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TIME-LINE OF LOS ALAMOS SECURITY PROBLEMS, CLINTON'S ROLE AND THE CHINESE CONNECTIONS.
This post by "ohmlaw 00" appeared on the Free Republic Web site at: http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3946fd8d0e8d.htm
 
 
LOS ALAMOS.."We have dramatically increased our intelligence..we have taken all appropriate steps."

Foreign Affairs Miscellaneous Keywords: LOS ALAMOS NUCLEAR THEFT
Source: Various (all sources referenced)
Published: Various (dates referenced) Author: Bill Clinton (title quote only)
Posted on 06/13/2000 20:35:41 PDT by ohmlaw 00

"We have investigated it, we continue to investigate it. We have dramatically increased our intelligence. I believe we have taken all appropriate steps."

William Jefferson Clinton, March 12, 1999

Clinton statement regarding the reported theft of
nuclear technology from Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1999


This document post addresses the Clinton/Gore administration's continued support of their "International Collaboration" policy goals that were identified as a national security threat in redacted versions of "The Cox Report" released last year.  Energy Secretary Bill Richardson made the following statement last year regarding the Wen Ho Lee case:

"THE INDIVIDUAL IN QUESTION WAS A LAB EMPLOYEE, NOT AN OUTSIDE VISITOR. THEREFORE THIS IS ALL SO STARTLINGLY MISCONSTRUED AND SHORT-SIGHTED, AND IT IS WRONG. AND I WILL FIGHT EVERY EFFORT IN CONGRESS TO STEM AMERICA'S SCIENTIFIC COOPERATION WITH FOREIGN COUNTRIES......" 30-Apr-99 4:47 PM EDT  Source: Voice of America

If the hard drives were stolen from the lab as reported today by members of Congress, then Secretary Richardson believes that the theft occurred from within by an employee of LANL. 

It was reported today that once in the open position, the vault was not monitored for access control.  The only recorded access at the vault occurs when it is open and closed.  While all individuals with access to the "Technical Area" along the southwest border of the lab that houses the 'X' Division SCIF vault are suspects in the theft of the hard drives, all employees should be assumed innocent until an investigation is complete, in spite of Richardson's assurances that these events only happen from within.

On the other hand, if the hard drives are recovered and the investigation determines that the hard drives were misplaced within the lab complex, the "universe" of access to this sensitive information is increased.  Based on evidence complied by government and congressional investigators, LANL has a history of unsatisfactory controls on access to sensitive areas and material.

In addition to an increased level of foreign nationals from sensitive countries visiting the lab, the Clinton/Gore administration has  significantly increased the number of employed foreign nationals from sensitive countries including Russia, China and Iran at Los Alamos.

The research and news exerpts provided below summarize the history and policies of the Clinton/Gore initiatives to increase international collaboration at Los alamos with foreign nationals from sensitive countries including Russia and China and the corresponding security risks associated with the program as documented by government and congressional investigators.


EXERPTS FROM "THE COX REPORT" RELATED TO THE THEFT OF NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY FROM THE NATIONAL LABS:

LINK TO REPORT:


CIA AND FBI JOINT REPORT ON CHINESE ESPIONAGE LINKS LAB TO LAB EXCHANGE PROGRAM AT NATIONAL LABS:

China spying in US grew in 1990s: FBI and CIA
Friday, March 10 6:30 AM SGT

WASHINGTON, March 9 (AFP) -

Chinese has stepped up military and economic spying in the United States over the last decade and boosted efforts to sway US policy on matters like Taiwan, the FBI and CIA said in a joint report.

Beijing uses students, scientists, diplomats and executives -- often using "shared ancestry" of people of Chinese descent to secure cooperation, according to the report, which was made public Wednesday after a classified version was submitted to the House Select Intelligence Committee in January.

****

"Some of the thousands of Chinese students, scientists, researchers, and other visitors to the United States also gather information, mostly working for the benefit of government-controlled, end-user organizations and other scientific bureaus, research institutes, and enterprises," the report said.

The document made no specific mention of Wen Ho Lee, the jailed nuclear scientist facing 59 charges of mishandling US nuclear secrets at the Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory in New Mexico.

But it warned that Chinese "scientists, through mutually beneficial scientific exchange programs, gather (science and technology) information through US national laboratories."

The report's release came the same day that President Bill Clinton sent lawmakers a bill granting trade privileges to China, setting the stage for what could be the biggest fight in this election year.


