Sep 9, 2007

POGO Cites Failing Grade for Los Alamos Oversight and Accountability in Letter to DOE Secretary

Nothing new here, except to note that if there has been any action regarding the latest security incident,
  • Several weeks ago, another cleared LANL employee sent a classified email to an uncleared employee using the unclassified yellow network.
it has gone unnoticed. POGO's letter to Bodeman.

Let the POGO-bashing begin...



Darko said...

I don't know if I can muster any proper POGO bashing but I'll try.

The most egregious feature of POGO's style is that their *only* goal seems to be LANL bashing.

Out of the list of "Security Debacles" only about half were even close to "debacles". Maybe they honestly don't have enough information to tell the difference, I guess I don't expect the public to know the difference, nor most of the media.

POGO's self-proclaimed role of "objective observer" would seem to require of them a little more care and/or balance.

I personally don't doubt their relative good intentions. Relative.

They don't trust the government (do you?) and they see LANL as an arm of the government. They don't like nuclear weapons, and LANL *is* nuclear weapons incarnate. They want to see us discredited and shut down... They think the world will be a better place if we dry up and blow away.

I am sympathetic with their intentions (I'd like to live in a world w/o nuclear weapons, without an overbearing dishonest government, etc.) but their naivete approaches our own, only from a different angle.

- Darko

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...


Not really enough invective to be considered proper POGO-bashing. Which isn't to say that your efforts and thoughtful comments aren't appreciated: they are.


Anonymous said...

"the Department of Energy’s new policy implemented at Los Alamos allows the contractor to investigate itself where there is a security breach or safety violation."

I'll bite. Who is the person supposedly performing this self oversight function now?

Anonymous said...

I don't know "who" that person is but you can bet they are too busy "making a list and checking it twice".

Anonymous said...

Maybe people would stop running to POGO if they knew who this person was.

Pogo said...

We have met the enemy, and they is US

- Pogo

Anonymous said...

What? Nothing from POGO about the recent stories of Chinese government hackers successfully attacking Pentagon computers or the B-52 bomber "missing nukes" fiasco? Now those are serious problems.

Seems POGO is very selective in those they target to attack. Why is that? Because they want to shut down the core of the nuclear weapons complex. They aim for the heart of US strategic security. They have a hidden agenda.

Too bad our Congressmen seem to enjoy letting POGO sit in at every Congressional hearing on LANL. POGO is helping to slowly destroy American's national security and Congress seems to have no problems with letting them have the national microphone to do it. They might as well let the Chinese and North Korean intelligence sit in on the next LANL hearing. At least the Congressmen would get more accurate info fed to them than they get from the People's Republic of POGO.

Anonymous said...

Hey Captain Whiney at 12:12.

POGO conducts lots of investigations, as can be seen with a cursory search:

Their mission is pretty simple: "In the beginning, POGO (which was then known as Project on Military Procurement) worked to expose outrageously overpriced military spending such as the $7,600 coffee maker and the $436 hammer. After many successes reforming the military, POGO expanded its mandate to investigate systemic waste, fraud, and abuse in all federal agencies." at

Their mission is ferreting out corruption and sweetheart deals, not Chinese defense policy.

Or do you think that we, as a nation, are militarily stronger when corruption is unchecked?

(Nice uninformed POGO-bashing though. You get a gold star and a pink slip).

Anonymous said...

That's right, those idiots at POGO should be condemning Chinese hackers. The safety and security screw ups at LANL were committed by Americans. Only a bunch of commies would want to interfere with that.

Anonymous said...

Those arrogant POGO bastards! Assigning foreign nationals from sensitive countries to work with SNM. Assigning foreign nationals, often from sensitive countries, to develop components for defense equipment. Assigning foreign nationals to conduct vulnerability assessments.

Wait, POGO didn't do that. Who did?

Anonymous said...

"After many successes reforming the military,.."


Anonymous said...

POGO's latest successful effort to scare the hell out of the public.

Freedom of the press/free speech and all that but POGO keeps ranting about dire consequences for every event involving the nuclear weapons business.

The cost for Security has become a bloated obese monster where every small deviation becomes a world ender.

I can already see the solution coming - write more security regs, hire more security pukes and RIF the people doing the real work to fund the new security "initiative".

Onward ho ho!

Anonymous said...

I'll bet poster 12:31, 12:34, and 12:56 PM are all coming from the same poster in shot-gun fashion.

Stop sucking all the air out of the blog. Make one good, rational post rather than a whole string of poor ones, you POGO-loving idiot! Your posts show that you have no idea what goes on at LANL. Foreign nationals from sensitive countries are not allowed to work with classified info or handle SNM, you f_cking moron! But, then, you you might not know that if you worked for POGO.

