May 11, 2007

Whistleblower Week

Join POGO and 50 other public interest groups to celebrate Whistleblower Week in Washington

To our friends in the D.C. area: Please join us for the kick-off of "Whistleblower Week in Washington," a week of activities designed to promote protections for government and corporate whistleblowers. This will be the largest gathering of whistleblowers and related public interest groups in U.S. history, and will feature a series of whistleblower panels as well as a screening of the movie The Insider at the Warehouse Theater. Senator Charles Grassley will be receiving a lifetime achievement award for his work protecting whistleblowers.

Click here to learn more about Whistleblower Week in Washington.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope it features a field trip to a local strip club.

Anonymous said...

Hey 10:19AM

That is uncalled for and unfair.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5/11/07 11:40 AM has it wrong. Tommy Hook did in fact go to the strip club and got beat up in the parking lot because he let his alligator mouth overrun his hummingbird ass. He made up the story about being lured there because he didn't want his wife to know that he frequented those places. He should have stayed out of Santa Fe and stuck with TD's Show Club in Albuquerque where he was a regular.

Tommy Hook was totally discredited in all of his complaints.

Not all whistleblowers are saints. Indeed it is unforetunate that people like Tommy Hook make false assertions. It makes it much tougher for the genuine whistle blowers.

Anonymous said...

Uncalled for and unfair?

POGO has certainly earned my respect through it fair and balanced approach to oversight and investigation and dissemination of results.

Hook certainly earned my respect by trying to hide his indiscretion by painting the laboratory and its employees as criminals. Those headlines were particularly helpful at the time.

Gosh, you're right. I guess I have it all wrong. Silly me!

Anonymous said...

Take your strip club jokes and shove them were the sun don't shine. And no...this isn't TH that's telling you where to put it. If I knew who you were, I put it there myself!

Anonymous said...

3:09pm,

What 10:19AM said was funny. An I am
sure that Tommy Hook said to those guys
in the parking lot "put were the sun dont shine".

Hey 3:09 if you are such a tough guy
than give your name.

Anonymous said...

"Take your strip club jokes and shove them were the sun don't shine. And no...this isn't TH that's telling you where to put it. If I knew who you were, I put it there myself!"

Ooo! A childish insult and a threat. Nice. Looks like we have a POGO whore in our midst.

Anonymous said...

POGO is no friend to the Laboratory, or to its employees. It actually doesn't care what happens to LANL employees as long as LANL is trashed. If you are the sort of employee who likes seeing his/her employer trashed, then you probably like it. My question is, why work for someone you'd like to see trashed? Can't get a job anywhere else? No professional pride? No profession at all, just a job? Want the salary but no commitment? You know, it is indeed possible to find a job you like, for an employer you like working for. I highly recommend it.

Anonymous said...

Get The Hook!

darko said...

I didn't know Tommy well, but I don't think he was nearly as bad as his detractors want us to believe.

I'm pretty sure the stuff he was blowing the whistle on was real. His strip club habits set him up for a big-bad fall and lots of discrediting but that doesn't mean his stuff was all made up.

I doubt that Tommy got beat up in the parking lot because he ran his "alligator mouth"... There is nothing about Tommy that I know of that suggests he would get his head stomped for mouthing off...

I seem to remember there being strong suggestions that he may have backed into someone (car or pedestrian) which started things off. It seems a lot more likely that several drunk men with their testosterone running high worked out their second-favorite participatory sport that starts with F on Tommy, sporting though it was not.

Tommy is a skinny little guy and not much of a threat to anyone, so the guys who stomped him were having their own brand of fun when they put him in the hospital. Whatever he did (or maybe said) couldn't warrant that type of beating... that was sheer meanness.

I'm ashamed of the fact that there has never been a public followup of what happened. Did the guys who did this walk away clean, no criminal charges, no civil suit, no nothing? Not a good precedent.

Tommy was apparently a sometimes liar and had a sweettooth for the skinny naked girls but that doesn't mean everything he was blowing the whistle on was a lie.

Anonymous said...

The fact that he is a confirmed liar and his story completely discredited calls into question anything he was blowing the whistle about.

Anonymous said...

