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Lockheed Martin Sabotages Coast Guard Vessels - Collects Billions

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posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 12:53 PM
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A video making the rounds over at YouTube managed to attract the attention of the mainstream media this week. The video was produced by a former Lockheed Martin employee who wished to blow the whistle on his company for their conduct related to the Deepwarter Program. The whistleblower claims Lockheed's actions have left the Coast Guard with insecure communications, flawed equipment, and a whole host of other dangerous vulnerabilities. Lockheed apparently went so far as to rip out shielded cables and install, in their place, unshielded cables to carry secure communications (of course, 'secure' communications travelling across unshielded cables are anything but secure). The allegations went as far up the chain as possible, but the Coast Guard has refused to cooperate with investigators, and Lockheed denies any wrongdoing.
 



www.washingtonpost.com
De Kort said he realized within about a month of beginning work on the ship that the project had serious flaws. Among them, he said, was that the ship's surveillance system had blind spots that exposed crew members to the possibility of attack. He also said that the ship's supposedly secure communications system was susceptible to eavesdropping and that some of its equipment will not work in extreme cold despite a requirement that everything function at minus 40 degrees.

De Kort said he tried to alert the chain of command at the Coast Guard and at Lockheed about the problems but was rebuffed by supervisors who told him to keep quiet because the program was behind schedule and over budget. De Kort was eventually transferred off the project, and he was laid off earlier this month. A company spokeswoman said he was laid off for financial reasons, but De Kort insists it was in retaliation for his complaints.

"The formal systems that whistle-blowers are expected to use have failed. That's why you're seeing people be creative like this," said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight. "This is a tremendous way for someone brave enough to do it to say something directly and not have to go through a filter."


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Watch the video here: www.youtube.com...

This is a serious problem, or rather, a bunch of serious problems. It would be bad enough if this was just about a couple of blind-spots, but that's the frosting on the cake as far as I'm concerned. The real cause for alarm is the fact that Lockheed sabotaged the communications systems of these vessels, and has already compromised national security. These vessels broadcast and receive sensitive information, and are in contact with a number of agencies that might unwittingly be exposing themselves to those listening in.

These vessels have been operational for some time now, all the while broadcasting and receiving sensitive communications without the proper safeguards. There is no way to know how much classified information has already been compromised, and every day that these vessels operate, more leakage is happening. It's not a matter of a disaster on the horizon, it's a matter of a disaster underway, in my opinion.

Imagine the delight of coc aine smugglers who find out they can listen in on conversations between the DEA and the Coast Guard vessels? As if that wasn't bad enough, add on the fact that the FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) systems of these vessels is not up to code for operations in freezing temperatures. Who will be held responsible if a Coast Guard ship goes down in a snowstorm while practicing Search and Rescue operations off the coast of Alaska, because they relied on a piece of hardware supplied by Lockheed that wasn't able to do what it needed to do? This issue needs to be handled by the proper authorities - but I fear they're already too compromised to be of any use. The revolving door of corporate collusion insures that the image and interests of companies like Lockheed will remain more important to regulatory bodies than the lives of the men and women who serve this country, and the ideals they ostensibly serve.

Related News Links:
news.google.com
www.defensenews.com
news.com.com

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Whistleblower uses YouTube to describe Coast Guard safety issues




posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 06:53 PM
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For anyone who's curious, here are a couple of links.

PDF detailing the Deepwater Mission Needs
www.uscg.mil...

Some words from Integrated Coast Guard Systems (an off-shoot of Lockheed), painful irony free of charge.


www.icgsdeepwater.com...

"ICGS has a real opportunity to participate in this transformation by equipping Coast Guard men and women with state-of-the-art technology that will provide the Coast Guard with the best advantages available in the interception and engagement of threats to our security away from our own shores,” said Dur. “ICGS pledges continued progress, performance, and our accountability to you who are still on watch."


My emphasis.


Progress is apparently industry-speak for 'stuff-that-doesn't-work, and progress, performance, and accountability are industry slang for 'moving backwards, failure, and shameful lack of accountability' respectively - this is just what I've been able to deduce.

