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[H.A.S.C. No. 106–54]







JUNE 14, 2000



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One Hundred Sixth Congress

FLOYD D. SPENCE, South Carolina, Chairman
BOB STUMP, Arizona
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
HOWARD ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma

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WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
BOB RILEY, Alabama
MARY BONO, California
JOSEPH PITTS, Pennsylvania
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina

JOHN M. SPRATT, Jr., South Carolina
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts

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VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
ROBERT BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut

Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
Lisa Wetzel, Staff Assistant




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    Wednesday, June 14, 2000, Security Failures at Los Alamos National Laboratory


    Wednesday, June 14, 2000



    Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services

    Spence, Hon. Floyd D., a Representative from South Carolina, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services


    Browne, Dr. John C., Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Department of Energy

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    Curran, Edward J., Director, Office of Counterintelligence, Department of Energy

    Gioconda, Brig. Gen. Thomas F., Acting Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy

    Glauthier, Hon. T.J., Deputy Secretary of Energy

    Habiger, Gen. Eugene, (USAF, Ret.), Director, Office of Security and Emergency Operations, Department of Energy



[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]

Skelton, Hon. Ike

Spence, Hon. Floyd D.

[The Documents Submitted for the Record can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Letter to Hon. Floyd D. Spence from John C. Browne, Los Alamos National Laboratory

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[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]

Andrews, Hon. Robert E.
Bateman, Hon. Herbert H.
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Thornberry, Hon. Mac
Weldon, Hon. Curt


House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, June 14, 2000.

    The full Committee met, pursuant to call, at 2:06 p.m. in Room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Floyd D. Spence (Chairman of the Committee) presiding.


    The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will please be in order. Today the Committee meets to take up testimony on the latest and still developing nuclear weapons security failure at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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    Let me apologize to members for the lack of normal notice for this hearing. Mr. Skelton and I felt that the seriousness and urgency of the situation merited having this hearing as quickly as possible in order to better understand the specifics of the situation at hand.

    In many respects, this afternoon's hearing gives me a sense of deja vu. Since 1998, this Committee has been deeply involved in investigating and legislating fixes to address the fundamental breakdown in national security procedures within the Department of Energy nuclear weapons complex.

    What began as a look at serious weaknesses in the Department's foreign visitor program soon transformed itself into a counterintelligence revelation that stunned the country. The People's Republic of China somehow obtained U.S. nuclear weapons design information. The Department of Energy national laboratories, and Los Alamos in particular, were quickly identified as the most likely source of the loss of this sensitive information.

    We now know that an individual working in the weapons design X Division downloaded volumes of nuclear weapons design and test data from his secure classified computer into his unsecure, unclassified system and onto portable tapes. Though never charged with espionage, Mr. Wen Ho Lee was subsequently arrested and charged with mishandling classified nuclear weapons information and potentially exposing it to compromise.

    The seriousness of the security shortfalls identified during this incident led President Clinton to ask the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board to examine the security threat at the department's weapons laboratories and the adequacy of measures taken to address it. The board found that, and I quote, ''Department of Energy (DOE) and the weapons laboratories have a deeply rooted culture of low regard for and at times hostility to security issues.''

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    The chairman of this board, former Senator Warren Redman, testified before this Committee that the board concluded that the Department of Energy was bureaucratically and culturally incapable of reforming itself. The board, therefore, recommended that the national security functions of the department be placed under the direction of a totally independent agency or as a semiautonomous agency within the department.

    This latter construction was adopted in the fiscal year 2000 National Defense Authorization Act, which created the National Nuclear Security Administration. In addition, Congress enacted frequent reforms of the law and procedures governing how the department conducts security and counterintelligence responsibilities.

    I have to say that these efforts were met with a level of resistance and hostility by Secretary Richardson that continues to this very day. Rather than accepting and implementing the legal tools passed by the Congress and enacted into law by the President to address this critical problem, Department of Energy has been engaged in a pattern of legal obfuscation and evasion in order to frustrate the clear intent of the Congress in this area.

    Despite the continuing efforts to circumvent key portions of the DOE reorganization legislation, the department had been proceeding with changes in security procedures. This progress led to some hope that we would finally turn the corner on this problem and that many of the fundamental problems universally recognized and highlighted by the Redman report were finally being rectified.

    While I recognize that this investigation is still in its early stages and much is not yet known, I also believe there is enough known to conclude that the DOE national laboratory conflicts, and Los Alamos in particular, still suffer from serious, disturbing and unacceptable deficiencies in how they safeguard the Nation's most sensitive nuclear secrets.

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    With us today to update us on this incident and discuss the various issues that are raised are the Honorable T.J. Glauthier, Deputy Secretary of Energy; Brigadier General Thomas F. Gioconda, Acting Deputy Administrator for Defense programs, National Nuclear Security Administration; General Eugene Habiger, director, Office of Security and Emergency Operations; and Mr. Edward Curran, director, Office of Counterintelligence; John C. Browne, director, Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    Let me welcome our witnesses and thank you for agreeing to appear before us on such short notice.

    Before I go any further, I would like to recognize the Ranking Democrat on the Committee, the Honorable Ike Skelton.

    [The prepared statement of Mr. Spence can be found in the Appendix.]


    Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This Committee has previously expressed its concern about the legacy of disregard for the protection of nuclear weapons related classified information within the Department of Energy. However, this latest incident involving a loss of a theft of highly sensitive computer disks at the Los Alamos Laboratory raises new and troubling additional concerns.

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    I am disappointed—I think a better word might be incensed—that this Committee again finds itself having to address yet another serious lapse in security involving the protection of national nuclear information.

    I am not willing to accept the proposition that the many heralded scientific accomplishments and achievements of the many world class Department of Energy scientists would not have been possible in a rigorous security conscious environment. I am not willing to accept the rationale that the recent security lapse resulted from the high intensity environment created by the fire and the shutdown of the laboratory.

    Continued security lapses simply cannot be tolerated. It is particularly troubling that apparently the disks were known to be missing for at least a couple of weeks before the officials of the Department of Energy headquarters were notified.

    Last June, this Committee met to receive the report of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. We were reminded that lax security administration within the Energy Department was not a new concern. The board's report states in part, ''Time after time over the past few decades, officials at the DOE headquarters and the weapons labs themselves have been presented with overwhelming evidence that their lackadaisical oversight could lead to an increase in the nuclear threat against the United States.''

    Throughout its history, the department has been the subject of scores of critical reports from the General Accounting Office, the intelligence community, independent commissions, private management consultants, its Inspector General and its own security experts, yet the Department's ingrained behavior and values have caused it to continue to falter and fail.

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    The report describes a culture within the Department of Energy complexes of a low regard for security and cites the need for a change in that culture. In a Procurement Subcommittee hearing in October last year, General Habiger, you testified about your program and activities as the department securities are, and you indicated that you were focused on changing the security climate at the Department of Energy. As commendable as your efforts so far have been, they obviously have not been successful.

    I note that each of our witnesses today has significant departmental responsibility for security and counterintelligence matters. It would be instructive for each of you to address your assessment of the cultural attitudes towards security matters in the protection and control of highly sensitive information. It would also be helpful if you could describe current security incident reporting procedures.

    Mr. Chairman, I applaud the Department for its significant contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge and for its good work on stockpiles storage and nonproliferation activities. I am also certain that there are many dedicated and hard working professions in the department with a genuine understanding of and appreciation for the value of security policies and practices.

    Over the last several months, the many congressional committees with jurisdiction over the Department of Energy activities have been given assurances that significant changes in security procedures were being made. I am confident that some changes have been made, but it is painfully obvious that much more must be done. I know that safeguarding information about our nuclear weapons activities is a complex and complicated issue, but we must find a solution that will balance the needs of scientific inquiry on the one hand and the protection of our national security interests on the other.

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    I look forward to the occasion when we will be able to have confidence that our nuclear secrets and related information will be adequately safeguarded. I do not have that confidence today.

    Thank you.

    [The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be found in the Appendix.]

    The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the prepared statements of all of our witnesses, along with any accompanying material, will be inserted in the record.

    Secretary Glauthier, the floor is yours.


    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Skelton and members of the Committee. We do appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss this incident and the ongoing federal investigation into the handling of classified information at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    With me today, as you have mentioned, I have General Gioconda, who is the acting Deputy Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration for Defense Program and is responsible for the Los Alamos Laboratory program. I have Dr. Browne, as you mentioned, who is the director of the Los Alamos Lab within that structure; General Habiger, who is the director of our Office of Security and Emergency Operations; and Ed Curran will be joining us shortly. He is the director of our Counterintelligence Office and is completing a briefing with another committee. He will be here shortly.

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    Let me mention some brief remarks first, and then we will turn it to some other statements. As soon as we learned at headquarters about the security incidence on June 1, Secretary Richardson tasked me to head up in the department the effort to find out what happened at Los Alamos Lab, including a determination of accountability and recommendations for disciplinary action and security procedure changes.

    I have been working intensively since we first learned of the problem with the people I have just mentioned who are here with me today and the others in their offices. We also immediately contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation through Mr. Curran and General Habiger, which has initiated a criminal investigation of this matter in cooperation with the department.

    Let me say at the outset that the Department of Energy has not and will not tolerate security lapses by our employees and contractors and that the leadership of the Department of Energy is extremely concerned about what has happened at the Los Alamos Lab.

    While it is true that this problem evolved during a fire of catastrophic proportions, we are particularly angry at how long it took the lab to notify the department about this incident. The Department is required to be informed of such problems within eight hours of their discovery. The contractor informed us three weeks after the initial discovery.

    Frankly, if one of these people had discovered their car had been stolen from their garage at home, they would have notified the authorities immediately. This information is far more important. It is of national security importance. We were not notified within an hour, within a day, but within three weeks of the initial discovery. I can assure you that personnel will be held accountable and that disciplinary action will result from this incident.

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    As you know, Secretary Richardson put tough security measures in place after his arrival at the Department, including selecting General Habiger as the Department's security czar and fully implementing PDD-61, the President's counterintelligence order for DOE.

    Secretary Richardson has worked tirelessly to respond to the security problems that arose last year, and we think we have an excellent team in place for situations such as this. We are very pleased that this morning the Senate has confirmed General John Gordon to be the Undersecretary for our National Nuclear Security Administration, the first administrator of that semiautonomous part of our Department.

    We have set high standards for security. We demand to know why the lab was not able to meet these standards. We plan to hold them accountable. In our briefings to the Congress on this matter, there have been a lot of questions of the time line on this incident, so let me go through it quickly.

    On May 7, it was determined by lab employees that these disk drives were missing. By way of background, these two drives were used by the NEST team, the Nuclear Emergency Search Team, which is trained to respond to nuclear accidents or terrorist acts. The disks contained very sensitive technical data.

    May 7, as the evacuation of the town of Los Alamos was underway and evacuation of the lab was beginning the NEST team discovered these disks missing as they were preparing to take their emergency materials off site in case of an emergency during the time that the lab was closed.

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    From May 8 to May 22, the Los Alamos lab was shut down because of the Sierra Grande fire. May 22 to 24, employees began to return to the laboratory, and a search was begun for the missing hard drives. It was not until May 31 that laboratory manager John Browne was told about the loss.

    On June 1, the following day, DOE headquarters was alerted about the loss. On June 2, we had a series of meetings, including our first teleconference with the Los Alamos people, and on June 2 we notified the FBI about the reported loss. We also notified Secretary Richardson, who was traveling overseas, and on that weekend—June 2 was a Friday. Over the weekend, we also notified the National Security Council, the deputy and then the head of the National Security Council and ultimately the President that weekend.

    On Monday, June 5, I dispatched General Habiger and an FBI team to go to Los Alamos to manage the inquiry as a joint Department of Energy and FBI inquiry. A series of employee interviews was conducted, and additional searches were made. General Habiger and the FBI team arrived at the site on Tuesday, June 6, and began their inquiry at that time.

    A week later, June 12, General Habiger returned and briefed the Secretary of Energy, and our decision was made. The Secretary made the decision to turn the investigation over to the FBI. Currently, the FBI, with the full cooperation of DOE, is conducting a criminal investigation into this matter. Let me emphasize this is an ongoing investigation. All the facts are not in yet, and it is at a very sensitive stage.

    Let me also summarize the actions we have taken relating to this matter. First, the laboratory has suspended work and conducted a thorough search of the offices and classified work areas in this part of the laboratory, including affirmative inventorying of all classified materials in computers. The laboratory has also tightened access to vaults and computers.

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    We have asked for a damage assessment from the Central Intelligence Agency. The University of California has placed six management employees from the Los Alamos Lab on administrative leave pending a review of their responsibilities and actions.

    Polygraphs of laboratory employees will begin today. We will be considering additional security measures, and we are also waiting to hear quickly from the University of California about what actions they are prepared to take to meet the accountability and security standards that we put in place over the last 18 months. I will be briefing the Secretary regularly as this investigation proceeds.

    Finally, the Secretary announced yesterday that former Senator Howard Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton will be conducting a thorough investigation and assessment into the circumstances surrounding the security incident at Los Alamos and will make the necessary recommendations for corrective measures. This assessment will be done expeditiously and will be conducted in a manner so as not to interfere with the FBI investigation.

    Senator Baker and Congressman Hamilton have agreed to this assignment and will report both to President Clinton and the Secretary. We trust that Senator Baker and Congressman Hamilton will help us get to the bottom of this in a bipartisan, unbiased manner.

    The most important thing to leave you with is that the FBI and DOE investigations are continuing, that every effort is being made to find out what happened and to recover the missing disks. The Department of Energy security team is responding to this very serious incident in an aggressive and expeditious manner. We will continue to keep you and other key congressional committees informed of developments.

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    I would like to ask now for Dr. John Browne, the director of the laboratory, to comment on this and then General Habiger to comment a bit on the investigation and then open it up for questions if we might.

    The CHAIRMAN. Fine.

    Dr. Browne.


    Dr. BROWNE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee.

    Let me start by first acknowledging that this is a very serious security incident. We do not take it lightly at our laboratory. I certainly do not. This happened on my watch. I am accountable for my laboratory, the actions of everyone who works at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    I am accountable for the policies, the procedures and the systems that underpin security at Los Alamos. I am responsible for training our people, for providing them with security awareness and then retraining them when they need it. That is my responsibility.

    It is also true that any good security system depends on a fundamental principle of individual accountability as well. All the systems in the world do not do us any good unless the people follow them. That is also my responsibility to insure that our people follow our procedures and use our systems.

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    Negligence is not an excuse, disregard. Attitudes about being a scientist do not cut it. It is a responsibility that people have as part of their job. I want to just tell you personally when I heard about this my first reaction was disbelief. I think the question that went through my mind is the same question that went through your minds. How could this happen at Los Alamos after everything we have been through in the last year?

    We have made a lot of security improvements that have been validated by a lot of people. We have had scores of independent auditors comb our laboratory looking at our practices and our procedures, but it still happened. How could it happen in our laboratory?

    Then my reaction went to anger, and now it has moved to frustration, frankly, because I know the people of our laboratory are dedicated to our mission, and yet it happened at our lab.

    So what did happen? You heard Deputy Secretary Glauthier went through a chronology. I would just like to repeat one or two parts of that chronology because I think they are key to understanding what went on. The May 7 date, that was the date when the Sierra Grande fire broke out and threatened the town of Los Alamos and the laboratory at Los Alamos. It was the evening, Sunday evening, and the flames literally were hundreds of feet high.

    I was standing on the bridge that separates the laboratory and the town site, and it was very frightening to everyone. We were evacuating people in the community at that point. We made the decision to evacuate the laboratory, not to let anybody in the lab and to get anybody who was in the laboratory out of the laboratory.

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    That evening the people on this team, the NEST team, called our emergency operations center where all of my management, my senior management was. My deputy director for operations, who is in charge of controlling emergency operations, and this team, two people, requested permission to go into the area where these hard drives that are missing—they went in to take not the hard drives, but their entire NEST tool kit, which is more than the hard drives.

    The reason they wanted to take this away was they are on a 24 hour call to respond to nuclear incidents around the world. They could not allow it to happen that this tool kit would not be accessible, so we gave them permission to go in.

    They have access to this vault through a positive identification system that identifies them by where they have to match a code against their assigned code with security guards. They did that properly, but they went into this vault, and they found that these hard drives were missing.