"We have met the enemy and they is us!" - pogo

"Your enemies enemy is not necessarily your friend" - anonymous

POGO is not our friend, even if they do occasionally go after our enemies.

We are not really our own best friends either... I'm not sure we put ourselves in this hole, but sometimes it seems like we are only digging it deeper.

I wish I had some better answers.

Anonymous said...

TH was lying to cover up an indiscretion, that does undermine his credibility.

On the other hand, even if his taste for naked girls lead him to indiscretions and his paranoia and shame lead him to an extravagant lie, that doesn't *neccesarily* mean he was lying all along about everything does it?

It would be stupid for those investigating his allegations to assume they were all false... but I notice there has been no (public) followup.

If it was all a fabrication, the next couple of months after his beating would have been a good time for a big-fat-announcement - "Whistleblower found to be a compulsive liar!"

What is that all about? I suspect
TH's story started out 99% true, maybe diminished to 80% before the parking lot stomping and then with his lies about the informant, etc, it dropped to 50%...

But there is surely still a significant truth wrapped inside of all that dysfunction.

But let's dismiss it *all* because we don't like Tommy or his worst behavior.

Nope.

Anonymous said...

He's not an idiot because he goes to strip clubs...he's an idiot because he tried to blame it on some kind of major incident related to LANL.
Anyone who can't see that is an idiot. Especially these blog-owner idiots who keep changing hands (but for some stupid reason, they keep the same dumb orange stripe).

Anonymous said...

Hook is a jerk. He was abusive as a supervisor. He had to be frequently moved around LANL because he got himself on the outs with his co-workers.

I would not believe any of his whistleblowing crap. We are NOT a "den of thieves." After the audit of $30M fo credit card transactions only $3K could NOT BE SHOWN TO BE PROPER.

Yes, in any organization where 12,000 people get a paycheck, there will be a few bad actors. But to say what he and those two ex-cops said is far from the truth.

Anonymous said...

"If it was all a fabrication, the next couple of months after his beating would have been a good time for a big-fat-announcement - "Whistleblower found to be a compulsive liar!" "

Yeah, I read that headline already. It the one that said he made the whole thing up to cover his penchant for live nudes.

Dr. Strangelove said...

1:46

Come on down for a little "dance"...

I'm one of your "blog owning idiots" sans "dumb orange stripe" and would love to call you out.

I suspect I could mop the parking lot of Cheeks with your sorry ass without the help of the couple of friends it took to do the 150lb weakling Tommy Hooks.

Speak up jerkball. I respect the guys who started and maintained these "dumb orange stripe" blogs...

Get the fuck over yourself.

- Doc

Anonymous said...

6:14

We all understand his motive for lying about his visit to Cheeks, but what exactly was his motivation for the "whistleblowing"?

He may be a pathetic loser, but that diescription contradicts the apparent boldness of the lies (whistleblowing) he told.

Whistleblowers are a mixed bag...

darko said...

Doc-

I got your six... this kind of bullshit (1:46) talk is nothing more than that.

I agree with 2:20 that we are not a "den of thieves" but that doesn't mean he didn't call out some real problems.

Let's quit with the "divide and conquer" tactics eh? The lab does a *lot* of good work *in spite of* some of the shitty management and asinine procedures that don't work.

- darko

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5/12/07 10:48 PM writes:

"We all understand his motive for lying about his visit to Cheeks, but what exactly was his motivation for the "whistleblowing"?"

The motivation will not be known. Lots of people lie and we do not know why. In Hook's case, he was not having a pleasant career at LANL. So perhaps it was revenge.

In the case of those two ex-cops, I would also guess that their lies were motivated by revenge. As a class of workers, the police fall into the category of probably the most dishonest. Of course, in their case, UC rolled over and paid them a lot of money. Not only was the money wasted, but the action of payment gave them credibility and further diminished the reputation of LANL employees.

Anonymous said...

All that has been talked about is Hooks. What about all the other whistle blowers? Does anyone know of other whistle blowers that were telling the truth or lied and what the outcome was?

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who can't see that is an idiot. Especially these blog-owner idiots who keep changing hands (but for some stupid reason, they keep the same dumb orange stripe)."

