Monday, June 06, 2005
Whistleblower Beating: Details Emerge
The phone reception was awful on the conference call describing the assault on Los Alamos investigator Tommy Hook. But here's the information I pieced together, based on what I could hear his wife, his lawyer, and his partner say:
Last Friday, Los Alamos auditor-turned-whistleblower Tommy Hook got a phone call at his Albuquerque home. It was late -- past ten-thirty at night, and Tommy was getting ready to go to bed. He had had shoulder surgery recently, and a stroke about a year-and-a-half before that. So he needed his rest.
This sounds a little fishy...
IF he was mugged at a nudie bar and is lying about it to cover up, he could be prosecuted. The story should fall apart shortly if so. But there were recent phone calls that could be tracked still in the telephone exchange records (I'd guess the LANL phone exchange is pretty thoroughly surveilled by the govt these days), and a witness, so this seems more serious.
IF he was assaulted and told not to testify, whether or not he went there on a regular basis (it is a legally operating business, so no crime there), then there is only a question of who was involved in the conspiracy (multiple attackers = conspiracy).
So until more is known, please no ad hominem attacks.
fishy to me. He had two drinks?
They always say a couple of drinks. I think this has nothing to do with LANL.
But let's all of us conspiracy theorists, sloppy media writers, and sensationalists, take a big breath, because we have no facts to go on besides a severely injured individual, and what his lawyer is reported to have said.
Before we rush out and commit the same kind of dismissal of the facts in order to grind our own respective political axes, like we resent Pete Nanos for doing so to LANL, let's just wait.
I know its hard, because there's advertising to sell, POGO's got axes to grind and whistleblowers to exploit, UC to demonize, Lockmart to demonize, auditor's credibility to question.
It's just so darn exciting and tempting, but we've got to stop this lunacy until there are independently verifiable facts that we can base our opinions and actions on.
I also agree with the poster who asked, who will gain from this. I don't see how it could be UC.
I sure hope they put the FBI's first team on this, not the inventigators that messed up the Wen Ho Lee case.
Let's use some logic, folks. A witness observed Tommy Hook being beaten by a group, and his injuries are severe. Is there any refutation of those points?
Next, consider his claim that his attackers made comments regarding his upcoming testimony: there are only 4 possibilities. This is either 1) a true statement of events, or 2) a falsehood, or 3) he is in full command of his faculties and sincerely mistaken in remembering what they said, or 4) an impairment led him to hear, remember, or synthesize something not actually said. There are no other possibilities, given that a beating was witnessed and injured him.
If 2, 3, or 4 are true, the beating has nothing to do with whistleblowing, and presumably involves non-LANL issues, barring further information. That comprises 75% of the possible outcomes.
If 1 is true (25% of outcomes), who did it? Look at means, motive, and opportunity. Means and opportunity are clear, but who has a motive?
It is reported that the attackers did not present themselves in a meeting setting until the attack. If true, they were lying in wait for him. This might mean Hook knew them and possibly would have been alarmed by seeing them, or the attackers did not want him to be able to relate details to a sketch artist.
The severity of the beating leads me to think that the perpetrators were amateurs. True pros would likely not resort to the level of damage seen. The attackers were not sophisticated in coercive violence or intimidation. This also suggests anger and fear on the part of the attackers. Maybe they are people at risk of prosecution if a full accounting of fraud at LANL is exposed? Perhaps this group includes fellow employees, people hired by one or more employees...the list is not endless, but it is certainly longer than one would think for a place charged with valuable national security missions.
Who has the most to gain from an attack? Probably those with the most to lose from his testimony. Since he is still alive and presumably under police protection (if not, he should hire private guards)...his testimony will be the key.
A sad thing, no matter why it happended.
The police will fix this one up real
Come on people this has nothing to do with LANL. Go with your gut, he made it up. I do not want to belittle what happened but if you go to these kinds of bars at 11pm on a Fri you know the risks. It is still the real world out there with risks and human failings.
Let's forget for a moment that Chuck Montano has made a habit of suing LANL. In fact, he didn't uncover accounting "fraud" at LANL until after he'd already sued LANL for discriminating against Hispanics. But let's leave that aside and look at the story of Tommy Hook.
Something about this story is not right.
A guy goes to a strip club in the middle of the night to get "information" about accounting fraud.
He goes into the bar, has two drinks, and leaves.
