Congressman Michael Turner | Proudly Serving Ohio's 10th District

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Turner: “Seeing is Believing, But Ignorance is Bliss”

Seeing Facilities First Hand Should Come Before Uninformed Cuts to Our National Security

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Washington, Mar 19, 2012 | comments

Congressman Mike Turner (OH-3) has written to Congressman Ed Markey (MA-7) and re invited him to tour Building 9212 at Y-12 and the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR) facility at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico. Turner, who is Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, has direct oversight of our defense nuclear facilities and labs.

“Without ever seeing the true state of these facilities, Mr. Markey is living in blissful ignorance. It must make calling for funding cuts and unilateral disarmament a lot easier. No one who has toured these facilities and has seen their deplorable conditions would deny the need for this funding,” said Turner.

It’s unclear if Markey, who has called for sharp cuts in funding for these facilities and the nuclear deterrent in general, has ever been to these facilities.

“It is clear from your response that you have been given grossly inaccurate, or wholly out-of-context, information on the plutonium and uranium facilities—and their prospective replacements—at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex. We very much need to get you to Los Alamos and Y-12 as soon as possible to clear up this terribly mistaken information,” wrote Turner.

In 2009, the bipartisan Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, composed of highly respected experts from both sides of the aisle and co-chaired by former Defense Secretaries William Perry and James Schlesinger, said that the facilities Turner invited Markey to tour are “genuinely decrepit and are maintained in a safe and secure manner only at high cost.”

“I hope you will accept my previous offer to take a joint trip to visit these facilities and receive comprehensive briefings of their status and plans for their replacement.  I continue to look forward to scheduling this trip at your earliest opportunity,” added Turner.

NOTE: The full letter follows below.

 

March 16, 2012

 

The Honorable Ed Markey

2108 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Representative Markey: 

I appreciate your response to my letter of February 15.

It is clear from your response that you have been given grossly inaccurate, or wholly out-of-context, information on the plutonium and uranium facilities—and their prospective replacements—at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex. We very much need to get you to Los Alamos and Y-12 as soon as possible to clear up this terribly mistaken information. 

I hope you will accept my previous offer to take a joint trip to visit these facilities and receive comprehensive briefings of their status and plans for their replacement.  I continue to look forward to scheduling this trip at your earliest opportunity. 

Sincerely, 

MICHAEL R. TURNER                                                          

Chairman, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces

House Armed Services Committee     

 

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