A former Los Alamos nuclear policy expert has filed an appeal in a whistleblower case to Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, arguing that the Energy Department had abused its power to label documents secret and retaliated against him for expressing his views.
James E. Doyle was fired July 8 after spending 18 months trying to force Los Alamos officials to reverse their ruling that an article he published in a foreign journal, which questioned the rationale for nuclear deterrence, had diclosed state secrets. The Center for Public Integrity first reported on Doyle’s case last month.
Los Alamos is the oldest of America’s nuclear weapons labs and most of its nearly $2 billion annual budget goes to an effort to extend the shelf life of the country’s aging nuclear warheads.
“This article, while supportive of the current Administration’s nuclear policies, is viewed as expressing opinion contrary to other political forces, including those held by” Los Alamos, wrote Doyle’s attorney, Mark Zaid, in the appeal to Moniz.
The case has drawn intense scrutiny from the community of U.S. disarmament and nonproliferation specialists.