Anonymous said...

"Their mission is pretty simple: "In the beginning, POGO (which was then known as Project on Military Procurement) worked to expose outrageously overpriced military spending such as the $7,600 coffee maker and the $436 hammer."

Just how much do you think that coffee maker and hammer cost today?

Anonymous said...

I'm 12:34 and 11:06. Does 11:06 count as a good, rational post? 12:12 doesn't (in my opinion). But then I'm just a POGO loving idiot, right?

Anonymous said...

12:31 and 13:56 are the same. 12:34 is just a fellow traveler.

"Your posts show that you have no idea what goes on at LANL."

Au contraire.

Foreign nationals are indeed not supposed to work with SNM or with classified programs and information. They frequently do so.


You'll be safe in the RIF due to your protected status, since you are obviously blind - ;)

Anonymous said...

11:06 am:

"I'll bite. Who is the person supposedly performing this self oversight function now?"

For security incidents, it's not a "person," it's a whole team, the SECS2 Security Inquiry Team. It's a DOE-required function, and it is NOT a "new policy." I have to assume most of the posters here are not LANL employees or they wouldn't be so clueless. Oh, wait...

Anonymous said...

So are you saying POGO is wrong? That this team works for DOE, not the management contractor?

And I suppose the same applies to safety as well?

Anonymous said...

and I'll be willing to bet the latest classified email culprit won't get her ass RIFFED

Anonymous said...

The reason that POGO concentrates so heavily on LANL is that they have a couple of "investigators" who are disgruntled ex-LANL. They lied and lied and lied about the "Mustang" and unmissing disks. If someone dies because of their hate mongering, so what--they are just getting their message out there, right? And to you a**holes who think that foreign nationals are allowed to handle sensitive or classified material, there is something called "Naturalization." It is a way of becoming a US Citizen and part of our country. Enrico Fermi comes to mind as an example of someone who provided valuable help to this country despite being initially officially classified as an enemy alien and then becoming a US Citizen. We do NOT decide who is allowed to hold clearances (I thought only the DoE was too stupid not to know this). Once someone is cleared we and they have every right to assume they are trusted employees. We wear badges every day that say what we can and cannot know about and if mistakes are made in how people are cleared it isn't the fault of their co-workers--it is the fault of the clearance officials (can you say DoE?). Unless some of you morons out there are going to suggest that each employee should investigate his or her colleagues.

Anonymous said...

A naturalized citizen is not a foreign national. Thank you for pointing this out, in your own barely coherent way.

I was referring to actual citizens of other countries, and the common practice of cowboying the assessment of exactly how much work on a classified program or with SNM could be done by foreign nationals.

(I can say DoE, Mr Rogers - which is beside the point when the badge is the wrong color)

Pinky and The Brain said...

Who died because of POGO "hate mongering"?

Anonymous said...

"....and I'll be willing to bet the latest classified email culprit won't get her ass RIFFED."

So it is a female again? Who?

Anonymous said...

Jeanette Wallace.

Anonymous said...

6:50 PM - that's fascinating. Does Terry know?

Anonymous said...

You know, if he did, he would just cover it up like all the other f-ups he has been involved in. Gotta keep Mikey happy you know. Terry is THE terd in the punch bowl and doesn't want his mistakes to be revealed - hey Terry, what ever happened to the Americium-all-over-the-US guy? That's right you f-cked him over! People don 't forget ...

Anonymous said...


I don't get the "barely coherent" in 4:14's diatribe. I get frustration, but not incoherence.

I also don't get what you are saying about foreign nationals working on classified programs.

Do you mean to say that any program which deals with any classified information is a "classified program" and that every foreign national (especially from sensitive countries) is disallowed from working within the program in any way? Cite the rule...

What do you mean by "cowboying the assessment"? Do you mean that the rules about restricting who can and who can't have access to different levels of information are not extremely clear?

Or are you just saying that some people are more careful/paranoid than others in this regard?

I often avoid hiring foreign nationals (students in particular) to work on projects which have classified or even sensitive aspects, but not because there is any rule which disallows this. I do it because it makes sense, because it makes my job easier... because I don't have to worry about the potential of mistakes having such a significant consequence. Or even the appearance of risk. I also avoid it because I have no career path to offer them.

I don't do it because I would prefer to use my energy elsewhere, but I respect the right of others (and reserve it for myself) to do those things which are within the rules and which are reasonable and prudent.

Some folks would imagine that allowing any foreign nationals (or perhaps any uncleared people) to work at the lab (or live in Los Alamos, or live in the US) is unreasonable and not prudent.

Maybe you are one of them. If you are that paranoid or bigoted (I'm not saying you are, just making the supposition that you might be) I am offended by and saddened for you.