EXERPTS FROM THE 1997 GAO REPORT RELATED TO FOREIGN VISITORS TO LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY:

Department of Energy: DOE Needs to Improve Controls Over Foreign Visitors to Weapons Laboratories (Chapter Report, 09/25/97, GAO/RCED-97-229).


Background Checks That Were Obtained on
Sensitive-Country Visitors to DOE Weapons Laboratories, 1994-1996

                        Number of                                      Number of                                          Percent Facility
                      Foreign Visitors                           background checks                                     visits checks
______________________________________________________________________________

Los Alamos            2,714                                               139                                                         5
Livermore             1,602                                                700                                                       44
Sandia                    1,156                                                53                                                          5 ======================================================================
Total                       5,472                                                892                                                        16

(Source: Compiled by GAO from DOE and laboratory data.)



Below is a graph which compares the number of foreign nationals from sensitive countries employed each year at Los Alamos during the Bush and Clinton Administration.  In particular, note the dramatic increase in the number of foreign nationals employed at the labs during Clinton's first year in office (1993-1994)   Clinton Years are denoted in color.

Appendix B, Exhibit 1
Foreign National Employment at Los Alamos National Laboratory

1987­1999 

Year

FNEs from Sensitive
Countries*

FNEs from
Nonsensitive
Countries

All FNEs

1987

9

80

89

1988

34

98

132

1989

33

99

132

1990

39

119

158

1991

30

97

127

1992

31

101

132

1993

45

116

161

1994

107

142

249

1995

143

154

297

1996

161

177

338

1997

181

233

414

1998

191

262

453

1999

182

274

456

FNE: foreign national employees

* PR China, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, N. Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Taiwan


TIMELINE OF RELATED EVENTS:

September 3, 1992
Under the Bush Administration the DOE instituted Order 1240.2b--"Unclassified Visits and Assignments by Foreign Nationals", which established and strengthened responsibilities and policies for controlling unclassified visits and assignments to DOE's facilities. (See Attachment at the bottom of the page)

June, 1993
Against the wishes of DOD and State Department national security experts, Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary distributed a memorandum ordering certain Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Research information be declassified. In a press conference in December of that year, O'Leary stated that the disclosure was an attempt "to lift the veil of Cold War secrecy and move the Department of Energy into a new era of openness."

1994

Dr. Siegfried Hecker, at that time Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, led a small group of scientists on a visit to the People's Republic of China. This visit was a follow-up to an earlier visit to China by Mr. Robert Daniel, the DOE Director of the Office of National Security and Nonproliferation. The Chinese provided the Hecker contingent with a request for collaboration in a number of technical areas. On his return, Dr. Hecker presented that list to the Department of Energy and the State Department. After lengthy discussions, DOE and the State Department in 1994 approved collaborations with the People's Republic of China. (Statement of John C. Browne, Director - Los Alamos National Laboratory Hearing of the Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People's Republic of China United States House of Representatives October 14, 1998)

To reduce costs and processing backlogs, the Los Alamos and Sandia laboratories implemented a partial exception to the Bush Administration's DOE Order 1240.2b  that allowed them to largely avoid the background check process for foreign visitors to the Labs. Since then, DOE has obtained background checks on about 5 percent of the visitors from sensitive countries to these two laboratories. (GAO/RCED-97-229)

February, 1995
Hazel O'Leary participates in a Department of Energy Trade Mission to China.  She returns with 35 deals with a stated worth of $6,529.7 million. 

1996
A CIA report detailed that key information on nuclear weapons was obtained from Los Alamos by the Soviet Union.  It also detailed other recent espionage activities from the 1980s and 1990s,  involving the possible theft or compromise of sensitive information in which foreign nationals at DOE's laboratories played a prominent role.(GAO/RCED-97-229)

1996
The number of unclassified foreign visits to the DOE research laboratories increased each of the first 3 years of the Clinton Administration, to a level of about 7,000 visits in 1996. (GAO/RCED-97-229)

March 27, 1996
The Energy Department receives a report from a Chinese spy that China has stolen information about the neutron bomb from American nuclear weapons laboratories.

April 13, 1996
Energy Department officials tell Sandy Berger, then deputy director of the National Security Council, of reports that China stole warhead designs and information about the neutron bomb. According to the officials, the April 1996 briefing of Berger included evidence of the theft of the W-88 design, the need to increase security at the weapons laboratories and the report about the loss of neutron bomb data.  "It was a pretty specific briefing," one American official who was present said.