The thugs don't touch him while he's in the parking lot, completely defenseless. They wait until he's in his car and almost able to get away before attacking him.
Nobody sees the incident until the very end, even though it happens in the parking lot of a crowded bar.
And, oddly enough, POGO seems to have far more details than those available in the newspapers are on the local news stations.
Time for a few questions:
Who goes to a titty bar in the middle of the night to get "information" about accounting fraud?
Why would the thugs wait for Mr. Hook to get back in his car before they beat him up?
Why would thugs who wanted to keep him quiet not kill him?
We're all New Mexicans here. How many shootings do we have in this state every year? If the thugs wanted to kill Mr. Hook, as is asserted by POGO, they would have shot him, and it wouldn't have been done in front of a bar for everyone to see.
This whole incident sounds like it was set up by somebody who's been watching a little too much Sopranos lately.
Something is very, very wrong with this story, and POGO needs to be investigated immediately.
. . .
This, if it even IS the same crowd of people who have lovingly donated and emotionally supported the widow and family of a Todd Kauppila whose death has been linked with the recent trevails at the Lab. No one has cast doubts on whether or not his demise was LANL-related. I'm certain that Mrs. Kauppila or the counsel will have the burden of proof to make the connection to LANL and convince any court who may see the case that there were not any other likely explanations for his untimely death.
Couldn't either event have been disassociated with LANL or equally as plausible, couldn't either event be associated with LANL?
Isn't the current circumstance at LANL deserving of a unified effort to instill accountability and integrity into the Lab, regardless of whether it arrives from the 'Chuck Montanos' or the 'Todd Kauppila Memorial Front' or from a grassroots effort within LANL's rank and file, or from a blogging bunch of diehards who hate to see the Lab dwindle to a mere shadow of its former self or fizzle out in a pathetic effort to cling to its existence?
Shame on those who are either new to visiting here to add the insults to Mr. Hook's injuries or the ranks here are picking and choosing which victims merit their support regardless of the pending investigation and final analysis or glaring lack thereof.
My children watched the late news with me and recognized Mrs. Hook as a school teacher and worry with her for the safety of her husband but also for the other adults who are associated with LANL and its difficulties. They don't know all the details nor do they need to, but they did see a man's picture who obviously was hurt and they cared about him as a human which is more than I can say for some of the comments I've read here.
You go to a strip club to enjoy "cultural dance exhibitions". That is one of the best things I have ever seen posted on this blog. Look I am sorry but the guy made it up. POGO is one sad lot. By the way I feel bad for Todd K and believe he was unfairly treated. However, LANL did not kill him, why not google the condition that did kill. Also google some statements he said on Fri before he died. I am sorry but this is the truth
But you fools want to believe he hired 4 people to beat him within a inch of his life. He probably hired the security guard, too. In fact he is faking the whole thing- he is so good he is even pulled the doctors and nurses into his scheme.
Now, really. Think about the cases where someone 'faked' their injuries for what ever reason. Usually the injuries are superficial- a cut on the arm, a black eye, a bad scratch.
They describe one attacker who disappeared quickly, leaving no physical evidence.
You so desperately want to believe that there are no evil people at 'our' LANL. 2 billion dollars can draw a lot of bad actors, even organized crime.
I repeat, look at the picture- no one would willingly do that to themselves.
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Why has this comment been posted on this thread on this blog? Defintely far too off topic to be appropriate.
You may not have explicitly said that you blame UC or the DOE, but it sure sounds like you are trying hard to imply it and capitalize on this extreme misfortune that has befallen Tommy Hooks.
Even in your clarification you do not state that you absolve UC and DOE of suspicion. You only clarify that POGO did not explicitly state that.
You can't absolve anyone right now. Nor can you point the finger at anyone, yet.
"We also did not say that the attackers tried to kill Tommy."
From the initial POGO blog entry (www.pogo.org):
"The men concentrated on kicking his head, and Hook's family thinks the men would have killed him if it hadn’t been for the witness who had just walked out of the bar. "
Seems like a contradiction in statements to me...
"This guy made it up. It is clear cut."
I assume that you mean it is clear cut that Mr. Hook made up the story. I have been reading about it since it was reported anonymously, as a question, at 8:19:00 PM on June 5, 2005. What do you know that I have not learned from reading the newspapers?
This blog needs facts, not opinions.
Larry Creamer DX-1, Retired