Report: U.S. Nuclear Fort Knox Compromised: “Multiple System Failures” and “Troubling Ineptitude”

y12Across the United States there exist numerous facilities at which nuclear fuel is manufactured and stored, including highly enriched uranium (HEU). According to experts, even someone with rudimentary skills could utilize this HEU fuel to create a nuclear weapon capable of leveling a major U.S. city.

You would think that after the destruction of the world trade center, thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars spent that the Department of Homeland Security would have made securing these facilities a top priority.

But you’d be wrong.

A new report from Harvard University underscores just how ripe with security holes and ineptitude these facilities really are. So much so that recently an 82 year-old nun and two of her cohorts compromised one of these locations with tools as simple as a pair of bolt cutters and a couple of hammers. What’s more is that the facility cited in the report is one that nuclear security experts refer to as the “Fort Knox of Highly Enriched Uranium” – the Y-12 Oak Ridge, Tennessee National Security Complex.

In the early morning hours of July 28, 2012, an 82 year-old nun and two other protesters broke into the Y-12 nuclear weapons production facility—sometimes referred to as the Fort Knox of HEU—in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Equipped with hammers, paint, blood, and a pair of bolt cutters, they cut through four fences—three of them with intrusion detectors—setting off alarms, and traversed a 600-meter semi-wooded area until they arrived at the wall of a building housing hundreds of tons of HEU, enough for thousands of nuclear weapons. They painted blood on the walls, sang songs, and pounded on the building with their hammers, before finally being accosted by a single guard. Fortunately, they were not terrorists armed with explosives and did not mean any harm (and the building has specially designed walls that would be very difficult for terrorists to penetrate, along with extensive interior protections). But later investigations revealed a security culture failure of epic proportions, not only in the intrusion but also in the response.

How could this happen? The subsequent investigation of the incident by the Department of Energy (DOE) Inspector General revealed “multiple system failures on several levels” and “troubling displays of ineptitude” in Y-12’s security practices. For example, it turned out the site had a new intrusion detection system, which was setting off ten times as many false alarms as usual. Normally, the guard at the central alarm station could check if an alarm was caused by a real intruder using cameras along the fence—but the cameras had been broken for months. They had not been put on the priority list to be fixed, on the assumption that guards could always check out the alarms; but it appears that with so many false alarms, the guards had grown weary of investigating. For whatever reason, even a series of alarms on a path leading directly to the HEU building was not enough to prompt the guard at the central alarm station to take more serious action. The heavily armed guards inside the facility heard the hammering and thought it might be construction they had not been told about, even though it was before dawn, and did not bother to check.

In short, there was a profound breakdown in security culture—among those who tolerated an intrusion system setting off ten times as many false alarms as usual, among those who did not bother to fix the cameras, among the guards who did not react to the alarms or the hammering, and eventually in the armed response to the intrusion.

Perhaps even more troubling, prior to the intrusion, officials at DOE headquarters thought of Y-12 as one of their most secure sites, and had no idea such a serious erosion of security practices had occurred. Tom D’Agostino, then-administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), warned that “this incident raises important questions about the security of Category I materials [those requiring the highest level of security] throughout the DOE complex.”

Full Report: Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals (PDF)

The Department of Homeland Security insists that it is a necessary component of the national security apparatus.

They’ve certainly found time to weave a massive surveillance web across this country to record the digital interactions of every single American. They’ve highlighted the existence of serious threats emerging from domestic lone wolves who engage in activities such as  making cash purchases, storing emergency supplies, or purchasing bulk ammunition. And these days everyone from a guy producing his own silver coins to kids making gun gestures with their fingers is accused of engaging in terrorist activity.

But when it comes to weapons of mass destruction it seems like no one in government really cares.

This report, yet again, brings to question the purpose of all the added security measures being forced upon the American people.

If national security is such a top priority of DHS and other agencies, then why is it that our Southern border remains so porous that individuals from countries like Iran and Afghanistan, some of them with possible ties to mid-east terrorist organisations, have been nabbed over the last several years trying to make their way into the United States?

How is it that critical utility infrastructure components like water reservoirs and electrical sub stations remain susceptible to even basic attacks?

And how, in a world where terrorism and improvised weapons are the typical method of attack, can supposedly highly secured nuclear facilities be broken into by a nun with bolt cutters?

An objective observer would have to conclude that protecting the United States from terrorists of the al-Queda Jihadi influence is not at all what these initiatives are all about.

Seriously, is anyone at DHS or the rest of our federal agencies paying attention to the real threats to our national security?


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

LAWSUIT: Bill Clinton made multiple trips to fundraiser’s private island where underage sex slaves were held

This appears to be part of a pattern. That is, a real “war on women” — and girls — waged by the impeached and disbarred William Jefferson Clinton.

A new lawsuit has revealed the extent of former President Clinton’s friendship with a fundraiser who was later jailed for having sex with an underage prostitute.

Bill Clinton’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, who served time in 2008 for his illegal sexual partners, included up multiple trips to the onetime billionaire’s private island in the Caribbean where underage girls were allegedly kept as sex slaves… the two men’s friendship … seems to have ended abruptly around the time of Epstein’s arrest

…Tales of orgies and young girls being shipped to the island, called Little St. James, have been revealed as part of an ongoing lawsuit between Epstein and his former lawyers Scott Rothstein and Bradley Edwards…

Flight logs pinpoint Clinton’s trips on Epstein’s jet between the years 2002 and 2005, while he was working on his philanthropic post-presidential career and while his wife Hillary was a Senator for their adopted state of New York…

…[An] unidentified woman [said] how orgies were a regular occurrence and she recalled two young girls from New York who were always seen around the five-house compound but their personal backstories were never revealed.

At least one woman on the compound was there unwillingly, as the suit identifies a woman as Jane Doe 102. She ‘was forced to live as one of Epstein’s underage sex slaves for years and was forced to have sex with… politicians, businessmen, royalty, academicians, etc,’ the lawsuit says…

Epstein’s sexual exploits have been documented since 2005, when a woman in Palm Beach contacted police saying that her 14-year-old daughter had been paid $ 300 to massage him and then have sex… The claim prompted a nearly year-long investigation that led to the eventual charge of soliciting prostitution which came as part of a plea deal. He spent 13 months of a 18-month sentence in jail and remains a registered sex offender.

Maybe this news will push the execrable Woman’s Day magazine to honor Clinton with another award. Perhaps a “Little Blue Dress” trophy?

Hat tip: BadBlue News

Doug Ross @ Journal