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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The search is on

Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor Todd Jacobson Dec 6, 2013 The University of California has formed a committee to search for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s next director,, and the group will solicit input from employees at its first meeting in January, Norm Pattiz, the chairman of the UC Board of Regents Committee on Oversight of the DOE Laboratories, said in a message to employees this week. Pattiz will chair the 17-member search committee, which will take nominations through the end of January. Parney Albright abruptly resigned last month as the lab’s director effective Nov. 1. “LLNL has a stellar record of outstanding science, engineering and technology in support of the nation, and the selection of a visionary leader is critical to the Laboratory’s continued success,” Pattiz said in his message to employees. “I can assure you that the selection of your next leader is a responsibility that all of us involved in the search process take very seriously. Collectively, we will have an impressive group of individuals providing advice and counsel, and I am confident that we will have an exceptional outcome.” Joining Pattiz on the search committee is former NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks; Bechtel Systems and Infrastructure President Craig Albert; Livermore Global Security Manager Kim Budil; Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC Board of Governors Executive Committee member William Frazer; UC Provost and Executive Vice President Aimee Dorr; UC Vice President of Laboratory Management Glenn Mara; University of California-Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi; former Strategic Command chief Adm. Rich Mies; UC-Davis professor Bob Powell; UC Board of Regents Chairman Bruce Varner; former Argonne National Laboratory Director Bob Rosner; UC President Janet Napolitano; UC-Berkeley nuclear engineering professor Karl Van Bibber; Texas A&M nuclear engineering professor Marvin Adams; LLNS Assistant Secretary to the Director for Laboratory Governance Ann Willoughby; and former Los Alamos and Livermore Director Mike Anastasio. A screening task force chaired by Adams has also been formed, and Pattiz said the task force “will ensure that we are looking at a broad and diverse spectrum of potential candidates and will recommend a pool of candidates for consideration by the Search Committee.” Bret Knapp, who has headed up Los Alamos’ weapons program since 2011, is currently serving as the lab’s acting director, but industry officials say he is not likely to be a candidate for the permanent position. Several interesting candidates from the lab’s last search could emerge as candidates once again, including Bruce Goodwin, who after heading up the lab’s weapons program for years was named the head of the lab’s Center for Global Security Research and the lab’s National Security Office May 1. UC could also make another push for Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason, one of the most widely respected lab directors in the DOE complex. Industry officials have suggested other possible candidates could include former Oak Ridge National Laboratory Thomas Zacharia, now the head of the Qatar Science and Technology Park, as well as Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Deputy Director for Science and


Anonymous said...

hope the group tars and feathers linton brooks and rides him out of California on a rail.

That rat bastard designed the 2007 contract mess from the good contract -48 to evil current contact -44.

He's the father of the aborted Frakenstien "transition" that lead to $120M in increased unreimbursed fees and lead to the lay-offs of 1800 LLNL people and the serious decline in compensation for all.

He should be rousted.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree! That bastard should never be allowed to step on the hallowed ground of LLNL - the damage he set into motion to the weapon’s complex and to science will forever impact the security of the United States of America. WHY IS HE ON THE HIRING COMMITTEE???

Anonymous said...

Go back and read his Lintgrams that he sent out as the NNSA Administrator. He kept telling NNSA employees how good they were. Even a moron would know that is not true.

Anonymous said...

Some old gems on Mr Brooks

He will soon be gone, but not missed. Not by me anyhow. I first met ex-Ambassador Brooks in December, 2004 when he staged a visit to LANL after hearing of purported morale problems there. Morale problems that had resulted from the Nanos-caused shutdown of the lab which was then in its sixth month. I was one of a group of staff members who had been pre-selected (on what basis I can only imagine) to meet with him. I learned everything that I probably I needed to know about Admiral (retired) Brooks during the first few minutes of the meeting, when Brooks declared, "I fully supported Director Nanos' decision to have shut the entire laboratory down last July."

To me, Brooks was clearly

a) out of touch with the realities of the events that lead to Nanos' precipitous decision to shut the entire lab down in July, 2004, or (more likely)
b) adhering to the party line. Closing ranks. Attempting to protect his fellow retired Admiral, as well as his own butt.

He was clearly not

a) interested in LANL's best interests, or
b) interested in solving any of the real problems that existed at LANL, many of which still exist or are even worse than they were in 2004. Covering them up, yes. Fixing them, no.

As head of NNSA, he will not be missed by most of the people that I know.

Another one

Brooks was fully aware that the purported 2004 missing LANL CREM never even existed. He knew that the media in question had never existed just one day after Nanos shut the place down. He was told so via a conference call made from Nanos' office on the morning of July 17. Regardless, throughout its entire 7 month duration he "fully backed" Nanos' decision to have shut the laboratory down. A shutdown triggered over a security infraction that did not occur.

Now we discover that Brooks is complicit in covering up an actual security incident involving sensitive electronic media at DOE.

That, folks, is irony.

Anonymous said...

More on Brooks from the old LANL Blog

"Doug -
I will repeat here my deep disappointment in Linton Brooks. I was also present at that meeting with Brooks in December 2004, with many scientific staff in the room. Brooks insisted that the LANL shutdown was necessary, saying that LANL had more Price-Andersen act violations in the last year than the rest of the complex combined. It was only much later revealed that during the same time frame, there were serious security violations at Sandia that resulted in termination of a high-ranking manager, and a series of laboratory accidents at Livermore. Also, Brooks' public spokesman later released statistics on security violations across the complex, and they showed that LANL actually had fewer than Livermore and Sandia, even after counting the DX "incident".

