- The Washington Times - Friday, January 5, 2007


Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman yesterday dismissed the chief of the U.S. nuclear weapons program because of security breakdowns at the Los Alamos, N.M., laboratory and other facilities.

Linton F. Brooks will submit his resignation this month as head of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the department said.

Mr. Bodman said the nuclear agency under Mr. 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,” Mr. Bodman said.

Mr. Brooks was reprimanded in June for failing to report to Mr. 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 again. 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 Mr. Brooks’ agency oversees.

“These management and security issues can have serious implications for the security of the United States,” Mr. Bodman said in a statement announcing Mr. Brooks’ departure.

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,” Mr. Bodman said.

“Therefore, and after careful consideration, I have decided that it is time for new leadership at the NNSA,” said Mr. Bodman “Ambassador Brooks will tender his resignation to the president and depart later this month.”

Mr. Bodman said an acting head of the agency will be named soon.

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