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I kept asking myself that's where was this this lady where was Sharon Watkins at the IRS when they were.
Stupid on conservative groups -- where return at the Justice Department when they were.
Supposedly stupid on AP reporters or where -- -- across the administration went.
They were revising the -- talking points no less than a dozen times where were the whistle blowers like car.
To global Wetzel to screen to shout this is weird where -- looked -- it does something wrong with slip it into something illegal this must stop.
-- wanted stood up and got slammed down for warning Enron management it was drifting it was slipping it was line.
She saw all the signs she was in the bunker and knew and knows well the bunker mentality.
Sharon welcome it's always an honor to have you on certain help us understand.
How these kind of things happen how.
In it if you know rational environment -- -- -- let's say the iris coming -- -- let's say it's just within the IRS that it doesn't have any outside influence.
They are targeting a group and obviously date.
It has to be a couple people agreeing we want to target these groups how does that.
Group think happened.
Well they've they've got a goal that seems laudable and you know potentially its pay these this group is for less taxes.
-- bound to be kind of create some loopholes that might not be on the up and up let's investigate and there's some gold -- seems laudable and so they don't.
Question their means to get there.
And that's typically what how wrongdoing happens people don't intend to violate policy dollar -- procedure violate law.
But they take a look at a gold that they see is laudable and focus on that to the exclusion of all else.
Not remember the case of Enron and and and you -- speaking out.
While this was still looking like a viable good company to sort of new Arab company in January to talking to Ken lay and Jeff Skilling and -- -- -- the time win and it.
What we're doing isn't diving here I'm I'm oversimplifying it but how was that received on the part of management particularly Ken lay.
When you were telling -- -- There's whistle blower report out that when people do blow the whistle internally they do it because they really believe they're going to be listened to that that.
Corrective action will be taken otherwise why do it.
And then when you're not listen to when -- ignored.
You go through a period of what next what do I do now -- you became a target right you became the target and yes.
Yes and it's -- is if that happened a bit at the IRS where people were aware there are things -- -- that the wrong policies were being put in place.
And people said something but.
Didn't feel as if if they were being listened to it.
I noticed when they went back at Enron and sort of reconstructed events -- and I did that one of the things that happen as.
You -- sort of like I don't know the Angel on this -- assigned to say.
The way we're doing this isn't right at -- and -- what bothered me looking back at that is there weren't a lot of other folks like you saying that.
That and I'm wondering it doesn't mean these other folks rule all evil or bad.
But the group thinking we we talked about in the past and are getting into now.
We're the it was almost like he ends justified the means or how was it -- how does it relate to what you see happening now.
Well there's typically a sense of urgency involved when wrongdoing happens.
They're sort of a rush we've got to get this done we've got to get it done now.
And people protest.
But it it ends up.
Being ignored it because we're we're trying to finish something by the end of this month by the end of the next month.
Hands then people start to feel like their protests are fruitless so there -- private other -- there -- others at Enron that went before me too and right they were ignore.
But the argument was we all -- to be on the same page right.
And that they question your argument that what they're doing is illegal so -- don't think you are there's -- at Enron in the middle of this screaming that.
This isn't Coastr moralist -- -- and says it's easier.
But that everyone had to get the same talking points out there some of the moment get to -- of the -- -- at the time didn't think what they were doing was illegal but all they knew is that you'll.
We're not going with the flow and you were being disruptive.
Well and and also for some -- might meet I came forward so I really felt as if what I said Enron might implode in a way of accounting scandals I was concerned about whether the company would exist.
People within the IRS as you say they might not have realized it was it was wrong they might have thought it was just questionable practice.
And they might not have been concerned about the health of the whole IRS the way I was about Enron.
You know well another thing in Indiana -- -- my curiosity going back.
This idea that everyone has to get on the same page corporations are known for that we don't speak out of school -- -- turn we don't.
It's like every all the talent here as you know we all love each other fox -- -- we never say a cross word about any of our colleagues.
But but but there's an understanding you don't do that in other words you don't air your dirty laundry in public.
And I'm thinking that was the message at Enron.
That might have been the message right now going on the administration as it was with the godsey.
That everyone had to be part of these constant revisions -- talking points as everyone had to agree.
In this case this was in a terror threat.
This wasn't an al-Qaeda type thing despite a warning from six.
No -- I'm gonna give the candidate out -- they weren't starting out to be deliberately devious.
That they all wanted to be roughly on the same dates too early to say we're not gonna jump the gun and say this was al-Qaeda.
I -- related back to -- to say it will what is the line between trying to make sure every one.
Is is speaking the same.
Lying about that point.
Well I don't think some of it has to do with.
People not wanting to be wrong so people that might have helped a transaction be put in place and maybe the fraud was hard to spot on the front man.
They don't want to admit that it was a problem because then there -- part of it.
You know I have a young daughter I see that it seems to be ingrained -- us that when we do something wrong we want to deny we want to blame someone else we want to.
Find an excuse it's.
-- goes back at a mini that's it's that woman you made me we just don't want to -- Dix except.
But it was as you know -- fault everything was his fault I'm.
But -- finally -- -- -- he was always above the fray are deemed above the -- dad if he was guilty of anything it was ignorance he didn't.
Know what was going on.
And that's ultimately what those who were the focus of an investigation clean -- that they didn't know what was going on they went for being very hands on active managers.
-- I guess debts like -- mr.
but -- but that's better than getting yourself carted off to jail was that your sense of the Ken -- strategy.
Yes but at some point.
You know I'm -- young -- saying -- the emperor with no clothes at some point are you saying could she be right.
Are you saying she better be wrong because we're paying Arthur Andersen a million dollars a week to make sure I have on clothes so my point is your leadership style.
Directing the information you're -- Very interesting -- but concede took a lot of heat and a lot of hell to speak up when she did you -- -- the time she did it to.
That was then Sherron Watkins let us now thank you Sharon very much.
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