[ RadSafe ] Recently released atomic bomb history

JPreisig at aol.com JPreisig at aol.com
Thu Aug 21 16:25:54 CDT 2014

     And the Rosenbergs were electrocuted for giving  Hydrogen bomb secrets 
to the Russians.
     Joe Preisig
In a message dated 8/21/2014 2:49:10 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
maurysis at peoplepc.com writes:

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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