Jun 29, 2007

LANL agrees to disclose security violations

The New Mexican - June 29, 2007
By SUE MAJOR HOLMES - Associated Press Writer

The U.S. Department of Energy will report significant security breaches or compromises of classified material to Congress under a policy developed after criticism of security at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The Northern New Mexico weapons lab has been blasted for years of security problems that led the DOE two years ago to put its management contract out to bid for the first time in the lab's 60-plus-year history. More security breaches have occurred since a new manager took over last summer.

Lawmakers who held two hearings about lab security this year have threatened to shut down Los Alamos if problems can't be corrected. Earlier this month, House appropriations members targeted its budget, zeroing out nearly $500 million in nuclear weapons program funding; the Senate refused to do likewise.

Deputy Energy Secretary Clay Sell said the DOE will tell Congress about any loss of personally identifiable information on 10 or more people; loss or compromise of classified material that could compromise national security; penetration of a classified network; compromise of a classified intelligence network that could cause a substantial national security risk; and certain intelligence and counterintelligence incidents.

If there is doubt whether something should be reported, "the issue will be resolved in favor of reporting," according to a June 22 memo from Sell to "heads of departmental elements."

The memo was issued after a June 14 letter from two House members over the DOE's failure to notify Congress about a cybersecurity breach in January at Los Alamos. Congress learned about the problem six months later from sources outside the department.

The letter -- from two of the lab's harshest critics, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., and Rep. Bart Stupak, head of the committee's oversight and investigations subcommittee -- complained that DOE, lab and National Nuclear Security Administration officials who knew about the incident never mentioned it to them in several meetings.

Dingell and Stupak commended the new policy in a news release Friday.

"This new DOE disclosure policy, if fully implemented, will better enable Congress to obtain the information necessary to fulfill its critical oversight responsibilities and ensure that our nation's nuclear secrets do not fall into the wrong hands," Dingell said.

Stupak said keeping Congress in the dark is unacceptable and obstructs its ability to hold the DOE and its contractors accountable.

"This recent memo is an indicator that parts of the DOE are listening and we commend Deputy Secretary Sell for issuing this new directive," he said.

According to an official familiar with the investigation into the January breach, it occurred when a consultant to the lab management board sent an e-mail containing highly classified, non-encrypted nuclear weapons information to several board members -- who forwarded it to other members. It was classified as a serious breach, although lawmakers were assured no damage was caused.


Anonymous said...

Dingell and Stupak will use this new policy to blast LANL until it is forced into shutdown mode. How about using the same policy for DOD, FBI, NSA, CIA, DHS, etc? Let's compare apples to apples, shall we? But, no, that would mean these two angry and bitter Congressmen couldn't continue their grandstanding and demands that LANL have absolute perfect security. I fear DOE is setting LANL up for a bad fall with this new policy.

Anonymous said...

I think I just breached in my britches!

Anonymous said...

I agree that it should include everyone. But this is DOE and Congress. I don't know why the headline is what it is...oh, nevermind. It is the New Mexican, that's why.

Presumably DOE will be telling Congress about all security issues in the complex, not just LANL.

Anonymous said...


Now maybe we'll finally get to hear about Mitchell's security episode.

Anonymous said...

8:30 - dream on. If at all, Bodman will assess this "episode" as human error, similar to the classified e-mail by Harold Smith.

Anonymous said...

If DOE doesn't release the same information for all DOE labs, LANS must do everything possible to make that happen. However, to be fair, DOE must normalize all numbers to the amount of classified work being done at each lab.

Anonymous said...

"However, to be fair, DOE must normalize all numbers to the amount of classified work being done at each lab."

dream on, dream on. The spin is "lazy insecure los alamos". And that's how it will be played.

Fairness is not part of this process, any more than truth.

Anonymous said...

The difference is that LANL personnel act as if they are above dealing with security. Maybe if you gave some evidence that you gave a crap about safeguarding secrets, then the nation would give you the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

Dingell, Stupak, Barton and Hopson will cherry-pick through this data and use it to argue for reduced funding for LANL. The previously poster is correct. Fairness has nothing to do with it. These men have already made up their minds. All they require now is the ammunition and it appears that DOE has just provided it to them. They are now loading their guns and getting ready to hunt us down. LANL will make a fine trophy to sit up on Congressman Dingell's wall.

Think about it for a minute. Have a security infraction at LANL, no matter how minor, and it will now be reported straight up the chain to Congress. This is going to paralyze LANL. You should expect LANS to over react over this new requirement. Perhaps minor security infractions will now get you fired, regardless of whether "human error" was involved.

Anonymous said...


Hey retard wake the f up. Get some facts straight before you make idiotic statements about LANL staff. I am really sick of trolls getting on this blog and saying things without a single fact to back up them up.

Anonymous said...

My deepest apology. In the future, of course I will cite details of the security issues (which are common knowledge on the inside) on this website. Would that make you happy? Should I "cc" Kim Jong Il while I am at it?

These problems and attitudes are commonplace. If you are really unaware of problems, then I would submit you are one of the problems.

(BTW, just to maintain the tone you started, you are a peckerhead.)

Anonymous said...

DOE should issue a public summary of incidents across the complex, then, to counter any cherry picking of data. Unclassified of course. They won't, though, because they are as bad as anyone. However, having the country have some idea that issues do arise all the time across the complex might help put some perspective into things and help 1:40pm/5:20pm understand things a bit more broadly. It is not that secrets are flying out the door. But issues happen at all sites here and there. If nothing else, statistically things will happen.

Anonymous said...


You do not work at LANL and you do not know anything about LANL. You are just some slimeball troll. Go away.

Anonymous said...

You are half right. Retired, so I don't work at LANL, but I do know what I am talking about.

Anonymous said...

So you are retired 5:20? What a pathethic little loser that makes you. It sheds a whole new light on your sick personality.

Once you are all safe and cosy in retirement, it's time to crap on those you left behind, right? No risk for you in it all, right?

You are the very definition of a P.O.S!

Anonymous said...


Bullshit, you never worked at LANL. I am on the inside and you simply do not know what you are talking about. You are just a worthless troll.

Anonymous said...

Whomever must do the reporting will be extremely busy>>>>>

Anonymous said...

So what if you work at LANL or not? Everyone on the blog as a point of view. LANL emoployee is not something to brag about..(anymore) maybe 5 years ago , one could state that with pride but not now...

Anonymous said...


If someone does not work at LANL or does not really know anything about it than they should not say a bunch of bs like they are somehow in "the know". They are not in "the know"

How do we know that the people who
post stuff like this are not just
agenda driven. Maybe some of these posts could be comming from that bitter twisted loser Chris Mechels.