About this blog

I found that, in my excursions through the Internet, I was frequently emailing to friends links to web content I found especially interesting. I also often included my own thoughts on the subject.

Worried that I was being a pest with so many emails, I decided to use a blog format for this purpose instead. I may occasionally remind others of its existence, but will try to be a little less pushy this way.

Feel free to add your own comments or additions. It will make the whole thing more interesting.

3 thoughts on “About this blog

  1. MKB29

    Hello Frank,

    Interesting are your comments about secrecy (in this age of Snowden, Manning, Assange, et al.). I too have a story to tell when I worked at BNL with neutron cross section data. I had to have a Q-clearance, but it was initiallly denied me. I went to much trouble and embarassment to “clear my name” to retain my position. Finally, it came out at a hearing that I’d forgotten to list one of my residences on some form; it was an obvious innocent error, since when they asked me where I’d lived at the hearing, I started to list my former addresses, skipped the guilty address, then backed up and remembered that I’d left one out, and listed it. The case of the government collapsed immediately. I got my Q-clearance.
    They could have asked me about this directly, but never did, despite several interviews, never giving me a hint about what bothered them.

    Of greater import, I’m interested in whether you had any second thoughts about working on the matters you worked on for the defense/military establishment, the CIA, etc. . In this regard, you may be interested in what a man I greatly respect, Robert Jensen, has to say. You can read his latest article at

    http://www.alternet.org/books/widespread-failure-intellectuals-stand-authoritarian-power-america?paging=off

    I hope you are well. Best wishes,

    Mort B.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Mort

      No I never had any real problems with the defense programs I worked on since most of them really were defensive in nature. I spent the greatest time working on a long-range underwater sound anti-sub program. I also, on two occasions, worked on ABM. The first time was on the variously named Nike-Zeus, Nike X, and Safeguard. It soon became evident that these were all losers and would only feed the arms race. Fortunately the US government reached the same conclusion and we had the ABM treaty. I’ve read that AT&T went to the government and recommended killing the programs but did not know this at the time.

      The best part of that was going to brief the President’s Scientific Advisory Committee one Saturday morning in the Executive Office Building. That led to lunch in a K street Deli with Hans Bethe and Wolfgang Panofsky!

      Toward the end of my career I got back into ABM work for a time, very unwillingly, after that idiot Reagan had his vision about Star Wars. I managed to screw up our opportunity to make a lot of money through that by telling the truth in a major report. It didn’t matter since no one listened.

      The CIA work was fascinating although very brief. Since Bell Labs was supposed to be the experts on ABM in the 60s, we were hired by the CIA to make sense of what they knew of the Russian’s program. We never did figure it out and I always had the feeling that the Russian program made no sense. My impression of the CIA people I met in the scientific analysis division was that they were quite competent and sensible. If only they didn’t have the covert action division as well!

      Reply

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