    They then made a serious mistake, in my opinion. They called us at the emergency operations center to tell us they were going in. They did not call us back to tell us the hard drives were missing.

    There were duplicate copies of these hard drives, and the reason for that is obvious. When you have a nuclear emergency search team, you have to have backup systems. They took backup hard drives, and they placed them into their tool kit, and they removed them from the vault and properly secured the vault and placed this tool kit at another secure location far away from the fire.

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    We then were down. The laboratory was evacuated for over two weeks. As Secretary Glauthier said, the laboratory started to turn back on May 22, and by May 24 most of the employees were back at the laboratory. Not totally. This team started to search for these missing hard drives at that point.

    I think that was another mistake because the policy is eight hours' notice, not only to the Department of Energy, but within our laboratory. When they find out something is missing, we are to be notified within eight hours. So they made a mistake for a second time, and it went on for a week while they were searching for these hard drives before they notified the management chain of command at Los Alamos.

    When I found out, we immediately notified the Department of Energy, and that weekend, which was the weekend of June 1, 2, 3 and 4, I guess, we turned the laboratory upside down. We literally had everybody in teams searching every vault, every office, several times. We brought in teams of our security experts and interviewed people. We did 200 interviews in 72 hours seeing if we could not turn these hard drives up.

    On Monday morning, June 5, it was clear to me we had run into a brick wall. We had no more ideas about where these hard drives were than we did a few days before, so I formally asked the Department of Energy if I could turn this investigation over to them, and Secretary Glauthier assigned General Habiger to come out immediately to Los Alamos, and he assembled a team of Department of Energy security experts, and the FBI team joined them.

    Now, what about the impact of this fire? I am not going to use that as an excuse for this. However, let me just say that it was a traumatic experience for everyone in that area. We had hundreds of families lose their homes, including some of the people that were associated with these programs. They either knew people that lost their homes, family members, et cetera. The stress level was incredibly high. Everyone in the town was evacuated, including my own family, and that is a very stressful event.

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    Now, I cannot prove to you that people made mistakes. Someone maybe did this with nefarious purposes in mind, but if you are going to have a period in which someone makes a mistake, I cannot think of a period in which a mistake would be more likely than what occurred then, but I am not going to use that as an excuse, but it may help with the investigation.

    We are doing a lot to address these problems today. I think I will reserve those to the question and answer period. I would just like to make one closing comment.

    The University of California (UC), my immediate boss, UC President Atkinson, has made it clear to me that I am accountable as lab director. He brought in a team not of academics. He brought in a team of specialists that are at my laboratory today, tomorrow and Friday. It includes Bob Admiral Worthime, who many of you know, James Gere, who was a former deputy FBI director, and it includes Mr. Francis Sullivan from the Institute for Defense Analysis, who is a cyber security expert, so we have those three people coming in.

    In addition, the UC has a laboratory security panel that was formed after the incident that Chairman Spence referred to last year. That laboratory security panel is again an independent panel from the university of experts headed by Admiral Tom Brooks, who maybe a lot of you know, but he assembled a really outstanding team. They are coming into our laboratory on Monday, and they are going to look at management practices. We have policies and procedures. The question is what are the practices? Do people follow what we say? That is one of the questions that is going to be answered by the University of California.

    You know, improving security does not have an end point. In my opinion you do not say well, here is where we are going. We are there, and everything is fine. It is a continuing struggle against a changing world. It is a journey, and we have run into a serious roadblock in our journey at Los Alamos, but it does not mean we stop.

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    In my opinion, we figure out what went wrong, and we have to move on because I believe our mission is very important to the security of this country, and we do take our responsibilities seriously.

    Thank you.

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Now if we could have General Habiger make some observations, too, about the investigation?

    The CHAIRMAN. Fine.


    General HABIGER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity to speak with you and other Members of the Committee about our continuing investigation into the events surrounding what happened at Los Alamos.

    I want right up front to echo the Deputy Secretary's sentiments that we will not tolerate security lapses in the Department of Energy. This sentiment was made very clear to me by Secretary Richardson when I came to the department almost one year ago. This sentiment has also been very clearly articulated in numerous security initiatives we have issued over the past year to include timely reporting of security incidents.

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    I wish to briefly expand on Deputy Secretary Glauthier's chronology of events to include that Mr. Curran and I met with FBI officials in Washington on early in the afternoon of Monday, May 5, or June 5, and it was agreed upon at that time that we would aggressively move out with a joint investigation.

    Our joint DOE/FBI team began our first session at 7:00 in the morning, Tuesday morning, the 6th of June, in Los Alamos. We immediately began a series of interviews and searches at Los Alamos and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory where it was believed the information might have been moved. We discovered subsequently, based upon numerous interviews and searches jointly with the FBI, that the hard drives in question were not at Livermore.

    We have conducted to date over 100 interviews with the FBI, initiated numerous physical searches, and the FBI began their polygraphs today. The investigation is no longer joint, but is now headed solely by the FBI with Department of Energy certified credentialed investigators supporting them.

    I wish to close by saying that upon hearing of the incident, the Department of Energy moved swiftly and decisively to determine what happened to this information. These efforts continue even as we meet here today.

    Our approach is an aggressive, three phase campaign. First, to find the hard drives; second, determine who is responsible and then take the appropriate actions when we find out who is responsible; and, third, as we go through the investigative process, and I must emphasize we are very early on in that process, that we make the appropriate changes to our policies and procedures to insure that something like this does not happen again.

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    Thank you, sir.

    The CHAIRMAN. Anyone else?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. No.

    The CHAIRMAN. To begin the questioning, I want to yield my time to the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Thornberry, who chairs a special subpanel on this matter.

    Mr. Thornberry?

    Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Over the past day and a half, as I have sat through several briefings from these folks, classified and not, I have found myself with exactly the same emotions that Dr. Browne talked about. First it is disbelief and then anger and then pure frustration.

    I think part of the frustration that we feel is that a year ago Congress passed a law to restructure the Department of Energy to help prevent incidents just like this from happening, and yet over the past several months the department has drug its feet and looked for all sorts of ways to avoid implementing that law.

    As I think back just a year to statements such as Secretary Richardson made in USA Today, May 26, 1999, when he said Americans can be reassured our nation's nuclear secrets are today safe and secure, and then when I look back at some of the comments in the report that the Chairman and Mr. Skelton talked about from the President's own Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

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    You can dust this off, and it still applies today. A year later we still have the same problems, and we still have the same conclusion where the Department of Energy, when faced with a profound public responsibility, and that is in part the source of the frustration I feel.

    Mr. Chairman, as you will recall, when we were writing this law a year ago one of the things we did was create a strong central administrator with new authorities so that he could knock heads and clean house if he needed to get this place in shape, and yet when the law was signed by the President he nominated Secretary Richardson to take the job as administrator.

    Now, part of the purpose of this law was to separate the nuclear weapons complex from electricity deregulation, from the price of fuel, from refrigerator coolant standards, and yet we have the Secretary, who has been the administrator with these 18 specific authorities that the law says, and he is the one that is responsible for following it out. There is no wonder that we have not seen the kind of improvement we would like.

    I have had a number of members ask me. Well, when you were writing this law last year did you not do something about security? As a matter of fact, Section 3232(c) of the law creates a Chief of Defense Nuclear Security, and that chief shall be responsible for the development and implementation of security programs, including the protection, control and accounting of materials and physical and cyber security for all facilities. We put that specifically in the law.

    What happened? Secretary Richardson appoints General Habiger, who already has another job, to go ahead and fulfill this job too so that you have the same problem. He has two jobs. You do not have one person focus solely on whether or not the practices and the policies are being followed.

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    And so, Mr. Chairman, as our panel has gone around and talked to people over the past year with Ms. Tauscher and the other members of the panel, what we found out is in the field everybody says nothing has changed. Some of them have some new letterhead, but basically after all of these reports, including the President's own report, nothing has changed fundamentally and so we have another incident.

    What I am also hearing, Mr. Chairman, is that there are still concerns, as you mentioned, within the Department about whether General Gordon, who has just been confirmed today largely because of this episode, but he has just been confirmed; whether he will have the support in the Department that he is going to have to have.

    One of the questions I want to ask, Mr. Secretary, is whether you can give me your personal assurance that the law will be followed, the law will be implemented both to its letter and spirit, and whether General Gordon is going to get the staff and support and cooperation he needs.

    Let me give you an example. What I am hearing from the department is he is going to have a total of five people to help him. That is opposed to Undersecretary Menez, who has nine, and that the word has gone forth that he is to be relatively isolated and not to receive the kind of cooperation he needs.

    Let me just get to another question, and then I will get you to answer that if I could. You mentioned that the Secretary has said that he is going to appoint a new commission to study all of this. I have great respect for Senator Baker and Congressman Hamilton, our former colleague. I do not really think what we need is another study to add on to a stack of studies that have been gathering dust.

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    What we need is action. What we need is to have the law that Congress has passed to be implemented, and until you do that we are not going to have a chance to change the culture that needs to be changed, and that is why I would like for you to address whether the law, both the letter and the spirit of the law, are going to be implemented.

    Second, General Habiger, I would like to ask you after the Secretary finishes that question. I understand that a year ago the department developed a system for tracking security violations, both small, little violations that do not matter and bigger ones. I would like to know how many violations we have had in the past year.

    Mr. Secretary.

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Thank you. Thank you for those questions. In fact, I think there are many areas of agreement among us. It may seem that we have been moving in a different direction over this year. The differences a year ago when the legislation was under discussion were strong, and we had hoped to try to work things out. Once you passed the legislation, the President signed it, and we have moved to try to implement it.

    Bill Richardson has in fact spearheaded the effort to make sure we could find a good, strong candidate for this job, and we are pleased that General Gordon has been confirmed today and that it appears that Congress is going to be able to pass legislation to give him a full three-year term as the first administrator so that he will come in not just at the end of an administration, but be able to come into the job and really get in place and begin to exercise the kind of authority and leadership that we all hope that he will be able to carry out.

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    Our feeling is that it is important to have a strong National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); that this is going to provide focus and leadership and some continuity across our national security programs. We also want to see General Gordon as a part of the top management of the department and contribute his experience and his wisdom to a range of issues that will face the department.

    Your question about staff really goes in part to that. The staff that the Undersecretary will have, General Gordon, within the Office of the Secretary will be similar to that of the other Undersecretary, Dr. Menez. Dr. Menez does not have nine people by our count, but in that area the Office of the Secretary broadly, which is where I sit, as well as the Secretary and our immediate staffs. Both Undersecretaries will have a couple of senior advisors, a couple of secretaries and a scheduler. A small staff.

    In addition, however, General Gordon will have an Office of the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, which will have additional staff, so he is not going to be limited to this small staff. It is a question of where the budget, where the authorities for the overall department leadership go and then the NNSA itself.

    We are very anxious to be sure that he has the resources to carry out the job and are going to work to make sure that that is available to him.

    Mr. THORNBERRY. General Habiger, how many security violations have we had in the past year?

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    General HABIGER. Sir, I will get that information. I do not have the exact number off the top of my head, but I will tell you that in September of last year, just like I did at the United States Strategic Command, I implemented as part of our four phase security campaign a process whereby we would start to get data from the field, which we had never done before in the Department of Energy when it came to security issues.

    I will tell you it took me nine painful months to get operational metrics out of military organization, and it has taken me a little bit longer in the Department of Energy, but we are getting there.

    While I have not been able to get the data in a form that I can figure out exactly, but I am very, very close, into very specific areas because what does a metric do for you? It shows you where you have problems in certain specific areas, whether it is safes being unlocked, classified documents being left on desks inside secure areas, and once I can figure out what is going on then we can take the appropriate training actions, administrative actions.

    I will get that number very quickly to you, sir.

    [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]

    Mr. THORNBERRY. If my information is correct, then it is well over 100. Does that sound reasonable?

    General HABIGER. Based upon what I recall, yes, sir. Sir, let me—

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    Mr. THORNBERRY. And I understand that is from small to big.

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir.

    Mr. THORNBERRY. It does not tell us everything. This one incident is a whopper.

    General HABIGER. You bet.

    Mr. THORNBERRY. Now, the—

    General HABIGER. That is the biggest whopper we got on the block.

    Mr. THORNBERRY. Yes, sir. All right. Thank you.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Skelton?

    Mr. SKELTON. Dr. Browne, you are the captain of this ship. Is that correct?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

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    Mr. SKELTON. As I understand it, the disks were found missing on May 7. Is that right?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. SKELTON. And on June 6, the Department of Energy and the FBI began their work together? Is that correct?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. SKELTON. I do not want names, but what type of employee determined that the disks were missing on May 7?

    Dr. BROWNE. These were individuals who were directly associated with the NEST program, the Nuclear Emergency Search Team program. They were not senior officials or security people at the laboratory.

    Mr. SKELTON. Did they report this to anyone?

    Dr. BROWNE. No, they did not.

    Mr. SKELTON. Did they report it on May 8?

    Dr. BROWNE. No, they did not.

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    Mr. SKELTON. Ninth?

    Dr. BROWNE. No. They did not report it until the 31st.

    Mr. SKELTON. They reported it on the 31st of May?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. SKELTON. No names, please, but to whom did they report it?

    Dr. BROWNE. They reported it to our security division and also to their immediate chain of command, their line management.

    Mr. SKELTON. In the meantime, there was a fire in the area?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. SKELTON. On what day did it start?

    Dr. BROWNE. The fire was set as a controlled burn on May 4, and on May 7 it got out of control.

    Mr. SKELTON. The laboratory was shut down on what day?

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    Dr. BROWNE. On May 8.

    Mr. SKELTON. And opened again when?

    Dr. BROWNE. We began to open it slowly on May 22, letting small numbers of people back to insure that the buildings were safe to reenter, so it was a phase type of reentry to the laboratory.

    By the 24th, most of the employees were back in, although some sites were burned seriously enough that people are still not fully back in some areas.

    Mr. SKELTON. On what date were you notified?

    Dr. BROWNE. The 31st of May.

    Mr. SKELTON. The first you ever heard of it?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. SKELTON. Was there anyone between you and those that discovered the missing disk—

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes.

    Mr. SKELTON. —notified?

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    Dr. BROWNE. No. They were not notified either. No one between me and the people who discovered the disks were missing on May 7 were notified until the May 31 time period.

    Mr. WELDON. Would the gentleman yield on that point for one moment? Mr. Skelton?

    Mr. SKELTON. You bet.

    Mr. WELDON. There were reports that it was leaked; that it was not reported initially. It was leaked to the lab leadership. Not reported, but leaked. Is that true?

    Dr. BROWNE. Not to my knowledge. I certainly did not know anything until that date. I have never heard that anyone knew.

    Mr. SKELTON. You were notified on the 31st. In the morning or the afternoon?

    Dr. BROWNE. It was late afternoon, I believe.

    Mr. SKELTON. And the next day you reported this to the Department of Energy headquarters?

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    Dr. BROWNE. The information channel is to the Department of Energy Albuquerque Operations Office immediately from our security division to their security division. I understand there was a phone call made on the evening on May 31 followed up in the morning with a documented paper type of description of the event.

    Mr. SKELTON. And the Secretary was not notified until June 2?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is my understanding. You will have to check that with the Deputy Secretary.

    Mr. SKELTON. You know, we are talking about and you used the phrase this very serious incident. Actually, Dr. Browne, these are the crown jewels of American scientific achievement. Is that correct?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes, I believe so.

    Mr. SKELTON. Were there security cameras in the vicinity of the vault?

    Dr. BROWNE. No, there were not, and the reason for that is that the general practice for all security vaults, not just at Los Alamos, but across the Defense Department as well, is not to use video cameras because it represents a vulnerability. There could be signals that are picked up, so all the technical countermeasures people advise against video cameras.

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    Mr. SKELTON. There was a log. Is that not correct?

    Dr. BROWNE. I do not know about that, sir.

    Mr. SKELTON. Whether or not there was a log to sign in?

    Dr. BROWNE. Oh, a log. I am sorry.

    Mr. SKELTON. Yes.

    Dr. BROWNE. I thought you said a law. Excuse me.

    Mr. SKELTON. Log, L-O-G.

    Dr. BROWNE. L-O-G. For those people, there are some of the people in the NEST program who have access to that—

    Mr. SKELTON. No, no. That is not my question.

    Dr. BROWNE. Oh, I am sorry.

    Mr. SKELTON. Was there a sign in log for people to have access to these disks?

