[ RadSafe ] Recently released atomic bomb history

Maury maurysis at peoplepc.com
Thu Aug 21 13:49:52 CDT 2014

Hope many of you will find these data and related links interesting.
Maury&Dog  (MaurySiskel   maurysis at peoplepc.com)

Secrecy News Blog: http://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/ 

The Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bomb during World War 
II was among the most highly classified and tightly secured programs 
ever undertaken by the U.S. government. Nevertheless, it generated more 
than 1,500 leak investigations involving unauthorized disclosures of 
classified Project information.

That remarkable fact is noted in the latest declassified volume of the 
official Manhattan District History (Volume 14, Intelligence & Security 
<http://fas.org/sgp/library/mdhist-vol14.pdf>) that was approved for 
release and posted online 
<https://www.osti.gov/opennet/manhattan_district.jsp> by the Department 
of Energy last month.

In several respects, the Manhattan Project established the template for 
secret government programs during the Cold War (and after). It pioneered 
or refined the practices of compartmentalization of information, "black" 
budgets, cover and deception to conceal secret facilities, minimal 
notification to Congress, and more.

But wherever there are national security secrets, it seems that leaks 
and spies are not far behind.

During the course of the Manhattan Project, counterintelligence agents 
"handled more than 1,000 general subversive investigations, over 1,500 
cases in which classified project information was transmitted to 
unauthorized persons, approximately 100 suspected espionage cases, and 
approximately 200 suspected sabotage cases," according to the newly 
declassified history <http://fas.org/sgp/library/mdhist-vol14.pdf> (at 
pp. S2-3).

Most of the 1,500 leak cases seem to have been inadvertent disclosures 
rather than deliberate releases to the news media of the contemporary 
sort. But they were diligently investigated nonetheless. "Complete 
security of information could be achieved only by following all leaks to 
their source."

In 1943, there were several seemingly unrelated cases of Protestant 
clergymen in the South preaching sermons that alarmingly cited "the 
devastating energy contained in minute quantities of Uranium 235" (while 
contrasting it with "the power of God [that] was infinitely greater"). 
The sermons were eventually traced back to a pamphlet distributed by a 
Bible college in Chicago, which was determined to be harmless. Other 
disclosures cited in the history involved more serious indiscretions 
that drew punitive action.

"Since September 1943, investigations were conducted of more than 1500 
'loose talk' or leakage of information cases and corrective action was 
taken in more than 1200 violations of procedures for handling classified 
material,"the history <http://fas.org/sgp/library/mdhist-vol14.pdf> said 
(p. 6.5).

"Upon discovery of the source of a violation of regulations for 
safeguarding military information, the violator, if a project employee, 
was usually reprimanded, informed of the possible application of the 
Espionage Act, and warned not to repeat the violation."

Fundamentally, however, information security was not to be achieved by 
the force of law or the threat of punishment. Rather, it was rooted in 
shared values and common commitments, the Project history 
<http://fas.org/sgp/library/mdhist-vol14.pdf> said.

"Grounds for protecting information were largely patriotism, loyalty to 
the fighting men, and the reasoning that the less publicity given the 
Project, the more difficult it would be for the enemy to acquire 
information about it and also, the greater would be the element of 
surprise" (p. 6.13).

The only other remaining portion of the official history, Foreign 
Intelligence Supplement No. 1 
to Manhattan District History Volume 14, was also published online last 
month. It provided an account of U.S. wartime intelligence collection 
aimed at enemy scientific research and development. Some information in 
that volume was deleted by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The entire thirty-six volume Manhattan District history has now been 
declassified and posted online 

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