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Posted: 12/13/2001 6:46:44 AM EDT
Just when we thought there couldn't be any more bad news, now this... [url]www.worldnetdaily.com[/url] WASHINGTON -- The number of foreign visitors and workers at the nation's defense labs from sensitive countries, including ones sponsoring terrorism, exploded under the Clinton administration, says a former Energy Department security official who warned against the visits, citing the risk of nuclear theft and sabotage. Although Energy's nuclear-weapons labs have cut back sharply on visitors from such countries, many of the foreign workers are still assigned there. It's well known that former Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary rolled out the welcome mat for Chinese nationals. But in keeping with her "openness policy" -- which was an outgrowth of President Clinton's "denuclearization" policy, which called for a global ban on nuclear tests, wholesale declassification of early nuclear-program secrets and lab-to-lab foreign collaborations -- O'Leary also extended the invitation to terrorist-sponsoring Middle Eastern countries. [b] "Every terrorist country was represented at the labs, either as post-doctoral workers and students assigned there, or as visitors," said ret. Col. Edward McCallum, former head of Energy's Office of Safeguards and Security. "Iran, Iraq, Syria ... you name it, we had them from all of those places." [/b] In an exclusive interview with WorldNetDaily, McCallum revealed that, over the last decade, "hundreds" of students from sensitive Middle Eastern countries worked at Energy's labs, including Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia labs, where America's nuclear weapons are designed and maintained. [b] "And we got hundreds of visits from their intelligence agencies -- that we knew about," he added. At Los Alamos, which designed most of the warheads in the U.S. arsenal and stores nuclear materials at its New Mexico facilities, the number of foreign nationals from sensitive countries working at the lab soared to 182 in 1999 from 31 in 1992, internal lab records show. Countries the lab classifies as sensitive are: Iran, Iraq, India, China, North Korea, Russia, Israel, Taiwan, Pakistan and Syria. [/b] In 1998 alone, the three major labs, plus Oak Ridge in Tennessee, hosted more than 10,700 foreign visitors and academic assignees, some of whom stayed on site for as long as two years, according to the House Science Committee, which oversees the labs. Those from sensitive countries totaled more than 3,100. "They kicked the doors wide open," McCallum said, despite his protests. "They were encouraging visitation." 'Flying carpet trips' He says that in her trade trips to Pakistan, India and Africa, O'Leary invited scientists to tour the labs. [b] "When Hazel O'Leary was on her flying carpet trips in the mid-'90s, one of the pitches she made was, 'Send your scientists. We have technology to share,'" McCallum said. And she made sure they got into the labs. Under the Reagan and Bush administrations, Energy required background checks on foreign visitors. ***But in 1994, O'Leary granted Los Alamos and Sandia exemptions from the rule. As a result, few background checks were conducted at those labs, and the number of foreign visits exploded. Los Alamos, for example, had 2,714 visitors in two years from sensitive countries, but only 139 were checked, according to a 1997 congressional report. [/b]
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 6:47:06 AM EDT
The new policy did not sit well with McCallum, a former green beret. "We raised hell about it all the time," he said. He and other security officials worried that the uncontrolled access to the labs invited not only espionage, but terrorism. But O'Leary and her aides dismissed their warnings. In one meeting, McCallum recalls, the former Energy secretary pooh-poohed the idea of threats from other countries. [b] "Hazel said to me, and this is a quote, 'Boy, don't you understand that the Cold War is over, and all these people are our friends now?'" McCallum said. "And we were talking about security against terrorists and espionage in the same conversation." [/b] Phone calls seeking comment from O'Leary were not returned. After McCallum told Congress about Energy's security problems, he was punished by former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson. He left the department in 1999. 'Detonate it right there' With Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida terrorists actively seeking nuclear materials for weapons, the threat of theft or sabotage at the labs is now very real, officials note. And that makes the presence there of individuals from sensitive Middle-Eastern countries more worrisome. "I've always felt that if there were an insider at one of the labs who had access to nuclear materials, it would be tough to stop them," said Troy Wade, former assistant Energy secretary for Defense Programs under the Reagan administration, in an interview with WorldNetDaily. Nuclear materials are kept at Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Sandia and Livermore, as well as other labs. Having access to the labs would, of course, make it easier for would-be terrorists to steal such materials. It takes less than 50 pounds of weapons-grade plutonium or highly enriched uranium to craft a crude nuclear device. "But they don't have to steal it," McCallum said. "All they have to do is detonate it right there. It's a one-way trip for an Islamic student or visitor." According to Wade, now a consultant, Energy issued a warning to the labs about Middle-Eastern visitors after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He told WorldNetDaily that the warning was delivered by the National Nuclear Security Administration, the semiautonomous Energy agency that Congress forced Richardson to create to tighten security at the labs. "After Sept. 11, the NNSA went out to all locations, including the labs, and told them to be careful about visiting Middle-Eastern scientists, and scientific meetings that involve people from the Middle East,'" Wade said. Wade says he met with NNSA Administrator Gen. John Gordon at Energy headquarters here on Sept. 11. Asked about any changes in the visitors policy, Marshall Combs, director of Energy's Office of Foreign Visits and Assignments, said, "I'm not going to comment on that." Los Alamos has received no formal directive from headquarters, but has independently tightened its screening of visitors, says Lori Hutchins, project leader of the lab's foreign visits and assignments program. "Even though headquarters hasn't issued anything, we've taken steps on our own to tighten monitoring of visitors from sensitive countries, on a case-by-case basis, which we felt we needed to do in light of what happened on Sept. 11," Hutchins told WorldNetDaily.