    Dr. BROWNE. No.

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    Mr. SKELTON. There was no sign in log?

    Dr. BROWNE. No.

    Mr. SKELTON. Do you have any way of telling who went in and who did not go in?

    Dr. BROWNE. We have knowledge of who goes in these vaults.

    Mr. SKELTON. Well, now wait a minute. What kind of knowledge if you do not have a log?

    Dr. BROWNE. Well, people—first of all, there is an access list. Not everyone can get into this vault.

    Mr. SKELTON. Eighty-six on the access list? Is that correct?

    Dr. BROWNE. The number actually at that point was 83.

    Mr. SKELTON. All right. Does not everyone have to be accompanied to get into the vault?

    Dr. BROWNE. No, they do not. The people who are on the NEST team who are authorized to have access on their own cognizance to this vault are people who are part of this NEST team who have to be able to access this at any time to be on 24 hour call to respond anywhere around the globe to a nuclear incident.

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    Mr. SKELTON. How many are those? Now, these people that are on the team, the NEST team, do not require anyone with them? Is that correct?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. SKELTON. How many is that?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is ten. On the order of ten or eleven. I am not sure exactly.

    Mr. SKELTON. Ten or eleven people have uncontrolled access? Is that correct?

    Dr. BROWNE. Excuse me?

    Mr. SKELTON. Ten or eleven people have uncontrolled access? Is that correct?

    Dr. BROWNE. There are actually more than ten people who have uncontrolled access to that list. Excuse me. To that vault.

    Let me point out something about the vault.

    Mr. SKELTON. Wait just a minute. I will do the questioning,—

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    Dr. BROWNE. Okay.

    Mr. SKELTON. —and you can answer. Do you have any idea who went in that vault during the previous month? Is there any list or record—

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes.

    Mr. SKELTON. —as to who went in there?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes, we do. Yes, we do. There is a custodian for that vault. That custodian—

    Mr. SKELTON. Does he keep a written record?

    Dr. BROWNE. For those people who need to be escorted in the vault, they keep a record.

    Mr. SKELTON. How about for those who do not need to be escorted in the vault? Was there a record?

    Dr. BROWNE. No, there is not a record.

    Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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    The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Stump?

    Mr. STUMP. Pass.

    The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hunter?

    Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. Browne, there is in the vault—we call this the nuclear secrets vault. This is a vault that Wen Ho Lee, the suspected spy, had access to. Is that not true?

    Dr. BROWNE. No, that is not true.

    Mr. HUNTER. He did not have access?

    Dr. BROWNE. He did not.

    Mr. HUNTER. You better check with General Habiger because I got a briefing the other day, and I understood he had access during his time at the laboratory to that vault.

    General HABIGER. It was Mr. Curran, sir.

    Mr. HUNTER. Or to Mr. Curran.

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    General HABIGER. Yes, sir.

    Dr. BROWNE. To my knowledge, he did not have access, but I will have to check that.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Could you check that for me?

    Dr. BROWNE. I will check that, and I will give you an answer for the record.

    [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. There is a vault lady, is there not, a lady who resides in the vault, who if someone comes to the vault opens the vault and gives them access? Is that right?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes. She is the custodian for the vault. The vaults are alarmed, and so she opens the vault, takes the alarm system off, sits there and checks people who do not have authorization to be unescorted in this vault.

    Mr. HUNTER. She leaves for lunches, does she not, for up to an hour and a half at a time?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes, and she closes the vault and locks it.

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    Mr. HUNTER. Now, are you certain of that? You better check with—

    General Habiger, is that your understanding?

    General HABIGER. No, sir. My understanding—

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay.

    General HABIGER. —is that when she leaves for short periods, relatively short periods, she closes the door, and then you have the cipher lock that secures it.

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes, the cipher lock. There is a lock.

    Mr. HUNTER. Well now, is the cipher lock for the vault, or is that for the case that the—

    Dr. BROWNE. It is for the lock, sir. For the vault. For the vault, so it is locked. It is secured.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. And you have approximately how many people that have access to that lock?

    Dr. BROWNE. Twenty-six.

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    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Twenty-six people have access to the cipher lock?

    Dr. BROWNE. Correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. When Wen Ho Lee was first ID'd by the FBI as being a possible spy, a suspected spy, that was August of 1997. He was not relieved of his duties and in my understanding continued to have access to the most sensitive secrets until December of 1998, approximately 17 months later. Is that not true?

    Dr. BROWNE. I believe that is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. When did you come on, Dr. Browne?

    Dr. BROWNE. In November of 1997.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. So you were on. It was during your watch when Wen Ho Lee was suspected of being a thief with respect to nuclear secrets.

    Why was he allowed to stay in this sensitive position with access to these secrets for 13 months after the director of the FBI had said get him out of there?

    Dr. BROWNE. I was not informed of that statement by the director of the FBI. When I came on as director, I was told that the Bureau wished to keep this individual in place so that they could continue the investigation. That is how it was presented to me.

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    Mr. HUNTER. And to your knowledge, you are saying that he did not have access to the nuclear secrets vault?

    Dr. BROWNE. There are several vaults in the organization in the X Division area at the laboratory. I will have to check this particular vault that is involved in the NEST operation. It is not the same vault as what we called the central X Division vault.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. What is the reason for having the vault custodian?

    Dr. BROWNE. You want to be able to control movement into that vault of unauthorized people when the vault is open.

    Mr. HUNTER. Because she recognizes who comes in, does she not?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct, and she has a list of people.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. When she is gone, even though you have a lock in place, you still have a lock that somebody has to know the combination to.

    There is no way of identifying at that point when she is out at McDonalds or the Burger King or wherever for lunch as to who that person is that utilizes the vault, is there? Is that not one of the problems we have right now?

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    Dr. BROWNE. Well, it is a positive control type of system. You do not just type in a number on a—

    Mr. HUNTER. Well, I am asking—let me ask the question. Is that not true? Would you answer my last question?

    Dr. BROWNE. Could you repeat it for me, sir?

    Mr. HUNTER. Well, if the vault lady is out to lunch for let's say an hour and a half, then you have no way of recording through a photograph or a palm scan or anything else who is actually going into the vault at that point, is there?

    Dr. BROWNE. The only—

    Mr. HUNTER. There is no record, and there is no log in with another individual, is there?

    Dr. BROWNE. There is a record. The person who enters the vault has to call our central guard facility and have to identify themselves not only by their name, but a particular cipher code that they have been given.

    Mr. HUNTER. Now, is that to enter the vault, or is that to enter that particular floor?

    Dr. BROWNE. No. To enter the vault.

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    Mr. HUNTER. What is the purpose of having the vault custodian?

    Dr. BROWNE. Again, the vault custodian is there principally when the vault is open, and you want to insure that no unauthorized person walks into that vault.

    Mr. HUNTER. But if you have what you consider to be adequate security arrangements with respect to the cipher lock, why do you have the added value of the custodian? Is that in fact a valuable security tool?

    Dr. BROWNE. I think it has to do with the operation of that organization. If people are in and out of the vault who have authorization to be in and out of the vault, the time factor of having to call the central guard station, get it unlocked, et cetera, it would basically congest the ability to do the job during daily operations.

    Mr. HUNTER. So, Dr. Browne, that is an important security apparatus, is it not, or important security element to have a real person who can identify real people who may know who are coming into that vault?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes.

    Mr. HUNTER. Is that not true?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes.

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    Mr. HUNTER. Then would it not make sense when that person takes an hour and a half break for lunch to have somebody to take their place?

    Dr. BROWNE. We do have that situation. There is a backup vault custodian. Now, that does not always happen because people get sick or people take vacations, but there is an authorized backup custodian.

    Mr. HUNTER. Now, I was informed in the briefings that I got that when that person takes short breaks or goes to lunch, nobody takes their place.

    General Habiger, is that not your information?

    General HABIGER. That is my understanding. Yes, sir.

    Mr. HUNTER. Well, are you saying it is different, Dr. Browne?

    Dr. BROWNE. I will have to check for you, and I will give you an answer for the record, but it was my understanding there was a backup custodian, and this individual is also authorized to perform the same function.

    [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]

    Mr. HUNTER. Now, let's get this straight for the record. You are telling me that you are not sure of that, but you are going to find out about it?

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    Dr. BROWNE. I am going to.

    Mr. HUNTER. My understanding is that person takes breaks, and nobody fills in for them.

    Dr. BROWNE. Let me check that for you.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Now, while you are checking that, check this also. Are you telling me that a guard is called even if the vault custodian is out to lunch? The guard is called and must be called by anyone who enters the vault?

    Dr. BROWNE. Otherwise the alarm system will go off. That is my understanding. Is that not correct?

    Could I ask my director of security that question?

    Mr. HUNTER. Yes. Go right ahead.

    Dr. BROWNE. It is Mr. Stan Busboom.

    Mr. BUSBOOM. Thank you. The situation is that the alarm would go off when the vault is secured, so that would be not during business hours. During business hours it has been referred to as a cipher lock.

    Mr. HUNTER. You better pull that thing in so we can hear you.

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    Mr. BUSBOOM. During business hours we are referring to a cipher lock, I believe, which does not set off the alarm. So you open in the morning, and you close in the evening.

    Mr. HUNTER. Precisely. So, Dr. Browne, you are wrong. You vault is not locked and unlocked every time somebody goes in. It is opened one time by a guard, not while the vault lady is at lunch.

    Mr. BUSBOOM. It is locked and unlocked, sir. It is unlocked using a different lock, a cipher lock.

    Mr. HUNTER. But not with a call to the guard?

    Mr. BUSBOOM. That is correct. Not with a call.

    Mr. HUNTER. So you do not have to identify yourself to a guard to get in. Is that not right, Dr. Browne, now that you are refreshed on this?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes. I stand corrected.

    Mr. HUNTER. Dr. Browne, let me ask you this. You know, when we had this theft, the Wen Ho Lee theft, you heard the statement that Mr. Thornberry made, very strong statements and commitment by the administration that the American people could rest assured that their nuclear secrets were safe.

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    It appears to me that you had inadequacies in your safety system that would result in the resignation or firing of a good Wal-Mart security manager. Did you go down and did you check which vaults—you say some vaults—Wen Ho Lee did have access to? Did you check to see if the locks were changed after he was identified as a foreign spy?

    Dr. BROWNE. I think that is an inappropriate statement. He has not been identified as—

    Mr. HUNTER. Well, after he was suspected. Did you think that justified changing the locks in places where he was allowed to go and had the lock system down?

    Dr. BROWNE. During that period, there was a discussion of changing the locks. This was before my time. This was in like 1996. There was a discussion about preventing him from having access to the central vault, the main X division vault, and that action never occurred.

    It was blocked because the people in the chain of command from Los Alamos to the Department of Energy were not read into the case and so they denied the approval, is my understanding of adding a positive type of device that would prevent someone from getting into the vault.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay, Dr. Browne. I know my time is up, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for allowing me to go as far as we have gone with this.

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    I would like you to report to the Committee which vaults, if any, Wen Ho Lee had access to, and I was briefed at least one time that he had access to this vault, and which lock changes were made, if any, as a result of his identification as a possible thief of nuclear secrets. Could you get that for us?

    Dr. BROWNE. I will. Certainly.

    [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]

    Mr. HUNTER. Thank you.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.

    Mr. Spratt?

    Mr. SPRATT. Dr. Browne, the questions so far seem to have assumed that these two disks were taken from the vault, but the kits are taken from the vault from time to time by the NEST teams, are they not?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. SPRATT. Taken out on location?

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    Dr. BROWNE. Onto the field, correct, for exercises.

    Mr. SPRATT. And recently taken to Livermore for some kind of experiment there?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is not clear that that happened during that week. I might defer to General Habiger, who has been more closely—

    General HABIGER. Congressman, in my opening statement I alluded to the fact that when we began on Tuesday, the 6th, we were not sure. We sent people to Livermore, and we have assured ourselves that the kits in fact, a kit in fact, did not go to Livermore.

    Mr. SPRATT. Did not go to Livermore.

    When the kit goes out—well, has the kit been out in the last several months out of Los Alamos or out of the lab at least?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes. It is my understanding that things have been removed for different drills and exercises. That is a fairly typical movement three or four times a year at least, the vault, to go out to the field.

    Mr. SPRATT. Now, when the kit is out in the field, would it not be possible for somebody to extract the disks from the kit at that time and not return them?

    Dr. BROWNE. Certainly possible.

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    Mr. SPRATT. Is there any inventory kept by a third party and non-member of the NEST team, a custodian, of the kit and its contents when it goes out and of the kit and its contents when it comes back in?

    Dr. BROWNE. I do not know the details of the NEST program. That is a limited access program that the exact security details of how they handle the material once it is off our site becomes the responsibility of the team when they are in the field, but I believe my understanding is they check it when they go out. The team members check it when they go out, and they check it before they ship it back. It is shipped by military aircraft or—

    Mr. SPRATT. The team members self-inspect and self-verify?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. SPRATT. There is no third party which—

    Dr. BROWNE. Not to my knowledge, but I would have to check because, as I said, it is the responsibility of the national team.

    Mr. SPRATT. These are computer disks, magnetic disks. They can be copied, can they not?

    Dr. BROWNE. They are hard drives.

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    Mr. SPRATT. Hard drives.

    Dr. BROWNE. Hard drives. The actual hard drive of the computer.

    Mr. SPRATT. And they could be copied, could they not?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes.

    Mr. SPRATT. So while they are away from Los Alamos, what is to prevent them from being copied? Is there some sort of dual control process where one team member keeps watch over another or anything that prevents these things from being taken, copied and reinserted in the kit?

    Dr. BROWNE. Not to my knowledge.

    Mr. SPRATT. Now, for clarification, as I understand it, these disks are used in the system that detects or reads the radiation from an object to determine exactly what sort of nuclear device might be contained within it?

    Dr. BROWNE. The information is actually used to help the people on the NEST team assess what they find when they get in the field.

    Mr. SPRATT. It is reading solely the radiation signature of an object?

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    Dr. BROWNE. It is part of that, but we have to be a little careful of what we go into in an open session.

    Mr. SPRATT. Okay.

    Dr. BROWNE. It is related to that.

    Mr. SPRATT. Okay. Okay.

    Dr. BROWNE. Could I make a point, Mr. Spratt? One thing that I think is not totally understood about this material. This is secret RD material. Secret RD material is not accounted for according to government rules across the entire government and has not been since 1992 or 1993, in that time frame.

    Mr. SPRATT. What do you mean, not accounted for?

    Dr. BROWNE. You do not—before that time we had each copy of every piece of secret Research and Development (R&D) information labeled with a serial number that identified who the owner was of that document or that piece of equipment, and you inventoried it on a regular basis, and when you transferred it to somebody you signed a transfer form saying I am giving you this document. Not a copy of it, but this document with this serial number goes to you.

    We lost that ability in the early 1990s across the government. This is not top secret information. We account for top secret information at our laboratory and elsewhere in the DOE with strict accountable serial number, number of documents, et cetera.

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    Mr. SPRATT. So this is secret and not top secret information?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. SPRATT. Could you, if you had the disk, backward engineer the design of a weapons system, of a nuclear warhead?

    Dr. BROWNE. I think we would like to defer that one also to a closed session, if possible.

    Mr. SPRATT. General Habiger, have you specifically inspected or overseen the security arrangements and protocols that surround the NEST team's operations?

    General HABIGER. I have since the 6th of June, sir. We have put out policies over the past year that encompass NEST team operations.

    As this is very early on in the investigation, we have discovered some things that we need to look at very carefully, and one of those is the technology that allows encyclopedic amounts of data, even though it is very secret, not to be required to be controlled. I will tell you, sir, that we are going to change that. We are going to—

    Mr. SPRATT. Does it concern you that the kits go out in the field with these disks in them which might be copied?

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    General HABIGER. No, sir. It happens at the Department of Energy on a regular basis.

    Mr. SPRATT. It has to, I guess, for the kits—

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir.

    Mr. SPRATT. —to be usable?

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir. If it was top secret there would be an entirely different set of rules.

    Mr. SPRATT. What about some sort of dual watch process and—

    General HABIGER. For secret information, sir, it is not applicable. The Department of Defense also uses the same procedures.

    Mr. SPRATT. So, both of you, this is secret information, so it is not likely design data then that was downloaded from the highly secure computer to Wen Ho Lee's personal computer? It does not fall in that category of gravity and sensitivity?