May 1996
Over concerns related to the high number of foreign visitors, and concerns that the laboratories are targets of foreign espionage, the House Committee on National Security directed the GAO to determine how well DOE has been managing foreign visits to the weapons laboratories. Accordingly,GAO assessed DOE's (1) procedures for reviewing the backgrounds of foreign visitors and for controlling the dissemination of sensitive information to them, (2) security controls for limiting foreign visitors' access to areas and information within its laboratories,and (3) counterintelligence programs for mitigating the potential threat posed by foreign visitors. (GAO/RCED-97-229)

June 1996
The FBI formally opens a criminal investigation into the theft of the W-88 design. The inquiry makes little progress over the rest of the year. When Energy Department officials ask about the inquiry at the end of 1996, they come away convinced that the bureau had assigned few resources to the case.

The FBI briefs representatives of the National Security Council (NSC) about Chinese attempts to influence the 1996 presidential elections. Janet Reno later refuses to appoint an IC to investigate the matter.

July 1996
The Energy Department completed an analysis of the neutron bomb case.  The study, officials said, raised the possibility that the chief suspect in the W-88, Wen Ho Lee, a computer scientist in Los Alamos, had also been involved in the transfer to China of neutron bomb secrets. As they investigated further, Energy Department officials discovered that Lee had attended a classified meeting in 1992 in which solutions to the neutron bomb's design flaw were discussed, officials said.

July 26, 1996
At a press conference in the White House Hazel O'Leary made the following statement regarding her decision to overrule the State Department and allow the sale of super-computers to China and the sharing of technology.

"Well, you've asked, I think, perhaps the most difficult and subtle question here," O'Leary responded, "and that is how does the United States, in partnership with others of the nuclear nations, go forward to ensure that we all begin to be able to move on to certifying safety and reliability. And I will discuss this with an example. One of the clear examples are some of our colleagues who are now asking for some of the supercomputers that now exist. Our requirements of the Department of Energy, working with all of our partners in the National Security Council, is to ascertain that everyone who wants the use of our supercomputers has peaceful uses in mind."

September 4, 1996
Former Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger testified that he strongly supports transferring responsibility for nuclear weapons research, development, testing, production, dismantlement and cleanup from the Department of Energy to the Department of Defense because of his "very considerable concern" over the "unilateral and wholesale declassifying of vital nuclear information by the current secretary, Hazel O'Leary. ("GOP senators resist bid to unplug Energy," Nation, Sept. 5).

November 14, 1996
Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary announced her resignation.  In a prepared statement she recounted her successes in "helping stem the international spread of nuclear weapons materials" and "improve the position of the United States in the global economic marketplace by promoting clean energy and advanced technologies."

December 9, 1996
A DOD directive was issued to all Energy Department Employees by the Defense Investigative Service (DIS) indicating that "foreign entities" "are increasingly utilizing unsolicited electronic correspondence via the Internet to elicit information from cleared US Government contractor companies and their employees". The directive further stated that "In some foreign countries, Internet access runs through a government-controlled host. As a result, any electronic contact through the Internet with these countries is subject to intelligence and security service monitoring."

August 20, 1997
Landmark Legal Foundation wrote Attorney General Janet Reno to formally ask her to seek the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate possible bribery involving former Clinton Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary.

September 25, 1997
Nearly two years after the DOE was briefed on the possible theft of nuclear warhead technology from the research labs, the GAO issued it's report #GAO/RCED-97-229 titled DOE Needs to Improve Controls Over Foreign Visitors to Weapons Laboratories The report concluded that DOE's procedures for obtaining background checks and controlling the dissemination of sensitive information were not effective and were not being enforced.


STATEMENT BY CURRENT DIRECTOR BROWNE ON LAB TO LAB EXCHANGE PROGRAM BEFORE COX COMMITTEE:

Statement of John C. Browne
Director
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Hearing of the Select Committee on
U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with
the People's Republic of China
United States House of Representatives

October 14, 1998

INTRODUCTION

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to address this committee as Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory on issues of technology transfer to the People's Republic of China. My purpose today is to provide information regarding the six issues raised in your October 9, 1998, letter to DOE Secretary Richardson.

1. Lab to Lab program with the People's Republic of China

In 1994, Dr. Siegfried Hecker, at that time Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, led a small group of scientists on a visit to the People's Republic of China. This visit was a follow-up to an earlier visit to China by Mr. Robert Daniel, the DOE Director of the Office of National Security and Nonproliferation. The Chinese provided the Hecker contingent with a request for collaboration in a number of technical areas. On his return, Dr. Hecker presented that list to the Department of Energy and the State Department. After lengthy discussions, DOE and the State Department in 1994 approved collaborations with the People's Republic of China in three very specific areas:

International safeguards technology - LANL
Treaty verification - SNL
Environmental techniques for treaty verification - LLNL

This program continues today at a level of $1M for all three laboratories, which is approximately 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) person working in this area. Lab-to-lab meetings occur approximately quarterly, alternating between the U.S. and the PRC. At these meetings, about 3 individuals from the PRC will visit one of the labs and likewise a total of 3 people from the labs (one per lab) will visit the PRC for these exchanges.

