(Washington) The Biden administration has reversed a decades-old decision to revoke the security clearance of physicist Robert Oppenheimer, known as the “Father of the Atomic Bomb” for his role in the Manhattan Project during World War II.
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the Atomic Energy Commission’s 1954 decision was made using a “flawed process” that violated the commission’s own regulations.
“Over time, T.R Oppenheimer was subdued, while the evidence of his loyalty and love of country grew stronger,” said Mr.me Granholm said in a statement Friday.
Robert Oppenheimer, who died in 1967, headed the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. The theoretical physicist was later accused of having communist sympathies and his security clearance was revoked after a four-week closed trial.
Mr. In revoking Oppenheimer’s clearance, the Atomic Energy Commission did not allege that he had disclosed or mishandled classified information, and his loyalty to the country was not called into question by M.me Granholm. However, the Commission concluded that there were “fundamental flaws” in his character.
Years later, an Atomic Energy Commission lawyer concluded after an internal review ordered by the secretary that “the system has failed” and “a substantial injustice has been done to a loyal American.”
Mme Granholm said the commission’s decision was prompted by the desire of its political leaders to “discredit Mr. Oppenheimer in public discussions of nuclear weapons policy.”
“Such political motives have no place in our personnel security operations,” he wrote.
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont praised the reversal, saying the 1954 decision “follows a highly unfair and unethical investigation that would be strongly condemned today.”
“This decision reaffirms that distinguished government scientists like Mr. Oppenheimer or technologists doing his day job — including those who want to raise security concerns or express unpopular views on security issues — are free to do so. The decision is justified on the basis of facts, not personal animus or politics. ,” Leahy said in a statement.
The decision comes as Mr. Oppenheimer’s story hits the big screen. Picture Oppenheimer Directed by Christopher Nolan, it hits theaters in July. It is the Pulitzer Prize-winning Guy Bird and Martin J. Based on Sherwin’s biography. American Prometheus: J. Robert Oppenheimer’s Triumph and Tragedyand stars Cillian Murphy in the lead role.