    Dr. BROWNE. I believe it does, but that information was also secret RD, not top secret.

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    Mr. SPRATT. That was not top secret information?

    Dr. BROWNE. It was not.

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Congressman, one of the things we are exploring is whether or not we need to elevate the classification levels of some of those data.

    Mr. HUNTER. Will the gentleman yield for one—

    Mr. SPRATT. Sure.

    Mr. HUNTER. Just one point. Just the fact that it is secret and you are not mandated to have these controls does not mean you should not out of common sense have the controls. What is your answer to that?

    Dr. BROWNE. There are controls, Congressman Hunter. It is the—

    Mr. HUNTER. But I am talking about the kind of controls Mr. Spratt is talking about.

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. I think the answer is you are right. It does not mean we cannot do it, and those are some of the potential changes that we are going to be looking at in the next several days.

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    Mr. SPRATT. Is it a fact that you mail these disks in the mail from time to time, a classified secure mail, United States mail, though?

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir, it is. As a matter of fact, because of the department wide rules—I mean government wide rules—allow classified material to be sent via U.S. postal express mail.

    We have taken a more conservative approach. We had an incident that I got into early on in my tenure, and the Department of Energy no longer uses express mail. We use registered mail.

    Mr. SPRATT. But still you use the mail nonetheless?

    General HABIGER. Just like every other agency does, sir.

    Mr. SPRATT. Yes. Let me ask you two final questions quickly. General Habiger, would you have done anything differently if you had not been dual hatted, if you had not had the arrangement, the institutional arrangement, that the Secretary prescribed for you to fulfill two functions? Would you have done anything differently with respect to this case?

    General HABIGER. No, sir, not at all.

    Mr. SPRATT. Finally, what would it take? What sort of system would it require to prevent this from happening? You must be asking yourself that. What should you have had in place that would have prevented this kind of occurrence? Do you have an answer to that?

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    Dr. BROWNE. Well, I think raising the accountability of documents and of materials like hard drives would help because I believe when you know your name is associated with a serial number or something, whether it is a piece of paper or a piece of material, a hard drive, whatever, it changes your attitude, and so for me that is something that will not guarantee that someone who is intent on doing something will not do it.

    That is always the situation. I do not think you can ever have a foolproof mechanical system, countermeasure system, that cannot be somehow broken by someone, but if you raise the barrier to a high enough level where either they cannot easily do it or it will be detected when they do it, I think it strengthens the overall system.

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. If I might add to that? I think the specific questions about access to information and about chain of custody, about logs, inventorying, things of that sort are among the recommendations that we are actively exploring and this question about the potential for elevating the classification level for some sets of data.

    Mr. SPRATT. One final question, Mr. Glauthier. When was General Gordon's name sent to the Senate for confirmation?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. It was actually announced by the Secretary at about the 1st of March when the NSA went into implementation, but it was not officially sent to the Senate until the clearance process of the White House was completed sometime in April.

    Mr. SPRATT. Thank you.

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    The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bateman?

    Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I am appalled. You sit there and describe what is on these hard drives as being of some very, very special significance to our national security, then dismiss questions on the basis ho-hum, it was secret. You did not have to treat it as routine secret if you in fact knew that it was of extraordinary importance to our national security. That irritates me.

    Dr. Browne, it irritates me that you know so much less about the subject matter we are discussing today than I would think someone in your position and with the experience in your agency should know. I think it is remarkable that you do not know specifically whether or not Wen Ho Lee did or did not have access to this particular vault.

    I am interested that you say that the people who discovered the absence of the hard drives were non-senior people. Did some senior person tell them to go to the vault and check out whether the hard drives or anything else was missing from these kits, or did they just think well, it might be a good idea to do it, but having done it waited for weeks before they told anyone else?

    Dr. BROWNE. No. They did it for the right reasons. With the fire threatening the laboratory and that building, they took responsibility as a member of that team, of that NEST team, to go get that kit out of that building and move it to another secure facility farther away from the fire. I think that was a responsible action.

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    Mr. BATEMAN. I think it was, too. I think it would have been responsible, if they were not senior people, that some senior person would have told them to do it. They did do it. They just did not get around to telling anybody anything was missing. That strikes me as very strange.

    This access business. When the custodian is there, anyone can come in.

    Dr. BROWNE. Not anyone.

    Mr. BATEMAN. Suppose someone who is not authorized just happened to walk through and she is there. She just tells them go away?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. BATEMAN. Suppose four or five people come in at the same time. No one is logged in, and she cannot keep all of them under observation as to what they are doing. Can any one of the five not do anything they want to or walk in or out with anything they want to?

    Dr. BROWNE. If these are people who are already on the access list, then they can go in.

    Mr. BATEMAN. Suppose they are people on the access list who do not require accompaniment, but there is someone who is on the access list who can be there if accompanied. Are there sometimes both classes of people who are in the vault at the same time?

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    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct. The people who have to be escorted again have to be escorted by either the vault custodian or by someone who is on the authorization list to have access all the time.

    Mr. BATEMAN. How big is this hard drive?

    Dr. BROWNE. It is very small. It looks like a pack of cards.

    Mr. BATEMAN. What premises are there for it being wherever it is; that is, stolen, misplaced, lost? What are the theories? What are the hypotheses that are in play here?

    Dr. BROWNE. Could I defer that to General Habiger, because he has been closer to the investigation?

    Mr. BATEMAN. Certainly.

    General HABIGER. Lost, stolen. Lost, misplaced or stolen. Those are the their hypotheses, sir.

    Mr. BATEMAN. If the hypothesis is that it was lost, what scenario would you write as to who lost it, how it got lost, where it got lost, when it got lost?

    General HABIGER. Sir, I could answer that in closed session.

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    Mr. BATEMAN. Okay. I assume you would have to do the same as to ''misplaced?''

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir.

    Mr. BATEMAN. And you would have to do the same if it was ''stolen?''

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir.

    Mr. BATEMAN. Do you have a leading theory?

    General HABIGER. I personally have one, yes, sir, and I would share that with you in a closed session.

    Mr. BATEMAN. Okay. Thank you.

    The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Pickett?

    Mr. Snyder?

    Ms. Tauscher?

    Ms. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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    Dr. Browne, prior to May 7 were you in compliance with DOE security policies regarding the vaults?

    Dr. BROWNE. In compliance? Yes.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. So if you were in compliance with DOE policies regarding the security of the vaults, then this is a failure of policy?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is one way to look at this. I guess one could also make the comment that one should always look beyond policy to see what one could do to prevent something from being lost if the policy is inadequate.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. But clearly the second piece of this is the failure of the procedure to have the NEST team, upon finding that they could not find the hard drives on May 7, to inform the chain of command so that there was a high alert set and some immediate investigation launched, so there were two pieces to this?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. But you were in compliance with policy?

    Dr. BROWNE. My understanding is that all of the procedures were in place to follow the policies. There is some indication that some individuals—the practices were not followed by individuals.

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    Ms. TAUSCHER. But is that about the care, custody, control of the hard drives, or is that about the, you know, red alert status that should have happened when it was discovered that they were missing?

    Dr. BROWNE. My understanding is that it had to do with how complete the log of who was in the vault at what time was; in other words, there may have been some individuals who did not follow the DOE and laboratory procedure to log in appropriately.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. But is it safe to say that generally you were in compliance with the policies; that there was not some grand design put out there for you to have much more redundancies, much more of a state-of-the-art care, custody and control of these hard drives or that vault that you were not complying with?

    Dr. BROWNE. No. That is correct. We were.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. Okay. General Habiger, if it is true that the policies of the labs were absolutely adhered to and there may have been some breaches in procedure, I assume that you have on the drawing board a whole new set of plans for how to secure these vaults and the secrets generally?

    General HABIGER. Yes, ma'am. Let me characterize what has happened here to an aircraft accident, a commercial aircraft accident.

    The manufacturing company, Boeing, General Dynamics, whatever, goes to a great deal of trouble to engineer and build an airplane that is very, very safe. Things happen. Unfortunately, people get killed. As a result of that accident, you change things with the airplane.

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    I would put our policies up, security policies, against any in the government, but something has happened so we will make the appropriate changes.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. The other three labs, do they all have the same policies vis-a-vis their different comparable vaults as the policies that were in place—

    General HABIGER. Yes.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. —on May 7? They all have the same?

    General HABIGER. They are Department of Energy policies. There could be some differences. The laboratories can be more conservative, but they can never be less conservative than what the basic policy says.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. Why would we have, for example, a lab, hypothetically, that had much more conservative policies and not create a uniform standard that was the most conservative?

    General HABIGER. Because the basic policy we feel is adequate. Now, I will tell you that at Lawrence Livermore there is a similar NEST team. I have directed that we look at their policies above and beyond the standard, and if there is some good business practices there I guarantee you we are going to apply them to Los Alamos.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. Okay. Dr. Browne, how many vaults does the Los Alamos Lab have?

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    Dr. BROWNE. I will have to check with—seven.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. And do they each have policies that are similar to this, or is there a band width because—

    Dr. BROWNE. No. There is a standard policy for the whole laboratory. There are close to 100 vaults in the whole laboratory.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. When was the University of California informed, Dr. Browne?

    Dr. BROWNE. The same day that the Department of Energy was informed.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. And that would be on the 1st? The evening of the 31st, the morning of the 1st?

    Dr. BROWNE. I believe they were actually informed on the 1st.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. Okay. When they were informed, you informed them?

    Dr. BROWNE. Correct.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. And then you informed DOE?

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    Dr. BROWNE. No. I actually informed DOE first.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. Is that the prescribed procedure?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes. Yes, it is, because in my position as director I am viewed as an officer of the university, so an extension of the office of the president, and they look to me not to wait to talk to the office of the president before I act. They expect me to act immediately with the Department of Energy

    Ms. TAUSCHER. So in fact when you were informed on May 31, it was the de facto that the University of California was informed—

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes. Certainly.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. —because you act for them?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. Was there something that the University of California, regardless of whether it is you or someone else, might have, could have, should have done, in your opinion?

    Dr. BROWNE. With regard to the—

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    Ms. TAUSCHER. Informing DOE.

    Dr. BROWNE. Informing DOE? I wish we could have informed them three weeks earlier. That is the major point here. I think once the information got into our management's hands, the normal apparatus worked very quickly.

    It was the delay that has impeded I think the progress that we might have been able to make if we had the information. We could have had an investigation going even during the fire. We could have had an investigation going.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. But if you did not know, then UC in effect could not have known?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Ms. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.

    Mr. Browne, I am still intrigued by the question Mr. Hunter asked you about the vault lady. We have talked about it a whole lot whether she goes to lunch or takes any kind of a break, for that matter, that she is not relieved by someone else.

    I thought in all like situations you have to be relieved by somebody else before you can leave and I thought in that important a job, but you say that you do have backup ladies to take over, but they are not used all the time?

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    Dr. BROWNE. I believe that is the case; that they are not used all the time; that the cipher lock is used when there is no backup, when there is no vault custodian present. Then the vault is locked with this cipher lock. Not this alarmed lock, as I was corrected.

    The CHAIRMAN. That cipher lock, does that identify the person who is entering the vault?

    Dr. BROWNE. No, it does not.

    The CHAIRMAN. But the lock has to respond to the identification that that person has, does it not?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    The CHAIRMAN. It does not have any way of reconciling those two to tell you who the person is?

    Dr. BROWNE. At that point in time, no, it did not. The individual just indicated like a personal identification number like when you have a credit card and you put your credit card in and you put a personal identification number in.

    This individual would have a code that they would know was assigned to them, and they would type it in, something to that effect, that type of system.

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    The CHAIRMAN. With all the technology we have, certainly there has to be some machine somewhere that reconciles these two and gives the name of that person.

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes. What I have directed our security division to put in place is a system that would read your badge, so you have to have that identification, read your hand, which is a unique indicator of an individual.

    My understanding is that this is one of the most accurate ways of biometrics where you look not just at a—you do not look at the fingerprint. You look at the actual outline of a person's hand, and you are identified then by the two together, and it records when the person moved into the vault and who they were. That is what I have directed to have installed on all our vaults.

    The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.

    Mr. Weldon?

    Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Dr. Browne, is it true that No. 2 is the kit that is missing, that had the missing devices?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes.

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    Mr. WELDON. Is it true that on May 2 and 4, the NEST team was involved in an exercise, and, if they were, was Kit No. 2 used?

    Dr. BROWNE. To my understanding, it was not used.

    Mr. WELDON. Is that for sure, or you do not know?

    Dr. BROWNE. I will have to defer again to General Habiger.

    General HABIGER. It was not used.

    Mr. WELDON. It was not used?

    General HABIGER. No, sir.

    Mr. WELDON. General Habiger, has anyone questioned any of the NEST members to see whether or not one of them picked it up initially, felt that something was missing and left it there? Are you aware of that?

    General HABIGER. I am aware of all the investigations, sir. Could you rephrase your question?

    Mr. WELDON. Yes. I am asking the question is the NEST, when they went to pick up the kits, the first one they picked up they knew something was missing and put it back down and took the other two or other one?

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    General HABIGER. Oh, yes, sir. What they did—

    Mr. WELDON. So they knew then something was missing?

    General HABIGER. On the 7th of May.

    Mr. WELDON. This is May 2 to 4.

    General HABIGER. Sir, the 7th of May at 2300 hours. The kit was never taken to Livermore.

    Mr. WELDON. I did not say it was taken to Livermore. I said did you ask one of the NEST members if when they went in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th they picked the kit up, felt something was missing and put it down and took another one?

    General HABIGER. Sir, I have not heard that.

    Mr. WELDON. Has anyone asked that question?

    General HABIGER. Yes. Yes, sir. The FBI and the Department of Energy did a very thorough evaluation of what went on not the 2nd, 3rd or 4th, but the previous week as they were getting ready to go on the exercise to Livermore.

    Mr. WELDON. So on the—

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    General HABIGER. The kit was never taken on the exercise.

    Mr. WELDON. I know it was not taken. My question is did an employee pick it up, realizing that perhaps there was something missing in that kit and, therefore, did not take that kit?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Congressman, we probably would have to answer this in more detail in a closed session. There are a number of materials there, and I do not believe one could identify the missing weight you are talking about, given the overall weight of the whole package.

    Mr. WELDON. I just want to make sure that someone has asked an employee if that occurred. That is all I am asking.

    You mentioned the size of the item. Would you tell us how many pages are on a hard drive?

    Dr. BROWNE. Pages in terms of—

    Mr. WELDON. Pages. Information.

    Dr. BROWNE. —information? Well, it is like the hard drive on a personal computer that you would have. You can have gigabytes of information, which could be—I do not have a specific number of pages. You know, it is very large.

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    Mr. WELDON. Millions?

    Dr. BROWNE. Possibly.

    Mr. WELDON. So this could have been for the sake of the public not one page, millions of pages of documents on our most important national nuclear security materials that this country has? Millions of pages, including information about Russia's nuclear weapons and our nuclear weapons. Is that correct?

    Dr. BROWNE. I cannot answer anything in detail about the content of the hard drive.

    Mr. WELDON. Was there anything about Russia's nuclear weapons in those? Do you know?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. We cannot answer that in this session, sir. We would have to go to a closed session.

    Mr. WELDON. I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, we have a closed session at some point in time to discuss this.

    Let me ask Mr. Chairman a question. Was the Secretary of Energy invited to appear here today? Was the Secretary of Energy invited? He was invited?

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    I need to get an answer. The staff back here is saying yes. The staff there is saying no. Was he or not? He was invited. Why is the Secretary not here? Did we get a reason? Does anyone know why he did not show up?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. The Secretary I believe offered to be available next week if that would have worked, but we understood that you wanted to proceed quickly. He asked me to come as the person who he has tasked to lead this effort, and I have brought the individuals with me who are directly involved so that you would have the best information that we could provide to you.

    Mr. WELDON. My understanding is he also was invited to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee, confirmed, and he never showed. Is that correct?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. He did not confirm it. He was invited, and the same situation existed. He offered to appear there next week. We appeared, the people before you now, and were with them this morning to try to provide all the information we could.

    Mr. WELDON. Mr. Chairman, for my colleagues, on May 20, 1999, the Secretary appeared before the House Science Committee, which I sit on, and this is what he said regarding his efforts. ''I would just ask you to let me run my department. Give me a year to see if I have performed. Call me up again, and I will appear again to see whether I have initiated the reforms that I said I have had.''

