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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

    Name:
    Location: The mouth of being

    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Bechtel Crime Family Compromise Your Safety Again

    A similar managerial consortium -- one that is also dominated by UC and Bechtel -- was selected May 8 to manage the nation's other nuclear weapons design lab, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore.

    According to the Associated Press, the breach at Los Alamos occurred when a consultant to the Los Alamos National Security board sent an e-mail containing highly classified, non-encrypted nuclear weapons information to several board members, who forwarded it to other members.

    The news agency identified the consultant as Harold Smith. A spokeswoman for the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the nation's nuclear weapons labs, would not confirm that, but said a person had been issued an infraction. Two more infractions during the calendar year, she said, would lead to an unspecified personnel action.

    Spokesmen Chris Harrington of UC and Jeff Berger of Los Alamos declined comment.

    Lab critics jumped on the news of the latest security breach.

    "The UC-Bechtel consortium at Los Alamos has taken what was a bad managerial situation and made it a lot worse," said Marylia Kelley, head of Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment, which is based in Livermore. "As long as the United States continues to design and develop new nuclear weapons, some of that information can and will leak out. ... Better management cannot solve that deeper problem."

    After the news leaked out, Dingell and Stupak wrote Bodman demanding to know why the breach wasn't reported to Congress for six months, even though an unidentified UC official informed the National Nuclear Security Administration of the breach on Jan. 19.

    The timing delay raises the question of whether another scandal is being covered up -- in effect, the possibility that authorities dragged their feet for almost six months investigating the security breach so that UC and Bechtel could win their joint bid for the Livermore contract without suffering any taint of scandal. Dingell is well known for initiating congressional investigations into such federal malfeasance.

    "Livermore laboratory has lost numerous keys to classified areas, and some of those keys have gone missing for many, many months before their loss was reported to upper management," Kelley said. "In another instance, one of the main laboratory gates was left unlocked over a holiday period -- and I'm not talking about a little gate, I'm talking about (a gate with) two lanes in and two lanes out."

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