Lockheed Lost Secret Papers, Dingell Says
Hundreds of classified documents, some involving the secret F-19 “stealth” jet fighter program, are missing from a Lockheed Corp. plant in Los Angeles and the firm has “clearly lost control” of its secret information, according to Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.).
Dingell, chairman of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, in letters to Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger and Lockheed Chairman Lawrence Kitchen that were made public today, also said there is evidence the company’s audits have been falsified to conceal the problem.
In the letters, Dingell said the discovery lends support to his contention that secret defense programs “are really a device to evade accountability and to conceal wrongdoing.”
Reported by Employees
Dingell’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, acting on a report by two Lockheed employees, found that hundreds of “top secret and secret documents, tapes, films and photographs . . . are missing” from the contractor’s Los Angeles plant, he wrote.
Dingell did not mention in his letters what the allegedly missing documents pertained to, but sources familiar with the inquiry said they related to Lockheed’s highly secret F-19 jet fighter program.
The Pentagon had no immediate comment about the charges, saying only that Weinberger had received the letters and “will look into the issues that Mr. Dingell has raised.”
Spokesman Jim Ragsdale of Lockheed Calif. Corp., a Lockheed division, said today that 20 company employees are engaged in a routine audit of its security measures, and to date the firm “has no evidence that the information contained in any classified documents has been compromised.”