Skip to comments.Los Alamos Whistleblower Beaten - (horrendous)
Posted on 06/06/2005 6:52:41 PM PDT by CHARLITE
A Los Alamos whistleblower scheduled to testify before congress later this month is now in the hospital, according to news reports. Auditor Tommy Hook was brutally beaten by three or four anonymous assailants who allegedly ordered him to keep quiet.
On Saturday night, Hook went to a Santa Fe bar ostensibly to meet a person claiming to be a fellow Los Alamos whistleblower that called that night. When the person did not show, Hook left the bar after consuming two drinks.
In the parking lot, he was yanked out of his car and beaten so badly by the three or four men that he had to be taken to intensive care at a local emergency room.
Reportedly, Hook did not provoke these men. The men concentrated on kicking his head, and Hook's family has opined that the men would have killed him if it hadn't been for a club employee, who ran from the club and broke up the beating.
Congressional staff members were set to arrive Tuesday in Los Alamos to investigate Hook's allegations of malfeasance at the lab.
Tommy Hook remains hospitalized with severe trauma to his face and head, including a fractured jaw and a herniated disk. The FBI has been called-in to investigate the attack, and Hook is currently under close protective custody.
Congress Warned of Ill Treatment of Hook
Last March, Danielle Brian, Executive Director Project On Government Oversight (POGO) testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations regarding a review of security initiatives at DOE Nuclear Weapons Facilities.
He especially focused on Hook and another whisterblower:
"I would be remiss if I did not report to the Committee that, while not a part of former Secretary Abraham's initiatives, the treatment of whistleblowers throughout the complex remains abysmal. Retaliation remains the norm, not the exception, as can be seen in the case of Tommy Hook and Chuck Montano, who have both worked at Los Alamos for decades.
"After the Committee's three hearings on financial fraud at Los Alamos, the University of California was telling the public that all was resolved, while at the same time retaliating against these two men who knew otherwise. Hook and Montano were responsible for providing audit support for UC and uncovered ongoing irregularities and outright misconduct amounting to millions of taxpayer dollars.
"Their audit reports were withheld from DOE. Their treatment? Their work was taken away from them, they were given no work for nine months, and now they are only being handed menial assignments. Even the head of the Los Alamos Site Office tried to intervene on Tommy Hook's behalf, only to be rebuffed by an arrogant University of California."
According to a report in Exec.com, Susan Hook, the victim's wife, Bob Rothstein, his attorney, and Montano confirmed that Hook was at the club to meet with another employee who claimed to have information that would support charges of wrongdoing.
Susan Hook and Montano further alleged that the assault was absolutely connected to Tommy Hook's impending testimony:
"When they were beating him up, they were telling him ... 'If you know what is good for you, you will keep your mouth shut,'" said Susan Hook.
Rothstein recalled that a person claiming to be an auditor from Los Alamos had contacted Hook a week before and had offered to share information about financial issues at the laboratory. Rothstein said that one meeting had already fallen through, but the second was arranged on Saturday night at the strip club.
The nightclub's doorman ran into the parking lot and broke up the attack, according to a club employee who witnessed the beating. The employee said Hook was assaulted by a group of men.
Called to the scene, FBI Special Agent Bill Elwell confirmed that federal agents are investigating with Santa Fe police officers. He said they are "still trying to figure out" what happened at the nightclub. "We are looking into the allegations made by Mr. Hook," Elwell said.
Los Alamos issued a statement:
"The University of California and the laboratory are outraged that a laboratory employee was the victim of a weekend assault in Santa Fe. Director [Robert] Kuckuck was made aware of the attack this morning and expressed his hope that the individual will make a quick recovery"
"Director Kuckuck, the University of California and the laboratory believe that any form of physical violence toward an individual is unacceptable. The laboratory is in contact with the Santa Fe Police Department and is providing the laboratory's full support and cooperation with the ongoing investigation."
Susan Hooks said that her husband's wallet and car were not taken.
I'd check the local and lab police first.
I hurt looking at him.
Interesting that it seems to be the UC end, and not the gov end.
