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Livermore: dirty bombs begin at home


Letters Re: Billion dollar bungle 'loses' US tech lab

Was there a point to this article? Usually, I enjoy reading The Reg, because you guys tell it like it is. Other times, I just have to sit back and shake my head.

You really think a budget error is the equivalent to killing 5000 people?

Jason Bennett

"Remind us again. Who are the bad guys?"

Be happy to -- it's the guys that rammed two aircraft into two buildings full of helpless and mostly innocent people. Any more questions?

Time for a visit to the Total Perspective Vortex, Andrew.

Subject: Who are the bad guys?

The first blow for defense of the US was by ordinary citizens (let our enemies beware for an informed citizen is the US's mightiest weapon of defense).

It is the people, not our leaders who make us great. When we look at the whole history of 9-11 we must look back past Bill Clinton (who Bush tries to blame for everything) to the Regan Bush Black Op war in Afganistan as the actual creation of Al Quida. The actions of the Government often produce unforseen consequences and side effects (like all those dead civilians in Argentina and Chile)

Congratulations for your vigilance in watching the government and thereby protecting us all.

[name and address supplied]

To be honest, I can't tell if there is a real issue or problem that needs attention or if you're stretching things in a huge way. Part of the problem
is that your article was simply too short to say much of any use while offering nothing concrete. The ending "Remind us again. Who are the bad
guys?" was simply out of place and an injection of personal opinion or snideness that did not add anything useful or meaningful to the article (in
fact, it reminds me of the snide comments that BBC commentators like to inject at every opportunity.

Thank you,
James Cowgill

I'd like to propose another explanation, namely that the people who are making these decisions (obviously not Shrub) are not bungling, panic-stricken idiots, but cool, calm, calculating fascists whose entire lives (and the lives of a couple of generations of ancestors as well in some cases) have been dedicated to the continual erosion of freedoms, the destruction of the unions, and the rape of the planet, in other words anything that stands between the multinationals and that last quarter in your pocket.

Occam's Razor.

[name and address supplied]

Despite the subject, this one ain't rocket science. Pork is a finite resource, and tends to leave states who don't support the current junta. The only real question will be how quickly the administrations head will spin around if California gets a Republican governor.

Chuck Desmarais

"innumerate provincial nitwits", perhaps, but at least they're NOT Tony
Blair. (Or any other chips- or cheese-eating eurotrash surrender monkey)

Mick Grant

I normally enjoy reading The Register but its recent articles attacking the U.S.'s recent attempts at bolstering anti-terrorism efforts appear to me to be full of misguided sensationalism. The comparison of the U.S. intelligence efforts to the Nazi's Gestapo was particularly sensationalistic and offensive (I know that article wasn't written by you but it was on The Register).

The simple fact is that as technology improves it is easier to destroy than it is to create. 20-30 years from now it is very likely that constructing a virus capable of genocide could be a simple high school science project. More and more nations are getting the ability to develop biological and nuclear weapons. While the threat today of a suitcase nuclear bomb or some other similar WMD catastrophe might be remote, with each passing year the risk becomes greater and greater.

I am thrilled at the U.S. government is actually taking this threat seriously rather than deluding themselves that such terrible things can't possibly happen.

Personally I think The Register should stick to tech journalism and leave out politics as they are very good at the former and too sensationalistic and uninformed on the latter in my opinion.

Anyway, keep up the good work overall as The Register is one of my favorite sites.

Take care,
Ted Halmrast

Pure genius (the writing, not the junta :-).

Paul Heinlein

Bad guys? How did you become one of the sad guys?

Brian Tankersley


In my unqualified opinion, the statement made by Tom Ridge was actually more accurate than even he thought. I work at BNL, which is currently operated under the auspices of the DOE (as is LLNL). At these and probably all of the other national laboratories, the vast majority of the employees are actually not Federales. Only a few percent actually work directly for the DOE. The rest work for the contractor which the DOE has hired to run that particular lab (ie. BNL is run by BSA - Brookhaven Science Associates).

Comments on Slashdot about this story point out that LLNL is run by one of the California universities. The four percent of LLNL employees that are supposedly expected to become Department of Homeland Security employees probably represent 100% of the DOE employees at LLNL. I doubt that the other employees or their projects will be greatly affected by the change in ownership.

Don't get me wrong. I'm far from convinced that trading the DOE for the unborn DHS makes a lick of sense. Come to think of it, maybe LLNL would be better off. I don't think that the current Energy Secretary (Spencer Abraham) has much more of a clue about how the national labs work than Tom Ridge does. Take care.

[name and email address supplied]

Upon reading your story on 06/12/2002 about the US government liquidating Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, I couldn't help wondering if there was a relationship between their decision and what sounds like a snafu of potentially catastrophic proportions which occured earlier at said facility.

The story was reported by AP on 06/06/02 and can be found in its entirety here:

Briefly - the government decided that hundreds of gallons of radioactive waste would not be safe in a new building constructed at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, so they have opted to store the waste in *tents* just outside the building until some place could be found, or the building brought up to code.

Given the recent threats of a "dirty bomb" here in the States, this seems like a decision of epic levels of stupidity...

Just wondered what your take was on this, and wanted to thank you for bringing the potential dissolution to the public's attention.

To think this administration will be upon us for at least another 2 years. Pray for us now, in the hour of our need...



[full name supplied]

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