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Buhrman LandonBrittain

LOL!!! Oh, my. For the record, I'll go ahead and foreshadow the rest of this diary by saying that these photos are of serious desperadoes who committed serious crimes and then fled the country to avoid prison time. I await the dismissals of the resident Snowden bent-noses here who have expressed so much outrage over the past few weeks over NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's dramatic and circuitous flight as a Fugitive From American Justice. Because "insiders" - especially well-paid "insiders" in government and/or its contractors and/or license-holders - aren't supposed to turn out to be bad guys - aka "Desperadoes."

The two strapping ex-Navy criminals pictured above also hold the distinction of having been Senior Reactor Operators for Exelon's Dresden nuclear power plant in Illinois. Or, they were SROs for Dresden until May of 2012, when SRO Supervisor Michael Buhrman (on the left) put on a rubber mask and burnished a handgun at a young woman inside a parked car, He then ordered her out and drove away from a Kohl's parking lot in Woodridge, Illinois in the stolen car.

A witness followed Buhrman and gave police information on his direction, Woodridge officers finally stopped and arrested him. They found the loaded gun on him, and yes, he was still wearing the rubber mask. Buhrman later confessed to the hijacking, saying he was only "thrill seeking," presumably because his job operating the reactor at Dresden was so terminally boring to a guy whose neck is bigger than his head. He was dutifully released on bond despite Buhrman's girlfriend informing the court that he had detailed escape plans, complete with access to offshored bank accounts and a private jet. He sure enough skipped the country, just as predicted. Officials suspect he is hiding out in Venezuela, or maybe Chile.

He was tried in absentia in May of this year and found guilty after less than an hour by the jury. The sentence? 40 years. During the trial - which like the Republican National Convention later in 2012 featured an empty chair - he was described by Assistant State's Attorney Demetri Demopoulos as "...a dangerous man who cares nothing for society and the laws the rest of us live by." According to Woodridge Police Detective Jody Porras, Buhrman actively recruited his fellow SRO to join him in a crime spree that included plans for a string of bank robberies and armored car heists.

This week Buhrman's accomplice in crime, Landon Brittain (on the right), was booked into the DuPage County Jail after being extradited by Venezuela, on three felony counts: Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking, Vehicular Hijacking, and Obstruction of Justice. Bond has been set at $1 million.

Per Lucas Hixson in this article,

These serious events cast a dark shadow of doubt on [the] process Exelon uses to screen persons of high responsibility which may have adverse effect on the health and safety of the public. Each reactor operator is given a battery of psychological tests and screened by a psychologist prior to enrollment in supervisory programs. There are also multiple continuing behavior programs, on-going screenings, and tests which maybe should have caught these aberrant behaviors prior to the crimes actually taking place.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Just saw the denouement on this (9+ / 0-)

    rather bizarre caper... er, spree... today. It struck me funny enough to go ahead and point it out. It hasn't escaped my notice that the same names turn up again and again in comments to diaries here nay-saying highlighted issues with government (and pet contractor) secrecy. And how dangerous that could be to any realistic conception of what "National Security" actually means.

    Once upon a time in this country "National Security" very much included the commercial applications of nuclear technology, which is even today [supposedly] highly regulated by government agency. The potential dangers presented by criminals (corporate or merely petty) being in charge of our nuclear reactors seem obvious enough to me. I don't think the oversight has been careful enough, on any level.

    Perhaps it's time we reconsidered the whole SuperSecrecy thing, determine where the true dangers to "National Security" actually lie. Stop spying on Quakers and librarians and fast food workers, start keeping track of real people in real jobs that can do more harm in a single hour than Edward Snowden's managed to cause in his whole life (so far).

  •  What does this have to do with Snowden? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CwV, paulitics, Joieau, Sylv
    •  Why, nothing at all. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davehouck, FG, randallt, Jim P, Sandino

      Which I pointed out. Just found myself emitting a satirically ironic chuckle when the second arrest showed up in my in-box today, having had no hint for over a year that I've been paying attention that there ever was a certified partner-in-crime to Neck-Man's little spree. Which has been until yesterday been reported as a one-off aberration that is only news because it's so highly unusual for licensed reactor operators to be violent criminals on the side. I mean, it's not like there's much reporting in the MSM about things like this even in the best of [nuclear] times.

      Plus having gone nearly cross-eyed over these past couple of weeks with all the NSA/Snowden/Greenwald diaries and so many dire predictions of immediate national collapse due to our finding out the NSA [et al.] consider you and I to be genuine "Enemies of the State" deserving of constant and total surveillance - at taxpayer expense - I thought I'd point out the always evident but usually ignored dangers to our real national security interests as well as the level of corporate malfeasance in that direction even if they're stringently licensed by the government to be in charge of things like this.

      They're all looking pretty incompetent lately. That is my only point. Other than perhaps to bring to people's attention that this particular hilarious misadventure has been going on under the radar for more than a year.

  •  Apples and intake manifolds. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, randallt

    I'm no fan of Snowden, but he's not anything like these guys.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 04:08:08 PM PDT

    •  I agree. I'd rather meet (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      randallt, Jim P, Lujane, flowerfarmer, Sandino

      Snowden in a dark alley than these guys, any day. These guys. Kind of funny (to me) that for all the news and updates on Buhrman's bizarre behavior, I never once saw it reported that he had an accomplice. Another SRO at Dresden who he recruited to rob banks and stuff.

      Despite the fact that these two were well paid enough to have stashed money in offshore accounts, against the vanishing likelihood they'd ever get caught.

      Go figure.

  •  Geez. I'm drowning in the 'tude leaking through (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau

    my computer screen coming from those two photos.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 11:00:41 PM PDT

  •  Proof that Obama's "insider threat" program (0+ / 0-)

    is doomed to fail.  If none of these precautions worked....

    Each reactor operator is given a battery of psychological tests and screened by a psychologist prior to enrollment in supervisory programs. There are also multiple continuing behavior programs, on-going screenings, and tests which maybe should have caught these aberrant behaviors prior to the crimes actually taking place.
    ...does anyone really believe that giving coworkers dorky "traitor" spotting guides will work?  All that will happen is that civil service Barney Fifes will drive out the capable, committed people needed to provide real security.
  •  Insider Threat Management (0+ / 0-)

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