Feb 12, 2009

Larry, Moe, and Kevin

Los Alamos, New Mexico – February 12, 2009 - A joint statement by the various heads of LANL Security Staff disavows any knowledge of the 69 missing computers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Larry Finkle stated that “they were all here the last time we looked.” Curly Benjamin added, “First, we must define the term ‘missing’, in a more definitive manner.” Moe Fishburne confirmed that “We’ve called in Pete Nanos, former LANL Director, to help us with a recount.”

Later a Bechtel spokesman, Kevin Roark, was interviewed. He stated, “Everything’s fine here at LANL. We just need more money. A lot more money, in fact. Even though nothing is broken, that’ll fix everything.”
“We’ve confirmed that the employee followed all lab policies for having unclassified government computer equipment in the home for official use."
Two weeks later...
"Only one of the three computers stolen from the employee's home was authorized for home use", which raised concerns "as to whether we were fully complying with our own policies for offsite computer usage."
Are your lips still moving, Kevin?

[Thanks anonymous!]

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Easy!

1) Two computers were authorized for "official use" at home, i.e. writing reports. One computer was authorized for "home use," i.e. games and porn.

or

2) "lab policies" for "official use" at "home" state that people can do whatever the hell they want. Therefore, lab policies were followed. However, being "authorized" is a stricter standard, and only one of the computers met this enhanced standard.

Doug Roberts said...

A quick question for you, Kevin:

Is it still just (and I quote you here) a small, yet highly vocal group of malcontented staff who participate on the LANL blogs?

After 4 years of continuous LANL blog operations I've kind of lost track.

Thanks in advance,

--Doug Roberts
LANL, retired 2005

Frank Young said...

What value will his reply have?

Anonymous said...

Kevin can only speak the truth if you shove it down his throat and then kick him in the stomach to make him spit it back out.

Anonymous said...

And now the story is on Slashdot!

Hooray, we're famous!

Anonymous said...

"Hooray, we're famous!"

Again.

Anonymous said...

Frank,
I just heard that Ed Grothus died this morning. He was a friend and no matter how others feel, I will miss him:(

Anonymous said...

Kevin represents LANS. Let's face it, it is pretty difficult to put anything that comes out of the Director's mouth or the mouths of his AD's in the category of frank and honest discourse. They are bullshit artists. They know it, we know it, and increasingly the US taxpayer knows it. Kevin is just the Bagdad Bob of the lab.

Anonymous said...

"Is it still just (and I quote you here) a small, yet highly vocal group of malcontented staff who participate on the LANL blogs?" (Doug)

Come on, Doug, you know it's still just you, me, and a pimple faced teenage kid down in a basement who are making all the posts to this blog. ;-)

Just don't tell Frank! He would be heart-broken if he really knew the truth.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Roark has certainly earned his special invitation to Riley's next Bohemian Grove shin-dig. He and Mikey can bunk-up in the same shack.

Frank Young said...

I'll probably have a heart attack if you ever tell the truth, Kevin. Now go to bed!

Anonymous said...

Opps! Somebody, quick... call POGO!!!!
-------------------
Thousands of US weapons astray in Afghanistan: Auditors
-------------------

WASHINGTON (AFP, Feb 12, 2008) – Thousands of US weapons, including assault rifles and grenade launchers, may be in Taliban or Al-Qaeda hands in Afghanistan because of lax controls, congressional auditors warned on Thursday.

The Pentagon has failed to track an estimated 87,000 weapons given to Afghan security forces, one-third of the 242,000 shipped by the US government between December 2004 and June 2008, the Government Accountability Office said.

A 46-page report by the GAO, the non-partisan investigative arm of Congress, said there had been no monitoring of a further 135,000 weapons donated by NATO allies to the poorly paid and corruption-rife Afghan army and police.

news.yahoo.com/s/afp/
20090212/pl_afp/
usafghanistanmilitarypoliticscongress

Anonymous said...

best comment evar!

