The Washington Post reports that ongoing security breaches at the nation’s top weapons development lab have shut down operations and may result in a criminal investigation:
Failure at the Los Alamos National Laboratory to follow security procedures is widespread and the highly secretive nuclear facility lacks an effective system to prevent employees from removing classified material, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said in a toughly worded statement yesterday that threatened firings and left open the possibility of a criminal investigation.
Missing computer disks, classified information sent out via e-mail and an accident involving a summer intern injured in the eye by a laser forced Los Alamos to stop nearly all of its operations over the weekend, including weapons research and field testing, as a major investigation into serious security breaches and accidents got underway.
Los Alamos promises to start firing people to get the message across after several incidents at the laboratory have failed to change the behavior of veteran “cowboys” at the facility. It sounds like Animal House to me. The firings should have taken place when disks first went missing, and we already should have had the FBI investigating the security lapses at Los Alamos.
We are at war, people. It’s way past time to get serious about security at our classified facilities.