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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Whistleblowers Triumph - Ken Lay Convicted!

Get Yourself a Whistle and Blow!

No matter the nation, the culture, or the religion, most children,
when they are growing up are taught that telling the truth is an important part of being a responsible member of a community. Exposing the truth is especially crucial when the actions of some result in harm to others.

A number of children and adults employ "telling" to feel powerful, to visit revenge upon another, or to gain attention for themselves. These annoying "tattletails" will, during the course of this celebration of Heroic American Whistleblowers, be banished for "time out" in the corner.

This missive will instead applaud the character and courage exhibited by a small group of our fellow citizens who have stood alone t
o reveal misconduct within organizations, corporations, the military, and the government. Known as WHISTLEBLOWERS these individuals deserve not only our gratitude for their protecting their fellow citizens, but also our respect.

Today, Enron founder, Kenneth Lay and former chief excutive, Jeffrey Skilling were found guilty of conspiracy and fraud by a jury of their peers. Four years ago, two very brave women, Enron employee Sherron Watkins, and WorldCom employee Cynthia Cooper, appalled at fraudulent bookkeeping practices within their respective companies, blew their whistles and exposed the largest corporpate scandal in American history. Their actions began the process that brought George W. Bush's close friend and financial sugar daddy,
"Kenny-boy" Lay, to justice. Thanks to the honesty of Watkin and Cooper, Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling are going to jail!

Mr. Lay, who directed almost two million dollars of his personal funds, contributions from his employees, and his company's ill-gotten gains into George W Bush's presidential coffers, ponied up with an additional $5, 000 toward the GOP's effort to block the vote recount in Florida during the election in 2000. Corporate criminal Kenneth Lay's close financial friendship with both Bush and Cheney was rewarded when 'W' appointed Kenny-boy to the five member Energy Department Transition Team and Cheney held private Energy Task Force meetings with him. Just one big happy criminal administration!

Where would we be if
if Daniel Ellsberg had not blown the lid off of the Pentagon Papers and W. Mark Felt (aka Deep Throat) had not whistled a Nixon tune to Bob Woodward? Consider also, Jeffrey Wigand, who blew his whistle on "60 Minutes" about Big Tobacco and the dangers of nicotine.

More recently, retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, Karen Kwiatkowski, wrote about the corrupt political influences of military intelligence that lead to the illegal attack on Iraq. Joseph Darby used a CD and photographs to out soldiers serving in the 372nd Military Police who were violating the Geneva Conventions by torturing Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Samuel Provance, of military intelligence, provided information about interrogator involvement in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse and the cover-up. And then there is Bunnatine "Bunny" H. Greenhouse, formerly employed as chief civilian contracting officer with the Army Corps. of Engineers, who blew a whistle on the no-bid contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq which were awarded illegally to Halliburton.

Thank You to all of these brave, honest, caring Americans for standing against the corruption that has been enveloping this country. My last post called for all of us who care about democracy to spy on this criminal administration and whistleblow their lies, misconduct, and illegal activities. Today's guilty verdict proves the truth is an intrinsic part of the justice system. Today, honest hard-working Americans were victorious.

Whistleblowers, to report fraud click here - National Whistleblower Center
And here for security concerns - National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
Accountability issues? click here - GAP Government Accountability Project

Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide
.........Kitchen Window Woman.........


Blogger Hayden said...

well written, thank you. I work in a major bank, and there were many of us dancing a happy jig yesterday when the news was announced. one of the most insidious problems in business is the way bad/illegal practices tend to force all - well, most - to the bottom in the desperation to compete.

our bank was barely touched by the corporate scandals. but I'm betting individual employees of ours had their careers damaged for their "failure" to find a way to capture some portion of the dirty business that was being handed out.

Corporate managers rarely remember why we agreed to walk away from a piece of business, they only remember that we didn't "win" it.

Verdicts like this help the wavering keep their backbones upright.

5:54 AM  
Blogger avereragebusinessman said...

excellent post -

via blog explosion

10:47 AM  
Blogger Ken Grandlund said...

A hardy three cheer salute to conscientiuos whistle blowers everywhere. My wife had to do a bit of whistle blowing at a company she worked for a while back, causing the CEO and his family-cabal-accounting-mismanagers to get the boot, and then some. I cheered her on then too. Unfortunately, the company owners seemed to be complicit, so after outing the bad guys, she found that they wanted to continue on as before- she packed up and left.

The difference between my wife's experience and these other whistle blowers is that my wife worked for a family owned company, not publicly traded. The malfeasance at her former workplace affected few folks outside that company. These that you mention affected us all, in one way or another.

As for Lay and Skilling, they may see some prison time, but I'll bet dollars to donuts that Bushie boy pardons them before his term ends.
After all, he already has much contempt for the American public- this would be his final smirk to us all.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

They are big fish, no doubt. But so many more remain to be caught, and most of them are known by titles like "Congressman," Senator," "President," and so on.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Whatever sentence Lay and Skilling get, it'll be too good for them. Let's hope they get maximum abuse from their cellmates before Boy George gets a chance to pardon them. And yes, there are lots of bigger fish (Congressmen, etc.) who need to be reeled in and locked up.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

It's about time we had something to celebrate! We here in California have not forgotten the "Long Hot Summer" of rolling blackouts and folks on fixed income having their power turned off because they could not afford to pay the falsly inflated energy bills. It took us months to pay those bills off. Several people were on the local news because they depended on medical equiptment at home that required electricity.

You mentioned that bad/illegal practices force other businesses to the bottom to compete. How awful. The focus on win-loose is often destructive to everything outside of its limited field and target. I hope Lay and Skilling rot in jail...they destroyed the lives of thousands of people.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Glad you enjoyed my post.

It does not surprise me to learn that you married a woman who is as conscientious as you are.

I certainly hope that Bush does not pardon these scumbags...if he tries it Americans everywhere should take their case to the streets.

Its too bad that corruption takes so long to investigate. Maybe we should try dredging instead. I have nothing but contempt left for Congress. They have become a public example of the worst America has to offer - a spineless, ethically challenged set of creatures who panhandle for corporate pocket change.

Yep, it'll be to good for them. The people who lost their retirements and life savings have nothing left after years of work - something Lay and Skilling didn't see fit to do - "work" for a living. I think that the two of them should experience hard labor...smelly hard labor...like say...cleaning out septic tanks with a shovel and a sponge and a straw. Yep, that'll fix 'em!

10:04 AM  

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