"Kevin is just the Bagdad Bob of the lab."

what does that make mikey?

thanks for posting this, i thought kevin said the guy was compliant...and now he's not compliant. i hope the fellow has himself a lawyer. and btw, i know FOR A FACT that many people in the lab read this blog. everyone talks about it all the time. only a few have the nerve to comment.

Anonymous said...

You guys can bash Kevin all you like. His job is basically undoable. Nevertheless, he tries to put forward as much of the truth as his bosses will let him. If you think all people in his position should tell all of the truth all of the time, regardless of direction from their bosses, then there will never be anyone in his position, and you will never get any information truthful or not. Is that what you want? Geez, take a dose of reality. Do you think Obama's press flacks are always tellling you the truth?

I worked closely with Kevin for many years (since he was a simple video editor) and I can tell you he always tries to get out the maximum of true, helpful information that his bosses will let him. Shoot the messenger if that's what makes you happy, but it doesn't get to the real problem.

Frank Young said...

You have a semi-valid point. Yes, we know Kevin is just the messenger. Yes, we know attacking him won't fix the problem. But what is your reputation worth? He's sold his for a paycheck. Is that what we can expect from all of LANL? I hope not.

Frank Young said...

2/12/09 9:20 PM,
Thanks!

My two cents: I really don't want to see someone ruined because his paperwork wasn't in order. If he knew the rules and ignored them then some admonishment is in order. I think the bigger problem was the attempt to portray this as a non-issue. Who will be held accountable for that?

Anonymous said...

"Shoot the messenger if that's what makes you happy,"


Feuer frei!

Anonymous said...

Frank: "But what is your reputation worth? He's sold his for a paycheck."

What an incredibly narrow, naive viewpoint of what it takes to be a press spokesman for a major corporation. If all such people have "sold their reputations for a paycheck" just how many people getting a paycheck (anywhere) are doing only what they think is the correct thing to do every minute, every day and are still keeping their jobs? Get real.

Frank Young said...

You're entitled to your opinion. I've stated mine. I guess we disagree.

Anonymous said...

"A major corporation."

That's really the nub here, is it not? Anything for a fee. That makes us... whores.

Anonymous said...

"That's really the nub here, is it not? Anything for a fee. That makes us... whores."

So I guess anyonew who works for a major corporation is a "whore"? Sounds like salary envy to me. It must be an ObamaNation!

Anonymous said...

11:20 nailed it. The Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory has been pimped out to Bechtel for a fee at the direction of NNSA. While virgins can become whores, whores cannot become virgins.

Anonymous said...

Hey,
I want to say something FOR Roark. I've worked with him, here, and I know the guy has an honest intent.

The fact that you don't like what he has to say publicly for the Lab is beside the point. If it wasn't him it would be somebody else.

And,you'd be raggin' on them.

If you haven't figured out by now this place isn't Burger King, you can't have it your way, then you're living in a dream world that ended a long time ago.

We're all on the chopping block these days and it will NEVER go back to what it was. So quit feeling sorry for yourselves.

Let's see this one posted and not deleted by you, Frank, to prove this isn't just the whiners watering hole.

Frank Young said...

Since yesterday I've deleted a couple of nasty comments about Ed Grothus. Normally everything gets published. Anyone who doesn't believe it should send a comment like yours.

Anonymous said...

my god! we're not raggin' on kevin b/c it's fun. look at the two statements! WHICH ONE IS TRUE?!? you can't follow lab policy one week, then two weeks later not be compliant! so please, all you people who are defending kevin, tell me which statement should i believe? if he is "just the messenger", which i believe he is, then before he makes comments like that to the press, he needs to get his facts straight! otherwise, it makes us look more incompetent than we (hopefully) are. it's bad enough we have the guy from nnsa who can't tell you to within 10,000 the number of computers that are off site. then you have this guy who makes two contradictory statements.

look, i recognize that his job is hard. i would need at least $200,000 to be the official spokesman for this lab...plus a shiny new sports car. but let's not put things out there that the press are going to eat up if they're not true! if the second statement is true, why was the first statement made???

maybe frank is right, perhaps they were trying to make it a non-issue at first. there is a serious issue with having 3 laptops for home use but that's something that should have been addressed long before this incident occurred.

