Sep 23, 2020 Editorial
Today this space is used to share something with Guyana’s political leaders: nothing stays hidden for long. This is what was confirmed by an online article from the BBC dated September 16, and titled “Boeing’s ‘culture of concealment’ to blame for 737 crashes.”
Some telling phrases from a 250-page report, the documented results of an 18-month congressional investigation (what we would call a COI) should help to emphasize where things stood and what came about because of weaknesses and failures.
First, Boeing lived with a “culture of concealment” that smoothed over “faulty technical assumptions” and “troubling management misjudgments” which led to the deaths of hundreds of air travelers in separate crashes impacting Indonesia and Ethiopia.
In other words, the people at the top at Boeing made many serious mistakes, and then compounded the problem by concealing what really happened, while pretending at working feverishly to fix the situation.
We zero in on the mention by the US Congressional investigation of “a lack of transparency on the part of Being’s management” because that same “transparency” is a word kicked around frequently and loudly by every Guyanese political leader. The problem locally is that there are no corroborating actions that support any such claims. For here, the reality is that, regardless of which party is in power, transparency is most conspicuous by its glaring absence in most matters of substance. Those matters usually involve much money and more than a few well-placed people, who reap the fruits of their crooked actions.
But, unlike Guyana, such cleverness is coming to light in the US and about Boeing. The toll has been horrendous and is continuing involving many deaths, huge public outcries, and heavy losses in reputation and earnings. Again, unlike Guyana and its thieveries and mockeries for investigations, the FAA was made to look corrupt and criminally negligent, with phrases that are full of fury at its ineptitude and willing collaboration with Boeing.
The watchdog FAA has been exposed for having neither bark nor bite at the worst possible time, which was when it was most needed. Specifically, the congressional report hammered it for being guilty of “inherent conflicts of interest” and “grossly insufficient oversight” of Boeing and the Max 737 aircraft.
Those are damning words and have special meaning here in Guyana where political leaders ruling a captive roost handpick mostly men and women (when they do condescend to do so) to populate Commissions of Inquiry and furnish what is desired to be satisfactory outcomes that are then sold to a gullible public.
Such members of local commissions regularly turn no stone, find nothing, and end up nowhere, while providing the government of the day with the camouflages that are needed to disguise the facts.
That may be so in Guyana, but it is not so in America, where those assigned have reputations to live up to, and have to live with themselves and answer to a barrage of critics and questioners in an unsparing society. We do not have such a microscope and filter here, which is why so many consequential issues remain unresolved, because they are so sparsely approached by government. We can think of Lusignan and Bartica and Lindo Creek, while going way back to Rodney, and then coming forward today to Exxon and those rich Canje and Stabroek oil blocks.
Leaders may think that they are so bright that they can get away with their conspiracies, crookedness, and manipulations. But in colloquial Guyanese: “moon does run till day ketch am.” Though, there are these beliefs about the mostly scoundrels that we have for leaders and governors, we take comfort that nothing lasts forever, and the truth usually comes to light; darkness can only prevail for so long. It does take a long time and a lot of patience, but how men have been with the trusts and responsibilities placed in them only stays out of sight for so long.
So, as we hear of this deception and that trickery, through playing with words and dancing upon pinheads, we watch our leaders-new and old-and warn the day is coming when there will be a hard reckoning. Boeing now stands as testimony to that truth that never fails. Be forewarned.
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