The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is…

Posted on September 28, 2012. Filed under: KBR |

18th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices.

MY SHOW AND TELL ON SPARKY’S SITE HAS BEEN PULLED.  IN ITS PLACE IS THE STATEMENT “THIS VIDEO IS PRIVATE.”  AFTER…   WHAT?  2 YEARS OR SO?…   OF PUBLIC DISPLAY, WHAT SHOULD NEVER HAVE LEFT ATTORNEY’S CHAMBERS IN THE FIRST PLACE  IS SUDDENLY A PRIVATE VIDEO?  TOO CLOSE TO COURT APPEARANCE?  JUDGE MIGHT CONSIDER IT AN UNETHICAL TACTIC…   OR JURY TAMPERING?

Your word for the day:

  • panic = be or make somebody suddenly extremely afraid, often without good cause (Windows XP dictionary) 

Poor Chicken Little.  Unlike its human counterpart, Sir Isaac Newton (the gravity guy, not the cookie cook) Fowl Little did not have the luxury of time to sit around waiting for inspiration to explain Nature’s vagaries.  While going about the daily routine it was designed to do — you know, barnyard ground-scratching and pecking — it got conked on the head, said conk arriving from above.  Nothing up there but the blue sky.  Down there at the bottom of the food chain*, thinking is a time waster.  Instant reaction is where it’s at.  Conk on head + only blue sky above + run-now-pray-later instinct = sound the alarm and run like hell.  What alarm?  Well, duh!  Obviously, the freaking sky is falling.  Spread the word!  Spread the word!

Young Lee, a KBR employee, is not a chicken.  But, in pursuit of the M-O-N-E-Y, Super Dan was in need of more mud to fling on the faceless, high-profile corporation, KBR.  In keeping with his theme of unconcern about the health of employees and everyone within 50 miles of Qarmat Ali, the Dynamic Duo (Spark-Igor and Franken-Raiznor) needed someone who refused to be Chicken Little…   in Raiznor’s little fairy tale, someone who failed to blow the whistle on alleged corporate foot-dragging.  The best he could do was an email by Young Lee allegedly alluding to knowledge of the subject chemical spill.  (I had planned to zoom in on the thing for details when writing this article, but I waited too long and the Dynamic Duo pulled their “evidence.”)

Not a chicken, but a fully functional member of the species Homo sapiens sapiens (he is neither “fowl” nor “Neanderthal”), Mr. Lee is quite capable of assessing where his responsibilities are.  Super Dan must have been asking Lee stupid questions for quite some time (cut out of the on-line version of the deposition) judging from Lee’s apparent irritation.  The only gist and question Raiznor had was whether Mr. Lee did not feel  it was his responsibility to alert everyone in the Mid-East about a danger that was only evident after the fact.  Super Dan, in effect, implies that Lee should have immediately jumped up from his desk, ran to his supervisor shouting, “We are being poisoned, we are being poisoned !!!!!  From there, out into the parking lot, into the field of operations, telephone calls to the pentagon, carrier pigeons delivering the news to every commander in the Iraqi theater of operations, tweeting to Facebook and whatever.  His failure to do all that, Raiznor seems to imply, was criminal inaction…    or litigation fodder.

Would Raiznor have been happy if one of his subordinates, outside of assigned job duties and area of expertise, and with only indirect knowledge of a matter, went around shouting, “Super Dan is going on a smear campaign against KBR before trial even begins, Super Dan is sliming KBR !!!”  NO.  And, he would have taken punitive action against such an employee for stepping outside the recognized, and, contracted for, area of expertise.

Young Lee knew his level in the corporate hierarchy.  He knew his duties.  His email may well have alluded to “chemicals” even though he had nothing to do with searching, discovering, or reporting them.  His work responsibilities would require him to consider the impact of information learned even through second-hand sources.  But, the Army contract is very specific.  There was a prescribed channel of information flow between KBR and the Army, often referred to as a chain of command.  Young Lee was not in the “notification” chain as specified by contract.  He reported to his supervisor, who reported to his supervisor, who reported to…   The Army would take a dim view of anyone usurping its operational authority in a combat zone.  Army command would notify its subordinates of anything they thought the subordinates should know whenever it thought subordinates should know.  I did not see a military uniform on Mr. Lee during his inquisition.

Here, I offer another toast…   you know which wine:

  • To Mr. Young Lee for his valiant show of inner strength;  you did not get up and bitch-slap the living daylight out of someone very much in need of it.  Bravo!

*There is a 99.99999% chance that Chicken Little would eventually play the part of entrée at a chicken dinner.

Next up:  Mary L. Wade, Lady of the Contracts

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Ms. Sparky, Doyle Raiznor, Qarmat Ali, litigator

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