Tuesday, January 09, 2007


U.S. House Plans Hearings on Los Alamos Security

Now they'll all be hounding D'Agostino, although I really wonder why Bodman bothered to put him in charge, if indeed he wants to see change happen at NNSA, and within the DOE complex. In any event, just one more screwup at LANL, or any of the other DOE labs and both D'Agostino and Bodman will likely be out on their collective asses.

One has to wonder if Bodman is starting to rethink some of the other decisions that were made by NNSA under the questionable leadership of Brooks and D'Agostino. Like the decision to award the LANL contract to Bechtel and all their little friends. I mean really, handing a national lab over to a construction company? Even I know better than to do that, and I'm just a dog!

--Pat, The Dog


U.S. House Plans Hearings on Los Alamos Security

A U.S. House subcommittee plans to hold hearings “within the month” on security problems at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) said Friday (see GSN, Jan. 5).

Dingell praised Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman’s recent decision to dismiss National Nuclear Security Administrator Linton Brooks following a series of security breaches at the laboratory.

The firing was “the first real accountability we have seen in some time involving yet another security breach at Los Alamos,” he said, according to Environment and Energy Daily.

The Energy Department’s inspector general issued a highly critical report late last year on security troubles at the laboratory (see GSN, Nov. 29, 2006). These included a recent incident involving the discovery of classified nuclear weapons documents at a former laboratory worker’s home by local police responding to a disturbance involving drug use (see GSN, Nov. 6, 2006).

“One wonders, had the meth lab not been raided by the local police, whether Los Alamos lab officials would have ever discovered that the documents were even missing,” Dingell said. “This raises great concern over other possible security lapses” (Mary O’Driscoll, Environment and Energy Daily, Jan. 8).

Pat, the Dog, a question?
LANL is run by LANS, a LLC comprised of Betchel, UC, and a couple others with the head guy a scientist from LLNL.
You/others keep referring to LANL being run by Betchel!!
What am I missing? Where is UC? Isn't the former LL Director carrying forth the R&D environment?
Dear Anonymous 1/09/2007 12:08 PM:

As you have so astutely observed, LANL is run by LANS, an LLC comprised of Bechtel, BWXT, The Washington Group, and our old favorite, the University of California.

True enough.

What you are clearly missing (and hence your question) is the fact that it is Bechtel who is calling the shots at LANL. Mike A., whom I am positive is a very nice fellow, is just a figurehead. Smart move, that. Good cop, bad cop, etc.. Make no mistake about it, though: Bechtel is running the show up on "The Hill" these days.

However, if you really want to ask an interesting question, you should ask why John Mitchel *really* stepped down recently. You don't believe the official version: that he suddenly discovered that he had a family. Do you? Even _I_ don't believe that hokey story, and I'm just a dog.

-Pat, The Dog
If the Congressmen are smart, they'll ask to see exactly how all the extra millions for the secure networks at LANL were spent, down to the last penny. Most of it undoubtedly went into worthless white-paper studies and management salaries. Very little of it went into actually designing and purchasing a modern, secure computer infrastructure.

The overhead and bloat at LANL has created a black hole that sucks in lots of dollars but produces very little in return. We have ill-trained support staff that don't support, but, rather hinder the staff's work. We have nepotism in hiring that is apparent to even the most casual observer. We have a ratio of top level managers to working staff that must set some type of Ripley's record. And we have stove-piped organizations that seem to savor the task of working against each other.

Anastascio said he was going to fix some of this, but I've seen no sign of it yet, and time is quickly running out. As for me, I'm still eagerly awaiting a modern, secure computer infrastructure managed by capable people that actually helps me do my work. Instead, the current secure network at LANL is quickly moving backwards.
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