News - November 23, 2012
See FireDogLake post related to "broken covenant" and the July 2012 security failure at the Y-12 nuclear bomb plant
The current situation
By "broken covenant" of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), Joseph Carson, PE, contends federal employees cannot perform their sworn duties to "faithfully discharge the duties of their office" in protecting the health, safety, security and welfare of Americans, per the "merit system principles," because the President, Courts and Congress have failed - for 34 years - to ensure the CSRA is followed so that federal employees are adequately protected from reprisal and other types of "prohibited personnel practices (PPPs)."
For 34 years he contends Presidents, the Special Counsels of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), the Board members of U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), and agency heads - particularly heads of intelligence agencies, have failed to comply with vital aspects of their respective sworn duties to ensure federal agency employees are adequately protected from PPPs, so these federal employees can do their sworn duties to protect America.
How did this happen? Because the CSRA was stillborn, primarily because of way OSC and MSPB interpreted away vital aspects of their respective duties to protect federal agency employees from PPPs, leaving Presidents and agency heads (as well as Congress) largely "in the dark" about their respective failures.
Yale Law School graduate Loring Justice has conducted an extensive, independent, review of Mr. Carson's contentions and agrees with them.
What to do?
The President, per his statutory duty at 5 U.S.C. section 2301(c), to "take any action...necessary" to ensure federal employees are adequately protected from PPPs should direct the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) of the Department of Justice to resolve "broken covenant" contentions. In the alternative, the head of any Cabinet-level agency can similarly direct an OLC review, while Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner, the head of OSC, or MSPB Chairman Susan Grundmann can request an OLC review (a request which OLC would accept).
Why should anyone care?
Mr. Carson contends "broken covenant" is a causal factor in much which has befallen America in past 34 years and which plagues us now. If his contentions are substantiated, in whole or part, by an OLC review, it is GOOD NEWS for America in that: 1) a previously unidentified cause of much which ails America in 2012 is exposed, and 2) it is readily correctable.
On July 28, 2012 the most serious physical security breach in the 70 year history of America's nuclear weapons program occurred at the Department of Energy (DOE) Y-12 nuclear weapon plant in Oak Ridge, TN. Mr. Carson is a safety engineer at another DOE site in Oak Ridge. If the intruders had evil intent (they were anti-nuclear weapon activists, including an 82 year-old Catholic nun), Mr. Carson - just as everyone else in Knoxville-Oak Ridge area, might be so much radioactive ash right now.
Yes, DOE is conducting investigations - but they are limited in scope to only DOE and its contractors - so if Mr. Carson's contentions are correct, they will neither be identified nor corrected by these investigations, leaving the region at unnecessarily increased risk of nuclear terrorism. Attorney Loring Justice, a Yale Law School graduate, recently wrote to DOE Secretary Steven Chu, urging him - for every American's sake - to take Mr. Carson's contentions seriously. We'll see.
Why is Joseph Carson sticking his neck out?
Mr. Carson is named for a New York City fireman, his grandfather. He grew up in Brooklyn and watched the erection of the World Trade Center (WTC) when walking to subway to go to high school in late 1960's. He visited the WTC dozens of times. His lasting reaction to 9-11? Relief - at least it was not nuclear, knowing first hand as he does the deep-seated corruption in the Department of Energy, custodian of America's nuclear stockpile - corruption which is just another expectable result of the "broken covenant." (Other expectable results include the 9/11 attack, going to war in Iraq for false reasons, space shuttles falling out of the sky, BP Gulf oil spill, failure of levees in New Orleans, economic meltdown, etc, etc).
Who is Joseph P. Carson, PE?
He is 58 years old with a spotless personal and professional record. He was hand-picked by Admiral Rickover to serve as an officer in the Nuclear Navy. He has been a licensed professional engineer (PE) almost 30 years. He has held a high government security clearance for almost 30 years. He has been a nuclear professional for over 35 years. He has been married almost 27 years and his wife is an elected public official on the Knox County (TN) Board of Education.
Mr. Carson was so foolhardy to put his positive legal and professional duty, as a PE employed by the Department of Energy as a safety engineer, to protect others before his economic self-interest. He was also stubborn enough to defend his "right" to do his duty to protect others. He has prevailed in numerous whistleblower complaints against the Department of Energy, but no longer much blames the officials who took reprisal against him - because of "broken covenant" they would likely have experienced similar reprisal had they not.
Mr. Carson has informed Secretary of Energy Steven Chu that he is willing resign from almost 30 years of federal civil if Secretary Chu directs the OLC review and his concerns are completely dispelled. As a PE, he has a positive legal duty to make public statements in truthful and objective manner. If anyone think he is violating that requirement, Mr. Carson invites them to file a professional misconduct complaint against him with the Tennesseee State Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners.
It would take at least several hours of close study of mind-numbing civil service law details and related (undisputed) facts to understand "broken covenant." The following documents provide an overview, if more detail is desired, feel free to contact Mr. Carson.
- September 1, 2011 legal analysis by attorney Loring Justice, a Yale Law School graduate.
- October 8, 2012 letter by Loring Justice about resolving broken covenant.
- January 6, 2012 letter from Special Counel Carolyn Lerner to David Pardo, where she uses a technicality (as Special Counsel she can only request, not direct, an OLC review) to evade a request that she verify she is properly performing her sworn duty as Special Counsel.
- March 22, 2012 letter to Joseph Carson from OSC that takes no exception to his contentions of "broken covenant" but which advises him to take his concerns to Congress.
- How "broken covenant" impacts the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is analyzed here.
- How "broken covenant" impacts the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (Federal Reserve) is analyzed here.
- How "broken covenant" could be a causal factor of the July 28, 2012 unprecedened breach of physical security at the Deparment of Energy's Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, TN.
Mr. Carson can be contacted at email@example.com