There's only one reporter in the national mainstream press who's had the attention span to stay focused on the ongoing scandals at Los Alamos National Lab. On Friday, CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson had another remarkable story about the almost laughably corrupt business practices at the world's most important nuclear center.The story centers around Chuck Montano, one of a group of Los Alamos auditors who were supposed to look over the lab's accounts with outside vendors. What he found: "Vendors could charge whatever they wanted." 10,000 purchases out of 56,000 shouldn't have been allowed. Another 38,000 were questionable. "Vendors routinely overbilled and double-billed -- and yet were paid, no questions asked," Attkisson notes. (And you wonder why lab employee tried to buy camping gear and a Mustang with government credit cards.)But when Montano and his fellow auditors wrote up an account of the fishy deals, the report was buried. Montano was kept idle without work for nine months, he claims.Obviously, this burying of whistleblowers has become a habit over at Los Alamos. And Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX), who heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee, seems to be getting pretty tired of it. Attkisson asked Barton how could Los Alamos finally be cleaned up. And Barton answered, "One thing we could do is just shut the entire complex down."
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