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
- Watch Robert Kennedy Push Gun Control In Same Town As Recent Mass Shooting
- October is LGBT History Month
- Textbook publisher apologizes for passage referring to slavery as immigration
- 60 Minutes interviews the priest who’s made it his mission to expose the forgotten victims of the Holocaust
- ISIS Destroys Triumphal Arches in Palmyra, Syria
- Finally some good news for history grads
- Historians issue statement in support of European migrants
- Conservative historian Arthur Herman slammed for saying Obama is highly submissive to Putin and other strong leaders
- Intellectual historians to gather in October
- Yuri N. Afanasyev, Historian Who Repudiated Communism, Dies at 81