Santa Fe Reporter Letter to the Editor: March 15

Cover, March 15: “The Foilies”

Notorious LANL delays

Concerning the article “presenting the nationwide look at the last year’s most terrible transparency,” the Santa Fe Reporter could have stayed home and reported on its own backyard. The Department of Energy and the Los Alamos National Laboratory are notorious for their lengthy delays in honoring Freedom of Information Act requests. As a federal judge ruled in one of our FOIA lawsuits, “administrative officials invoke every conceivable delaying technique and force citizens requesting information under the FOIA to resort to expensive litigation for vindication of their rights. Information is often useful only if it is timely. Thus, excessive delay by the agency in its response is often tantamount to denial.”

It once took me eight years to get back a FOIA request about safety issues at a LANL plutonium facility. I have twice had to litigate to get “Performance Evaluation Reports” on contractor performance that American taxpayers pay for. Information is crucial as the Lab and DOE spend tens of billions of dollars on expanded manufacturing of plutonium pit bomb cores for increased nuclear weapons production for a new and more dangerous nuclear arms race.

The Freedom of Information Act is a wonderful law and I strongly encourage citizens to use it. Now we need to enforce it!

Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch New Mexico

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