Poor fella's damn lucky to be alive.
I'm not familiar with this story. What the hell is going on here? Does anyone have more background?
UC's losing the contract. UT will get it, and the lab will be better off for the change.
Aint like the unions havent done this before.
It seems to me that this whole operation needs to be shut down and started over again from scratch if they are still doing anything useful. They are too deep into corruption and treason to be salvageable.
I'll be looking for a headline in the New York Times tomorrow.
Aint like the unions havent done this before.
This is outrageous. That lab needs to be shut down immediately for national security reasons. There are other interests than the US government that are in control.
Is it related to this?
LOS ALAMOS STORE RAIDED
The FBI has seized several items from a Los Alamos-area business, including a laptop computer hard drive marked 'secret,'" according to KOB-TV.
The owner of the Black Hole Surplus Store and Museum, Ed Grothus, says agents also have confiscated two rolls of tape stickers labeled "secret" and a Verbatim eight-millimeter tape with case.
FBI Special Agent Bill Elwell of Albuquerque confirms that agents executed a search warrant. He says it?s based on information the agency received and as a result of items that agents had seen bearing Los Alamos National Laboratory secret stickers.
Elwell says no arrest warrants have been issued.
Investigators are looking into security and safety breaches at the lab, including the disappearance of two computer disks with classified information.
>"We are looking into the allegations made by Mr. Hook," FBI Special Agent Elwell said. <
I don't think these are allegations. Nobody I know of would put themselves up for a beating such as this to further substantiate their whistleblower statements.
Then China and Russias labs.
Hmmmm....wasn't it during the CLinton era that the lax security at Alamos resulted in missing discs or something...posing a possible national security risk? My memory is alittle foggy.
Some "allegations". When four guys try to kill you--those are not just "allegations.
More background on Elwell's investigation:
Los Alamos Director Keeps Lab Moving
by Adam Rankin, October 14, 2004
As the FBI's investigation into a Los Alamos National Laboratory employee and a pair of missing computer disks continues, laboratory director Pete Nanos is pushing ahead with the resumption of normal operations and a reorganization of management, meant to provide more control and oversight.
FBI spokesman Bill Elwell said the agency is still investigating an unnamed LANL employee, now on paid leave, allegedly involved in the disappearance of a pair of classified computer disks. The FBI became involved in the investigation at the end of July.
The question of whether the disks really exist, raised by Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., this summer, still hasn't been answered. Elwell said FBI agents on the case "haven't told me anything different; as far as I know, they are still working on the case."
Elwell said there are a lot of factors involved in the case, some of which the FBI can't control, so he can't say when the investigation might be resolved. On Tuesday, Nanos announced a management reshuffle, effectively splitting LANL's Operations Directorate in two, creating a Technical Services Directorate and a Security and Facility Operations Directorate.
LANL spokeswoman Kathy DeLucas said the move is not the result of any single event or series of events, such as accidents or security lapses, but came about while the laboratory was undergoing significant internal review, which was seized upon as an opportunity to reorganize a directorate that was "too big." Nanos said in a statement that he is convinced the split "will result in improved operational efficiency and better alignment of professional services."
Nanos tapped Carolyn Mangeng, who had been acting deputy director, to be the acting associate director for the Technical Services Directorate, which will focus on regulatory and compliance issues, project management and performance, counterintelligence and internal security, as well as health, safety and radiation protection.
To replace Mangeng, Nanos named Don Cobb, associate director for threat reduction, as the new acting deputy director. And he placed Scott Gibbs, who had been acting associate director for operations, in the role of acting associate director for the Security and Facility Operations Directorate.
The new directorate will support LANL nuclear and waste operations, security, emergency operations, space management and site planning and facility operations support. The new divisions will "be a longterm sustainable, reliable way to help divisions along the straight and narrow," DeLucas said.
She said LANL is moving toward complete resumption of normal operations, suspended July 16, following an accident.
Union thugs is my guess. Fixed (rigged) bidding on contracts involved. That smells like union.
Great minds think alike! lol