To insist that LANL should be singled out for punishment is indication that Brooks is not merely a "political animal", but has very likely been a major force in distorting the status of operations at Los Alamos to congressional committees. Why he has done that, I cannot fathom. But it is clear that Ambassador Brooks is a key part of the problem in the recent mismanagement of Los Alamos.
# posted by Blogger Bernard Foy : 3/03/2006 09:33:00 AM"

Another One

"Ambassador Linton Brooks: You have publicly apologized for calling LANL a "culture of non-compliance," and I thank you for that. But you have not, to my knowledge, returned to Congress to retract the statement made in Congressional testimony. You need to make it clear that many previous assertions made about LANL operations and LANL scientists were unfounded, and even irresponsible. This is about more than just hurt feelings: national security has been damaged by making it harder to attract funding.
Bernard Foy"

Anonymous said...

That Linton Brooks is on this committee is a slap in the face of every employee that suffered through his reign. Thank goodness this is only the search committee, and he can't do too much damage by being on it.

Anonymous said...

I too was at the meeting with Brooks and can corroborate everything said above. He is the worst kind of political hack.

Anonymous said...

I don't think he ever achieved the rank of Admiral; as I recall, he reached O-6 (Captain) in the Navy. He made a lot of mistakes by going along with Congressional pressure and not standing up to them - but I don't think he is intrinsically evil. Just not the right guy for the job at the time. Even worse than Nanos was another guy with Navy pedigree, ADM Watkins reign @ Secretary of Energy. I think he was even worse than Hazel O'Leary. Compared to them, Brooks was relatively benign. Coulda been worse! Our most recent Nobel Laureate DOE Secretary did not distinguish himself, either.

Anonymous said...

Compared to them, Brooks was relatively benign. Coulda been worse!

I respectfully disagree. Linton Brooks role as incompetent NNSA administrator, coward in Congress and perpetrator of the terrible punishment contracts on both LANL and LLNL did more long-lasting damage to national security than Alger Hiss.

Incompetence within is is as bad as enemies without.

How the hell you'd want his input is beyond me. Use him for an ash tray.

Anonymous said...

December 12, 2013 at 9:43 PM
I completely agree, the worst secretary of energy we ever had was
Watkins. For those of us who were there, we can still remember the tiger teams. For those who are too young: all the asinine safety requirements are an outcome of these tiger teams.

Anonymous said...

So what happened when Secretary Bodman fired Linton Brooks and replaced him with Tom D'Agostino. Did things get better? Did Tom fix things? Nope. And then we had the brilliant Chu, who worked at a lab, come in as Secretary, and what did he do to fix things? Nada. At least Linton had the guts to show up at the labs periodically and hold all hands meetings and face Q&A. Tom did that once just after being named Administrator then for many years never exposed himself to Q&A at a LLNL all-hands meeting. Among Linton's big mistakes were backing other people such as Nanos who did not deserve backing. There is a management theory (common in those with Navy pedigree) that you should put good people in charge of things and then back them up and let them manage, and that is what Linton tried to do; but, Linton had a lot of bad people and he did not seem to know it, and they helped make him look bad. Both Nanos and Watkins were ex-Navy too and together they all undermined the reputation of Naval Nuclear Power etc as an elite organization and the go-to place to look for managers in the nuclear weapons community. Those who migrated from the national laboratories to management positions in DOE did not distinguish themselves, either. The political environment in Washington DC makes DOE/NNSA a quagmire that mere mortals cannot succeed in, and those who might have sufficient super-powers to succeed in those positions are smart enough not to take them and generally find better positions in more friendly environments within government.

Anonymous said...

Also during reign, Linton Brooks compromised our Social Security numbers and other personal information and his only excuse was "we just screwed-up". The guy is a total "zero". And we invited him back to select our Lab Director? Oh my God help us...

Anonymous said...

Brooks was reprimanded for not reporting to Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman regarding the theft of computer files at an NNSA facility in Albuquerque, NM, which contained Social Security numbers and other data for 1,500 workers.

Brooks: Deceptive Con Artist

Anonymous said...

Endemic corruption

Anonymous said...

"Bret Knapp, who has headed up Los Alamos’ weapons program since 2011, is currently serving as the lab’s acting director, but industry officials say he is not likely to be a candidate for the permanent position." (Article)

Bret Knapp is being saved as a very special gift to Los Alamos. He will be their next Director once McMillan leaves in about two years. It's already been decided. He's considered to be "not good enough" in caliber and credentials for LLNL's next Director but he'll do just fine for UC's forgotten and remote outpost of 'Lost Almost'.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting the heebie-geebies as I read all these names from the past - Hazel and Watkins in particular. Hey labbies - remember Hazel was the first DOE secretary to give us a zero raise? And Watkins, yep, as one commentator points out, our safety "culture" can trace its roots back to his tiger teams... As for Linton, what would he know about picking a director for us???

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dec 13 @ 11:15 - Hearing all these names together really makes me feel uneasy. Lots of bad leadership.

So, for balance, who remembers Dixie Lee Ray?

Anonymous said...

So, for balance, who remembers Dixie Lee Ray?

December 16, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Yep, and Phase Threes, and Nuclear Weapons Tests, and ...

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Anonymous said...

Hey December 20, 2013 at 11:31 AM -

I always thought that one of the good things about the good ol days, was that we KNEW they were good ol days, right? I do miss 'em.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the attendance at the WWG at LANL fell off by a factor of two within a year after the last underground test. Subcrits were a yawn.

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