The orange stripe is pretty obviously symbolic of the persistence of the blog regardless of its ownership.

Anyone who can't see that--and labels others for being idiots--surely must be an idiot himself.

Anonymous said...

"POGO is no friend to the Laboratory, or to its employees. It actually doesn't care what happens to LANL employees as long as LANL is trashed."

What's the basis of this statement, especially "As long as LANL is trashed"?

LANL has itself to blame for activities that are reported to POGO. Are employees supposed to sit by and watch those who fail to act on a safety or security issue not be punished for it when LANL itself is punished in the newspapers and Congress?

Don't we taxpayers have a right to see our money spent on employees who follow the rules, act on reported safety and security issues rather than burying them because it's easier?

LANS is a private company operating with taxpayers' dollars. We taxpayers have the right and responsibility to ask how that money is being spent. We don't give up either the right or the responsibility just because we are working for LANS. And LANS does not have the right to require us to give it up.

Yes, LANS is an at will company, but LANS surely does not want the reputation of firing someone who reported a safety or security problem.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5/14/07 11:16 AM writes:

"Yes, LANS is an at will company, but LANS surely does not want the reputation of firing someone who reported a safety or security problem."

Would you care to bet your job on this statement?

Anonymous said...

'"Yes, LANS is an at will company, but LANS surely does not want the reputation of firing someone who reported a safety or security problem."

Would you care to bet your job on this statement?'

I wonder if LANS wants to risk its contract on firing someone who has reported a safety or security problem.

Proof exists that the USB vulnerabilty that Jessica Q exploited was reported to S-11 a year before Jessica. Why are the people to whom it was reported still working for LANL?

Anonymous said...

This thread is proof that Nanos wasn't that far off the mark when he labeled Los Alamos scientists a arrogant butt-head cowboys. Talk about a pathetic bunch of loosers who thrive on whistle-blower bashing (and whinning at just about everything else). Hook isn't even the issue, but what the hell, let's vent our spleen on the guy. He was one of your own there for the longest time, and this how you treat one of your former best and brightest? Well the article isn't even about him. What about the other whistleblowers (real or imagine), who've had their lives and careers trashed by the likes of the trash-talking gutless wonders who love to spew their poison at every opportunity with or without cause? It's so easy to hide behind anonymity and trash the few among us who care enough to take a stand every once in awhile. The whistleblowers are the true heros here, not the scum that loves to take pot-shots at them on blogs like this. And YOU know who YOU are...YOU pathetic excuses for human beings. I, like so many of thousands of bystanders who have been following this blog for sometime now (this being my first submission) can see now why the Los Alamos National Laboratory has become a laughing stock among my DOE colleagues. You ARE, as the great admiral said once, just a bunch of arrogant butt-heads!

Anonymous said...

5/14/07 2:20PM

Some of us who post here have not slammed whistleblowers. Remember that children are taught not to tattle, those same children will not "narc" on their drug and/or alcohol using friends as teenagers, and they aren't whistleblowers as adults.

Hook's story was very strange. He claimed he was "lured" to the location via an anonymous call and then beaten up. He certainly made it more difficult for someone who truly is a whistleblower to be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5/14/07 2:20 PM says:

"You ARE, as the great admiral said once, just a bunch of arrogant butt-heads!"

Whoever this person is, s/he is a fool, clearly never having spent any time aour the "great admiral." Remember that Admiral Butthead carried on the lie about the non-existant CREM long after he knew that it never existed.

The US Navy has a long history of scapegoating.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the previous post, the most extrement case of US Navy scapegoating was the Captain of the Cruiser Indianapolis.

Anonymous said...

And the reason whistleblowers should be encouraged is to avoid scapegoating.

Anonymous said...

"It's so easy to hide behind anonymity and trash the few among us who care enough to take a stand every once in awhile."

This deeply powerful and moving statement would have had so much more meaning if you had put your name on it.

Pot. Kettle. Black. Get it?

Oh, that's right. You don't get it. You're a C student at DOE. Sorry. Maybe I'll scan a crayon drawing for you so you will be able to understand. Dip shit.

Anonymous said...