    There is nothing more important than this effort. He should have been here. He should have been here with the rest of you.

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    Let me read some other quotes, Mr. Chairman. Los Alamos press release, September 20, 1999. ''The best review we have ever done. The most impressive inspection we have ever had.'' On to the second paragraph. ''The inspectors judged the laboratory's efforts to safeguard nuclear materials as the best in the DOE complex.''

    This is the best? I cannot even walk out of this room down the hall and go to the staff area without punching through security codes.

    It goes on to say here that Mr. Pondisky, who did the investigation for DOE, ''You really have a first class operation here. We intend to speak clearly and loudly on the Hill about this audit. It is time all your hard efforts get recognized.''

    It is disgusting. Somebody ought to be fired. Somebody ought to be relieved of their job because you have jeopardized the most important secrets this Country has. No should haves, would haves or could haves. It happened, and somebody's head ought to roll.

    The CHAIRMAN. We have a vote on right now, so we will break and be right back.

    [Whereupon, a short recess was taken.]

    The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will please be in order. We have about 30 minutes before the next vote, so we thought we might go ahead and have a few questions before then.

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    Ms. Fowler is recognized.

    Ms. FOWLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your starting back up.

    I just sit here in total astonishment and amazement at what I have been hearing today, what I was reading the past few days, and I guess I was thinking back—I used to read a lot of C.S. Lewis—to an old C.S. Lewis line that said we scoff at honor and then are amazed to find traitors in our midst, and I believe that is what has been occurring at the labs unfortunately over the past several years. The mentality that we should not have to take polygraphs, you know, we should not have to be accountable, and then we see what has happened time and again.

    You know, these rogue nations, they do not have to spend money on weapons development. All they have to do is pick up a briefcase at the State Department or pick up hard drives with the information on them out at DOE, get the information off the computers that are not secure, and they have what they need without investing a lot of money and their own scientific research. It is really disturbing to me.

    I want to go back to a comment you made earlier, Dr. Browne, and then also to General Habiger because I was reading the testimony of when you appeared yesterday before the Commerce Committee, and you referred, Dr. Browne, to changes in security procedures that were made in 1993, and then yesterday General Habiger, in answer to a question from Representative Stupak made the statement, and I quote from General Habiger's testimony yesterday, ''Sir, there is no requirement to inventory the disk. As a matter of fact, because of changes in security policies across the entire government there is very little requirement to inventory classified material.''

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    Could someone explain to me then what in 1993 or 1994 when this occurred, what type of changes were made in government policies as far as protection of security materials, classified materials—

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes. This started—

    Ms. FOWLER. —and by whom?

    Dr. BROWNE. I cannot answer the second question by whom, but it started in the early 1990s and was phased in over a period of years. There were several types of classified information that were included in this openness initiative on the government's part after the Soviet Union collapsed that people in the government at that point felt that a lot of this information—there were too many secrets.

    I believe there were some reports that came out that indicated that the government had too many secrets and that we needed to reduce the number of secrets, and so a lot of information was declassified, but also the accountability for documents changed in that 1991-1992-1993 time frame.

    Ms. FOWLER. Was this a DOD directive or an administration directive?

    Dr. BROWNE. I cannot answer the directive part of this.

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    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Maybe General Habiger can speak to it. It is my understanding that it is government wide, and it was decided in the previous administration. Some of the implementation was carried out in this administration.

    Ms. FOWLER. In this one? I also wanted to just ask you, General, is it correct, according to your statement from yesterday, that there has been no requirement at the labs to inventory the disks? They were inventoried periodically, but there really was not any requirement to do so?

    General HABIGER. There was no requirement at the labs, and there was no requirement in any other government agency that I am aware of to do that kind of inventory.

    This initiative for the downgrading of classification processes, as Dr. Browne pointed out, began in the previous administration. It was mandated that it be implemented for all secret information on the 15th of May, 1992. It was part of what was called the National Industrial Security Program, which was meant to standardize security requirements amongst all federal agencies.

    Mr. BATEMAN. Would the gentlelady yield?

    Ms. FOWLER. Yes.

    Mr. BATEMAN. With the Chairman's consent, I think the Committee ought to request in writing and in detail what rules and regulations were changed and by whom and on what date, and specifically I think we need to know who downgraded the material in question here from something that it used to be to nearly secret.

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    General HABIGER. Sir?

    Mr. BATEMAN. It seems to give you all great satisfaction that it is not a big deal. It is only classified secret.

    General HABIGER. Sir, it is a big deal. As I mentioned in my earlier statement, I was astounded as a four star General taking over the United States strategic command that some of our highest level classifications had been changed.

    Ms. FOWLER. Did you ever make a recommendation, General, to someone that maybe we relook at how we classify these and how we protect them?

    General HABIGER. Well, at that time I did make some recommendations. I will admit they were not very aggressive because I had other problems I had to solve.

    One of the things that we are looking at in the Department of Energy is to raise that bar, if you will, so that the Department of Energy has more conservative standards than the rest of the government.

    Ms. FOWLER. Well, I want to just follow up on Mr. Bateman's comment. I think it would be good to have, starting from that May, 1992, directive on through to now, how these have changed, you know, particularly in relationship to how you are handling these at the labs and how secret materials, classified materials, have been handled.

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    I just have one last question. It is my understanding, is it correct, that the access codes to these hard drives were also inside the kit, so if you got the hard drives out of the kit, these little packets out of the kit, that you could also obtain the access codes to them, the passwords to get into them? That was also inside the kit?

    Dr. BROWNE. I do not know about any access codes. Once you have the hard drive, you can insert it in any computer.

    Ms. FOWLER. And make it work? You did not need any—

    Dr. BROWNE. Well, any compatible computer.

    Ms. FOWLER. So you did not need any type of password or any type of access code once you had them in your hands?

    Dr. BROWNE. Not to my knowledge.

    Ms. FOWLER. You could use them anywhere? Okay. There is no way to tell whether anyone has copied them or not once you ever find them?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Ms. FOWLER. Because they are very easy to copy.

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    Well, I see my time is up, Mr. Chairman. I know we have gone around. I just want to state, you know, again it is appalling. I think Colonel Sanders takes more care to protect his recipe than the DOE has been taking at their labs to protect our nuclear secrets.

    It is harder for me to get into the ladies room over in the Capitol than it is to get into this vault. I have to use a password and go by a woman sitting at a desk, you know, with a code to get in there, but yet you could get secrets out of this vault.

    I appreciate your having this hearing today, Mr. Chairman, and hope we can someday get some changes made there that work. Thank you.

    The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.

    Dr. BROWNE. Mr. Chairman, could I make a point of clarification from the last—

    The CHAIRMAN. Yes.

    Dr. BROWNE. Mr. Bateman made the point about the material being downgraded. This information has always been classified as secret RD. It was not downgraded in this time period from top secret to secret.

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. But the changes that were made were changes in what requirements are to handle secret RD data. That was a higher level of requirement. We will be happy to provide the information that was requested to you on those changes back in the early 1990s.

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    Mr. BATEMAN. Mr. Chairman, with unanimous consent I would like to pursue this a little further.

    I am much more concerned about this than the semantics of it, and whether at some point it was secret R&D subject to accountability and other provisions and when suddenly it just became secret R&D, but no longer accountable. I do not care what you call it, but I do care very, very much about how you tried to control access to it or whether you tried to control access to it.

    If there are Presidential directives involved in any and all of this, we want to have copies of them and the dates they were issued. We want the detail in writing on all of this matter of downgrading and declassification.

    It goes beyond whether it was always called secret R&D. I want to know when procedures surrounding the safeguarding secret R&D changed and pursuant to what directive and whether or not the Department of Energy, knowing the significance of it, could have done things that it did not do to better safeguard it whether or not it was just regarded as secret.

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Congressman, we will provide that.

    [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]

    The CHAIRMAN. Now that we are talking about secret and top secret and all that, a number of times today it has been suggested we go into executive session to have this information provided to us.

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    The only problem I have with that is if we do that and get the same information we read in the newspapers we are not supposed to talk about it then. That has happened before, too, in a lot of these commissions we put together. They have reported back. They had to strike deals that they would strike out all the sensitive information and not release it to the public. Thereby, we come to Congress, and we cannot talk about it so we cannot really let people know what happened.

    It concerns me about what was on those tapes or whatever you want to call them that you have. We have read in the papers about what is on there. Maybe we do not have the sources, but obviously the people who have to go out and do the work they have to do have to have certain kinds of information we know they have anyway.

    That is the only problem I have with going into executive session.

    Mr. Everett.

    Mr. EVERETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. Browne, help me work through something here if you will, Dr. Browne.

    Dr. BROWNE. Excuse me, sir?

    Mr. EVERETT. These new security measures that you spoke to the Chairman about involves a hand print and a card, a personnel card. Does that give someone access to the room or to the vault itself? Does that open the vault, or does it open the room or give them access to the room where the vault is then open?

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    Dr. BROWNE. What we would be planning to do would be to use that for a positive identification of the person going into the vault.

    Mr. EVERETT. But does it open the vault itself, or does somebody else still open the vault?

    Dr. BROWNE. No. You still have to open the vault. That would be more of a positive identification of who went in the vault with the badge sweep and the hand—palm reader, the hand reader.

    Mr. EVERETT. Okay. And so of all this universe of 20, 30, 40 or 50 people who have access to that vault, this will tell you who went in at any particular time?

    Dr. BROWNE. Correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. Will the gentleman yield?

    Mr. EVERETT. Yes, sir.

    Mr. HUNTER. If the gentleman would yield? I think you have to be careful about Dr. Browne's answer. He said what we are planning to do. I think Mr. Everett was asking about what is the case now and what status the system had at the time this stuff was taken.

    Mr. EVERETT. Oh, yes.

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    Mr. HUNTER. Is that right? I am asking my colleague. Am I right?

    Mr. EVERETT. Well, I am getting to that.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay.

    Mr. EVERETT. I am getting to that.

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. EVERETT. Now, assume that that was in place at the time of this large number of people or small, however many number it is. I assume that not all of them have access to these kits. Is that correct?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. EVERETT. Okay. I am told that the keys to these kits or suitcases or whatever they are were on a wall inside the vault or inside the room or where were they?

    Dr. BROWNE. Can I answer that?

    General HABIGER. Sure.

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    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct. I was just checking because of the investigation what I could say. The answer is correct.

    Mr. EVERETT. Okay. So what it appears to me in thinking this over, and I had the same reaction that a lot of my colleagues did and you say that you had. Even if you had this in operation, this still would not solve the problem of these kits.

    Now, let me go further. I thought about the fact well, maybe we ought to have a safe within the vault that we could put these kits in because if everything you did you still could not tell me who took the kit.

    Then I started looking at that, and I found out that we were using these—the safes have these old mechanical locks, the 1950s technology, that I understand can be opened very easily and that 27 foreign intelligence organizations, according to the Defense Intelligence Agency, are capable of penetrating these locks.

    Last year the department was supposed to begin a program to upgrade these locks at Los Alamos. In the Energy and Water appropriations bill, Congress gave $1 million for DOE's lock upgrade program. Can you tell me where that is and what is happening there?

    Dr. BROWNE. Again, could I ask my—

    Mr. EVERETT. Certainly. Please.

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    Dr. BROWNE. —security director?

    Mr. EVERETT. Just in brief where we are.

    Mr. BUSBOOM. Yes, sir. I can only speak to Los Alamos, but I can tell you over—I believe it is the next three years—I will check that to make sure. I am certain.

    You are referring to the new electro-mechanical lock, the XO–7, and, yes, those have been funded, and they are scheduled to be installed over the next three or four years at Los Alamos.

    Mr. EVERETT. Okay. Describe that lock to me. Does it have a computer chip in it?

    Mr. BUSBOOM. It does indeed. Instead of being strictly a mechanical lock, it has an additional electronic feature. It gives you a lot more fidelity in terms of the way the lock—

    Mr. EVERETT. In other words, you have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) number? You get into the computer chip inside the lock?

    Mr. BUSBOOM. It is not a PIN number, sir. It is just a lock that is much more difficult to manipulate.

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    Mr. EVERETT. You know, I am told for $15 more you could get a lock that would have a computer chip in it and would give you, if you enter your PIN number in there, give you the time, date and the person who went in there. Why in the world would we not spend $15 more to get that kind of a lock?

    Mr. BUSBOOM. I am answering your question as to what we are getting. I will defer to the department on that.

    General HABIGER. Congressman Everett, as I understand it, we were mandated by congressional language to buy these locks.

    Mr. EVERETT. Buy which locks?

    General HABIGER. The ones that were just described. The ones that—

    Mr. EVERETT. Would you get me that language because I think, you know, if the Congress did that I would like to see the language because it seems to me that it is foolhardy.

    You know, if I were sitting down where you folks are I would come to somebody and say listen, we have a lock here that we can buy for another $15 to guard this nation's top nuclear secrets, and this lock will allow you to put a PIN number in there, and when it opens it will record the time, date and the person who went into that safe that these kits are in.

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    I am sorry, but, you know, Mr. Chairman, I really believe that we ought to take this up with the Baker-Hamilton commission to take a look at this, and if this is legislative language then we ought to belly up to the bar and admit we made a mistake here and spend another $15 to try to find out who would go in there.

    See, your lock still does not tell us who went in there.

    General HABIGER. That is right.

    Mr. EVERETT. I just have a real problem with that, and I hope you do, too.

    Finally, Mr. Chairman, and I see my time has run out, but, you know, Dr. Browne, you do not have a roadblock in your security system. You have a freeway. To me, it appears like this nation's top nuclear secrets are speeding down to God knows where.

    Mr. Chairman, I want to tell you something. In dealing with some of these top situations in the past where you have a culture problem, and I do believe there is a culture problem at that facility. Until you do knock some heads and clean house, I do not believe you are going to get their attention to solve this problem.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Everett.

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    We have another vote on now, so we have to break and come right back.

    [Whereupon, a short recess was taken.]

    The CHAIRMAN. Will the meeting please be in order?

    Mr. Andrews is recognized.

    Mr. ANDREWS. There are three gaps here that are disturbing. The first is from whenever the hard drives were lost, misplaced or stolen to May 7, which is when the employees of the lab discovered that they were stolen, at least according to their statements.

    There is a gap from May 7 to May 31 when employees of the lab knew that the disks were missing, but did not—the word did not filter up to Dr. Browne as the director, and then there is a third gap that I think is in some ways the most compelling, and that is from May 31 until June 2, which is the period of time during which Dr. Browne is aware that there is a problem and the time that the FBI is advised that there is a problem. That is what I want to focus on for a few minutes here.

    Dr. Browne, first of all, have I correctly stated that it was not until May 31 that you had personal knowledge that the disks were missing? Is that correct?

    Dr. BROWNE. To the best of my knowledge, that is the evening of May 31 that I heard about it.

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    Mr. ANDREWS. Do you remember what time in the evening it was?

    Dr. BROWNE. I will have to check my records to be exact, but it was after 5:00.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Were you in the office, or were you home?

    Dr. BROWNE. I will have to check, but my memory is being in my office when I was told.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Okay. Within the bounds of what would not jeopardize the investigation, and I will defer to your judgement collectively as to what that is, who was the first person that you told that it was missing?

    Dr. BROWNE. I told my security people to immediately contact the Department of Energy. That is the procedure that we have.

    Mr. ANDREWS. And did they do so?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes.

    Mr. ANDREWS. When did they contact the Department of Energy?

    Dr. BROWNE. My understanding is there was a phone call made to DOE Albuquerque, and then the next day, on June 1, they sent a follow up piece of paper.

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    Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Secretary, does DOE Albuquerque have a record of receiving that phone call on the evening of the 31st?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. I am not sure of that. I will have to check on exactly what time. I am sure they will have a record of it.

    Mr. ANDREWS. When was the first time that someone in DOE Washington heard this news? What time was it?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. We have a notification that was sent to us at 5:18 on June 1 in the afternoon.

    Mr. ANDREWS. 5:18 p.m.?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. That is right.

    Mr. ANDREWS. So have we established what time Albuquerque became aware of this?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. No. I am going to have to get back to you. That was the date on the classified fax that was sent to you, and so we know Albuquerque had it at that time.

    Mr. ANDREWS. So DOE Washington received a classified fax at 5:18 p.m. on June 1? Is that correct?

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    Secretary GLAUTHIER. That is right.

