Jan 6, 2008

What's missing in this story?

Team of scientists fights terrorism with nuclear forensics

Elite federal squad is last hope to thwart an attack


About every three days, unknown to most Americans, an elite team of federal scientists hits the streets in the fight against nuclear terrorism.

The deployments are part of an effort since 2001 to ratchet up the nation's defenses. More than two dozen specialized teams have been positioned to respond to threats of nuclear terrorism, and as many 2,000 scientists and bomb experts participate in the effort. Spending on the program has more than doubled since it was launched.

And a national policy is evolving that aims to create a system of deterrence in which scientific analysis could quickly identify the state sponsors of an attempted or successful nuclear device attack and enable the U.S. to retaliate. A key report on the approach, known as nuclear forensics, is due in February.

[...]

Rest of story:
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/National%20News/Team_of_scientists_fights_terrorism_with_nuclear_forensics

15 comments:

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

Answer: Any mention of Los Alamos.

-Gus

Pinky and The Brain said...

Ouch.

Anonymous said...

So what happened to the NEST Team at LANL? Were they just not mentioned? Or, have they moved to LLNL? Or, are they not part of this operation? Or, did they all take the VRIP? Or, are they all still trying to figure out how to use Concur to get reimbursed for all those trips they took around the country to do surveillance?

Anonymous said...

New spy allegations at LANL by Sibel Edmonds:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article3137695.ece

Foreign grad students stealing nuclear secrets? Didn't think they could get near the goodies. Oh wait...

Bet this one gets ignored. Election year you know.
No money in it. No contract up for grabs.

Anonymous said...

The spy story is being covered in other places too:

http://www.bradblog.com/?p=5518

LANS doesn't want to talk about it, although there was this terse statement from Kevin Rourke:

"Five years ago LANL was just the beginnings of a Bechtel wet dream. Today, the new, improved LANS-approved policy on this subject is very clear. Dissemination of classified weapons documents to foreign spies is strictly forbidden. This type of material is very carefully controlled, and may only be distributed to drug dealers. "

Anonymous said...

A good post to re-post is:

Help wanted: LANL seeks nuclear detectives, Roger Snodgrass Monitor Assistant Editor, posted by Pinky and The Brain, October 14, 2007, 11:17 PM, I quote 3 paragraphs from the beginning, 4p in total:

"Just about any Sherlock Holmes story finds someboody completely puzzled by how the great detective has been able to name the culprit of a crime, to whom Holmes replies something like, ´Why, simply by having the good fortune to get the right clue from the beginning, my dear friend.´

At a webcast hearing this week in Washington, D.C., Carol Burns, a scientist from Los Alamos National Laboratory, provided testimony on some of the challenges involved in finding people who can get the right clues from the beginning on a major issue of national security.

A House subcommittee on emerging threats was marking up a bill to strenghten national defense against nuclear terrorism, which has been designated by the Bush administration as the number one security threat facing the nation."

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, 12:07. But one does need to ask, "What does this have to do with pit production at LANL?"

Anonymous said...

Members of LANL's NEST team (nuclear bomb detection and deactivation) were harshly interrogated by the FBI during the ugly "missing drive" fiasco -- the NEST SRD drive that disappeared during the Cerro Grande fire and was later found behind a Xerox copier. Some of the NEST staff had to go out and hire expensive lawyers to protect themselves from an FBI witch hunt. This incident was then followed by the Nanos "missing drive" fiasco involving SRD drives that never existed. I think the staff learned some important lessons in all of this regarding (1) how LANL will not stand up for their employees when charges are made, and (2) you risk your health and your financial security if you deal in this type of work at LANL.

Lesson learned.

After seeing how these ugly and unfortunate episodes played out back in 2001 and 2003, it's beyond me why anyone at LANL would want to be involved with NEST activities at this lab. You could be financially wiped out in legal fees if was discovered that a screwup of some kind might have occurred. Perhaps the lessons from the handling of previous incidents at LANL has resulted in a reduction of the number of volunteers for NEST type activities.

As one poster pointed out with the Carol Burns news post, LANL is still involved with "attribution" work if a nuke happens to go off. However, only a very small group of scientists are involved in these efforts at LANL.

Anonymous said...

1/6/08 11:07 AM
Where does the article say the grad students were *foreign*?

Fromt the article: "They were helped, she says, by the high-ranking State Department official who provided some of their moles – mainly PhD students – with security clearance to work in sensitive nuclear research facilities. These included the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory in New Mexico, which is responsible for the security of the US nuclear deterrent."

They could have been US citizens sympathetic to foreign agencies. In which case, once again the DOE background investigators have failed to do their job. The statement is further confusing as there is a conflict in number. "Official" (singluar)and "their" (plural) are not in agreement.

Anonymous said...

Gus and Pinky, please make this a new top post; "For sale: West´s deadly nuclear secrets," from The Sunday Times, January 6, 2008, first four paragraphs reads, (5 pages in total):

"A WHISTLEBLOWER has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets.

Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency´s Washington field office.

She approached The Sunday Times last month after reading about an Al-Qaeda terrorist who had revealed his role in training some of the 9/11 hijackers while he was in Turkey.

Edmonds described how foreign intelligence agents had enlisted the support of US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions."

(Source: www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article3137695.ece)

Anonymous said...

So was anything important missing from the story?

Anonymous said...

JTOT National labs get a f'in clue people.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the stealth condum.

Anonymous said...

You guys seem a little hypersensitive. The story was written by a California newspaper and reprinted by a local ragsheet that has a blatant agenda to portray LANL as evil incarnate. I'd like to think that that Albuquerque Journal would have taken the 10 mintues to insert a couple of paragraphs on LANL's role.

Anonymous said...

"The story was written by a California newspaper and reprinted by a local ragsheet that has a blatant agenda to portray LANL as evil incarnate"

We should sent them some stealth condoms. Direct their attentions to more fulfilling and productive endeavours