This March 27, 2008, file photo, shows the Pentagon in Washington. The Pentagon said Tuesday, July 6, 2021, that it is canceling a cloud-computing contract with Microsoft that could eventually have been worth $10 billion and will instead pursue a deal with both Microsoft and Amazon. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)InternationalIndiaAfricaThe warning of so-called ‘insider threats’ comes as the US government and Western media outlets are increasingly targeting Chinese-born scientists as potential spies.A new report by a US government watchdog group claims the federal agency in charge of overseeing Washington’s nuclear secrets still has yet to create an “insider threat” program a full decade after it was ordered to do so by presidential decree.“The Department of Energy (DOE) has not implemented all required measures for its Insider Threat Program more than 8 years after DOE established it in 2014, according to multiple independent assessments,” states the document, which was produced by the Government Accountability Office.“Specifically, DOE has not implemented seven required measures for its Insider Threat Program, even after independent reviewers made nearly 50 findings and recommendations to help DOE fully implement its program.”What’s more, “DOE does not formally track or report on its actions to implement them,” the report added, noting that “without tracking and reporting on its actions to address independent reviewers’ findings and recommendations, DOE cannot ensure that it has fully addressed identified program deficiencies.”Per the US government watchdog, this means that the DOE “doesn’t ensure that employees are trained to identify and report potential insider threats” and “hasn’t clearly defined contractors’ responsibilities for this program.”
The report was published amid widespread accusations by the US government mainstream media that scientists of Chinese descent are attempting to smuggle US nuclear secrets out of the country.
In recent years, Chinese-born scientists have been increasingly targeted by federal investigators, who in some cases have charged researchers with multiple criminal offenses for minor omissions on visa applications.
Responding with a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of Energy wrote: “we appreciate the GAO’s review and have taken a series of actions to further bolster the Department’s capabilities to effectively deter, detect, and mitigate insider threats throughout the nuclear enterprise.”But not to worry — the DOE has “a highly vetted workforce and maintains programs specifically designed to avoid or minimize insider threats while capitalizing on longstanding protection measures against misuse of critical stockpile assets and resources,” the agency insists.The Obama administration established the ‘Insider Threat’ program in 2011 after Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning helped reveal evidence of massive wrongdoing by US forces, up to and including likely war crimes.