atomic energy commission
In July of 1955, Lewis Strauss, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, wrote to CIA director Allen Dulles over matters of mutual interest. In one of those letters, uncovered in the Agency’s archives, Strauss thanked Dulles for a package he had sent him, using deliberately vague terms to describe its contents as to “avoid classifying this letter.” Strauss’ efforts were in vain however. Not only was the letter classified for just shy of 50 years, but the vague descriptor itself remains classified to this day.
In April 1950, the US federal government raided the offices of Scientific American Magazine to destroy every printed issue, burning three thousand copies. The reason? The banned magazine contained an article, titled “The Hydrogen Bomb: II” written by Professor Hans Bethe, one of the country’s most prominent nuclear scientists, which had been deemed a threat to national security.
Though Arthur H. Rosenfeld would later rise to prominence as the “father of energy efficiency” for his role in creating new global standards for sustainable energy use in the ‘70s, the physicist’s FBI file is focused on a younger Rosenfeld being a high-profile target for Soviet spies. In addition to his coveted “Q” clearance guaranteeing a stash of nuclear secrets, Rosenfeld’s criticism of what he felt was extremism in defense of liberty - including an impassioned political debate that took place entirely on the margins of a table mat - had the Bureau wondering the extent to which Rosenfeld could be trusted at academic conferences held behind the Iron Curtain.
The Atomic Space Bug: FBI files show a wiretapped phone was found at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s predecessor
According to Federal Bureau of Investigation files, a few months before it was abolished, a bug was discovered in the Honolulu offices of the Atomic Energy Commission. The device would not only let someone listen in on phone calls, but any conversations held around the phone - even when it wasn’t in use.