Thursday, March 01, 2007


First LANL, Next LLNL, and Now Sandia?

I would greatly appreciate if you would post the comment below to your blog. Things are not going well as far as morale goes here inside Sandia. Management doesn't seem to want to engage employees in thoughtful discussion about issues that obviously concern all employees. Rather than useful discourse, emails like the one below are the only communications we have received from senior management. They seem to be in a constant state of denial that there are issues that need to be discussed openly with Sandians.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

An Anonymous Sandian
This afternoon, Sandia President Tom Hunter sent the email below to all Sandia employees concerning the Shawn Carpenter trial. It is the second such email that has been sent out concerning the Carpenter trial.

From: Hunter, Tom
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 5:43 PM
Subject: Recent Media Attention

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


The Albuquerque Journal provided extensive (daily) stories of the trial proceedings, and these internal emails fail to acknowledge even an iota of failings of Sandia management in this case. As a longtime Sandia employee, I find the disparity between the Albuquerque Journal reporting and what is being communicated to employees extremely disconcerting. In fact, I would go as far as describing this most recent email as corporate propaganda that insults the intelligence of the hard working, patriotic and dedicated employees I work with every day.

The most recent Sandia Lab News, an internal publication, did not contain one line of print about the Carpenter case. Staff in my office were both amazed and suspicious that management did not make an effort to address this. Platitudes about "we are disappointed with the verdict" and "putting the nation first" do nothing whatsoever to reassure employees that they will not be subjected to treatment similar to that apparently received by this former employee.

If a senior Sandia manager used terms such as "decapitate" and "bloody" in an interview with an employee, it is unconscionable that he is not held to the same standards that are preached in these emails. From my perspective, it is obvious that Sandia handled the termination of this employee unfairly. It seems ludicrous that Carpenter would currently hold a top secret security clearance at the State Dept. and be the lawbreaking criminal that management keeps implying in these communications to employees. Sandia employees are not ignorant, and do read publications other than those produced within Sandia.

It is apparent that the Sandia leadership did not learn anything from the events several years ago that led to the Bay Report. Despite the fact that Sandia has a huge influence on the local community, a jury of local citizens found Sandia liable, and doubled the punitive damages in their verdict to send a message. These very public situations are tough for current employees to deal with. To be frank, it is embarrassing when the topic comes up in conversations with non-Sandians.

Good leaders take responsibility for their shortcomings, acknowledge them, and then move forward to implement solutions to improve the organization. Sandia leadership continues to erode employee confidence with their meaningless emails and state of denial. Dr. Hunter needs to step up to the plate to regain his credibility within the Sandia community - preferably before employee confidence is totally gone.


I know for a fact that Sandia has very specific policies and procedures in place for communicating employee security concerns. Carpenter completely ignored them and went outside the appropriate framework provided by the Laboratory. It is very clear that he was insubordinate, and management took the proper actions, as they should have.

The proposition that morale is poor within the Sandia workforce is completely false. Morale is as high as it has ever been, and employees continue to contribute to important scientific endeavors and national security programs.
I disagree wholeheartedly with 11:49. Staff are highly cynical of the current leadership posturing on ethics and patriotism. The primary missions of Sandia Labs are now the profit and career interests of its management and executives. They have gotten partisan, joining themselves at the hip with Domenici and Wilson, going so far as to place Sandia staff on the Congressional staff. One can report a clear case of serious fraud, gravely endangering public safety, within proper channels, with ample documentary evidence, but the report is quashed or a sham investigation is convened. Over-classification is used to conceal reporting of unsafe work conditions. OUO is the default label on all documents, so as to quell disclosure to outsiders. The person reporting any concern that could threaten management's image, control. or financial rewards is verbally intimidated, threatened, and marginalized until they quit or give up. I sincerely hope a Congressional investigation of Sandia holds a panel in Albuquerque and provides the opportunity for protected witnesses. There are too many in senior management who have been there as a cabal for three decades and more. Now their children and extended family are entering middle management and technical incompetence is starting to be tolerated if the family tie is the right color. This has to stop.
11:49 is probably an attorney for Sandia, or married to one.
Right, Mr. Hunter. Everything at SNL is just fine. I would try and give a BS reading from Hunter's pathetic memo, but my BS-meter just blew out from the level of dishonesty contained in his memo.

The legal system has spoken on this issue and found SNL management severely lacking in both ethical and legal good judgement. It's amazing to me that DOE/NNSA has apparently decided to leave a true butt-head like Mr. Hunter in his current position.

This is just another example of what workers at NNSA labs can expect in the future. Learn to enjoy eating shit, because you're going to be served up plenty of hot, heaping mounds of it.
Hey 11:49AM

"The Sandia managment took the proper actions, as they should have"

So why did they lose a 4M case and does Carpenter has a great job now?

Also about morale being high in Sandia, that is total bs. I do not know who the hell you are but get a clue. By the way ask somebody if they would rather be in Sandia or
LANL. LANL would win any day.
3/01/2007 10:29 PM, you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. If you had been at LANL within the last couple of years, or even knew people who worked there you would not be making the idiotic claim that *anybody* would prefer to work there over Sandia.

You are either an outright lier or somebody with an ax to grind over some personal grievance with your Sandia management. You do not speak for anybody else.
Wait! Wait! Wait!
Guys ...
Los Alamos is the worst!
No, Sandia is way worse!
Oh, no! Livermore is the ultimate in bad!
Guys ... Gals ...
Can't we just get along?
Doesn't anybody see the pattern here?
Privatization by an incompetent NNSA/DOE is the common thread of corruption. Too bad Congress is so corrupt and incompetent; they can just barely whiff the odor coming from the White House end of town (DC). But then the whole town is flooded by the nose-high sewage of slimy corporate money.


--Pat, the Dog whose sniffer is overwhelmed.
11:49 knows for a fact NOTHING! The fact is good people suffer because arrogant managers would rather kill the messenger than fix the weakness the messenger brings to their attention. This a constant theme whenever the so-called best-and-brightest congregate to achieve "great things." Yea right...whistleblower retaliation continues to thrive at these DOE labs while Congress continues to do nothing. One more reason why the electorate should toss out the bums. Our political establishment is simply not willing to fire the arrogant companies running these national resources, and that and only that is the reason why we, the taxpayers, keep seeing these recurring breakdowns in security and safety. But we the people are to blame as well because we keep electing these bums to office! What a sham! Carpenter is the hero in all this. Sandia and Los Alamos could use a thousand more like him on staff, but that will never happen because he represents a threat to the good ol' boy clubs running those labs. Unfortunately it's people like Carpenter that will be driven out long before the arrogant butt-head managers feel one iota of discomfort for their continued bumbling and retaliation. What a waste of taxpayer money. I for one would vote to shut down the whole damn DOE complex and start over from scratch! But first we'd have to toss out the sleeping Congress we have. They're ones holding up the cart. If only the electorate had the courage to do what needs to be done. If only the electorate paid attention for once.
3/01/2007 11:49 AM

Kevin Roark, is that you? Or is it another Bagdad Bob?
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?