Thursday, March 09, 2006

The damage Nanos did to LANL [...] rivals the damage done by a genuine Los Alamos spy, Klaus Fuchs

So as to not let this important and accurate observation get lost in the noise, I am promoting this comment to a top-level post. From the


"Scooter" Libby set out to nail Joseph Wilson by exposing Wilson's wife as a CIA agent, thereby punishing Wilson for revealing that the nuclear-weapons angle for invading Iraq was bogus.

Ex-Director Nanos set out to nail Todd Kauppila and John Horne for discovering that the so-called "missing" CREM had never, in fact, been created, thus demonstrating to all the world that Nanos' shutdown of the Lab was completely indefensible.

As to Wen Ho Lee, his motives will never be known for certain, but he is in a class by himself, since he was found guilty in a court of law, and considered by the judge in the case to have been punished sufficiently by nine months in solitary confinement.

Libby will have his day in court after the 2006 Congressional election; Nanos will likely never see the inside of a court of law. This in spite of the fact that the damage Nanos did to LANL far exceeded that caused by Lee; in fact, it rivals the damage done by a genuine Los Alamos spy, Klaus Fuchs. And now, the act of privatization of Los Alamos Lab is nearly complete.

The crime Scooter Libby has been indicted for his lying to the grand jury not "outing" Joe Wilson's wife. Other's whose stories were "inconsistent" weren't indicted. Joe Wilson did not do what this post claims either. It might be good for people to get facts straight in posts to this blog.
Well, David:

I know you are a Real Smart Guy, and an Expert on Everything, but me: I'll wait until the courts have had their say before proclaiming to know what "Scooter" was guilty of (as long as we are talking about getting one's facts straight before shooting off one's mouth).

I now return the floor to you.

I made no comment on what Scooter Libby was guilty of, only what he was indicted for. That is public record. I have no idea on his guilt or innocence of the crime he was indicted for. I'm certainly not an "Expert on Everything", whatever that means. I only try to correct the record when it is factually wrong.
No offense, Dave, but you just can't seem to help coming across as a moralistic, goody-two-shoes, right-wing Republican Christian fundamentalist, can you?

I mean that in the kindest of all senses, of course.

I guess the justice in all of this is that you are going to take it in the shorts along with the rest of us, assuming UC has their way and succeeds in orphaning the already-existing LANL retirees by pushing their LANL-UCRP plan through the system.

Now that will be a humbling experience for you. How are you going to like living on a retirement program that suddenly, mysteriously, finds itself 100% underfunded a few years from now?

Hey, but don't worry, what are the odds of that happening? I mean the worst of the two contending LLC's won the LANL contract, didn't they?

Oops, wait a minute...
It's amazing to me that Dave doesn't see the irony: "Scooter" Libby--"Shooter" Cheney's ex-Chief of Staff--hires Wen Ho Lee's lawyer to get him off by threatening to expose "classified" info, which is most likely the very secrets the Bush Administration wants covered up, namely, the incompetent cooking of data to fit preconceived assumptions. When an Authority Figure can "get" an underling for pointing out that the Boss's policy is bereft of sanity, that doesn't seem to faze Dave at all.

Now, Dave, go ahead and tell us how you really feel about the late Todd Kauppila and his boss, George "Pete" Nanos. No, REALLY.
For the record, Wen Ho Lee was never "found" guilty of anything. The Pope himself, and you holier-than-thou types out there included, would have gladly "pleaded" guilty to a single count of mishandling classified information if you'd been under the same circumstances. Being locked up in solitary confinement without being convicted of anything is disconcerting enough...but this guy was locked up nine months!!! After nine months of this kind of treatment, I think there are a whole lot of folks at the Lab that would have admitted to just about anything to end this abuse. And if in fact Dr. Lee was a spy, wouldn't he now be living the life of leisure...out of reach of the same U.S. authorities that basically destroy his life? The last I heard this man was trying to live out the remainder of his life in seclusion in a middle class neighborhood out in the bay area somewhere. This man was never a spy, much less the spy of the century some Inspector Clouseau's out there still seem to believe.
"This man was never a spy, much less the spy of the century some Inspector Clouseau's out there still seem to believe."

