Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Federal agents drunk while transporting nukes

By DOUG THOMPSON
November 23, 2010

Here’s a sobering thought. Federal agents hired to transport nuclear weapons on convoys around the United States stopped off for drinks and drove drunk while on the missions.

Last year, two got so plastered in a bar en route that police were called in.

Sandra D. Bruce, assistant inspector general for The U.S. Department of Energy, told The Associated Press that he office reviewed 16 alcohol-related incidents from 2007 through 2009. The incidents involved agents, candidate-agents and others employed by the Federal Office of Secure Transportation.

Some 600 agents work in the program.

Reports The Associated Press:

Two incidents in particular raised red flags, the report said, because they happened during secure transportation missions while agents checked into local hotels while on extended missions. In these cases, the vehicles were placed in “safe harbor,” meaning they were moved to secure locations.

In one case, in 2007, an agent was arrested for public intoxication. The other occurred last year, when police handcuffed and temporarily detained two agents after an incident at a bar.

“Alcohol incidents such as these, as infrequent as they may be, indicate a potential vulnerability in OST’s critical national security mission,” the report warns.

The report did not identify the locations for either incident, and the inspector general’s office declined to identify them Monday, citing the safe harbor locations.

The findings alarmed some lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“I was appalled to learn that some couriers responsible for transporting nuclear weapons and material were found to be drinking on the job,” said Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., who chairs the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee. He said he would seek a full briefing from the inspector general.

“We cannot tolerate any behavior that falls short of the level of excellence required and expected when it comes to protecting and handling our nation’s most powerful and dangerous weapons,” Langevin said.

Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is seeking more information on the report and will be monitoring implementation of the recommendations, a committee spokeswoman said.

“As the report suggests, a potential vulnerability in the secure transportation of nuclear materials is entirely unacceptable,” said Towns.

Enhanced by Zemanta

6 Responses to Federal agents drunk while transporting nukes

  1. Carl Nemo

    November 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Not shocking at all. Our nation is in the last stages prior to failure no different than the former Soviet Empire; so too its military and government sector apparatchiks all drunk to the gills on vodka. They had drunks on duty in charge of their nuclear command and control functions…ouch!

    What should we expect from our country with asleep at the wheel of life citizens that now settle for a shufflebutt, citizen unfriendly, pro-business leadership…? : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. Guardhouse Lawyer

    November 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Let me see if I have this straight:

    The truck drivers took the weaponry to a safe location (like an army post perhaps?) then while off duty got drunk.

    Is that, in a nutshell, what the basics of this article say?

    So these guys are off duty? On their own time? Nowhere near the bombs?

    Someone has way too much time on his hands if all he or she can do is cook up headlines such as “Federal agents drunk while transporting nukes”.

    • Carl Nemo

      November 23, 2010 at 6:26 pm

      “Last year, two got so plastered in a bar en route that police were called in.” …extract from article

      I don’t know your ‘poison’ if any GHL, but I’ve drunk a supertanker load of spirits in my time. The next morning and sometimes and entire day doesn’t lend itself to the level of alertness necessary for the call of duty so to speak.

      Yeah, tough guys can still perform their duties, but it would seem that this force of 600 nuclear weps transporters must have some guidelines when they are underway. If you pick up a load and let’s say the journey takes 5 days, then it would be expected that these folks stay sober and alert the whole time. You aren’t off duty until the load is delivered safe and sound. Anyway that’s the way it should be, if not then management isn’t doing their job and are possibly hazarding the public.

      Carl Nemo **==

      • Guardhouse Lawyer

        November 23, 2010 at 7:43 pm

        “Shipping and transporting nuclear weapons should be a tightly regulated affair, but as the Washington Post reports, some have played it fast and loose. According to a U.S. Energy Department oversight report, 16 incidents involving drunk government nuclear weapons drivers have been investigated. Though the people being investigated are government drivers, there is no evidence any of them operated a vehicle while intoxicated. Drivers were arrested by police while in the middle of nuclear weapons convoy missions between 2007 and 2009.
        Drunk nuclear weapons drivers were on secure missions

        “‘Secure transportation missions’ are not the time to stop and tie one on, particularly when the safe transport of nuclear weapons is involved. Reports indicate that various drivers in question checked into various local hotels during long-range missions. Vehicles and payloads were stationed in ‘safe harbor’ locations for security purposes while the drivers rested at the hotels. Drinking at hotel bars led to arrests for public intoxication, which, while not the same as DUI arrests, are just as troubling, considering the mission potential for catastrophe.

        National Nuclear Security Administration reports made it clear that no evidence was found that drunk nuclear weapons drivers actually operated their vehicles while intoxicated. The NNSA Office of Secure Transportation underscored that after more than 100 million miles of secure nuclear weapons transportation, there has been no fatal accident or release of radiation.”

        Is there any difference between this and the airline pilot who stops in Topeka on an overnighter and has a snootful but complies with the FAA requirements for alcohol level and time since consumption at the time of her next flight? A hundred million miles without an accident is probably around 2 million person-hours of driving time, wouldn’t you think?

        In my opinion this is a nothing story designed to whip up more anti-government sentiments. If the same facts about the miles without an accident had been used to demonstrate the safety record of drivers who transport these dangerous cargoes no one would have said a word about it.

        • Carl Nemo

          November 23, 2010 at 8:36 pm

          “In my opinion this is a nothing story designed to whip up more anti-government sentiments.” …extract from reply

          You evidently like our dysfunctional, criminally disposed government’s performance more often than not, perpetuallycoming to its defense in these challenging times. It’s your choice.

          My apologies for ever-dissing that which you evidently find little to no fault; ie., our government. / : |

          *****

          “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” …G.W. Bush

          *****

          Carl Nemo **==

          • logtroll

            November 25, 2010 at 11:00 pm

            News Flash: “Ranter detained on suspicion of posting while intoxicated; possibly ingested a supertanker full of spirits; government blamed…”