Maybe someone can help me, because all I can see is red right now.

This company got paid a whole ton of money to do a job. The job was to retrofit the 110 foot patrol boats to expand their capabilities and render them more useful. What did the Coast Guard get, once the taxpayers had forked over the ton of money? They got blind spots, imaging systems not up to specifications, and the thingie de resistance, a 'secure' communications system connected with unshielded cables.

Oh..and 13 extra feet - so I guess that's a good deal, right? As good as the modern taxpayer is ever gonna get anyway...

Stuff like this infuriates me - we pay out tons of money to these creeps and they give us substandard products and services. Like when Halliburton supplied our troops in Iraq with water that was dirtier than the stuff flowing in the nearby river! We could have saved a huge sum of money, and protected the troops to a greater extent, by just having them wash and brush their teeth in the polluted river!

Is it any wonder that the government can't squeeze a penny out of a dollar when they're parasitized to the point of paralysis by companies like this? I can totally understand why these companies act this way. What I can't understand is why people keep letting them get away with it.

Here's a photo of the old 110 foot patrol boat.


And here's the 123 foot vessel.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 07:08 PM
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Not that I have any doubts at all about the information, but the main thing I'm curious about is why? I can understand a company using faulty material out of poor quality control standards, or because it's cheaper. I can understand them using material that's designed to be replaced within months. But I don't see how a company would intentionally sabotage--using extra man hours and resources, both of which cost more money--a client's project. Money doesn't make sense in this, unless I'm missing something.

Especially with Lockheed; don't they have a good reputation as a gov't contractor? I know I've never heard anything against them (then again, it's not like I go looking for stuff like this.)

This is just out of left field here...

Good find WyrdeOne



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 07:12 PM
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Like when Halliburton supplied our troops in Iraq with water that was dirtier than the stuff flowing in the nearby river! We could have saved a huge sum of money, and protected the troops to a greater extent, by just having them wash and brush their teeth in the polluted river!


I am interested in the source of that info, because i was a member of one of the 1st Army water purification units to enter iraq in 2003 and I purified well over 5 million gallons of potable water that were used for hygiene for U.s. soldiers and POWs at least in 2003 all potable water for drinking use was from a kuwait company plant. halliburton did do transportatiopn of water from the port of umm Qusr to camp bucca a distance of about 3 km i belive it was transported in in 6 thousand gallon 5 ton trucks that where PMCS'd daily(by me and others), and because of the heat we also increased the hydrocholride balance while in the trucks from about 3PPM to about 4 PPM (3ppm- 6-ppm being us army standards) so that we could ensure that the water was quite potable



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 08:16 PM
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bucca220
As far as I know, the water in question was grey water, for washing and such - not potable water.

See this thread for more details - politics.abovetopsecret.com...

Also, this one on the same topic - shameless self-promotion, I know.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

MCory1
The story, as I understand it, is that Lockheed saved money by reducing the number of cameras used, which left the blind spots. They also earned more money by billing for man-hours to rip out the old shielded cables, and then saved even more money by replacing the cables with cheaper, unshielded ones. They saved some more money by using a FLIR system that was not as temperature-resistant as the specs called for (and presumably, a hardier system was the cost quote used when the project was being pitched and paid for, but I don't know that for a fact - I'm still digging).

Apparently there are even more issues that this guy didn't go in to with his short video, so I'm curious what other problems have arisen.

The way it's looking to me, this is very typical. The contractor promises the stars, and then delivers substantially less, but gets paid just the same. Very, very bad business.

If it were not for the revolving door, we could simply use the concept of a free market to usher out these sheisters - since the principle of capitalism says a consumer who is not satisified with the products/services of one merchant will go to another. This is supposed to bestow capitalism with a sort of meritocratic evolution, good businesses retain customers and thrive, while bad businesses lose customers and perish. The problem is that we keep going to the bad merchants because they have insinuated themselves into the halls of power, and they offer lucrative employment oppurtunities for politicians who have spent time in the system, and have used their connections to bring in business.

