Policy Letter

POGO letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld

Secretary of Defense

1000 Defense, The Pentagon

Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld:

We urge you to recommend that President Bush veto the FY2002 Defense Authorization Bill unless Department of Energy (DoE) nuclear weapons facilities are included in the new BRAC process.

POGO’s recent report, U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex: Security at Risk, found that DOE nuclear weapons facilities failed to protect nuclear materials from mock terrorists attacks during security tests more than 50% of the time. Some of these facilities are not only redundant, but they no longer have a national security mission. Closing unnecessary facilities reduces the threat of terrorist attacks and saves the taxpayers billions of dollars.

As a result of the September 11th terrorist attacks, and warnings by the Director of the Homeland Security Office, Tom Ridge, of future attacks, it is in the nation’s interest to make sure that we are taking the appropriate precautions that could save that lives of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of Americans from a possible terrorist attack in the future. Unfortunately, it is politics as usual.

Your leadership and determination on this issue has been unwavering. Along with many former Secretaries of the Defense Department, you have not only made BRAC a priority, but you have put pressure on congress to act. While Members of Congress continuously assert their patriotism for this country, they actually do a disservice to the American public by not agreeing to close unneeded military bases and nuclear weapons facilities, further putting the welfare of the American public at risk. Don’t let congress of the hook.


Danielle Brian

Executive Director

Project On Government Oversight