The head of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous branch of the Energy Department responsible for the nuclear weapons complex, is stepping down at the end of the month due to lapses within the complex. Ambassador Linton Brooks took charge of NNSA in 2002. According to the AP:
Brooks was reprimanded in June for failing to report to [Energy Secretary Samuel] Bodman a security breach of computers at an agency facility in Albuquerque, N.M., that resulted in the theft of files containing Social Security numbers and other personal data for 1,500 workers.
Last fall, security at Los Alamos came into question anew. During a drug raid, authorities found classified nuclear-related documents at the home of a former lab employee with top secret clearance.
That security breach was especially troubling, the department's internal watchdog said, because tens of millions of dollars had been spent to upgrade computer security at Los Alamos. The lab is part of the nuclear weapons complex that Brooks' agency oversees.
NNSA was originally formed in 2000 as a response to security problems in the nuclear weapons complex. POGO has publicized many (and "many" may be an understatement) of the complex's security and management problems since 2001.
“This is an opportunity for the National Nuclear Security Administration to finally live up to its name,” said POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian. “We applaud Secretary Bodman’s decision to force accountability at NNSA, especially since it has been failing in its mission for years.”
-- Nick Schwellenbach