Doug Roberts said...

Hey, Kevin is a liar. We all agree on that. If that's what his job description calls for, then he's doing a damn fine job.

But it goes far beyond that.

I started the LANL, The Real Story blog back in December, 2004. Shortly after that blog became popular and was getting around 6,000 hits per day, Kevin was interviewed by a reporter from the Associated Press, Heather Clark. When asked what he thought about the blog, Kevin replied, totally unprompted by lab management, with his now famous line, "That blog is home to just a few highly vocal malcontents". Heather and I later became friends and had many a good chuckle over that.

One further point of clarification: Kevin was known as 'Comical Ali' during the Nanos days of 2004 - 2005. It was that other "truth-challenged" LANL Public Affairs office employee, Jim Falin, who earned the nickname 'Baghdad Bob'.

Kevin may, as one commenter claims, be a fine person. I wouldn't know, because I've never met him. But he's a liar, and I have problems warming up to him because of that.

--Doug Roberts
LANL, Retired 2005

Anonymous said...

Gee, Doug, no wonder you didn't like Director Nanos either. Do I see a pattern in your behavior?

Doug Roberts said...

If I read your comment correctly, 9:03, yes, Director Nanos was a liar as well. His attempted cover-up of the non-missing, "missing" DX Division CREM, which was his chief justification for shutting the lab down in 2004 leaps to mind.

And no, I did not like him.

--Doug Roberts
LANL Retired 2005

Anonymous said...

In the heat of battle, early information is nearly always wrong. In replying to a charge that his position was inconsistent with an earlier one, John Maynard Keynes said,"When information changes, I change my mind. What do you do?" Slinging around baseless accusations and name-calling are de rigueur on this blog, but you've usually taken a higher road, Doug.

A spokesman always tries to balance getting information out as soon as possible, and ensuring the information is correct, which may take sufficiently longer that charges of "coverup" are made. Been there many times.

Frank Young said...

Let's put that to a test. Sometime prior to 1 April 2002 a pipe in the basement of PF-4 failed and leaked a lot of high level liquid radioactive waste onto electrical switchgear, which I later was called in to service. Confirm or deny. Or most likely ignore.

Anonymous said...

Hold the press! A word from Mikey:

Subject: Director's Outlook

February 13, 2009

Recent News from Washington

If you saw the LABNET (or CNN) coverage of President Obama's live address to DOE employees (and contractors) in the Forrestal Building last Thursday, then you know the new Administration's top priority has been the economic stimulus package. Although we are disappointed that this week's final bipartisan compromise legislation removed the proposed $1 billion of funding for NNSA, the bill did maintain more than $6 billion allocated for DOE environmental management initiatives. We are hopeful that LANL will see significant EM funding, which would allow us to speed up projects to remediate old waste sites and make other environmental cleanup investments. This funding has the potential to create hundreds of jobs for people directly involved in cleanup activities.

On another key topic of interest, many of you saw the coverage in the Albuquerque Journal and the Santa Fe New Mexican (and elsewhere) that discussed U.S. government plans to study the possible transfer of NNSA from DOE to the Department of Defense. These articles refer to an internal government memo that outlines plans for a study of the costs and benefits of such a transfer. Similar reviews have been conducted by previous administrations. LANL will provide appropriate advice and counsel in support of any U.S. government study and potential policy decisions. We will continue to highlight the world-class capabilities of our people and facilities and our continued critical scientific and technological contributions to our nation's security. If further information develops on this matter, we will do our best to keep you informed.

