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Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:20 AM

Former Target Store Manager To Oversee Nation's Nuclear Security

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by OKNancy (a host of the Latest Breaking News forum).

Source: Mother Jones

Retired Air Force Colonel Steve Asher also ran a missile base that later flunked key security tests.

Ever since last summer, when a 82-year-old nun broke into the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the National Nuclear Security Administration has scrambled to improve its leadership and beef up security at America's nuke facilities. Now it appears the agency has found the man for the job: The weekly trade publication Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor reported last week that the NNSA has named as its acting head of nuclear security Steve Asher, a retired Air Force colonel who less than four years ago was working as a "team leader" at a Target store in Spokane, Washington. Prior to that, he commanded a missile base in Montana that flunked a nuclear security test within five months of his departure.

This November 2009 video, dug up by the Project on Government Oversight (where I used to be a fellow), shows Asher hawking Black Friday bargains: "A lot of folks were being thrifty in their shopping this year, and so we sold more of our $1.99 towels than we expected!" (Click the screenshot for the link.)

Asher's new title is acting chief of defense nuclear security and associate administrator for defense nuclear security, which puts him in charge of developing and implementing security programs at nuke sites nationwide. He has only worked at NNSA since late last year, when he was brought in as a security consultant, Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor reported. According to NNSA spokesman Joshua McConaha, Asher will have to apply for the permanent position, just like any other candidate. "Asher was recruited into Target's executive ranks after serving 33 years in the US Air Force," he says. "There are very few people in the United States who have more experience."

<snip>

In November 2008, the Air Force Times reported that the 341st Missile Wing had failed its "nuclear surety inspection," which takes place every 18 months, after problems were found with maintenance, and also with the program that monitors access to the nukes (it passed its reinspection several months later.) "That's what really concerns us," says Peter Stockton, a senior investigator at POGO. "Malmstrom failed, and Asher can't really claim that he's not responsible for any of that stuff."

<snip>

Read more: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/former-target-manager-nuclear-security-oak-ridge

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:43 AM

1. That the man may not be up to the job in nuclear security is one thing

and that should be the only issue. That he worked at or ran a Target Store has nothing to do with the other job and I believe to be simply sensationalism on the part of the article's author.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:10 AM

5. "Malmstrom failed, and Asher can't really claim that he's not responsible for any of that stuff."

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:24 AM

8. I agree.I was a Janitor once, while working my way through school, does that bar me from other jobs?

I now have degrees in:

BS:International Finance
BS: International Economics
Associates: Respiratory Therapy
Associates: Computer Animation

And now working on my CPA

Now him being simply incompetent, may be another matter. However the original poster is setting a dangerous precedent, by using someones work history...

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:44 AM

2. That's comforting

I know a lot of big box store managers and they are all nice people, but I wouldn't trust security to them. These places are rampant with theft. They watch people walk away with thousands of dollars in merchandise, is this what we can expect with regards to our nuclear security?

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:44 AM

3. Is This One Funnier Than the REI Exec Running Interior Dept?

 

Then there's john brennan as CIA Director nominee. Lots of bad choices there folks. All these jokes will likely get trumped by the next Secretary of the DOE. Sure wish these positions were hired from within and were based on merit...like the Civil Service use to be...Now, it's just political appointments...the currency of political payback. Smell the impending incompetence yet?

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Response to triplepoint (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:12 AM

7. Maybe the next Press Secretary will be from The Onion. nt

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:04 AM

4. When I saw the subject line, I expected to see a link to The Onion.

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Response to smokey nj (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:11 AM

6. I did too, I almost didn't read it. nt

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:04 AM

9. I'm sorry but this does not meet the SOP of LBN

This is analysis/commentary on a past event ( the man was appointed last week). It is not "breaking news". Additionally it is over 12 hours old.
Please repost in GD, Politics or Good Reads. Thanks

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No analysis or opinion pieces. No duplicates. News stories must have been published within the last 12 hours.
Use the published title of the story as the title of the discussion thread.
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