I don't mind you questioning the facts at all, please do so, by all means. The more information I can find about this situation, the better. I'm not going to dismiss information that folks provide, even if it runs contrary to what I know so far. I don't have any vested interest in knocking Lockheed down, I just want to know what's going on.

[edit on 2-9-2006 by WyrdeOne]



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 08:29 PM
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Ty for the links i'll take a look and get back to ya



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 08:47 PM
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If you would, bucca, please direct your reply regarding Halliburton's dirty water to one of those threads, so we don't derail this one. Thanks in advance.


On topic: Lockheed does have a good reputation, I think, and I've run into a couple of people over the course of my life who've worked for them in one capacity or another. Like most folks, they were good, honest, hard-working, family-oriented. Nothing against them...

But if Lockheed did this, and is now stonewalling to stave off accountability, along with the Coast Guard, I hope there is a stiff penalty for such deceit. Sadly, if the fit does hit the shan, it won't even be Lockheed on the chopping block, it will be ICGS. Obviously, cutting the branch and leaving the root insures new growth in no time at all.

If this was an intelligence situation, ICGS would be the kite. If it does its job effectively, great. If it's compromised and threatens to lead back to the men holding the string, they can cut it loose - no problem. Am I off-base with this assumption?



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 08:53 PM
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WyrdeOne
That was a good read,ty again. If u don't mind i might e-mail the links to some of my fellow water dawgs, we don't play well with KBR/Halliburton


oh and srry if i got the thread off the original topic



posted on Sep, 3 2006 @ 05:34 AM
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And I thought my auto repair man was the only one who did things like that.


I was in the Coast Guard in the mid-70's and was stationed on the oldest activily commissioned boat in the U.S. fleet, the USCGC Duane #33, out of Portland Maine. a 327 ft rust bucket built in the mid-30's. She was eventually sunk off Key West to make an artifical reef. The reason I bring this up is even then the Coast Guard, being chronically under staffed and under funded cut corners left and right to keep her ships active. In that culture it doesn't surprise me that they are dragging their feet when it comes to investigating, they think they are covering their arses, but still when it puts men or missions at risk it has to be delt with.



posted on Sep, 3 2006 @ 09:56 AM
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bucca
No need to apologize, I was the one who mentioned it in the first place.
If the thread derailed, it would be my own fault. Anyway, email away! The way I see it, the more information people have, the better off we all are.

grover
Usually what happens with lies, is that they start a chain reaction, and spawn more lies, each one bigger and more dangerous than the last.

What I can see happening in this situation, is the Coast Guard takes on missions that their assetts can supposedly handle (because to admit that they can't handle it would be to admit that there was a problem with Deep Water, the 123's, ICGS, and so on), and they go steaming off into the arctic or something. Then, when they lose their optics in a bad storm, the Coast Guard leadership will blame the disaster on human error, and some poor fool has to take the fall for ICGS.

The longer a lie tries to sustain itself, the more ridiculous it gets.

Imagine some top-secret information gets out, and then, rather than admitting their mistake, the Coast Guard starts accusing a bunch of innocent sailors of espionage.

And so on, and so on. No good can come of this, that's for sure. The sooner that Lockheed, ICGS, and the few Coast Guard yes-men admit their mistake, the better for everyone involved. If there hasn't already been huge turnover at the Coast Guard, expect it soon. They'll leave active duty and miraculously, lucrative jobs will open up for them in some private sector company connected to Lockheed/ICGS.

That's the way the world turns these days...

Like a bad rollercoaster, it's makin' me sick.



posted on Sep, 3 2006 @ 11:38 AM
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This is disgusting, but not particularly surprising. Defense companies have been enjoying quite the feedng frenzy since 9/11 (hell, since Pearl Harbor.)

Good job posting and bringing attention to this, it's the first I've heard of it.



posted on Sep, 3 2006 @ 11:45 AM
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I wonder if this unshielded comms cable can be picked up by russian / chines elint aircraft? or any other nations for that matter.

I feel deeply sorry for those who serve, only to be shafted by those corrupted 100% at the top of the tree. Instead of passing down good fruit from up high, all that passes down is crap.