Also recently in Washington, LANL and Lawrence Livermore jointly sponsored the third annual Conference on Strategic Weapons in the 21st Century (SW21). We had an impressive turnout of leading experts on nuclear weapons policy. This year's theme was: When and How Do We Hedge Against Uncertainty? Senator Bingaman (D-NM) and Senator Kyl (R-AZ) gave opening remarks along with Vice Admiral Mauney, deputy commander, United States Strategic Command, and Tom D'Agostino, NNSA administrator. For more information on the agenda, remarks and papers, go to the SW21 Web site:
http://www.lanl.gov/conferences/sw/2009

Thanks for all your hard work on behalf of the Lab and the nation. And enjoy the three-day Presidents' Day weekend!

Director Anastasio

Doug Roberts said...

I call them like a see them, 2:12. One incorrectly reported story could be the fault of bad intelligence.

Two incorrectly reported stories could be the result of an incompetent reporter.

Three and more incorrectly reported stories is a pattern of dishonesty.

--Doug Roberts
LANL, Retired 2005

Anonymous said...

7:36 here,

I made my point.

If you want to call him a liar, despite not knowing him, be my guest. It's your opinion and that's all it is and everybody's got one...like a certain part of their anatomy. You know what I mean.

However, if you're stupid enough to call him names, and print your own, there's this thing called slander. In this case you're wide open.

I don't think Roark would do anything,though. He knows, better than you, that the cheap shots come with the job.

Also, I do think you're raggin' on him because it's fun. Look how much better you feel after you cut loose on a post. Don't deny it for a minute.

I'm glad you recognize he's got a tough job. He can't duck and hide or post anonymously. What he says comes from someone else on the chain he's on so they don't have to take the abuse.

It's his job, man.
I wouldn't want it but like I said: If he doesn't do it someone else will.

Doug Roberts said...

3:01, you seem to be taking the position that it is acceptable for our esteemed LANL Public Affairs staff to knowingly, repeatedly present falsehoods because they are only saying what management told them to say, and that it is therefore bad form to call them liars because they are "just doing their job".

Sorry, I don't buy it. I know staff who left PA precisely because they chose to no longer spout management's falsehoods. Make excuses for those in PA who are unwilling to make the same ethical decision if you so choose, but don't expect the rest of us to be as sympathetic.

Believe me: 'Comical Ali' Roark, and 'Baghdad Bob' Falin earned their nicknames.

--Doug Roberts,
LANL, Retired 2005

Anonymous said...

"This funding has the potential to create hundreds of jobs for people directly involved in cleanup activities." (Mikey)

These wouldn't be real science and research type jobs for a crown jewel "National Lab", would they, Mikey? Yeah, I thought not.

It's time to take the "National Lab" words off of LANL's name. I suggest we shorten the name to just the Los Alamos Site (LAS). It will be a more appropriate name going forward. Of course, the name Rocky Flats II also works out nicely.

Anonymous said...

"Thanks for all your hard work on behalf of the Lab and the nation."

- Director Anastasio

Actually, I think what Mike really meant to say was...

"Work harder and bring in more funding for our enormous LANS management overhead, suckers! I'm looking forward to getting my fat 20% bonus and need a faster sports car to get out of this sh*t hole at the end of each day!"

Anonymous said...

"In the heat of battle, early information is nearly always wrong."

You're seriously comparing LANL to a war zone?

Anonymous said...

"You're seriously comparing LANL to a war zone?"

Your're seriously suggesting I was? Of course not. It was a METAPHORE (look it up).

Anonymous said...

What is going onwith the multi-million dollar PR frim that was hired to help LANL convince the rest of us that they are doing a good job? Hey you know your outfit is really, really screwed up when reality outshines the bull-shit that Kevin spouts, the white-wash is not working! We all see through you, (although it has taken many years to become convince that LANL will twist the truth, but more importantly keep incidents secret.