But as they say "it's a free country" and that is precisely what I like about it.

So please: Make your self clearer; Retract the statement; Admit to your paranoid bigotry; Take your pick. Or not.

I do not know of any instance where uncleared people of any citizenship are allowed access to SNM or classified information... period.

What precisely is your beef?

Anonymous said...

Thank you, for finally stating the reality, re: reason for POGOs voracious attempts at attacking LANL. Over the past 3 years, POGO has gone far beyond honest reporting and investigating. It has been quite obvious that they have at least one inside informant in LANL who spills all sorts of information for them to "investigate", whether factual or rumor. Ever wonder how they get certain internal memos so quickly.
I won't reprint his name here, but if you think about it, you can figure it out. Disgrunted, but still working at LANL - has become a loner among co-workers.

A few years ago I became convinced that they had close alliance with certain congressmen as well, to try and shutter the nuclear weapons biz. Whether thats true or not, doesn't matter as long as they have P.O.'d ex-LANL writers.

Remember when they 'investigated' Tommy Hook? They never did refute their rediculous 'information' but Tommy sure had a lot of egg on himself. After that bit, I pretty much lost respect for Danielle Brian's team.

It is sad to see that congress gives them a seat at hearings and lets them rant, when they have such bias. But then, its no different than some of the big voices on talk radio anymore.

Good thing that BLOGs have given a lot more voices a place to speak, eh Gussie? This one has a lot of lab-rejects and bashers, but somewhere in between all this, there is a message, but I haven't been able to figure it out yet.

>The reason that POGO concentrates so heavily on LANL is that they have a couple of "investigators" who are disgruntled ex-LANL. They lied and lied and lied about the "Mustang" and unmissing disks.

Anonymous said...

It couldn't possibly be true that POGO is critical of LANL because it is deserved, because LANL makes it so easy, or because POGO wants to expose corruption.
Oh no, POGO hates us! Oh boo hoo.

Anonymous said...

I would dearly love to see POGO's little LANL snitch screw up and pass along some OUO or classified info to POGO so we could finger the culprit. Does anyone know if any LANL proprietary information ever got passed along to POGO during this last year?

A mole's cover usually can't be kept forever. Someday we'll find out who he/she is. Even Nixon's Deep Throat informant was eventually un-masked. It's only a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

"It couldn't possibly be true that POGO is critical of LANL because it is deserved, because LANL makes it so easy, or because POGO wants to expose corruption.
Oh no, POGO hates us! Oh boo hoo."

Well the whole "LANL deserves it" really does not fly as time and time again these so called incidents turned out not to be what they say. Tommy Hook is just one example. The other is that deep down in dark reaches of the news media we occasionnaly hear about some huge screwup at other labs that POGO never mentions. If POGO was really in it for the people they would not care about what is "hot" in the news media but would report on real facts. Now of course LANL has had some legit problems, but not the the exent that POGO makes it out as. I would even say that POGO is really harmfull in that by only focusing on media driven stories they could be ignoring some really nasty stuff elsewhere. If someone was selling secrets LANL would be a really bad place to be as it is always in the spotlight. But suppose you where in one of those other several dozen or so labs that the public never hears about I think it would be a lot easier.

I have a simple explanation for POGO's actions. They do not want to lose thier jobs and they want to become more powerfull. You get more media mileage out of reporting on LANL than you do say Argonne. The public has heard of LANL, they have not heard of Argonne. They will get more donor money if their names are in the news. It is sort of like a media driven buisiness. And we know that the media only reports on what is really important, like Paris Hilton.

Anonymous said...

Your point about "more media mileage out of reporting on LANL" rings true. However POGO documents what they present as facts much better than the vague responses I'm seeing. Where could I go for a better refutation than, "They lied and lied and lied about the "Mustang" and unmissing disks" or "Tommy Hook is just one example"? Lied about what? An example of what? I haven't seen anyone refute the breaches they reported today or their attribution of these breaches to the two flaws they cite.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dingell-berry and his little puppy friend, Stuppie, love listening to emissaries from the People's Republic of POGO. 'Nuff said?

Anonymous said...

Look - you can just go to POGO's web site if you want to see their bias, like:

LANL and SNL have their own sections, and other sections are listed with the "Other than LANL" qualifiers. Why doesn't ORNL have a section - a quick google search turns up a story from this year entitled "Oak Ridge worker caught selling Nuclear Secrets". I don't think an equivalent story about LANL has been reported *and substantiated* recently. Even Jessica Q. wasn't reported to be actively selling what she wandered home with. How about LLNL? They had that "chinese double agent" ordeal in 2003 (headline from google "FBI Investigates Spy Scandal at UC Nuclear Lab"). Why no specific bullets for these labs? Can one substantiate with FACTS that LANL is any different and worse than the others? No, we're just the one everyone knows. A headline like "Potential security infraction at Birthplace of Atomic Bomb" is significantly sexier than "Actual security breach at a Tennessee Lab that few Average-Joes have heard of".