Disgusting. LM should hang its head in shame. AND be made to correct it all at their own expense.



posted on Sep, 3 2006 @ 03:09 PM
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Feeding frenzy is right...

When the congressmen talk about defense spending, they always phrase it a certain way. '700 million for the troops..', '350 million for the troops..', '7.5 billion for the troops..', but the reality is quite different.

The troops are the last to benefit from the spending. Of course, if congressmen told the truth, and said things like '7.5 billion for my friends over at Lockheed..', people might start paying attention to how the money gets spent.

The burden of responsibility doesn't fall on the corporations though, as I see it the responsibility falls on the taxpayers and their crooked representatives. We're responsible for maintaining due dilligence, and our representatives are responsible to the voters. If people are more interested in NASCAR and wrestling and video games and drinking than they are in politics and defense spending, inevitably there's going to be a lot of muckity-mucks eager to take advantage of the lazy, unsuspecting masses.

It's not the fault of the corporations that they're trying to make as much money as possible - in fact, they would be negligent if they didn't. It's our fault for not watching the dogs when they stray too close to the chicken coop. This is just my opinion, of course...



posted on Sep, 9 2006 @ 01:41 PM
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Interesting development in related news. A provision protecting government whistleblowers on the table in Washington, but the House has not gotten on board and included similar language in their version of the bill. This fellow connected to Lockheed is mentioned in the article, so I thought I'd post it.

Link


What gives?

Usually the House is all over this stuff...

Wait and see I guess. Nothing has been done yet, about the security flaws. It's a small step to protect the guys who expose them and promote change, but of course if change never comes, it was a pointless gesture.

In my mind, there's no excuse for this red tape, when National Security is on the line.

With all the drastic measures being taken up in the name of National Security, you'd think something so obvious, so easily remedied, and so public, would be dealt with before too long.

:shk:

Such a sad time to be an American...

There are so few people that are paying attention, the liars and cons can operate pretty much out in the open without fear of reprisal coming from the citizens. I mean, I gotta go to work too yaknow, I gotta pay bills and support my family, I gotta navigate the pitfalls and hurdles of daily life like everyone else, and I still manage to give a damn about our government and the future of this country.

Of course I'm not willing to do anything about the situation, not in a million years. The way I see it, this country and her people deserves what they get, and far be it from me to stand in the way of true justice. If people wise up and do what's right, they won't suffer quite so much. If they can't, or won't, then they will have earned their consequences fair and square.

I think that if we are content to give up our freedoms for the illusion of safety, if we are falling on hard times and becoming shameful shades of our forefathers, it's not anyone's fault but ours. This country, like every other, will stand or fall on the merits of the citizenry.

Sorry for the rant, I wanted to bump this thread and just got on a roll...

mod edit, fixed link

[edit on 15-9-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 11:35 PM
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Nice work.


...Just thought I'd fix your link:



Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Interesting development in related news. A provision protecting government whistleblowers on the table in Washington, but the House has not gotten on board and included similar language in their version of the bill. This fellow connected to Lockheed is mentioned in the article, so I thought I'd post it.

Link


What gives?

Usually the House is all over this stuff...




posted on Sep, 11 2006 @ 02:50 AM
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It is not likely unsecured interior communications links could be picked up outside the skin of the ship. The ship itself is built of conducting materials that tend to rapidly and substantially attenuate radio frequencies. The only real danger I would think would be the likely probability that uncleared and undercleared crewmen could listen in to classified communications taking place during an on-going operation and that isn't really a substantial risk to national security because such communications tend to be mostly tactical and relatively useless after a short time.



posted on Sep, 11 2006 @ 04:58 AM
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Astronomer, if that's true, it's a huge relief.

I mean, the removal of shielded cables still bugs me, but if you're telling me the communications are in no real danger of being intercepted by third parties outside the ship, at least that's something.

I'm not worried about men onboard, I'm worried about other nations, and non-governmental groups like drug cartels, picking up and using the information and potentially putting Coast Guard/DEA/Navy employees at unnecessary risk.

If that's not a possibility, then I suppose the seriousness of the issue is lessened.