Anonymous said...

Roberts,
buy whatever you want. Tell me who those people were who were in PA are who left. I probably knew them too.

You get into that kind of work knowing what the cost is. If you're dumb enough to figure that they'll hold their ethics up over the career path they've chosen, then you sure as hell are no model, either.

As the chief whiner at the waterhole it's about time you got over feeling sorry for yourself because nobody at LANL would listen to you and kiss your backside along with the rest of your ilk.

Keep eating yourself up, it'll do you lots of good as time goes by.

Doug Roberts said...

Tell me who those people were who were in PA are who left.

No, they are entitled to their privacy.

One final comment to you, 7:22 -- you're awful brave, for an anonymous little coward. How about coming out into the open so that we can see who you are.

--Doug Roberts
LANL, Retired 2005

Anonymous said...

Could poster 7:22 PM be Pete Nanos? I wonder? He seems to have a very strong grudge against Doug Roberts and knows the people in PR from that time period.

Anonymous said...

"Your're seriously suggesting I was? Of course not. It was a METAPHORE (look it up)."

Yes, I understand metaphors. Yes, you were comparing the two situations of warfare and public relations, and implying that the barriers to information for soldiers in a complex environment is similar in some manner to the barriers Kevin faces.

Could you clarify this? For example, are people literally shooting at Kevin, which prevents him from checking his facts? Is there a physical danger standing between Kevin and filing cabinet with the property removal forms?

Or perhaps you are just an idiot. That would clarify things as well.

Anonymous said...

"Keep eating yourself up, it'll do you lots of good as time goes by.

2/13/09 7:22 PM

ZZZZZZZZ, go back to bed whiner.
ZZZZZZZZ.

Anonymous said...

7:22 is probably Roark himself. It would be in character for him to hide behind anonymity while attacking someone here on the blog.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, I understand metaphors. Yes, you were comparing the two situations of warfare and public relations, and implying that the barriers to information for soldiers in a complex environment is similar in some manner to the barriers Kevin faces.

Could you clarify this? For example, are people literally shooting at Kevin, which prevents him from checking his facts? Is there a physical danger standing between Kevin and filing cabinet with the property removal forms?"

Jeez, are you serious? The metaphor was simply that when a complex situation occurs and the facts are spotty, ot the witnesses or actual people involved are stressed or uncertain, mistakes in reporting and accounts occur. IT HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH COMPARING WARFARE AND PUBLIC RELATIONS! The public (you) are "shooting" (METAPHORICALLY) at Kevin every day. Fact checking takes time in these circumstances. Cripes, try to imagine real life for a change. Do you imagine that managers and public relations people sit around a table the minute something happens, and they know everything, every single detail, and are just deciding what minimum to releaase to mislead the public? If so, look up "paranoia" in the dictionary and see if your photo needs updating.

Frank Young said...

"Fact checking takes time in these circumstances."

It seems to have taken three months in the circumstance of the TA-41 beryllium exposures. Nearly seven years (and counting) in the case of the TA-55 exposures.

Anonymous said...

Roberts,
I will when everyone else does it's the LANL way. Enjoy your retirtement. You aren't here any more, we are. It's our problem and the floor is caving in from underneath us, you sanctimonius slug.

Frank Young said...

Do you think it might be your own fault?

Do you think maybe we are all losing?

Do you think?

Anonymous said...

why smear the beloved Three Stooges?

Anonymous said...

Roberts,

This blog is "sensored" to protect the corrupt among what they call themselves "the best and brightest" of LANL.

Anonymous said...

This blog is not "sensored" (SIC) unless the comments are extremely vicious. Frank has done a marvelous job of letting most of the blog information flow freely, and we should thank him for his efforts.

Anonymous said...

Response to 2/14/09 1:44 PM:

Absolutely NOT true!

Frank Young said...

1:44,
Thank you. I try, I do what I can. I wish I could do more.