    Mr. ANDREWS. And who was the DOE employee who received the fax?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. I think it was in our emergency operations center under the control of General John McBroom.

    Mr. ANDREWS. And whom did the General inform of this problem?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Well, I guess General Gioconda was the next person.

    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. Sir, what happened as best—I have been trying to reconstruct it—

    Mr. ANDREWS. Yes.

    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. —also the same as you. It came in at some time after 5:18. That is when it is date stamped, so that is why I am—

    Mr. ANDREWS. Right.

    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. —so accurate on the time.

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    Mr. ANDREWS. Right.

    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. It came into the emergency op center. General McBroom—it came in the op center, it was collected in the op center, and then both General McBroom and myself—first, General McBroom found out about it when he came to work the next morning, and then the next morning he appeared in my office. I read the classified data.

    Mr. ANDREWS. So this is the morning of June 2?

    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ANDREWS. So what time on the morning of June 2 did the General inform you of this?

    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. About 7:30 in the morning just as I walked in the door.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Yes. He is an early riser, too.

    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. I walked in the door about quarter after, and he was coming in the door at the same time.

    Mr. ANDREWS. When did the department inform the FBI? What time of day on the 2nd of June?

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    Mr. CURRAN. I believe it was either late morning or early afternoon that I made a phone call to the FBI.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Okay. So the first notice to the Washington offices of the Department of Energy comes at 5:18 in the evening on June 1, and the notification to the FBI comes late morning/early afternoon on June 2.

    I am a layperson, and I am not going to second guess your judgment, but I have to tell you. If someone said to me we have evidence that hard disks containing information classified as secret, perhaps classified as higher—it is not clear how it was classified—that pertains to the nuclear codes of the United States is missing, it is not something that I would wait until tomorrow morning to tell somebody about.

    Why from 5:18 in the afternoon until late the next morning did the FBI not get called in? Mr. Secretary, do you want to take a crack at that?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Yes. I think it is a very good question. I think your premise is exactly right that this is very serious.

    The next morning when General Gioconda and General McBroom did have the information, the next thing they did was show up at my office, and then within an hour we had a series of people together, some of whom are sitting here at the table—

    Mr. ANDREWS. Yes.

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    Secretary GLAUTHIER. —so there was a series of responses that was very quick once we realized what had happened.

    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. Sir?

    Mr. ANDREWS. Yes?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. I think maybe what had happened was when the fax came in it was not properly understood exactly what that was the first afternoon. We will take a look at that, but I think your point is very—

    Mr. ANDREWS. Yes. Let me say this to you. I understand there are many, many issues about lab security and about the internal notification procedure within the lab which takes us all the way up to May 31.

    What I find amazing about this is that we have this time gap from what Dr. Browne cannot specifically recall, but believes is 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening on May 31, which I assume would be 8:00 or 9:00 Eastern time, until late afternoon or early morning or early afternoon on June 2 before there is a report to the FBI.

    That to me is unbelievable, and it suggests a problem within the DOE headquarters here—

    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. Sir?

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    Mr. ANDREWS. —that needs to be addressed.


    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. If I may?

    Mr. ANDREWS. Yes, sir?

    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. I have looked into the same thing. Although the fax is dated that, it goes to the operations center. The person at the operations center I am not sure understood the magnitude of what he had. That is General McBroom's job. He works with that every day.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Right.

    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. So when that happened in the morning, within 15 minutes of—it took me five or ten minutes to read the thing, and within 15 minutes we broke in to the Deputy Secretary's meeting that he was conducting saying this was serious. We understood at that point.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Yes. It appears to me that the one link in this chain that worked the way it was supposed to was that one; that the time that elapsed from the time you became aware of this to when the FBI was notified was a matter of a few hours, which I think is appropriate.

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    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. Then, sir, what happened after that, then the Secretary had a series of questions. We then—

    Mr. ANDREWS. I bet.

    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Yes.

    Brigadier General GIOCONDA. Within about a half hour after that, we had the senior staff assembled. I had gotten my NEST experts together, and then we started going through the same series of questions.

    Mr. ANDREWS. When was the CIA notified about this?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. That was later. It was a matter of a couple days later, I believe. I think it—

    Mr. CURRAN. Actually, I think it was the next day. I can get the date.

    Mr. ANDREWS. June 3?

    Mr. CURRAN. Larry Sanchez, who is the head of the Intel—

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    Mr. ANDREWS. Right.

    Mr. CURRAN. —took responsibility for that, but it was almost immediately after that.

    Mr. ANDREWS. June 3?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. We will have to check. I am getting different answers. It may have been even the same day.

    Mr. ANDREWS. I would appreciate it if you could supplement the record on that.

    Let me say this to you, too, and I will yield back after this. There is, I guess, four explanations of this. One is that it was misplaced, the second is it was lost, the third is that a crime was committed, and the fourth is an act of espionage was committed, an international act of espionage.

    The FBI is in charge of the crime. The CIA and other military intelligence agencies are in charge of the act of espionage. I am most troubled. Out of everything we have heard today, I am most troubled by the fact that a very responsible person in this process, Dr. Browne, from the afternoon of the 31st of May, the evening on east coast time, until evidently the 2nd or 3rd of June there is no contact with the CIA. I would suggest that that is a very, very serious deficiency in procedure.

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    Mr. CURRAN. Sir, if I could? I am with the FBI. I am detailed to the Department of Energy.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Yes.

    Mr. CURRAN. The third and fourth scenario you mentioned are the same. Espionage is still a crime. It would still be under the jurisdiction of the FBI.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Is it the practice—

    Mr. CURRAN. What we are concerned about with the agency is for other reasons.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Is it the practice, if you can tell me, and perhaps you should not. Is it the practice of the FBI where there is a possibility of international espionage to call the CIA in?

    Mr. CURRAN. Yes. We work as a community. That is not unusual at all, but the FBI would have the primary responsibility to conduct the investigation.

    Mr. ANDREWS. I appreciate that.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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    Dr. BROWNE. Mr. Chairman, could I make a comment to Andrews in response?

    The CHAIRMAN. Surely.

    Dr. BROWNE. Mr. Andrews, I would like to go back and double check my calendar and records so that I could submit to you a detail of where I was at what time during this time frame to help you.

    [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]

    Mr. ANDREWS. I appreciate that, Dr. Browne. Let me say this with all due respect. If I got a phone call like that, I think I would remember where and when I got it.

    Dr. BROWNE. But, no. It was not a phone call.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Yes.

    Dr. BROWNE. It was my security person came into my office,—

    Mr. ANDREWS. Right.

    Dr. BROWNE. —but what I cannot remember, and I apologize—

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    Mr. ANDREWS. Yes.

    Dr. BROWNE. —for this, but at this period of time the laboratory is going under a lot of stress with flood mitigation problems. I am serious. This is a serious problem.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Yes.

    Dr. BROWNE. I just do not remember exactly the details of my calendar.

    Mr. ANDREWS. But it is your testimony now that this occurred in your office?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Because before you said you could not remember that.

    Dr. BROWNE. I do remember now that the two people who came into my office and what they said to me, and my response to them was immediately contact the Department of Energy.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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    The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.

    Ms. Bono?

    Ms. BONO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I am still not quite clear on a lot of this. I still do not understand the last date that the drive from this Kit No. 2 was actually seen. Can you give me that date, Dr. Browne, or anybody?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Dr. Browne can probably answer.

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes. Let me see if I can find my records on that.

    My understanding is that there was a determination on April 7 by an individual who is a member of this NEST team, and they checked the equipment to make sure it was all there because when they are on call they have to be able to understand whether they have all of the things ready to go so they can—

    Ms. BONO. Correct.

    Dr. BROWNE. —pick up the suitcase and go.

    Ms. BONO. Go.

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    Dr. BROWNE. There is no certification, no written certification, that that occurred.

    Ms. BONO. Okay. So there is no inventory that is done when a kit comes in? A kit goes out. Who knows? It is not even—

    Dr. BROWNE. Well, I think there is an inventory done, but my understanding is the practice is that it is not documented; that the people—I understand what you are saying, but I am just telling you the facts.

    Ms. BONO. So there is no inventory. You do not know whether there is an inventory done. The kit comes in. It goes out. Who knows?

    There seems to be even a larger question if a kit goes out with this valuable information. Nobody even checks to see if the file has been corrupted on the way back in?

    Dr. BROWNE. Well, the people who use these hard drives do use them while they are at the laboratory, so if it were corrupted they would have seen someone who accessed the file. They can tell if the file was accessed and something changed.

    Ms. BONO. They could actually tell? You are guessing, though, right?

    Dr. BROWNE. Well, there are forensics you can do. These people are not computer forensics people, but let's say someone corrupted a file. You could certainly see that.

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    Ms. BONO. But we cannot even see that. The file, the whole hard drive, is actually missing. I mean, so you are saying that they would know that the file is corrupted, even though we did not know the whole drive in itself was missing for at least a month or maybe a month?

    Dr. BROWNE. Well, it is possible that it could have been missing for as long as a month.

    There was another date on April 27 when one of the other members of the NEST team, who is responsible for being on call, checked. He claims he remembers checking the kit because—this is what he says. He remembers checking the kit, and he remembers that nothing was missing, although he cannot tell us for sure that in fact he put his hands on those hard drives.

    Ms. BONO. You know, it is just amazing to me again, as my colleague said earlier, when you come from any sort of business in the private sector we are not allowed to—you do not get away with things like that. You do not get away with saying well, the vault lady went on a break and, you know, somebody is supposed to relieve her, but stuff happens. People get sick, and you do not know if they are actually there. In the private sector that would not be acceptable. There is no question.

    Something that also was said earlier that is troubling to me is that again top secret material is inventoried, but secret is no longer inventoried as of 1991-1992. This was a change in policy with this administration that we just stopped inventorying the things that are essential to our nuclear security?

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    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Well, it was a change decided in the previous Administration, but it was a change government wide. We have committed to come up with the specifics of that set of changes and try to provide some documentation back to the Committee.

    Ms. BONO. All right. Thank you. Just one last question.

    The only information I have had, until we can move into a closed session, about what is actually the content of the drives is what I have read in the Washington Post, so until we can move into closed session, but is there content on these drives that people's names are mentioned or sources are mentioned or people? Is there something like that on the drive?

    Dr. BROWNE. To the best of my knowledge, there is not that type of information on these drives about people. Yes.

    This is technical information about nuclear weapons that you would need to know if you were out in the field and you found some unknown device, and all you knew about it was how much does it weigh? What does it look like?

    Ms. BONO. But earlier somebody said they could not answer what was on the drive unless we went into closed session. Now you are saying this is—

    Dr. BROWNE. The details. Well, no. I just gave you very generic information. I think what you need to understand it are the details of what is on that drive. I just told you generically.

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    Ms. BONO. But the details would not be somebody's—a source for the information?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Ms. BONO. All right. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, ma'am.

    Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Gentlemen, I am sorry I had to leave earlier, so I will probably ask some questions that have already been asked.

    I guess, Dr. Browne, the first question is physically how big is a kit, and physically how big is the hard drive?

    Dr. BROWNE. Can I get into this, General?

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir.

    Dr. BROWNE. Okay. A hard drive is sort of like a deck of cards.

    Mr. SNYDER. All right.

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    Dr. BROWNE. They are pretty small. If you have computers, you can take these in and out.

    The kit is more like a suitcase size where you would have a tool kit of other things, other information you would need to do this assessment of what you find out in the field.

    Mr. SNYDER. A suitcase as in carry on luggage or a steamer trunk?

    Dr. BROWNE. Do you want to answer?

    General HABIGER. I would characterize it, sir, as a Samsonite hard case weekender kind of bag. That size.

    Mr. SNYDER. Thank you.

    General HABIGER. Black in color.

    Mr. SNYDER. General Habiger, you had mentioned earlier you considered I think you used the term whoppers, as in the material that is missing. In response to Mr. Thornberry, you mentioned that there had been some other problems.

    What are your next three most serious that you do not consider that rise to the level of whoppers, but that have concerned you?

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    General HABIGER. In terms of—

    Mr. SNYDER. Security problems. Breaches.

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir. I would prefer to go into those in closed session.

    Mr. SNYDER. Thank you. Whether we call these whoppers or—

    General HABIGER. Let me just point out, none of them come up to the magnitude of this.

    Mr. SNYDER. Oh, I understand that. I just wanted to get a sense of the others.

    You used the word whoppers, and somebody I think—maybe it was Mr. Skelton, and you all agreed with it, that these were like the crown jewels.

    I am a little bit confused. If we call something the crown jewels, there must be really some really super crown jewels somewhere that have a top secret. I mean, I think most of the Members of the committee were surprised to find out that both the material under discussion now and the material in the previous Los Alamos discussion over the last couple years, that none of it has been top secret. It has all been rated secret.

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    You have talked about kind of the downgrade of that back in 1991 or 1992 under President Bush, but it seems like in terms, General, I guess in terms of your looking at what to do, it would seem like one logical place is to say should we be—if we really consider this material to be crown jewel material, a whopper, do we need to reevaluate how we are classifying things.

    General HABIGER. Sir, while you were gone I discussed that, and I said we were going to take a look at that.

    Mr. SNYDER. Is that something that is happening not just—I assume that needs to occur system wide in a whole lot of different areas if we—

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir.

    Mr. SNYDER. Yes. I was listening to National Public Radio (NPR) this morning, and they were having a discussion with some of the citizens around Los Alamos and probably some of your employees, Dr. Browne, about what this has meant for the community. I think the term was, you know, locusts or something. You have just been hit with a lot of things.

    This one very nice woman made the comment that she considered it was just unthinkable for folks to think in Los Alamos that we would have someone there that might be willing to steal materials.

    I thought about that later. It seems to me that it would be unthinkable that there would be anyone else, that it would be anywhere else; that is somebody wanted those kinds of materials, why would they go to McDonalds in Little Rock? I mean, why would they go to the public library? If I want materials that are classified that are related to the American national security, I mean, why not go to the premiere gallery for that stuff in the world, which is Los Alamos?

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    My question is one of attitude. General Habiger, are we still having a problem with the attitude of employees that this is not an academic center; that this is a classified or a facility that deals with a lot of classified material, and we just have to rethink how we do things?

    General HABIGER. Sir, I would say based upon traveling across the complex from laboratories that do absolutely no classified information to our nuclear laboratories, that there had been a radical change in awareness, the culture and attitudes.

    Now, are we where we need to be? No, but we are a heck of a lot further along than we were a year ago.

    Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bartlett.

    Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    In thinking about Mr. Snyder's comment that if you wanted to steal nuclear secrets this is where you would be, I was reminded of Willie Sutton's response when he was asked why do you rob banks? He said because that is where the money is. So I agree that if you wanted to get nuclear secrets why you would be where there are nuclear secrets that could be obtained.

    I have the same question that apparently you discussed in my absence, and that is why the level of classification? I have attended a lot of top secret CODEWORD briefings. I heard little there that I had not seen previously in the New York Times, and I can hardly think of anything that I heard there that if the enemy knew at all would give them aid and comfort, and so I am rather confused as to how we could have these nuclear secrets that are so important that they threaten our national security, and yet they are only secret?

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    Secretary GLAUTHIER. General Habiger, do you want to respond to that?

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir. The material by itself, if you look at individual slices of the material that were in the kit that we are concerned about, secret restricted data makes sense.

    The point I made earlier, Congressman Bartlett, is that what we need to do now—again, we have had an aircraft accident, and we have learned a great deal—is that in my view secret restricted data with the way we handle that data and the encyclopedic databases that we have is not the way we ought to be doing it in the future.

    Mr. BARTLETT. So the problem is that each little slice of it was only secret, but when you put them all together it is bigger than the sum of the parts?

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir.

    Mr. BARTLETT. It now becomes top secret or well beyond that when you put them all together.

    Let me ask another question about classification. The very fact that would-be enemies know that this has happened, that our security system is such that somebody did this, would that not encourage others to try this?

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    The question I am asking is how is it in our national security interest that we are talking about this here in open session? I just think that just the very fact that this happened would encourage someone who wanted to get this kind of information to say hey, you know, that did not seem tough. Let me try.

    I just cannot see how putting this thing in the public domain is good for our national security. You know, it certainly needs to be discussed. It certainly needs to be resolved, but resolving it in this medium I do not think is a national security smart thing to do. Do you agree?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. General?

