Donald V. Watkins
Boeing: "We are Truly Sorry"
By: Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published on November 18, 2019
After its negligent design and criminally negligent conduct killed 346 passengers and crew members aboard Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Air Flight 302, and after Boeing got caught withholding crucial test pilot text messages from investigators about how dangerous the company's new 737 MAX jetliners are, the giant aircraft manufacturer has finally issued a public apology crafted by a slick public relations firm. The apology professed the company's sorrow to the families and friends of the crash victims. I saw the full-page apology in the Thursday, November 14, 2019 edition of USA Today.
Boeing made sure the flying public knew that the company has established a "$100 million relief fund", of which $50 million is being distributed to the families of the victims of the two crashes. Because the victims are mostly people of color from Indonesia and Ethiopia, the amount of compensation averages a mere $145,000 per victim.
The ad also pledges to strengthen Boeing's culture of safety so that the 737 MAX can safely return to service. The airplane has been grounded worldwide since March.
Absent from the ad was any commitment by Boeing to correct the basic design flaw that caused the crashes. Boeing only pledged to make some software updates and provide additional pilot training on how to fly the inherently defective 737 MAX airplane.
No one at Boeing has been prosecuted for killing the 346 passengers and crew members aboard Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Air Flight 302. No one at Boeing has been fired for gross negligence that resulted in 346 unnecessary deaths. No changes have been made at the Federal Aviation Administration to take back the control over flight safety testing that had been outsourced to Boeing.
Sadly, the same federal prosecutors who pound their chests when indicting Hollywood celebrity parents who paid money to get their children admitted to prestigious universities are the very same federal prosecutors who are too afraid of Boeing and its corporate power to indict and prosecute them for criminally negligent homicide and bribery of FAA officials and prominent Democratic and Republican members of Congress. They would rather get on their knees and kiss Boeing's ass than indict the company and its senior management employees for killing 346 people. Why? Because some of these Department of Justice officials want jobs at Boeing when they leave government service.
Boeing's legislative affairs team has already committed funding for next year's race for key Democratic and Republican members of Congress who sit on oversight committees that are investigating the FAA flight safety certification protocols for the 737 MAX in 2015-16. The one area where bi-partisanship flourishes in Washington is in the zone of self-political interest and personal greed.
At the end of the day, a political whore is always "for sale." In the words of Washington's most notorious "Swamp Creature", Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, " Too much money ain't never enough."
Likewise, Boeing knows that it is cheaper to pay death claims than it is to fix the design flaws in the 737 MAX airplane.
Every passenger who flies on a 737 Max when they return to service will be playing Russian Roulette with his/her life. More passengers will die in this airplane because too many government "watchdogs" have been bought off, compromised, and silenced.