If you can, talk to the CI folks at LANL, then draw a conclusion. I think you'll come to a different one.

With all due respect, the contract rebid and privatization is not a result of anything Nanos did. It is a result of Joe Salgado's inept dealing with Walp and Doran (remember them?) and John Browne's inability to select and maintain minimal awareness of his deputies.
I disagree, with all due respect. Had UC placed a capable director at LANL after Browne instead of the one they chose, we probably could have weathered the Walp - Doran screw-up. Instead, former director Nanos chose to demonstrate to the world that he was completely out of control, and UC demonstrated that they were completely incapable of interceding. That is when the decision to recompete became a reality.

For the record: If you are found guilty of a felony by a jury of your peers, or you plead guilty to a felony, and the judge accepts your plea, you are still labeled a "felon." Same difference in either case. The judge in Wen Ho Lee's case could have put him away for more time in prison (probably not in solitary, however), but instead, chose to call it even with the hard time he had already served. And the judge also apologized for the level of duress under which Lee had already served that hard prison time.

Now, I've heard all the "inside" dope (secret, no less) on WHL, and I stand by my statement that we still do not know what was really swirling around in WHL's head. Psychologists (real and amateur) will be debating that for decades to come. But when the "official" version is laid out behind closed doors, one has to wonder whether some butts are being covered. I say that with all due respect to the forensic analysis that was done, and much of it was done very professionally. Bottom line is: Wen Ho did some bad sh*t, but the evidence of spying is less strong than the evidence for some very human failures on his part.

With all due respect (backatcha), I think that Nanos made the case for privatization overwhelmingly compelling to politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, DC. Of course, it was yet another case of incompetent cooking of the data to reach a preconceived conclusion, but that hasn't stopped anybody these last 5-10 years.
Heil, David. Just curious -- do you mind if your right-wing
political friends bring about a US dictatorship? It seems
to be front-and-center on Justice O'Connor's mind of late.
But then, O'Connor is such a wild-eyed liberal, now, isn't
she? After all, the comrade-in-arms who put her on the bench
was that well known liberal, Ronald Reagan.

*** Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Warns of US Dictatorship ***

O’Connor said that attacks on the judiciary by some Republican
leaders pose a direct threat to our constitutional freedoms.


And then she took aim at former House GOP leader Tom DeLay.
She didn’t name him, but she quoted his attacks on the courts
at a meeting of the conservative Christian group Justice Sunday
last year when DeLay took out after the courts for rulings on
abortions, prayer and the Terri Schiavo case.

BTW, O'Connor's fear of a US dictatorship was the lead story
on the MSNBC News broadcast Friday evening. I'm sure it will
eventually make it over to Faux News, once the story has been
properly vetted and sanitized for our safety by the writers
over at GOP HQ.
"O’Connor said that attacks on the judiciary by some Republican
leaders pose a direct threat to our constitutional freedoms."

Probably no less than the threats posed by the judiciary on the legislative branch, on-going since the Warren court.

Too much nonsensical paranoia on this thread to even begin to respond too. It sure would be nice to get away from innuendo and personal attacks and simply deal with facts and not suspicions and unsubstantiated rumors.
Ok, David. Here's a fact: The damage Nanos did to LANL rivals the damage done by a genuine Los Alamos spy, Klaus Fuchs. Measure the damage any way you want.

No "rumor", no "nonsensical paranoia", and no "innuendo". Just a plain, simple fact.

Here's another: UC supported Nanos during the entire period he was doing the damage, and susequently as well. They continue to pay his salary.
I think the damage done to the Lab by DOE/NNSA before Nanos came rivals the Fuchs damage. The fate of the Lab was sealed before Nanos.
Nanos certainly didn't help. What Nanos did, I believe, is to cause the Lab to attack itself. Before Nanos, it was basically the rest of the world attacking the Lab. This certainly was a qualitative shift and very damaging. This blog helped people understand this. Now I see a continual attack on the Lab in this blog, which may be as damaging to national security as Nanos himself.
It is my opinion that this blog is continuing to supply the same service it always did; that is to provide a feed-back message path for reporting problems at LANL that did not exist before the blog was started.

