into an out of court “deal” which he has detailed on his website in his Press Release, while threatening to prosecute him again in a second trial, and more recently threatening to move the trial to the federal level, even naming the U.S. attorney, who is interested in taking it on, which flies in the face of any logic, considering the facts of the alleged case, and the well known state of Justice in the U.S. Attorney General’s office.
The truth about campaign contributions from the Boeing Company to politicians in Congress is important, but so is their ample contributing to campaigns or other convenient causes in local jurisdictions where they have business presence, such as in prosecutor’s offices or police agencies. The Boeing Company has used all of these efforts well to garner power – much too much power. They have used that power to prosecute, or more accurately, railroad Mr. Eastman criminally for his efforts to stop the fraud he saw occurring while working at Boeing. Like some other companies I’ve read of just recently, Boeing appears to hope that by trying to criminalize him, they will evade accountability on his whistleblower charges against the company. And, they hope to punish him severely, putting him away and silencing him, as well as using him as a terrifying example to the rest of their employees, to derail anyone else from even thinking about reporting fraud or other criminal activities.
The travesty that has been witnessed in Seattle, masquerading as justice, needs to be exposed. I hope you will be able to help make that happen.
You will find his press release at his website:
http://www.thelastinspector.com You may also contact him at that site.
Please do what you can to help bring this kind of corruption into the light; it is the right thing to do.