Grudges Were Behind the Drive To Topple OppenheimerBreaking News
J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who directed the bomb's development, chaired one body, the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission. Serving with him were other scientists, making the GAC the most influential and respected panel on atomic energy.
By the end of April 1954, Oppenheimer would be denied further input into U.S. nuclear policy, his strongest enemy would be hailed (wrongly) as the "father of the H-bomb," and the arms race he predicted on the spot where the first A-bomb was tested was in full and dangerous advance.
Patricia McMillan, a historian at Harvard's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, focuses on the campaign to discredit Oppenheimer, an effort that received strong support from both President Eisenhower and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
As McMillan proves, the FBI was used legally and probably illegally to build a case against the scientist. Agents not only wiretapped Oppenheimer's phones but also bugged privileged conversations between him and his attorney and gave the information to his prosecutors.
Two months before his contract with the Atomic Energy Commission would expire in '54, a kangaroo court of the AEC canceled Oppenheimer's security clearance, something that would have happened automatically when his contract ended.
McMillan argues that the move was purely punitive and personal, orchestrated by AEC Chairman Lewis Strauss and supported by Edward Teller, a former Manhattan Project colleague.
comments powered by Disqus
- 159 scholars at Harvard sign petition reprimanding the school for rejections of Chelsea Manning and Michelle Jones
- Fact Check: Steve Bannon’s Bad History
- The Story Behind the Truman Quote in President Trump's U.N. Speech
- As Trump Declares Missing in Action Recognition Day, How Many Service Members Are Missing?
- The ‘nation’s report card’ says it assesses critical thinking in history
- Eric Foner discusses the manipulation of history
- Male historian tapped to lead Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas
- Decline in History Majors Continues, Departments Respond
- He’s 75 now. When he started teaching at the University of New Orleans students walked out on his class.
- ‘Fake news’ from 1738 offers lessons for modern historians, says Missouri scholar