    General HABIGER. Yes. I would make the observation, sir, that we are into this now FBI led inquiry. We have been into it for eight days, very early in the process. There is a lot we do not know. There is a lot that we found out in the past eight days.

    As the one charged with security policy in the Department of Energy, I think it is important that at the request of the Chairman of this Committee that we come over and inform you and the American public as to exactly what we know and—

    Mr. BARTLETT. Once it is in the public domain, I agree completely. My question was if you really are thinking about national security and if you have an internal problem like this, are we not national security-wise better off if we solve that internally rather than—I mean, are we not now encouraging people to attempt espionage when we have this kind of exposé on how easy this apparently was?

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    You know, are we not now encouraging people to try who might not otherwise? I just cannot see that it is in our national security interest to do this kind of thing as we are doing this.

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Well, we certainly are sensitive to that. At the laboratory, John Browne has sent a memorandum around to all the employees to examine all of the information that they have, the access to materials and all, reminding them of their individual responsibility. General Gioconda has done a similar thing with the defense program staff in the Department of Energy.

    So you are absolutely right, but I think the reminder is to everybody to strengthen or redouble our efforts and to revisit our policies. We are looking at changes we may be able to make in some cases very quickly that will help to tighten up the access and accountability.

    Mr. BARTLETT. See, I think that we had two breaches. One was that they were missing, and the second one was that now the whole world knows it.

    I would hope that without the whole world knowing it that you all would recognize that you had to fix this and that you would have been just as vigilant in fixing if the whole world did not know it, so I would like you to look at how the second breach occurred because I do not think that it helps us national security-wise to have had the second breach.

    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

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    The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Bartlett.

    Mr. Buyer?

    Mr. BUYER. I have been trying to put this together in a manner whereby I can ask questions to get answers here in a public forum. I find it difficult.

    Does any information that was contained on these hard drives in any way compromise the national security of our allies?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. I think we are going to have to probably discuss that in—

    Mr. BUYER. Wait a second. I cannot have three guys shake their head yes and one shake their head no.

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Well, hold on one second. General Habiger is our security chief here. General?

    General HABIGER. Closed session.

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Yes. I think really once we start down that track we are talking about whether or not there is information on foreign weapons systems on this drive.

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    John, do you want to—

    Dr. BROWNE. Well, I really think this is an issue for closed session.

    Mr. BUYER. You just answered the question. So not only is this about the crown jewels of America's science. It is also that of our allies as we work cooperative toward peace in the world.

    Now let me ask this question. Are we working with our allies with regard to the data that has been compromised?

    General HABIGER. Sir, let me answer that. Nothing that you have read in the media regarding what is allegedly on those hard drives has come from the Department of Energy or the laboratory. All of that information has come from leaks.

    Mr. BUYER. No. I am not asking about any of that. I am being very specific. I want to know. I am trying to understand what has been compromised and what is at stake. You guys know. I do not. How do I turn back to my constituents that I represent? They are reading in the papers that something has occurred, and now I have to ask a question.

    Here is a quote. ''The crown jewels of America's scientific achievement,'' and if they are nuclear then obviously our allies, we work in concert with them, understand some of these things on how to disarm. We work cooperatively on international terrorists to combat these types of things.

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    Mr. CURRAN. Sir, if I could just respond here?

    Mr. BUYER. I am not certain I want you to respond because—

    Mr. CURRAN. Thank you.

    Mr. BUYER. —you are the one that shook the head no when the others shook their head yes.

    Now I will give you an opportunity since I disclosed how you shook your head. Go ahead.

    Mr. CURRAN. Can I respond, sir?

    Mr. BUYER. Yes.

    Mr. CURRAN. The information that is on that disk—I think what we are all concerned with is we do not want to compound the problem. We are more than happy to discuss in any detail that you choose in a closed forum to explain this to you. I think once you see the information on there you could understand where we are coming from. That is all I have to say.

    Mr. BUYER. All right. Is it also about compromising any enemy sources?

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    Mr. CURRAN. Sir, if I can? I mean, that is the response I am making as a counterintelligence person. If you want to go into detail on these drives, I would be more than happy to do that in a closed session.

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. There is one other element that we should add, and that is that we have asked the Central Intelligence Agency to conduct a damage assessment. They are in that process now, and that will provide a lot more detailed information of the type I think you are interested in.

    Mr. BUYER. Is it possible to quantify by a dollar amount?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. I do not think so.

    Mr. BUYER. Pretty shocking, do you think?

    Secretary GLAUTHIER. Yes. It is very serious.

    Mr. BUYER. General, on October 26, 1999, you stated before a congressional committee that, ''The department has turned the corner and aggressively and dynamically changed the way its security does business.''

    You also said, ''By March of 2000, most new policies to fix security will have been implemented, and most of the major security concerns will be fixed, and the focus will turn to improvements and enhancements.'' Do you recall making that statement?

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    General HABIGER. Yes, sir, I do.

    Mr. BUYER. I walked into the room when Mr. Thornberry was asking you some questions, and you would not testify as to the exact number of security violations over the past year. You have had an opportunity to think about that since that question was asked. Can you recall how many security violations have occurred over the past year?

    General HABIGER. No, sir, I cannot, but I will tell you when I took the job there were zero security violations because no one was reporting them. We are now.

    Mr. BUYER. General, how can a staffer pick up the phone and call your office and we discover that it is 220?

    General HABIGER. Sir, I do not know what the number is, but I promised Mr. Thornberry I would get that number for him, and I would get it for him quickly.

    Mr. BUYER. Let me ask you this, General. You have served a lifetime in the United States military. If you are a battlefield commander—

    General HABIGER. Twice.

    Mr. BUYER. You are a saint. You are a battlefield commander.

    General HABIGER. Sir?

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    Mr. BUYER. One of your division commanders shows up at your briefing and does not have his battle book with him and says gee, you know, I do not know what happened to it. I had it this morning. I went to the bathroom. I came out. I am sorry. I just do not know what happened to it.

    Would the battle book be considered one of your crown jewels?

    General HABIGER. Yes.

    Mr. BUYER. What would happen to that commander?

    General HABIGER. Fire him.

    Mr. BUYER. I agree with that, and I think probably the President of the United States is going to have to have some serious considerations here with regard to Secretary Richardson's position.

    I yield back the balance of my time.

    The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Reyes?

    Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me ask, Mr. Chairman. Are we going to have a closed session?

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    The CHAIRMAN. We have not decided yet. Not today, I do not think. We have a good many people who already have the information that had come in earlier. Sometimes the position it puts you in when you have a closed session and you get information that way, you cannot talk about it and so that really puts you in a more difficult position sometimes than trying to explain things to your constituents. They want to know how serious it is, and you cannot tell them.

    I do not know what the solution is to that yet, but we have a good many that already have it. As a matter of fact, I am sure you can get one if you want one.

    Mr. REYES. I for one would find that valuable. You know, it depends on what we are trying to do here, but assume we are trying to understand the gravity and perhaps the consequences to us and to our national security; at least that is what I hope we are trying to do. I hope we do have a closed session.

    The CHAIRMAN. I understand. As I said, a lot of them already had the closed session briefing, and they tell me they do not learn much more than they learned from the papers.

    Mr. REYES. Okay. I have a number of things that I am just—for my own clarification. Over the course of in particular the last year in terms of what Mr. Buyer was talking about, whatever the number of violations are, have there also been evaluations in terms of security, in terms of—I say that I guess based on my background as a chief in the border patrol in terms of handling information that was sensitive in operations and informants and those kinds of things.

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    As a chief, I always thought it was important to at times test the system to make sure we had safeguards in there so that information was not out in the community that was not supposed to be.

    My question is have we done those kinds of evaluations and those kinds of testing?

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir. Let me, without going into a lot of detail—

    Mr. REYES. Right.

    General HABIGER. —give you a broad brush. First, the laboratories. All DOE facilities are required to do a self-assessment on a regular basis. Then the next in the chain, the area offices, in this case the Albuquerque office, does a survey where they go look and see the security practices of the laboratories under their responsibility.

    Third, Mr. Glen Pondisky, who is an independent agent who does evaluations and assessments for the Secretary of Energy, went to Los Alamos twice in 1999, in September and December. The September visit they were satisfactory across the board except for unclassified cyber security. In December, they were satisfactory across the board.

    I have begun as part of my initiative to change the awareness levels, the culture, to begin absolute no notice security checks. Los Alamos was one of the first places that I went to.

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    In addition to all those things, Mr. Busboom, who is the director of security for Los Alamos, as well as the other directors of security at all of our other sites, do no notice evaluations, so they are not just sitting out there waiting for something to happen, sir.

    Mr. REYES. So it would be reasonable for us to assume that these issues have been serious, these issues, based on the information that goes back several decades of the problems identified that we have regurgitated ad nauseam here.

    We have taken what would be common sense practical approaches to doing the kinds of things that I just spoke to you about, so it would be safe for us to assume that you have done those normal safeguard type things?

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir. Now, that is not to say that we cannot get better.

    Mr. REYES. No. Understood, but the point I want to make here I think is, and perhaps you can answer it. Perhaps you cannot. If we have to go into closed session for that, that is fine, too.

    All the precautions, all the evaluations, all the good intentioned types of techniques that you can use to run these systems through to make sure that you have done everything possible to protect the secrets, the information, whatever, whatever you are talking about, goes for naught if you have somebody in there that is a crook, somebody in there that is a spy, perhaps more.

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    So the question I have is with all of these safeguards, with all your background and all the things that you have shared with us here and perhaps shared with other Members in closed sessions, these would be neutralized if we had such a situation in the Department of Energy.

    General HABIGER. Congressman Reyes, you have hit it right on the head. We can have all the policies, all the procedures, all the checks and balances in the world, but the last bastian is the individual.

    Mr. REYES. Right.

    General HABIGER. We go out and take great care in how we select these people. We do in-depth evaluations of their background. We give them security clearances. We train them on how they are to treat classified information, the consequences if they do not handle classified information in a positive sense, but that is the last bastian.

    If you have an individual, and I do not care what kind of situation you are in. I do not want to put words in Ed Curran's mouth, but no matter what kind of security situation you are in the individual, the last bastian, will find a way to do something stupid or illegal.

    Mr. REYES. And certainly that possibility exists in this case, right?

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    General HABIGER. Yes, sir.

    Mr. REYES. The last thing I want to ask about, Mr. Chairman, is perhaps you can give me or get to my office the information regarding the changes that we talked about from 1991-1992 when all of government relaxed the security and all of those kinds of things, what existed prior and what exists today, what precipitated that so that perhaps at least I can better try to understand what has occurred and why it has occurred.

    With that, Mr. Chairman, I do hope that we do have a closed hearing so we can get some of these. Thank you.

    The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hunter?

    Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Dr. Browne, I want to go back to the question I asked earlier and you were not certain of the answer, but you were going to get it for us. You have had a number of hours here, and I would hope you have your security people here to give you information on it.

    The question was you have a vault custodian or the person we referred to as the lady in the vault who knows the people that have access to the nuclear secrets vault, recognizes them and allows them to come in. She leaves for lunch time sometimes for an hour and a half.

    My question was does somebody take her place, relieve her and stay in her position until she comes back so that you have a personal contact with anybody trying to get into that vault. Your answer was you thought she did, but you were not positive. Have you had a chance to find out what the answer is there?

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    Dr. BROWNE. Not always. Sometimes there can be a backup, and many times she closes the vault and locks it, but it is not alarmed.

    Mr. HUNTER. Well, what is the policy for when you have a backup when she goes off to lunch?

    Dr. BROWNE. If she has a backup, then she would have that person sit there and identify. If there is no backup, then—

    Mr. HUNTER. What is your policy for either insuring that she has a backup or leaving it to chance or whatever? What is your policy for manning of that vault?

    Dr. BROWNE. The policy is either there is a backup available or the vault is locked. It is not alarmed during the work day, but it is locked.

    Mr. HUNTER. Who would the backup be if one is available?

    Dr. BROWNE. There is another authorized custodian for that vault. That vault has two authorized custodians.

    Mr. HUNTER. Where would the other person be?

    Dr. BROWNE. If they were—if this individual was at lunch, do you mean? I am not sure. Where would they be? Normally?

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    Mr. HUNTER. Let's assume it is a given day. Let's say it is Wednesday. It is 11:30, and the vault lady wants to leave to go to the Burger King for lunch. What would she do to secure a backup?

    Dr. BROWNE. That individual works in that same work area, the backup does.

    Mr. HUNTER. So is it a policy then? Obviously people like to leave for lunch around noon. Is it a policy that the backup person does not take lunch?

    Dr. BROWNE. They can alternate their lunch hours/ schedules if they have backups, or, as I said, if the backup is not available then the primary custodian would lock the vault.

    Mr. HUNTER. During the period when they are at lunch, they do not alarm the vault?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. Why do you not alarm the vault?

    Dr. BROWNE. My understanding is that that is not required for DOE policy for times up to two hours.

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    Mr. HUNTER. Well, why would you not alarm the vault? I do not care if it is required or not. Why would you not alarm it?

    Dr. BROWNE. Because the only people again who have access to the cyber lock, the unalarmed cyber lock, are the 26 people who are authorized in there after hours anyway.

    Mr. HUNTER. Have you checked the frequency with which you change—when you say cipher lock, you are talking about a combination lock, right?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. So you have a combination lock like people have on their lockers?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is right. A five digit number or something like that.

    Mr. HUNTER. Yes. That is not too complex.

    General HABIGER. Let me clarify that.

    Mr. HUNTER. Go right ahead.

    General HABIGER. Yes, sir. The combination lock that you are talking about, tumbler, round, you twist a dial. Cipher lock you punch in—

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    Mr. HUNTER. I understand, but no matter how you get to the digits it is a few digits, and the lock opens up like a rancher opening his gate or 7-11 opening up their door. That is what you have.

    So it is possible for one individual obviously to give the five digit number, the combination, to somebody, right?

    General HABIGER. That is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. Walk us through the procedure with which a person enters the building, gets up to the level where the nuclear secrets vault is and enters the vault on an average day. What do they do?

    Dr. BROWNE. When they come into the laboratory, they would have to go through the main guard gate, which they either have to have a positive identification where the guard looks at their badge.

    The new badges, which I think you helped us secure, now have color coding so a guard looks at it, cue cleared person, identifies the individual, or they can slide their badge through a badge reader and then put their hand into a palm reader, and that allows them to go through a turnstile. You can go one at a time.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. So you have personal identification at the first level of security?

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    Dr. BROWNE. Correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. How many people have access to that?

    Dr. BROWNE. About 7,000 to 8,000 people.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Seven thousand or 8,000 go through the first gate. What is the second level of security?

    Dr. BROWNE. That would be to go into what is called the limited access area where you have again a badge swipe that identifies you as the person in control of that badge.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. How many people in that pool?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is a number over 1,000. It varies depending on who is allowed on the list, but—

    Mr. HUNTER. Let's say 1,000. What is the next level of security?

    Dr. BROWNE. The next level of security then would be the vault.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. What happens is, as I understand it, the guard opens—the vault is opened early in the morning on the initial opening. That requires a call in to the guard?

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    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. But after that, the vault is kept open?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. And the vault custodian is in the vault except when she goes to lunch or may go on an errand?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. Now, under your policy she can leave for a 20 minute errand, and somebody may or may not watch the vault. Now, I take it you have not issued any orders saying I want to make sure there is somebody physically at the vault when the vault custodian leaves the vault?

    Dr. BROWNE. No. That is correct. As long as they follow the procedure that if someone is not there they lock the vault, that is within compliance of how vaults are handled.

    Mr. HUNTER. So the additional security that you get when the vault custodian is there is that you have a person who recognizes you as one of the people who has a right to have access?

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    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. And you lose that when that person goes to lunch?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct, except for the fact that one would have the cipher lock, assuming that only the individual—they do not compromise their giving the combination to that cipher lock to someone who is unauthorized.

    Mr. HUNTER. But you do not have the personal identification?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. And you think it is acceptable not to have the personal identification?

    Dr. BROWNE. No, I do not. Actually, I have issued a directive to our people to put in the same type of system as we have at the front gate, a badge reader with a palm reader. We have to have some better system than we have now.

    Mr. HUNTER. When did you issue that order?

    Dr. BROWNE. Just in the last week or two. It was when this thing came out. I will have to go look at the actual date on the letter.