11:36 am:

"Proof exists that the USB vulnerabilty that Jessica Q exploited was reported to S-11 a year before Jessica. Why are the people to whom it was reported still working for LANL?"

The "vulnerability" was "reported"?? Why, because S-11 (or any other idiot) couldn't figure out that open USB ports could be exploited by a malicious insider?? Who DIDN'T know that?Come on - this wasn't a failure of the Lab or of any person at all except Quintana. To believe otherwise is to capitualte to the political garbage that the fools in Congress would like to have us believe. Don't fall for it folks -"we" (the LANL employees who were discplined, not me personally) did absolutely nothing wrong. A Q cleared subcontractor employee with need-to-know for her job and for all of the information in the documents she mishandled screwed up, got caught, and will apparently get away with a slap, while some very conscientious and professional people had their careers and lives disrupted.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was a failure of LANL not to issue a DI describing the USB vulnerability and requiring every ISSO to document each secure computer with USB ports and how the ports were disabled. This is clearly as serious as writing floppies on the secure or having diskfull systems on the red net.

Clearly some folks were smarter than others, or less trusting. Whoever (ISSO, sys admin) was responsible for Jessica Q's system was not particularly bright. Or was too trusting.

"While some very conscientious and professional people had their careers and lives disrupted" might not have happened if warnings had been heeded. And these folks should be asking S-11 why S-11 never pushed for a DI on this vulnerability.

darko said...

11:28

11:16 is a POGO troll.

It is a POGO advertisement.

I agree with the troll that the US taxpayers (like the $.03 they contribute to the NWC via taxes matters to them really) deserve better from "us", but only in principle. They deserve better from *every* taxpayer funded system, including the ones they themselve probably work for or suck off of.

Yes, we are a culture of selfish, arrogant bastards.. but not just at LANL... across the board.

- Darko

butthead cowboy said...

2:20 PM

A dozen or so vocal bozos (and heroes) here do not a significant sample make. Anyone who thinks they can measure the laboratory by our worst (and best) behavior here are sadly misinformed and not particularly good scientists of any ilk.

At best, the high points represented here might give us hope and the low points might remind us of our humble humanity, but they "prove" nothing.

- butthead cowboy

Anonymous said...

What exactly was TH trying to blow the whistle on? And if he was, then he should have gone through the right channels, not tried some mission impossible act. And if someone knows what those issues are (Darko?), then have they been reported?

11:16 asked some very important questions which does not mean 11:16 is a POGO troll. What the devil is a POGO troll? The questions deserve answers, especially the one asking why anyone thinks POGO wants LANL trashed.

And yes, taxpayers should expect that they get the best for their money, no matter where it's spent. However, this is LANL: The Rest of the Story, not US: The Entire Story.

A private company managing a national lab is a big mistake simply because private companies do not have to be responsible to anyone but their stockholders whereas government has to be responsible to the taxpayers. Government is supposed to hand over money to private entities on various contracts and to know what the money is used for, but that is not the case with defense industry contractors. Nor will it be the case with DOE/LANS. Apparently Congress has forgotten Eisenhower's military industrial complex speech in Jan 1961.

POGO's job, as I see it, is to try to see that the taxpayers' dollars are spent with as little undue influence from private contractors as possible, as Eisenhower suggested in his speech. What he pointed out is as true today as it was over 47 years ago.

Anonymous said...

9:26 pm:

"Yes, it was a failure of LANL not to issue a DI describing the USB vulnerability and requiring every ISSO to document each secure computer with USB ports and how the ports were disabled. This is clearly as serious as writing floppies on the secure or having diskfull systems on the red net."

Oh come on. This was a "vulnerability"?? Wait - I as a Q cleared person, can go to any copier in any security area at the lab and copy as many classified documents as I like and walk out with them. The search frequency by PTLA will not catch me. Is this a "vulnerability" that ought to be reported?? To whom? Who doesn't get it? Should the "on" buttons of all copiers in security areas be plugged with goo?

The plain fact is that any cleared person can do irreparable damage to national security at any time, as Wen Ho Lee showed in spades. Any attempt to mitigate this (other than covert technical means) will just stop work from getting done. Just that simple.