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U. of Calif. Loses $5.8M Over Los Alamos

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:55 PM
Original message
U. of Calif. Loses $5.8M Over Los Alamos
Saturday January 29, 2005 1:01 AM


By H. JOSEF HEBERT

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Energy Department slashed by two-thirds the management fee it paid to the University of California for running the Los Alamos National Laboratory as punishment for security and safety problems at the lab.

The National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the government's weapons labs, said Friday the university would received only $2.9 million instead of the maximum $8.7 million it could have received in fees for managing the lab in New Mexico for the fiscal year ended last Sept. 30.

The agency cited severe management failures at Los Alamos including the disappearance of classified computer disks that forced the shutdown for months of the labs' most sensitive weapons-related activities.

``Although multiple investigations have confirmed that the `missing' disks never existed, the major weakness in controlling classified material revealed by this incident are absolutely unacceptable and the University of California must be held accountable for them,'' NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks said in a statement. <snip>

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-476...
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. UC should be out of this. Stupid government, not UC
Why would any government turn its nuclear security over to a University or any private contractor? What "morans!" Now they're penalizing UC for their stupidity (that goes for all administrations that did this).

It is such a surprise that the University of Texas is getting the Los Alamos contract next year. Hmmm...wonder what Diane Feinstein (R), CA thinks of all this.
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Autorank, you got that right. BTW, UTexas will really blow the accounting
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 08:26 PM by EVDebs
but that's how 'privatizing' works. The military's DSS -- Defense Security Service www.dss.mil --wing is supposed to be responsible for all this oversight of the National Labs security, books, employment, etc., etc. but you NEVER hear them mentioned. I wonder why...?
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. My man Debs! Righteous points. UC to *: "You can't stand the truth!"
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. autorank, check this out since DSS has shut down their website
Edited on Sun Jan-30-05 06:50 PM by EVDebs
http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2000/dsshrng.html

They can't hide. This outfit is tasked with responsibility for what's been going on. Obviously they can't stand the heat so they've gotten out of the kitchen. Congress needs to take a good look at DSS's activity in regards to the Wen Ho Lee case and the 'missing' materials.

DSS's responsibilities with commercial contractors are mentioned here
http://www.archives.gov/isoo/oversight_groups/nisp/nisp...

So you'd think the national labs would be 'likewise'.

BTW, thanks !
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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
4. kick
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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
5. (Los Alamos) Report: 'Missing' Lab Disks Didn't Exist
http://www.baytownsun.com/wire.lasso?report=/dynamic/st...

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Two computer disks that supposedly disappeared last summer, prompting a virtual shutdown of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, in fact never existed, according to report released Friday.

In a harshly worded review that described severe security weaknesses at the nuclear lab, the U.S. Energy Department concluded that bar codes were recorded for the disks but the disks themselves were never created. A separate FBI investigation supported that finding, according to the report.

As punishment for the problems, the Energy Department slashed by two-thirds the management fee it paid to the University of California for running the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Out of a possible $8.7 million, UC will get only $2.9 million; it is the largest fee reduction ever imposed on a national laboratory.

"Although multiple investigations have confirmed that the `missing' disks never existed, the major weakness in controlling classified material revealed by this incident are absolutely unacceptable and the University of California must be held accountable for them," National Nuclear Security Agency Administrator Linton Brooks said in a statement

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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I think he mean "California must be held accountable for them".
Starting with Enron they have been laying siege on blue states.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Good catch
as Kevin Shelley goes down in flames...
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loritooker Donating Member (376 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. I was always suspicious about this "missing information":....
I think there was a possibility of the nuclear work going to Texas..
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keopeli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Someone's being held accountable for something?
Oh, wait a minute, it's "something" that never really happened.

So someone's being held accountable for nothing.

Let's take MORE money from California! Yeah!

Those dirty California liberals don't know anything about security!!!

/sarcasm
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. Personally, I don't trust our Energy Department.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. not becuause it's packed with industry insiders.........?
Oh, wait... that's a GOOD reason.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. Another WMD witch hunt.
WMD = Wonderful Missing Disks

The Bushbots would rather see the Los Alamos contract go to Westinghouse or Battelle. Those are better campaign donors. The whole DOE outsourcing of laboratoy operations is a big clusterfuck. The waste, fraud, and abuse is rampant.
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. Originally the 'story' was fed to CIA-pet reporter Walter Pincus,...
who is known to take CIA fed information and print it as gospel

See "Wen Ho Lee Reporters Held in Contempt"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A13508-20...

""The other journalists in the case are Associated Press reporter H. Josef Hebert and Robert Drogin of the Los Angeles Times. The Post reporter is Walter Pincus.""

You can read more about agency shill Walter Pincus at FAIR's article
http://www.fair.org/extra/9711/cia.html under 'friend of the agency'.

Further research on the CIA's use domestically to ruin and pillage is evident from Operation Mockingbird, of which we may be seeing about more of from the blowback on the Armstrong Williams et al case.
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Al-CIAda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. Anotther fake 'incident' to wrestle control
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. Management loses nonexistent stuff! Sounds like a Newsmax story ...
... doesn't it?
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
15. The University of Texas is an excellent school, but this smacks of
cheap payback against California.
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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. The University of Texas Connection: Who Gains from Missing Data
From a 2004 article:

http://counterpunch.org/wray07142004.html

A security breach at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico last week is another setback for the University of California's management of the nuclear weapons facility. The identity of the culprits is still not known. But we do know that the public relations damage to the university will likely decrease its chances of retaining control of the lab, while increasing the odds for the University of Texas and several companies announcing this week their intent to bid on the lab's management contract.

On July 9 Los Alamos lab officials reported that two computer disks containing classified nuclear research information were missing. It is the third incident of missing classified data at the nuclear weapons lab in the last year. The loss of classified information came days before a July 12 Department of Energy deadline for competitors to express interest in bidding on Los Alamos' management contract, set to expire in September 2005.

The Department of Energy decided last year to open competition on the lab contract, in part because of poor management and security mishaps under University of California's leadership, which has managed the lab since 1943. This summer the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration will be issuing a Request for Proposals. In addition to the University of California and the University of Texas, expected bidders include Lockheed Martin and Battelle Memorial Institute.

Given the timing of this latest incident, it makes one wonder if the individual or individuals behind the missing computer disks intentionally wanted to cast negative light on the University of California at the onset of the bidding process on the lab's management contract. We can only guess about the motives, but whether the computer disks were taken for personal gain or as an act of malice toward the university, the incident adds to UC's growing list of security problems at Los Alamos and will likely be a contributing factor when the DOE decides early next year on a new lab manager.

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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. That is pretty interesting....how hard could it be to sabotage?
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Don't try it !
Edited on Sun Jan-30-05 06:55 PM by EVDebs
DARPA and the internet, duh, the DoD created the internet. Think about what your up to...BTW, what timezone are you in ? Today's Sunday Jan 30th! Why is the log showing Jan 31st Monday ...
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. What are you talking about? I wasn't saying I was going to..I was
responding to the post above me wherein they note that the contract APPEARS to have been sabotaged so that we may transfer MORE wealth OUT of California in IN to Texas
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Sorry ! I'm getting paranoid since the DSS website is down
and I used to be able to at least get 'home'page. Again, sorry.
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