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Whistleblower Picks Up Steam

whistle.jpgFormer Lockheed Martin engineer Mike DeKort, who made waves last month when he posted a video on YouTube alleging serious contractor failures on a Coast Guard patrol boat project, is back with more.In a second post to the video-sharing site, DeKort updates viewers on his media campaign. His goal: a Congressional investigation of Lockheed Martin.The fundamental problem, DeKort claims, is leadership, as I explain at Military.com:

DeKort had been with the company for 12 years, working on a number of different projects including training simulations, the Aegis radar system and an upgraded command center. "The only project I worked on that didn't have serious ethics issues was Aegis."
On one project, DeKort says, he was pressured to use overpriced components. His manager on the project eventually went to work for the manufacturer of the pricey parts, MediaTech. Lo and behold, Lockheed Martin has filed a lawsuit against Mediatech, alleging that it lured away Lockheed employees and mined them for company secrets.
DeKort claims he is just standing up to an epidemic of poor leadership at the nation's largest defense contractor. "It's a cultural thing," he says, adding that the only time there aren't ethics problems at Lockheed Martin is when there is good leadership at the highest levels. "Everything depends on the leadership capability and ethical standards of the person in charge."Lockheed Martin spokesman Troy Scully contests DeKort's allegations: "Lockheed Martin has a solid program management curriculum. Our folks are very diligently trained. On top of that, we have a nationally recognized ethics program. George Mason University cited Lockheed Martin as one of best companies for ethics. There's no getting around it: Ethics is the blood that runs through our veins."
Lockheed hasn't been shy about all this DeKort stuff. In fact, it was Scully who alerted me to the second video. But it has always been the company's position that that DeKort's core complaint -- that the Coast Guard patrol boats are unsafe -- is baseless. Scully says that perhaps all the media attention has granted DeKort more legitimacy than his allegations warrant.--David Axe
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