Government oversight is a good thing, and highly necessary given the track record of the government doing sketchy things when not subjected to open scrutiny. It's just bothersome that POGO has an unhealthy fixation on LANL, and doesn't apply the same degree of attention to the other labs that deal with the same sort of security and work.

Anonymous said...

Some POGO troll idiots don't think POGO lied about the Mustang? You've got to be kidding. You can't possibly be that stupid. The lady they accused over and over and dragged through the dirt for years has won every actual investigation and multiple law suits. Anyone who looks at the evidence can see who was lying.

Anonymous said...

Well, duh. Organizations like POGO make a big deal when a story breaks, and then silently slip out of the picture later, especially if it turns out they made a big deal out of nothing, or were just plain wrong. Nobody ever holds them accountable for messing up, do they? Unfortunately, they abuse their position as an advocate for the people - the public trusts them to be working FOR them, but this trust the public has for them comes with a trust that what POGO (and similar organizations) says is accurate. It's a shame that they abuse their position as a trusted group fighting for the average person by being as deceitful and manipulative of information as the organizations that they claim to be monitoring. Shameful and hypocritical really.

Anonymous said...

Once again we demonstrate why we have so many enemies in Congress and elsewhere. POGO is the messenger, and while we may hate the messenger, the message is valid nonetheless. Like the whistleblowers society is so adept at punishing, we're now venting on the messenger (once again), while ignoring the message. It can not be denied my dear colleagues that these incidents occurred. Furthermore, it's highly unlikely, knowing the nature of Lab leadership, that what we’ve being told by Lab management over the years is even remotely reflective of the truth. Perhaps this is why outside forces feel a need to intervene because, as in the case of the proverbial iceberg, we're probably only being allowed by the officers of our ship to see the tip of the problem. And perhaps that’s why then, we react so harshly to those from the outside that tell us the problem is greater than we’re being led to believe by our leadership. In my view, at this juncture (and we may not like this view but, I pose it nonetheless) the DOE is the only entity that can truly fix the problem at the Lab and, in this case, the problem does very much start at the top (as with most institutional problems) with management. But since the DOE revolving door has provided much of that leadership, it remains now to be seen whether Congress can force the DOE to fix the problem it (the DOE) itself has created.

Anonymous said...

POGO certainly presents the news in a way we disagree with. I have been watching, and participating in a few, LANL "break-throughs" that appear frequently in the local press.
As we all know now, LANL has a miserable record of commercializing research. One can easily accuse the lab of the same misuse of the pre that we associate with POGO.

Anonymous said...

The People's Republic of POGO is not happy with the tone of these posts from LANL staff. The unprovoked and vicious attacks can only mean one thing. It's going to be war between the brave socialist fighters of our beloved People's Republic of POGO and the imperialist war mongers of LANL. People's of the world, join us in our glorious battle. Raise the red flag high as we endeavor to remove LANL from the face of the earth.

CODED MSG TO Mr. Dingell-berry and Stuppie - The sun rises in the east. Repeat, the sun rises in the east. Do you copy, comrades?

Anonymous said...

Their mission is ferreting out corruption and sweetheart deals, not Chinese defense policy.

Really? Then do it. What's this bullshit with LANS and why are they so quiet?

Anonymous said...

Yea...let's keep shooting the messenger. Let's keep maligning our Congressional "enemies." If you're not for us, you're against us. Yea...that's the ticket! Great strategy. No...brilliant strategy! Nothing less for the best and brightest.

Anonymous said...

Messenger! We've got more than enough "messengers". What we need is someone to "getter done".

Anonymous said...

8:03 AM... (here it comes)... STFU you moron!!! If you took a few seconds to remove your head from your gaping a**hole you would know that POGO is nothing more than a front for the liberal, fuzzy-headed, anti-military, defeatist, Al-Qeda loving, US-hating wing of the Democratic party of which you are, no doubt, a card carrying member who pay big dues each and every month.

Man, that felt good. I'm relieved. Back to work designing new nukes. Hmmm, I wonder if anyone will mind if I take home these bomb plans on my USB drive? Couldn't hurt.

Anonymous said...

I think someone needs a rabies shot.

Anonymous said...

9:15 AM probably inhaled too much aqua regia ...

Pinky and The Brain said...

9:15 AM,
I lost my USB drive at Zozobra. Can you email me the bomb plans so I can get some work done too?
The Brain