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Robert Oppenheimer and the FBI security clearance hearings

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  1. Introduction.
  2. J. Edgar Hoover's importance to the FBI.
  3. Paul and Silvia Crouch - members of the Communist Party.
  4. The Crouch allegations.
  5. Difference between Chevalier's story and the one Oppenheimer originally told by Pash.
  6. Conclusion.

Nobody can definitively say whether Oppenheimer truly deserved to lose his security clearance. He made several mistakes of great import. However, he loyally served the United States throughout his life and was instrumental in creating the weapon that ultimately ended the war (whether that weapon needed to be used is another debate altogether). His associations during several key times in his past were shady at best. However, those associations were part of his past. The debate stems to this date, and barring further evidence for either side, there is no resolution forthcoming. This deadlock does not come for lack of trying. Oppenheimer's FBI file was brimming with surveillance, interviews, and other forms of monitoring befitting a man of his importance.

[...] He was a witness for the defense during Oppenheimer's security clearance hearing, and in yet in the end, he had to tone down his testimony in defense of Oppenheimer for fear of being attacked for his own mistakes. Groves had failed to look into Oppenheimer's concern over his brother Frank as to his associations at the time. Couple this with the trap set by Strauss, which utilized the letter, he had initially sent to defend Oppenheimer against Paul Crouch's allegations, and it is clear that Groves was in no position to testify. [...]


[...] considerable newspaper publicity has been afforded to conflicting statements and testimony given by Paul Crouch as a Government witness in court action and other proceedings against Communists and alleged Communists.? Crouch's testimony had been doubted for quite some time, and its questionable reliability was the reason it was not included in Oppenheimer's security clearance hearing. However, even after Oppenheimer gave what appeared to be a solid alibi, the investigation did not end. In an interview with the FBI, Oppenheimer, ?denied ever being a member of the CP, ever having attended a meeting of the CP, ever being invited to join CP, or ever being at any meeting of a Communistic nature at which Joseph Weinberg or David Joseph Bohm were both present.? The party to which the file refers is specifically the one that Crouch allegedly attended at Oppenheimer's house. [...]

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