DECEMBER 22, 2005
If a series of security breeches and fraud are committed at a government-owned nuclear laboratory, what should happen to the group responsible for managing the facility? Most people might say to get rid of it, but United States Government officials have instead rewarded the group, the University of California, a multi-year, $512 million contract to continue mismanaging the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
The University of California has managed the massive lab for decades, but in the late 90s and early 2000 the facility became an embarrassment to the Energy Department. Revelations of theft, fraud, security lapses and lax oversight kept Los Alamos in the news and led to the release of an Energy Department document labeling it “a systematic management failure.”
In 1999 Chinese scientist Wen Ho Lee stole sensitive nuclear secrets from Los Alamos and Judicial Watch represented the whistleblower, Notra Trulock, responsible for launching an investigation into Lee’s actions. Trulok was the Energy Department’s intelligence operations chief and Clinton Administration officials defamed him by accusing him of being a racist in order to cover up Lee’s repeated security breeches.
Considering all this, it makes no sense that the U.S. Government renewed the University of California’s contract to keep operating Los Alamos. The nonprofit Project on Government Oversight, which has published numerous damaging reports on Los Alamos, expressed outrage
and the blog Presto Pundit says to look for more trouble at Los Alamos.
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