    Mr. HUNTER. When the Administration made their multitudinous reviews of your security, did they address this situation at the vault?

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    Dr. BROWNE. Not to my knowledge. I would have to defer to General Habiger.

    General HABIGER. No.

    Mr. HUNTER. Did you have people who observed this system or inquired about this system?

    General HABIGER. Well, we look at the system in general, sir, but I go back to the point that one of the first things that became obvious to me after this aircraft accident, this incident—

    Mr. HUNTER. Well, I want to interrupt you on the aircraft accident, General Habiger. We have lots of aircraft accidents. It is true. There are problems that nobody can foresee, but never in the history of an airline has there been a situation where the pilot would take breaks from the control of the aircraft without being replaced. That is what we are addressing right now.

    So my question to you is did you have anybody who observed or focused on the aspect that at certain times during the day the vault was left unattended by a person? Did you focus on that?

    General HABIGER. Sir, no, because—

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    Mr. HUNTER. That is my question

    General HABIGER. I did not.

    Mr. HUNTER. And I think Dr. Browne has said he thinks that is an inadequacy, and he is now addressing that. Do you agree that that is an inadequacy?

    General HABIGER. And he and I talked about that because that was obvious to me based upon this particular situation.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Let me go back to Wen Ho Lee, Dr. Browne. Wen Ho Lee was identified by the head of the FBI in a conversation, in a meeting, with Undersecretary of Energy Elizabeth Moeller in August of 1997 as being a possible spy for communist China who had accessed America's nuclear secrets. Wen Ho Lee at that time had access to classified nuclear information at Los Alamos, did he not?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. Were you in the meeting?

    Dr. BROWNE. No, I was not.

    Mr. HUNTER. Was it ever relayed to you that the head of the FBI told Undersecretary Elizabeth Moeller that it was time to move Dr. Lee out of this position where he had access to our nuclear secrets?

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    Dr. BROWNE. I did not hear about that fact until actually the time of the congressional hearings on the matter.

    Mr. HUNTER. So did you ever inquire? Did you know what was going on with Wen Ho Lee in general, the fact that he was being looked at at that time—

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. —in August, 1997?

    Did anybody ever inform you about that meeting between Elizabeth Moeller and the head of the FBI when he basically said get the suspected spy out of there; he may be stealing our nuclear secrets?

    Dr. BROWNE. No. I was not informed of that fact.

    Mr. HUNTER. You did not know that that meeting had taken place?

    Dr. BROWNE. Correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. Did you ever hear about a meeting that had taken place later between the head of the FBI and Secretary of Energy Pena when the head of the FBI repeated his assertion that Dr. Lee should be removed because he had access to our nuclear secrets?

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    Dr. BROWNE. That information was never given to me.

    Mr. HUNTER. You told me a little earlier that you were aware that he was being looked at, but that your understanding was he was not going to be moved because they wanted to keep him in place and see if anybody else was connected to this thing?

    Dr. BROWNE. That was my understanding. When I was briefed in very early when I became director, within the first several weeks, I was briefed by my counterintelligence people at that point and also by—

    Mr. HUNTER. Now, when were you briefed?

    Dr. BROWNE. It was in November of 1997 after this time you are referring to.

    Mr. HUNTER. Well, but Wen Ho Lee was kept in position as a suspected spy of America's nuclear secrets with access to your nuclear secrets vault for 14 months—excuse me, 17 months—after he was ID'd as a suspected spy of nuclear secrets. He was kept there with access to the nuclear weapons vaults, to some of them. Are you aware of that today?

    Dr. BROWNE. Today I am. Correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. When did you first become aware of the fact that he was being focused on as a suspected spy of U.S. nuclear secrets?

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    Dr. BROWNE. I was informed of that within two weeks of becoming director in November of 1997.

    Mr. HUNTER. November of 1997?

    Dr. BROWNE. That he was a suspect.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Did you ever inquire as to what access he had to our nuclear secrets?

    Dr. BROWNE. Well, I was aware of that because I knew where he worked in our laboratory. He worked in our X division, so I—

    Mr. HUNTER. Did you ever question the good sense of having a suspected nuclear secrets spy working in your classified areas where he accessed our nuclear secrets?

    Dr. BROWNE. All the briefings I was given by both the DOE at that time were that this was an ongoing investigation, and the FBI was in charge, and he was to be left alone and that he was going to be watched. They wanted him in place, is what I was told.

    Mr. HUNTER. When did they tell you he was going to be watched and to leave him alone?

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    Dr. BROWNE. This was in the time frame shortly after becoming director, within the first two weeks.

    Mr. HUNTER. So it was in—

    Dr. BROWNE. November of 1997.

    Mr. HUNTER. —November of 1997? We now have on record, and I would take it that you would accept this, and you can examine the record and talk to the head of FBI if you want to, but he has said and Mr. Truelock has said and Ms. Moeller has said that they met with the head of the FBI in August of 1997 before you came on, and the head of the FBI has said and Mr. Truelock has said, he said get this guy out of here. This guy may be stealing our nuclear secrets. You were never advised of that?

    Dr. BROWNE. I was not advised about that, and I heard about it during the period of the congressional hearings. That was the first I heard of it.

    Mr. HUNTER. Nobody from the Secretary of Energy's office said anything to you?

    Dr. BROWNE. No, and I had briefings from those people and meetings with them, but no one ever said to me John, get that person out of there. Why is he still there? That was never told me.

    Mr. HUNTER. This is absolutely remarkable. Nobody said a word to you?

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    Dr. BROWNE. No.

    Mr. HUNTER. And so he kept his access. Could you tell us? Did he have access to extremely sensitive nuclear secrets for the next 17 months?

    Dr. BROWNE. There were—yes, he did. There were people in the division who were aware of the case. His immediate supervisor was aware of the case and was asked to give him an assignment that was less sensitive, but he nonetheless was in the X division. That is certainly true.

    Mr. HUNTER. Did Ms. Moeller, the Undersecretary of Energy, or Mr. Pena ever meet with you during the period between August of 1997 and December of 1998 when we finally moved the suspected spy?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes, but not to tell me about this issue.

    Mr. HUNTER. They never said a word to you?

    Dr. BROWNE. Not about this.

    Mr. HUNTER. Did they ever say how about the spy? Is he still in place?

    Dr. BROWNE. No.

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    Mr. HUNTER. Did you ever ask them anything about him?

    Dr. BROWNE. Well, we had meetings that related to the issue of him being a suspect, but there was never any discussion or direction to me of why is he still in X division.

    Mr. HUNTER. Who did you have those meetings with?

    Dr. BROWNE. The meetings did occur with—mostly with Deputy Secretary Moeller.

    Mr. HUNTER. So you had meetings in which you discussed Wen Ho Lee with Deputy Secretary Moeller?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. What time period?

    Dr. BROWNE. I would have to go back and check my records, but it would have been the period probably from—I will just have to check. I am sorry.

    My memory is not that good of that period. That is two and a half years ago, but it was during the period when she was Deputy Secretary and after Secretary Pena left, which I believe was in June of 1998.

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    Mr. HUNTER. So in June of 1998 you did have meetings with Undersecretary Moeller in which you talked about Wen Ho Lee?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes, that is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. What did you talk about?

    Dr. BROWNE. Just basically the status of the progression of the case that the FBI was pursuing. In other words, what was going on with respect to the case.

    Mr. HUNTER. Did she ever say at that point that he should be moved out?

    Dr. BROWNE. No. She never said that to me.

    Mr. HUNTER. Did she say to keep him in place?

    Dr. BROWNE. No.

    Mr. HUNTER. Was Mr. Truelock in the meeting?

    Dr. BROWNE. Mr. Truelock briefed me in depth about this situation in late November/early December, 1997.

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    Mr. HUNTER. What did he say?

    Dr. BROWNE. He just told me about the seriousness of the investigation, what the information was that was involved, but he never referred to a meeting to me at least. He never referred to a meeting with Director Freeh or Ms. Moeller.

    Mr. HUNTER. Now, have you ascertained which vaults Wen Ho Lee had access to and whether he had access to this particular nuclear secrets vault?

    Dr. BROWNE. We did do a check. I did a check with the deputy division director of X Division, who is here with me today, and I also remember a check that we did back in this time frame on that question of which vaults did he have access to, and he did not have access to this particular vault where the NEST information was located.

    I would like to, with your permission, submit an official statement for the record on that. I will go back and double check, but to the—

    [The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay.

    Dr. BROWNE. —best of my knowledge he did not.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Please do.

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    Now let's talk about what is possible and what horses we can still save before the barn door is—by closing this door. What vaults did he have access to?

    Dr. BROWNE. He had access to the main X Division vault. The main X Division vault has a large amount of nuclear weapons classified information on the U.S. systems.

    Mr. HUNTER. Is there a system in that vault that parallels the system you have just described in the vault we have been talking about?

    Dr. BROWNE. Could I ask the X Division director to address that?

    Mr. HUNTER. Sure.

    Dr. BROWNE. This is Richard Creychec, who is the Deputy Division Director of X Division.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Thank you.

    Mr. CREYCHEC. The main vault in the X division area is opened by three people, I believe, as opposed to the 26, so three people can open that vault. There is someone in the vault at all times to monitor what is going on in the vault.

    If the vault needs to be closed during the day, there is a combination lock, not a cipher lock.

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    Mr. HUNTER. You say three people had access to that vault?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. Three people were able to open that vault.

    Mr. HUNTER. Was Wen Ho Lee one of those people, or did he have to solicit that person, one of those three people, to open it?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. He had to solicit one of those people.

    Mr. HUNTER. Have you ascertained as to whether he did in fact solicit them during the period between August of 1997 when he was identified as a suspect spy and December of 1998 when he was moved?

    Have you gone back and checked with the three and said did this guy try to get in and get into the weapons vault?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. I have in fact asked whether or not this person has accessed that particular vault in X Division. The response that I got, and again there is no log in or out. The response that I got was based on recollection, and the recollection was that he was not a person who accessed that vault or that information.

    Mr. HUNTER. So your answer is that he did not access the vault?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. The recollection—sorry. It is awkward here.

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    Mr. HUNTER. Yes. Go ahead and take a seat there, sir, if you want to. Can you pull up a seat?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. The recollection by the people who were in the vault was that he did not want to access that vault. Because there is no log, that is a log in or a log out, of people into that vault—

    Mr. HUNTER. Now, question. Is there a vault custodian there like the lady we have spoken of who may leave for lunch for an hour and a half?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. Yes.

    Mr. HUNTER. Does that person leave for lunch?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. Yes, that person does leave for lunch.

    Mr. HUNTER. Do you definitely have a replacement for that person when they leave for lunch?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. There is a backup custodian to that vault, but that particular vault has a combination safe—combination lock rather—that is turned, that is spun—

    Mr. HUNTER. Yes?

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    Mr. CREYCHEC. —as opposed to a cipher, a button lock.

    Mr. HUNTER. Yes?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. And so the combination lock would be spun, and you would have to be one of the three people who has access to the vault in order to open that vault.

    Mr. HUNTER. But the person who is the custodian of the vault, as I understand it, in the same sense that the person who is the custodian of the vault we have been talking about, may or may not leave for periods of time in which the vault is unattended? Is that right?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. I am sorry. Could you repeat that question?

    Mr. HUNTER. Well, you have listened to the fact that the vault custodian in the immediate case sometimes leaves for lunch,—

    Mr. CREYCHEC. Right.

    Mr. HUNTER. —and sometimes somebody backs them up, and sometimes somebody does not back them up. You have heard that, right?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. Yes.

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    Mr. HUNTER. And now we are going to back them up all the time according to Dr. Browne, right? You heard that?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. I heard Dr. Browne.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. This is real simple. My question is does the same situation apply with respect to the backup person at the vault you are talking about? Is there a backup person who is always there who always steps in, or is it a sometimes they do and sometimes they do not situation?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. It is the latter case.

    Mr. HUNTER. It is a sometimes they do and sometimes they do not?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. But they must lock the safe. I am sorry. The vault.

    Mr. HUNTER. But sometimes the vault is unattended by a person?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. Sometimes the vault is unattended by a person during normal working hours.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. So during that time, of course, you would not know whether Wen Ho Lee approached the vault or not, would you?

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    Mr. CREYCHEC. You would not know if he approached the vault, but he could not get into the vault.

    Mr. HUNTER. We understand that in theory nothing was taken from this other vault because nobody could get into it, but, unfortunately, something is gone.

    What you are saying is the difference between these two vaults is you have a pool of 26 people who have the cipher to the vault we have been talking about that the items are missing from. In this case, you have a pool of three people.

    Mr. CREYCHEC. That is correct.

    Mr. HUNTER. However, if the combination is stolen then you do not have a person who requires personal recognition before they allow somebody to open the vault unless the vault attendant happens to be there, right?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. The insider threat issue that you just raised is in fact correct. If the combination is stolen, yes, that is correct. There would be times during normal working hours—

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Now let me ask you a question.

    Mr. CREYCHEC. —that a stolen combination could be used.

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    Mr. HUNTER. Let me ask you a question that lots of homeowners and apartment owners across the country ask their spouse or their friend or their manager. When they have a problem in which somebody might have gotten into something where they do not want them to go, they ask them this question. Did you change the locks?

    Was there a change of the combination lock after the discovery that Dr. Wen Ho Lee was a suspect spy of nuclear secrets?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. The combination lock needs to be changed when one of the people who has access to that combination has a change of status; that is, they leave.

    Mr. HUNTER. I understand.

    Mr. CREYCHEC. So in that case you are required to change the combination.

    Mr. HUNTER. So the answer is because Wen Ho Lee was not one of the three designees, the answer is no?

    Mr. CREYCHEC. The answer is no.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Dr. Browne, you have had a chance to ask some questions about whether the cipher was—

    Thank you, sir. Sorry to put you in that uncomfortable position.

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    You have had a chance to recollect as to whether or not the combination or the cipher lock was in fact changed during this tenure of this identification and focus on Dr. Wen Ho Lee. You thought that it might be. You were not sure. Have you found the answer?

    Dr. BROWNE. If the cipher lock—

    Mr. HUNTER. Did you change the locks when this focus was put on Dr. Wen Ho Lee, or do you figure since that was a safe that he did not have access to, unlike the safe we have just talked about—

    Dr. BROWNE. I do not know the answer to that. To the best of my knowledge, it was not changed because of his situation.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Now let me ask you this question. You have described three—

    Mr. Chairman, thank you for letting me ask these questions here. I have just one more, and I am done.

    You described three arrays of security. The first gate, 7,000 to 8,000 people can get into. Was Dr. Wen Ho Lee one of those people?

    Dr. BROWNE. Yes.

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    Mr. HUNTER. The second gate, limited access, 1,000. What do you do at that second gate?

    Dr. BROWNE. The second gate you read your badge in to tell if you are on the list to be allowed into the limited access area.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Was Dr. Wen Ho Lee one of those people?

    Dr. BROWNE. He was up until the time he was removed from X division.

    Mr. HUNTER. Obviously. Okay. So he was. So he is in the second gate presumably. So if Dr. Wen Ho Lee or somebody like him had the cipher that the 26 people had, had in some way gotten that or copied it or something, if he had the combination and he went in during a time when the vault custodian was at the Burger King or someplace else, he could access that vault, right?

    Dr. BROWNE. That is certainly possibly if that had been compromised.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. I would certainly recommend, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for letting me ask this long line of questions, that, Dr. Browne, you have personal observation of those vaults at all times.

    I think that is the most basic, simplest initial reaction to this problem. I would certainly recommend that that be done before the day is gone.

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    Dr. BROWNE. I definitely agree that we need to have some positive control over the vaults at all times that indicate who is trying to access the vault not just by a combination, but by some methodology that positively identifies who comes to a vault, who enters a vault. I think that is needed.

    Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Thank you.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.

    Mr. Skelton.

    Mr. SKELTON. I have been sitting here trying to listen and trying not to be sarcastic and compare you all to the Keystone cops. Very, very, very disappointing.

    Two things. Number one, you have to find out where the disks went. You have to do that. Number two, you have to fix it and treat these like the crown jewels that they are. I am sure there are some that have not been stolen or misplaced or whatever, so guard them. Good gosh. Guard them with your life.

    Thank you.

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    The CHAIRMAN. With that, the meeting is adjourned. Thank you.

    [Whereupon, at 5:57 p.m. the Committee was adjourned.]


June 14, 2000
[This information is pending.]

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