As an example of this program's activities, there recently was a demonstration in Beijing of international safeguards technology that is used by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for nuclear materials control and accountability. The objective was to help the Chinese learn about technology to keep their nuclear materials secure. A new activity was also started in the area of export controls with a seminar being conducted in Beijing that provided the Chinese with information needed to garner their participation in the international safeguards community.

****

3. The Security Procedures for Los Alamos travelers to the PRC

There were 18 trips to the People's Republic of China in FY98 by Los Alamos staff of which 3 were associated with the lab-to-lab exchange program. The others were associated with our people presenting talks at international conferences being held in the PRC. Similar numbers of trips occurred in 1995, 1996 and 1997.

Benefits and Risks to US National Security:

"There are significant benefits to U.S. national security from the lab-to-lab exchanges with the PRC. First, these exchanges allowed the PRC to gain acceptance to the international non-proliferation community in the area of nuclear safeguards, and in the area of export controls, particularly the nuclear supplier's group. This gave them motivation to sign the CTBT."

"Second, our visits there provide us with an awareness of the state of international technology that is valuable for assessing the need for enhanced export controls. Third, it gives the U.S. some transparency into their nuclear weapons program that allows us to determine our level of confidence in relevant treaties."

"There are some risks for this program. First, we are always concerned for the personal safety and security of our people during the visits to the PRC. Second, we presume that there is a strong potential for targeting our people for gathering intelligence information. Lastly, there is always some risk of inadvertent information disclosure although we take significant precautions to prevent this occurrence."

****


MORE ON SIGFRIED HECKER, SENIOR FELLOW AT LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY: (thanks to amom for posting this..)

Sigfried Hecker is currently a Senior Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he was the Director from 1986 to 1997.

18-Sep-96 President Atkinson's Response to Hecker Resignation

Dr. Hecker hopes to continue to develop international ties in pursuit of efforts to reduce the global nuclear danger with special emphasis on United States- Russian laboratory to laboratory collaborations which he was instrumental in forging.

01-Aug-97 Ministry of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy letter of thanks to Sig.

Now we can confidently point to the positive results of the program of lab-to-lab cooperation, especially in the field of the physics of high energy densities and superstrong magnetic fields, as well as the program for control and accounting of nuclear materials. Joint projects that involve industrial partners are being developed successfully.

I hope that, after you return to scientific work, you will have the opportunity to promote even further the development of friendly relations between U.S. and Russian scientists.

This is a promotional piece for a lecture Hecker on Friday, May 8, 1998 at 8:00 p.m. From Russia With Love:


Other Links:

Missing in Wen Ho Lee Secrets Case: Tapes and Motive
posted on 03/11/2000 22:45:53 PST

GAO Probing Senior FBI Official (withholding docs from Congress on Wen Ho Lee case)
posted on 03/08/2000 21:38:49 PST  

Wen Ho Lee To Stay In Jail
Published: 02/29/00

United States vs. Wen Ho Lee indictment in U.S. District Court for New Mexico,

Chinese Espionage and National Security | Congressman Kurt Weldon (R-PA) speaking before U.S. House of Representatives
June 7, 1999

Chinese Spy Scandal in U.S. Nuclear Lab/Bomb-making secrets stolen at Los Alamos, officials say
San Francisco Chronicle Mar. 6, 1999

New York Times: China stole nuclear secrets from Los Alamos,
San Francisco Chronicle Mar. 6, 1998

Questions Haunt Wiretap Denial in China Spy Case
04/01/1999

US Senator slams government probe on 'spy' scientist

Wen Ho Lee Report: moving classified source code to unsecure machines

 


*** APPENDIX ***

FIRE TIMELINE:   LOS ALAMOS OFFICIALS CONDUCTED FIRE SAFETY DRILLS DURING WEEK LEADING UP TO THE CONTROLLED BURN...
 

FIRE MAP:

 

THE ORIGIN AND RANGE OF THE FIRE IS DETAILED ABOVE IN THE ABOVE MAP
Source: The Albuquerque Journal

 

Below: Russian scientific leaders tour Lab's Trident laser one week before the fire that destroyed buildings on the site.  On the same day as this visit, the southwest technical areas were evacuated during a fire drill.

