New Web site fights secrecy and lies

Tom commented that “secrecy is the great theme of Oppenheimer’s life and of American history in our time.” (See comments under “Our Nuclear Past and Present.”) Indeed, secrecy fueled the revocation hearings which destroyed Oppenheimer’s credibility and fanned the fears which gave birth to the early arms race. Those facts have been hidden from the American public for decades, by denying the public access to classified documents which would have revealed embarrassing truths. Now, declassified documents and private papers of key players in the Oppenheimer hearings have been made available to the public for the first time on my newly launched Web site, This Web site is based on my book, The Ruin of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Birth of the Modern Arms Race (Penguin: 2006). The Web site includes the private papers of participants and newly declassified U.S. government documents which show how critics of military policy and military secrecy were silenced at the height of the Cold War, allowing the arms race to proceed unchecked, creating dangers that still haunt us today. Look at some of the study questions in the Study Guide section of the Web site. Look especially at the last question, “Describe the relationship between scientists and the Bush Administration today? What are some of the principal areas of disagreement?” How would you answer that question? Which of those disagreements date back to the birth of the arms race? Are there new areas of disagreement that didn’t exist in 1945? Explore the Web site before you answer. Click on “comment” (on this blog site) under this post to join in the discussion.

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