The decision made in 1954 by the United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to revoke the security clearance of Robert Oppenheimer, who is known as the “father of the atomic bomb” for his work on the Manhattan Project, was overturned on Friday by the administration of former Vice President Joe Biden.
In a written order, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stated that the now-defunct AEC acted out of political motivations when it denied Oppenheimer’s security clearance almost seven decades ago. Granholm’s statement comes after the AEC was dissolved. Oppenheimer died in 1967.
Granholm stated in the written order that “the Oppenheimer matter concerned a man who, not long before, had played an indispensable and singular role in the war effort, a man whose loyalty and love of country was never seriously questioned.” “The Oppenheimer matter concerned a man who, not long before, had played an indispensable and singular role in the war effort.”
She stated that “More troubling, historical evidence suggests that the decision to review Dr. Oppenheimer’s clearance had less to do with a bona fide concern for the security of restricted data and more to do with a desire on the part of the political leadership of the AEC to discredit Dr. Oppenheimer in public debates over nuclear weapons policy.” This information is concerning because it suggests that the decision to review Dr. Oppenheimer’s clearance had less to do with a genuine concern for
Theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer served as the top-secret Los Alamos Laboratory director during World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt founded the laboratory as the Manhattan Project’s headquarters, tasked with developing the world’s first atomic bomb.
Before the atomic bombs were deployed in the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he oversaw the detonation of the first nuclear bomb, which took place in the desert of New Mexico and was given the secret name “Trinity.”
Oppenheimer’s stands against nuclear proliferation and the development of the hydrogen bomb after the war, which Granholm indicated in her ruling, caused the AEC to remove his security clearance, and led to the revocation of his security clearance.
Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont praised Energy Secretary Janet Granholm for her decision to overturn the incorrect decision made by the Atomic Energy Commission in 1954 to withdraw Robert Oppenheimer’s security clearance in a tweet.
“He was a patriotic American who was exposed to a horrendous miscarriage of justice, and this action was a long time,” said the article’s author. “This action was long overdue.”
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