If this blog helped by pointing out the problems caused by Nanos and UC, then you cannot say that the blog is no longer helpful by continuing to point out problems at LANL. Those problems that existed under Nanos and UC have not been addressed.

Whether LANS can, or even intends to address LANL's now well-known problem areas remains to be seen. Throwing an expensive top-heavy "Mangement Elite" team on top of the heap certainly will not fix things.

But distinguishing fact from opinion is very difficult to do on this blog these days. E.g., statements like "the worst of the two contending LLC's won the contract" is clearly an opinion, not a fact. Arguing with NNSA/DOE and UC about splitting off the UCRP for LANL is useful and important and has been done well in other forums. Statements about "cooking of data" is pure opinion and rumor and not useful.
Opinions can be useful but gratuitous attacks on individuals is not.
Whatever, Dave. You have earned somewhat of a reputation as being a "LANL apologist". You construe comments that point out problems at LANL as "attacks against the lab". When problem managers are identified, you decry the comments as "personal attacks" against the manager in question.

My own personal opinion is that you are a "good news" kind of a person. You like good news, but you apply filters in an attempt to discredit bad news and positions that counter your own, as exemplified above.

You are, of course, welcome to your opinions, but that is all they are, opinions. And your opinions are at odds with mine most of the time.

You miscontrue what I'm saying. The personal attacks I'm referring to are against posters to the blog. As I said opinions can be useful, but simple personal attacks rather than discussion of the ideas expressed are not helpful. They result in people looking at this blog as a "bunch of whiners". This doesn't help get the important ideas across. The signal to noise ratio is too low for many who might be in a position to make a difference to bother. So if the idea is to help the Lab improve, it fails. If it is seek to cripple the Lab, it can be quite successful.

All I did at the beginning of this thread was to try to get people to state the facts on a particular event. As a result, people attack me personally. People can attack me all they want, but what's the point? If people don't want to speak the truth about facts, then I don't think there is much point to the discussion.

BTW, good luck on your MIDAS work.

Apparently I did misconstrue, and so I apologize.

Thanks for the good wishes, too.

David said: "Statements about 'cooking of data' is [sic] pure opinion and rumor and not useful."

I surmise, David, that you refer to me, since I am the only one so far in this thread to have used the phrase "cooking of data." As to alleged "rumors," I can only suppose that you refer to the things I've said about Authority Figures (like G.P. Nanos) who make public policy based on erroneous interpretations of publicly available data.

David: I stand by everything I have signed my name to on this blog and in my Opinion piece in Physics Today from a year ago. If you have other data--by that, I mean REAL DATA--to the contrary, I wish you would come out publicly and present it for all to see.

Otherwise, it seems to me that you have as much trouble admitting Nanos was wrong as he does himself. As to "crippling the Lab," who is more guilty of that?--those who point out real problems that need to be solved, or those who attack them for doing so? And what of the internal management saboteurs and their sycophants, who tried to bring us down by saying to the world that we were a bunch of "arrogant butthead cowboys"?

I would say that the shoe is now on the other foot: David, are you really a "friend" of the Lab, or merely an apologist for any management decision, regardless of its consequences?
IMHO this thread exemplifies well the fundamental difficulties of seriously debating serious issues in an open public forum. Among the ingredients that lead to the general exercise of debaters and audience alike are: the passionately held ideas and beliefs; the inability or disinclination to limit the discourse to specific topics (i.e., without opening the floodgates to political, religious, lifestyle, and, yes, personal persuasions); and, IMHO the principal culprit, the desire not merely to offer a point of view crafted to persuade others of its virtue, but to crush the opposing viewpoint and its proponents. Come to think of it, this blog (and many others as well) is a microcosm of the national debate.

But, of course, the so-called national debate is nothing of the sort. It is high-stakes warfare for dominance of individual and collective interests. It is the mother of all reality shows. And as such, it is best enjoyed for what it is, not for what it purports to be.
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