CONTESSA BREWER: Jeff, so the government accidentally released information about where the U.S. stores fuel for nuclear weapons and even more highly confidential nuclear information here. The government printing office mistakenly posted online a 266-page report detailing the exact locations of stockpiles of enriched uranium and some weapons testing locations.
With me now, terrorism expert Steve Emerson. This is a big deal, isn't it?
STEVEN EMERSON: It is a big deal. The fact is there are some people who say, well all this information could have been collected in disparate places on the internet and could have been assembled separately. But the fact that it is aggregated in one single document available for terrorists or for criminals to exploit is I think very, very alarming because they can steal the material, they can bomb the material, they can use the material for terrorist activities. There are a host of other actions that can be exploited because of the concentration of this material.
BREWER: John Deutsch, who is a former director of the CIA and former Deputy Defense Secretary, says screw ups like these happen from time to time. The thing is, when you're looking at the particulars of Los Alamos,
EMERSON: Well I think it's really common knowledge that most of those installations that you mentioned already have enriched uranium located on their sites. The question is how specific was the information. This detailed website gave the exact physical locations of where the enriched tubes were located that had the enriched uranium. Question is, is it more easy for terrorists to exploit this information here and obtain the weapon-grade uranium, or can they obtain it overseas – let's say from the former Soviet republics. I would suggest that it's easier to obtain overseas, and yet by having it concentrated in one area makes it a very inviting site for potential terrorist let's say attacks to say, now we know this is a place that has the uranium, let's attack it.
BREWER: Given the fact that it was confidential, though not classified - and the New York Times is pointing out there are inquiries that have already been started – is there likely to be any repercussions for the people who put this online?
EMERSON: I think so. Look, definitely a screw up. Somebody is going to take the fall for this. The fact that it is confidential, not classified, and somebody saying, well it's already out there; they're trying to cover up for potential problems here. Somebody's going to have to take responsibility. No one has so far. Everyone has been pointing the finger at somebody else.
BREWER: Steve, thanks.