Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Absurd Fiasco

From Anonymous:

First, I would like to express my appreciation for this blog. The absurd fiasco to which it is devoted needs to be honestly dealt with for the sake of LANL, its employees, and the very important work that they (used to) do there.

I am a former DX employee who worked very closely with Todd Kauppila and John Horne, two of the individuals upon which LANL management has decided to lay blame for the supposed CREM security lapse. Each of them were actually supervisors to me at different points in time. I am absolutely outraged that the laboratory director may have been referring to these men when he spoke of "cowboys" and "buttheads" and "bullies." If so, he clearly does not know them at all.

Out of all of the great people I met while working at LANL, Todd and John are the two that I was most impressed by. To begin with, they are both purely genuine, honest, and trust-worthy individuals. Straight-talkers, yes, (because you need to be in their business) but, believe me, the ridiculous words used by the laboratory director do not, in any way, apply to their characters. These are men who I, honestly, admire and respect with all of my heart. In addition, Todd and John were two of the smartest and hardest working individuals in DX division. Although that may seem like an exaggeration, it really isn't. They were typically put in charge of the most challenging experiments because management knew that they could do the job and do it well. Together, they were like the wonder twins, pulling off data collection on these extremely difficult experiments, even after supposed experts in the field had told them that it would be impossible to do so. All the while, I never once observed them having anything but the utmost respect for security issues.

I know for a fact that these guys did not deserve this - not one bit of it. It makes me so angry to think about it. What's more is that I wonder, now that Todd has been fired, who will do the very important work that he did? I wonder how this will impact the stockpile stewardship program - a program that is so important for both our national defense and our diplomatic efforts abroad. I also wonder how long John will stay on, knowing that the hard work he put in for so many years is so scarcely appreciated by the highest levels of LANL management. All of this because of a bookkeeping error? It's mind-boggling!

The bottom line is that by senselessly scapegoating these two men, work that is critical to our national security has been directly jeopardized. This is what the American people and their representatives in government really should know.

Yours is a great testimony to two individuals who have made significant and unique contributions to this Nation's security. That scapegoating of them was permitted by the NNSA implies that its Administrator Linton Brooks seems to have forgotten that the "NS" in his organization stands for "Nuclear Security" and not "Nanos Saver." The unfortunate truth is that Todd and John were only two of many persons scapegoated by Nanos almost as soon as he became director. Some of these outstanding contributors have blended quietly into the retirement. However, a few others are quietly lurking awaiting an opportunity to savor the "captain that hears the ticking watch." Maybe that's why Nanos seems fixated on "draining the swamp," which of course is a most environmentally unfriendly thing to do.

As a graduate myself, I shouldn't say this, but interesting isn't it that the mascot of the Naval Academy is a goat.
I also know and have worked with Todd and John. The loss of there talents at DX is a major loss to lanl's national security efforts. All the comments addressed by the article writer are true.
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