Dennis Paisley of Plasma Physics (P-24) shows a single crystal silicon sample to several Russian scientific leaders at the Laboratory's Trident laser. Pictured are, from left, Academician V. P. Shorin, president of the Russian Academy of Sciences; I.P. Raizer of the Institute for Mechanical Problems and the Russian Academy of Sciences, front; V.A. Issakov, scientific secretary for the Lebedev Physics Institute, rear; A.A. Ionin, head of the Gas Lasers Laboratory at the Lebedev Physics Institute; Paisley; and Academician O.N. Krokhin, director of the Lebedev Physics Institute.
courtesy Los Alamos National Laboratory

 

Wildfire evacuation drill sponsored by DX:

 

Hundreds of people on Thursday practiced leaving Technical Areas 8, 9, 14, 15, 22, 36, 39 and 40 in a safe, timely and orderly manner as part of a wildfire evacuation drill sponsored by the Dynamic Experimentation (DX) Division. Those Laboratory areas are located in forested areas near the Lab's southwestern boundary. Nearly 400 people work in those areas. Traffic began trickling through the guard post shortly after 2 p.m., but the flow increased to a steady stream by 3 p.m. In the photo above, Ted Stahl, a security police officer with Protection Technology Los Alamos, directs traffic through the guard post and away from the Lab. With this year's dry winter, fire danger is likely to rise to extreme in the coming weeks. Lab officials are engaging in a number of activities to plan for the possibility of wildfires. Thursday's evacuation drill was one such activity. (click here for a QuickTime™ movie clip, 7 Mb.) Photo by James E Rickman

courtesy Los Alamos National Laboratory

 


RELATED INFORMATION ON 'X' DIVISION AT LOS ALAMOS:

"The Times said the hard drives were missing when investigators searched for them June 1 after a wildfire scorched the facility, sparing the lab's major buildings but destroying 39 trailers and sheds."

"Many of those outbuildings were used as offices for staff members, and the blaze, which began as a controlled burn, wiped out several years worth of scientific research and destroyed some 20 personal computers."

"The Times said that the disappearance of the hard drives, which were stored in locked containers in a vault in the laboratory's X Division, where nuclear weapons are designed, could be related to the evacuation of the lab during the fire."

'X' Divison = Applied Theoretical and Computational Physics Division

NOTE AREA 6 ON THE MAP BELOW; IMMEDIATELY TO THE SOUTHWEST ARE THE TECHNICAL AREAS THAT HOUSED THE TRAILERS THAT BURNED IN THE FIRE:

click here

for a 15- by 10-inch image of the map

 

Russian nuclear weapons designer to speak at Lab
Wednesday, March 25, 1998

Yuri Romanov, a top-ranking Russian nuclear weapons designer, will give a public talk at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the Physics Building Auditorium. His presentation, "The Russian Atomic Project: History and Participants," will be delivered in Russian and simultaneously translated into English. Romanov is the deputy director of the Russian nuclear facility at Sarov, formerly known as Arzamas-16. He also leads a theoretical division at Sarov that is comparable to the Lab's Applied Theoretical and Computational Physics (X) Division, where weapons design work takes place.

Romanov is a former student of noted Russian physicist Andrei Sakharov. In addition to weapons physics, his research interests include pure fusion using heavy-ion accelerators. Romanov is visiting Los Alamos for an ongoing collaborative research project into plasma physics.

 

Rice professor new X Division leader

A professor of space physics and astronomy at Rice University in Houston has been selected as Applied Theoretical and Computational Physics (X) Division leader.

Jon C. Weisheit takes over this week at X Division, which specializes in nuclear-weapons physics, science and related national security issues.

Weisheit will report to Stephen M. Younger, associate Laboratory director for nuclear weapons, who made the announcement.

"Jon Weisheit brings with him nearly three decades of brilliant scientific achievement in the areas of atomic and plasma physics, and astrophysics," Younger said. "I am tremendously pleased to be able to draw someone of Jon's technical caliber to what is one of the most important jobs at Los Alamos."

Weisheit is no stranger to the Laboratory, having served as chairman of the X Division Advisory Committee since 1996 and as a member of that board since 1989. The committee is comprised of scientists from outside the Laboratory who advise on weapons-physics issues.

***END OF TEXT***


 

I apologize for the lengthy post with slow loading images. I was careful to include only relevant information to Los Alamos National Laboratory, and unfortunately, could not include it all due to length.

1 Posted on 06/13/2000 20:35:41 PDT by ohmlaw 00