Wednesday, March 7, 2007

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I Don't Think We've Hit Bottom Yet....

The rumor is that Tom Hunter is leaving in the very near future.

And that Joan Woodard might be the next Director of Sandia National Laboratories.

In the event that Hunter leaves, who do you think should be the next Director? An external hire? Military? Who can provide us with both good leadership and management. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing Al Romig. What do you think?

Blog Updates, Contact Info, Etc.

Regarding documents
I am not interested in receiving documents/emails/etc. of anything that may be of an restricted (OUO, proprietary, classified) nature.

Regarding being a one-hit wonder
Sorry. I'm away skiing all this week. There's life beyond Sandia and a blog.

And I don't envision this to be either a one-hit wonder, or for it to go on too long. This is a way of opening a dialogue regarding the lack of leadership at our laboratory. We have such an opportunity to lead and do good work. It's a shame that we fall short of what we could achieve.

Regarding Anonymous Email Accounts
Been skiing. Will set that up asap. Thanks for the interest.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Arrogance and Incompetence

Dear Sandians,

As many of you know, Shawn Carpenter, a former Sandian was recently awarded 4.7 million dollars for unfair termination and defamation. The jury more than doubled the requested punitive damages requested by Carpenter's attorneys and
determined that Sandia's handling of Shawn Carpenter's termination was "malicious, willful, reckless, wanton, fraudulent or in bad faith." Juror Ed Dzienis said that, "If they (Sandia) have an interest in protecting us, they certainly didn't show it with the way they handled Shawn." Ms. Alex Scott, the jury forewoman, said jurors were upset by the lack of documentation of the process and by the "reckless behavior on the part of Sandia to not have adequate policies in place for employees about hacking, and the cavalier attitude about national security and global security."

This has been an interesting case and verdict for many of us at Sandia. Personally, I think that Carpenter was both a bit of a cowboy and a hero. Did he play by the rules? Probably not. The needed rules did not exist. Do I believe that he was acting in the public interest to track down the TITAN RAIN hackers? Absolutely. Sandia for it's part, "screwed the pooch". Carpenter was threatened and intimidated by Sandia's counterintelligence chief. Laboratory management did not do the right thing and came across as arrogant, uninformed, and not acting in the best interest of the nation.

After the verdict, many of us had hoped that this might cause laboratory management to reevaluate their actions and to work harder at becoming the laboratory that we want to be known for.

Alas. It is not to be. On 28 February, Sandia Laboratory Director Tom Hunter sent the following email to all staff. I for one was shocked. It shows both arrogance and a complete lack of reality about how laboratory staff feel about this issue and what has been reported in the press. Hunter is concerned with "any perception that the laboratory may not have acted in the best service of the nation". As far as the jury was concerned, this is not an issue of perception, it is a matter of fact. I agree with the jury.

I believe that Hunter's recent email reconfirms this. He is unwilling to take any responsibility for the poor actions of his management team. I see this as a total failure of leadership and a disservice to the Nation.

Dear Sandians,

As many of you are aware, a New Mexico state court jury awarded former Sandian Shawn Carpenter more than $4 million on February 13, 2007. The outcome of the trial was a great disappointment to me personally, but I am most concerned about any perception that the laboratory may not have acted in the best interest of the nation.

It is essential in all cases that Sandians adhere to the principle of putting the nation first. I firmly believe Sandia must always conduct its work lawfully, with appropriate authorizations, and when people step beyond clear boundaries we must act responsibly. In fact, living and acting upon our values are of the utmost importance to our continuing to have the opportunity to provide exceptional service to the nation. I and the management team are committed to these values in all we do and every decision we make.

In my career at Sandia, I have come to know Sandia as a place of exemplary character and values, earned through the exceptional conduct of its employees and the significant contributions you have all made to national security. Our values are not new. For more than 60 years, service to the nation, excellence in our conduct and work, respect for each other, integrity, and teamwork have shaped our decisions at Sandia.

In closing, I ask that each of you take a moment and reflect on the exceptional service that you render in the national interest. I have a deep respect for our employees and this organization, the values we stand for, and the commitment we all have to our mission. Our contributions, both individually and collectively, are critically important to our nation’s security.


Tom Hunter