Saturday, February 12, 2005

Just Doesn't "Get It"

From Anonymous:

I confess to being one of the many who "just don't get it". I don't get why thousands of hard-working safety- and security-conscious people have to get punished for the mistakes (whether deliberate or innocent) of a few. The ruler who chops off the feet of the residents of a village on account of the disrespect shown by a few justly deserves the criticism of posterity.

The climate at LANL has become poisonous. Many have already left, many more are contemplating doing so. The rest of us dread opening the morning newspaper for fear of yet another revelation that will send the gavel of doom down upon us again.

What would happen if a real spy were detected in our midst? Our Nano-manager might well shut the doors and gates and close us down forever. Meanwhile our spy (who must be very smart, if he were hired by Los Alamos in the first place) would have eluded the trap set for him and is now living comfortably in the country that employed him, while the rest of us have lost our livelihoods forever. (Forgive the arbitrary gender assumption.)

Is it any wonder that we are preparing our exit strategies?

It's hard to imagine any spy doing as much damage to the national security as the current Director has. Everything the anti-nuclear crowd or enemy governments could have hoped to have done to the US weapons program, the Director has done with relish. If the general public were ever to understand the damage he has done to our country, the phrase "skinned alive" would achieve special poignancy for Nanos.
Here's the most frightening aspect about the whole LANL mess. Eventually,
the odds are we'll have another safety or security violation. It happens
even in the best Agencies, and the statistical odds are that it will happen
here at some point. In most places, such an incident would be taken in stride
and proper corrective actions would be made. But when it happens here, we could
become "Rocky Flats II". Don't think for a moment that LANL is too important
for Congress not to shut us down. Rocky Flats was a one-of-a-kind facility
doing strategic national defense work, yet it was closed for good by the Feds.
Congress can rationalize that even with Los Alamos shut down, they can still
use Livermore for doing most of their DOE defense R&D work, plus save some
much needed cash to boot.

Thanks to Nanos, the Press, and some in Congress and the DOE, we are now
being held to standards that are almost sure to trigger a future "incident".
It's become a stacked deck against us. Is it any wonder that the staff is
totally demoralized and ready to jump ship? One might as well head for the
Titantic's life boats while there is still room to get on. Why wait for
the panic of the crowds near the end?

The thing that makes me most angry about this situation is that our top
management does almost nothing to defend us. For example, I've observed many
other Federal agencies never bother to inventory and bar-code classified
media starting at the secret level. At least LANL knows when this media is
missing. These other Agencies have no system in place to even identify the
problem! Why can't Nanos and company at least lift a finger to educate the
Press and Congress on these matters? He worked in the Navy -- did he see
them bar-code and inventory all their secret level floppies (I doubt it!).
And as far as the safety incidents go, many of them, like the famous "13kV"
substation incident that Nanos is so fond of telling, actually involved
local subcontractors who are hired by LANL contractors to do demolition work.
They are NOT caused by UC staff. They are caused by subcontractors to the
contractors to the Lab. Funny how Nanos never bothers to mention this little
fact when he spouts out his safety "horror stories". I wonder why this is?

And speaking of missing media, why is it that we have heard nothing further
about the classified disks that DOE announced were missing from their
Albuquerque office. We found ours (it was an accounting error). What about
these DOE disks? It's high time for some DOE confessions on this matter.
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