If I understand you correctly though, it's still a possibility, just not a probability. Do you think it would be wise to eliminate the potential altogether? Seems like a good idea to me...

Also, in my experience, unshielded cables tend to pick up a lot of outside interference, like cell phone conversations and radio broadcasts that weren't desired. If this is true in the case of the Coast Guard vessel, does that present an operational hazard? Or are they too far from the commonly occuring interference to suffer from it?

Anyway, thanks very much for your input.


And thanks to Sofi too, for picking up my slack!
Much appreciated - my head has been somewhere else these last few weeks.



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 03:33 PM
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"...the program was behind schedule and over budget" - yet the installations are seriously flawed and it looks like the company is not meeting the terms of its contract.

We have another whistleblower who lost his job, just coincidentally. Right.

3 big issues I'd say.



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 09:09 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Astronomer, if that's true, it's a huge relief.

I mean, the removal of shielded cables still bugs me, but if you're telling me the communications are in no real danger of being intercepted by third parties outside the ship, at least that's something.

I'm not worried about men onboard, I'm worried about other nations, and non-governmental groups like drug cartels, picking up and using the information and potentially putting Coast Guard/DEA/Navy employees at unnecessary risk.

If that's not a possibility, then I suppose the seriousness of the issue is lessened.

If I understand you correctly though, it's still a possibility, just not a probability. Do you think it would be wise to eliminate the potential altogether? Seems like a good idea to me...

Also, in my experience, unshielded cables tend to pick up a lot of outside interference, like cell phone conversations and radio broadcasts that weren't desired. If this is true in the case of the Coast Guard vessel, does that present an operational hazard? Or are they too far from the commonly occuring interference to suffer from it?

Anyway, thanks very much for your input.


And thanks to Sofi too, for picking up my slack!
Much appreciated - my head has been somewhere else these last few weeks.



First off, money doesn't grow on trees. Cutting corners is common to stick with the budget. Going over budget is unacceptable, because once again, money doesn't grow on trees. Its better to have something, than nothing at all. If the company was having troubles with the time schedule and budget, it's common to let people go, like the guy in the video.


Now, taking a look at some of the things that were wrong... first would be the blind spots.. Now, I don't know about you guys but I have been on many ships, and I'll tell you they do not float on water perfectly level and flat. They bob and weave all over the place in 3 dimensions. This kind of movement will most likely close the gaps a bit more in these blind spots. Also, these are just camera blind spots. What about the live humans on board? Their eyes cannot fill the gap? You can't rely on cameras alone, you must use your eyes.

About the unshielded cables, I wouldn't even worry. As someone said the hull itself will act as a shield. Also, I'm 100% certain most communications are encrypted. Meaning the average joe couldn't listen in and hear a humanly identifiable message. You would hear some odd noises. Much like the noises you hear from a dial up modem. These noises are encrypted with secret algorithms that would take ages to decrypt. Someone asked about interference, well, out on the sea interference is pretty low. The only interference that would most commonly be picked up is from the engines and generators, and other motors, mainly things inside the ship. But most likely nothing from outside the ship. This kinda of interference can be filtered out with certain electronic devices.

[edit on 15-9-2006 by LAES YVAN]



posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 12:05 AM
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The article calls him a "whistleblower" but at the same time he didn't come forward until after he was let go. Lockheed says for "financial" reasons he says it's otherwise ... but if he was really a whistleblower I would think he would of been making noise prior to his termination.

The article also talks about Lockheed removing shielding cables and replacing them with inferior unshielded cable. I highly doubt Lockheed would spend many manhours and $$'s to do this. I would make a guess that these are cables that were supposed to be replaced in the project ... maybe the Coast Gaurd didn't specify what type of cabling it was to be replaced with.

The fact that the Coast Guard is not launching an investigation speaks volumes. Any contract to do work for the government is normally done through a proposal process ... the agency needing the work usually details what the requirements are in extreme detail ... down to what type of materials need to be used. Then when the bids come in the determination is made which vendor to use ... typically the lowest cost bid is chosen. I'm thinking if there's a problem it likely lies in what was spelled on in the Coast Guards RFP (request for proposal).



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