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 6:47:19 AM EDT
Terrorist blacklist She says requests for visits from any of the seven countries on State Department's terrorist blacklist -- Syria, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Cuba, Libya and Sudan -- have to be OK'd by Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. Hutchins says that the lab had already tightened screening of visitors from sensitive countries starting in October 1999, after *****Congress ordered a review of vetting procedures in the wake of the Cox report and congressional hearings on Chinese espionage at the labs. Asked if a Los Alamos physicist would have any chance of hosting a nuclear scientist from, say, Pakistan right now, Hutchins replied, "No sir." "Not without coming through some international agency such as the IAEA," she added. "That would be the only way it would happen here." As WorldNetDaily reported Wednesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency, a United Nations group that guards against loose nukes, sponsors foreign nationals, including ones from terrorist states, to tour U.S. nuclear sites to learn security procedures. The controversial international-training course, held every other spring in Albuquerque, N.M., has come under new fire since Sept. 11. "The biggest joke is that the IAEA course participants include all the world's bad guys, who promptly collect nuclear information on the facilities that are inspected," said a former U.S. intelligence official. But Pakistanis may not need the IAEA to get into the labs. According to Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdus Sattar, State Secretary Colin Powell has invited Pakistan to send its nuclear scientists to U.S. labs to "see how Americans protect their weapons." At Sandia, procedures for foreign interaction have not changed since Sept. 11, says Rose Perea, a worker in the foreign visits office. "Over the years, a variety of Sandia projects in support of its national-security and nuclear-nonproliferation roles have involved inviting visitors from foreign countries, including sensitive countries," said Sandia spokesman Rod Geer. "In fact, even people from India and Pakistan have been here at the same time." Investigating WorldNetDaily? Hutchins agreed on Tuesday to provide updated figures for Los Alamos employment of foreign nationals from sensitive countries, as well as the latest annual figures for foreign visits. But on Wednesday, after talking to her superiors, she said she couldn't give out the numbers, and referred the request to Energy's headquarters. Energy also keeps a database on all the foreign visits and assignments at the labs. The system was set up about a year ago, and is kept by Combs and his assistant, Nevair Rich, in the Office of Foreign Visits and Assignments. But Combs, in turn, referred the request to Energy spokeswoman Hope Williams, who said she had to check with her boss, Jeanne Lopatto. Later, Williams said she couldn't reveal the numbers until after Lopatto, President Bush's new director of public affairs at Energy, investigated WorldNetDaily. "The front office wants more information about your website," she said. After providing the information, Williams called later to say that Lopatto still refused to give out the information, which is not classified and otherwise public information. Lopatto did not return phone calls or answer e-mails.
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 6:55:38 AM EDT
Which brings up a question....who is worse traitor John Walker or Klinton?.......I think they are both deserving of the same sentence.......its easy to attack Walker because he's a nobody... but Klinton also needs to stand trial in front of a real judge and answer for what he has done......
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 7:16:38 AM EDT
It is with deep sorrow that I must say Mr. Clinton is not called "Slick Willy" without good reason. Apparently he is Teflon-coated as nothing, nothing sticks to him. For Mr. Clinton to actually face any serious inquiry the help of the left-wing politicians and news media would be required. That would mean the left would have to admit they were wrong and that is not likely to happen.
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 9:00:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By J_Smith: Which brings up a question....who is worse traitor John Walker or Klinton?
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Exactly. Klinton is the worst piece of crap president this country EVER had. I think he actually hates America...which makes him 1000 times worse than even the most incompetent or blatently liberal president.
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