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Tarnished Brass in Nuke Scandal Climbs

nuke-fuses.jpg

[Editor's Note: Colin broke this story last week and has a follow up that we posted last evening on the continuing fallout from the Air Force (and DLA) nuke scandals.

A source tells me he's upset by the double standard of this punishment versus the one handed out from the Minot incident. He wonders whether there's more to the after action report on the mis-shipped fuses than meets the eye.

Obviously, our sources would not give us any names -- but we did confirm this is going to be announced today at 4pm. The AP came out with a story on this issue about the same time we posted...but Colin got it first with his own sourcing...Great work...]

In further fallout from the nuclear scandals that have plagued a beleaguered Air Force, the Pentagon is set to announce Thursday afternoon that at least seven general officers -- including at least one three-star general -- and five to seven colonels have been disciplined in connection with nuclear lapses, according to two sources familiar with the issue.

The generals are expected to be named; the colonels will remain anonymous.

A congressional aide confirmed the timing of the announcement but did not know how many officers were to be disciplined or what their punishments might be.

"They are holding this extraordinarily close," the aide said of Air Force and Pentagon officials.

Earlier sources - who sought anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter -- had indicated the number of general officers to be reprimanded stood at five, but that number has climbed since last week.

The Pentagon is expected to announce the names of the general officers and their punishments at 4 p.m. on Thursday, following a long meeting on Monday during which several of the punishments were reconsidered.

Sources declined to specify whether punishments were changed, nor would they name those to be disciplined. But there is clearly concern that the Air Force has rushed to judgment in an effort to put the nuclear mess behind it.

One source said he is not "convinced the Air Force did its own thorough investigation," adding the service accepted the Schlesinger and Donald reports about the nuclear lapses at face value "so they could make the 'sacrificial offering' and move on quickly."

A second source voiced similar concerns.

A report by Navy Adm. Kirkland H. Donald, director of naval nuclear propulsion, into the nuclear enterprise detailed a loss of oversight from senior Air Force leaders and lowered performance related to the nuclear mission.

Read the rest of this story and other kick-butt news breaks at DoD Buzz.

-- Colin Clark

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