By H. Josef Hebert
January 4, 2007
WASHINGTON Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman today dismissed the chief of
the country's nuclear weapons program because of security breakdowns at
the Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico and other facilities.
Linton Brooks will submit his resignation this month as head of the
National Nuclear Security Administration, the department said.
Bodman said the nuclear agency under Brooks, a former ambassador and
arms control negotiator, had not adequately corrected security problems.
"I have decided it is time for new leadership at the NNSA," Bodman said.
Brooks was reprimanded in June for failing to report to Bodman a
security breach of computers at an agency facility in Albuquerque 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.
"These management and security issues can have serious implications for
the security of the United States," Bodman in a statement announcing
While the agency's management "has done its best to address these
concerns, I do not believe that progress in correcting these issues has
been adequate," Bodman said.
"Therefore, and after careful consideration, I have decided that it is
time for new leadership at the NNSA," said Bodman "Ambassador Brooks
will tender his resignation to the president and depart later this
Bodman said an acting head of the agency will be named soon.
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