Friday, January 26, 2007


More Mitchell Observations

This was sent in by an Anonymous reader.



I keep seeing this discussion on John Mitchell and the issue that he might just have decided that after 5 months he wanted to “spend time with his family”. And you know what, maybe that is true, but something else I know to be true is that all key personnel from both teams were required to sign a commitment letter on their resumes . See below.

If the ____________ is awarded the contract associated with RFP No. DE-RP52-05NA25396, I, the undersigned, hereby agree to accept full-time employment in the above stated position at an agreed upon salary and benefit package, relocate to the work area vicinity, as applicable, and remain in this position for a period of two years.

In addition, it would be reasonable to assume that John Mitchell’s family and their needs existed prior to his signing the above commitment.

An analysis based on available empirical data would lead a rational person to conclude one or all of the following, none of them meritorious:

It may be that there are some potential catastrophic family issues that require his full time attention and that he has no wish to share that with the world. In which case we should respect his privacy, but I would think that given the current circumstances of the Laboratory, there should be a better explanation from the leadership team than “the dog ate my commitment letter”. If this an accountability issue, you would think that an appropriate response would be full disclosure. But maybe what we get is the Jack Nicholson line “You can’t handle the truth” which is of course just as staggeringly arrogant as it sounds.

That's why so many employees have their own theory, and still no answer from up above, hey dude, this is not going to go away..maybe we as employees should request to the Oversight and Investigations Committee, that we as "stake-holders" in all of this be honestly informed of what happend...

If some catastrophic family issue occured that required Mitchell to depart, why is LANL stonewalling all requests for additional information?


The "need to spend more time with family" explanation is complete bullshit. Something occurred that was significant enough to cause LANS to want to break his contract.
It's an age-old debate tactic: if you can't make a reasonable case against another person, do what you can to discredit the individual and distract people from the real issues. Criticize their lack of values, denounce their ideals, turn around their words and actions - take them out of context - call them names. Making theese ad hominem arguments is often an indication that teh name-caller does not have adequate information and must resort to personal attacks in order to try to throw his opponent's reputation into question.

I am just amazed that with little or no information - about this you are making up this fiction. In any case, the reasons or non-reasons for John Mitchell's retirement are really not your business. All you should be worried about is whether you are worth wasting tax payer money on. Instead of wasting ink and words attacking someone else - Is Mr. Mitchell 39 years old? Is that why you are surprised that he retired. If he retired for family reasons, maybe someone in his family is ill, maybe he is ill. Whatever the case, it is none of your business.

Why don't you use your time to figure out what value you add to LANL? Why don't you come up with some solutions to problems and try to be proactive instead of destructive. And, yes, I'm expecting the STFU from your vocabulary challenged anonymous authors.

I do want to thank you for this blog. Besides giving folks a place to vent, it shows that the diseased culture of some (not all by any means) people who work at LANL exists; the sense of arrogance, the sense of the world owing you a living: This proves that the culture at LANL is difficult to deal with and any real-world company coming in would have the same issues with all the "entitlement" that runs rampant there. Enjoy this and if it gets your head out of wherever you have it, great! The world does not owe you a living - it's a free world - get out of there while you can - stop all the whining and see what you can do to improve things.
Dear "amused",

Your superior attitude does not add much to this venue. Perhaps you should consider what value you yourself add at LANL.

That aside, those of us who know Mitchell believe that his departure from LANL in itself provided great value to the institution.

Knowing what I know about Mitchell, his abrasiveness and arrogance, plus knowledge of his past performances at Yucca Mountain and Y-12, I find myself wondering why you feel so compelled to defend him.
Here's a theory...just a theory, mind you. What if "amused" is His Honor John Mitchell, himself? Didn't think of THAT little twist, did you?
More likely a friend (I know, hard to imagine) of Mitchell's.

Speaking of friends, I suspect that LANS is starting to recognize exactly how few friends they have. The bulk of LANL staff despise them, and Congress is preparing to keelhaul Mikey over LANS's pathetic performance to date. LANS is running out of options.
Amused or not: He has made a fair observation and does have a point. If we cloud the issues with our own ABCness, it degrades blog usefulness and leads us nowhere (or at least down blind alleys full of pot holes).
Good. Now maybe we will get some straight answers. If not from LANS, then from the Congressional committee.

(No, I don't believe the bullshit version that LANS gave. I only look stupid.)
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