The National Laboratories provide all kinds of support to the nation’s intelligence community. But try getting them to talk about it.
When the Albuquerque Journal’s John Fleck tried to write about the support that Los Alamos and Sandia provide, he discovered that a memorandum went out reminding employees at one lab that they were strictly forbidden from acknowledging this support.
John tells me that sources were “willing to confirm … the existence of a memo about not confirming the existence of something. I’m not sure, but I think there’s a postmodernist manifesto in here somewhere.”
Anyway, the resulting story offers a few details about an unclassified report, The Economics of Energy Independence for Iran, authored by employees of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory:
While Iranian leaders say the program is peaceful, many in the international community fear it is aimed at building nuclear weapons.
So the question before the labs was this: Does Iran’s claim to be pursuing nuclear energy rather than bombs make economic sense?
The answer, according to a report by Los Alamos National Laboratory expert Jeff Bedell and colleagues at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was a resounding “no.”
The Journal obtained a copy of the report, which is unclassified but has not been made public.
The sponsoring agency hasn’t been named, and its only appearance in the public record is a short description published last spring on a State Department Web site and a footnote in an unclassified report from the House Intelligence Committee [aka Fleitz of Fancy].
I’ve posted the full text for readers, and provided relevant hyperlinks in John’s story.
Update: One of the authors asked me to take down the file, on the grounds that he was attempting to publish it. I’ve done so. I will post a link to the published article when it comes out.