Now, whistleblowing is never done quietly. There’s a reason why it’s called whistleblowing I guess. Hhmm. Though this chap uses YouTube to do it.
“What I am going to tell you is going to seem preposterous,” De Kort solemnly tells viewers near the outset of the 10-minute clip. Posted three weeks ago, the video describes what De Kort says are blind spots in the ship’s security cameras, equipment that malfunctions in cold weather and other problems. “It may be very hard for you to believe that our government and the largest defense contractor in the world [are] capable of such alarming incompetence and can make ethical compromises as glaring as what I am going to describe.” In response to De Kort’s charges, a Coast Guard spokeswoman said the service has “taken the appropriate level of action.” A spokeswoman for the contractors said the allegations were without merit.
I am not particularly surprised. The guy had to find a way to get a word out and what better than a video. I tried watching the video and got a little bored. I guess I was expecting more drama. But it’s fascinating nevertheless. But this brings me to another question. Why do whistleblowers do what they do? I find it hard to believe if someone says something like goodness of one’s heart. I am not a big fan of the “selfless” argument. Simply put – what are the rewards for whistleblowers? They must be substantial when compared to the risks of whistleblowing. Job loss, concerns for security of self and family, loss of employability etc.
Technology enables anonymous whistleblowing to a great extent. Especially the sort that becomes hard to trace. It also enables individuals to talk about issues without confronting the organisation first. But why would you take the trouble? Is it because an individual anticipates that issues in the future may hang around his or her neck?