Quantcast

Stolen Secrets | The Nation

  •  

The Notion

Unfiltered takes on politics, ideas and culture from Nation editors and contributors.

Stolen Secrets

Allow me to be hysterical for a second. The Bush Administration has set a new bar for secrecy. So you think they'd be a little better at protecting sensitive information.

A few weeks ago a laptop containing vital details on 26.5 million military veterans was stolen from a Department of Veterans employee. How so much information could remain unguarded on one laptop remains a mystery. Massive, massive identify theft--on current and former US military personnel--could follow. Talk about a major national security breach.

But the narrative only gets worse. Last week, the Department of Energy admitted that a hacker stole confidential information on fifteen hundred people working for its nuclear weapons unit.

I repeat: nuclear weapons.

The data included Social Security numbers and security clearances. But it took nine months for the Secretary of Energy to become aware of the theft. At a hearing on Friday exposing the theft, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Joe Barton, a Texas oil crony who's hardly a profile in oversight, called on the head of the DOE unit to resign that afternoon.

As of now, he's still got a job. So much for homeland security. Al Qaeda must be smiling. With a government like this, who needs enemies?

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.