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.
The human experience is complex, language can only do so much to convey its intricacies, and in some situations, just what would and wouldn’t be considered unforgivable can be determined by just one word. Few government entities understood this better than a post-Church Committee Central Intelligence Agency.