In Behalf of Oppenheimer
(Continued from 1'ape 19)
\ have often had occasion to sa) thai
there is only one real question ilieil
interests ... the Soviel leaders, and lhal
is the question of who lias the ability
lo haul peo[4c oul of bed al three in
the morning and cause them to disappear withoul giving any accounting
tor them, eunl where.... They wanl to
know not only how lo destroy territory
hui how lo gel control of il and ilmni-
nale il anel run people.
Q. Of course, you will agree thai if
you wire mistaken in that evaluation,
ii would be ;i very serious mistake.
\. I agree and for lhal reason I have,
1 believe, always had a certain caution
i\ iili regard lo my me n \ iews.
• • •
Q. Putting il in lhe language of tin'
ordinan man, you jusl can't trust them,
isn't that right?
A. Thai is correct. Thej el I reall)
expect lo be trusted.
Q. | by Chairman Gordon Gray | II
you were toda) director ol the Polic)
Planning Slaff ami . . . a certain individual had close Communisl associations
■is I,it,- as the lair thirties or perhaps
early forties, would you seriously consider adding such a person In vour stall
A. I musl say if il were a person of
Outstanding capabilities and especially
;> person who hail in addition in the
negative factors rendered distinguished
Bervice lo thr government, then I would
*anl tei look ai ii very hard.
0. I assume lhal if il were a secretary, for example, or clerical assistant,
'nal ii woulel \,e easier for you lo decide thai the person should not he employed.
A. 1 would ihink lhal would he
I do feel ihis. thai the reall) gifted
."nl able people in governmenl are perhaps less eipl than lhe others lo have
"ad ei fullv conventional life and a fully
conventional entry, Iel us seey. into their
• • •
Redirect examination by mr. marks
Q. Vou saiel lhal in relation to gifted
'adividuals, il was common to find thai
'"'■\ had unconventional backgrounds
'""\ thai therefore ... a differenl type of
""|uii\ weis required for evaluation.
■'mid win explain a little hit more fully
uh;il win had in mind?
V It is simply that I sometimes ihink
'hat the higher tj pes of knowledge anel
wisdom do nol often come without very
Considerable anguish and often a very
considerable road e>f error. . . .
\t einv rate-, il seems to me thai the
exception [all people are often apl nol
pACTS FORUM NEWS, June, 1955
lo fit into any categories of requirements
thai it is easy lo write into an acl or a
series of loyally regulations. . . .
...1 have always fell that lhe I nited
States government has to realize lhat ii
has a real problem here, particularly
with tin- people who haw- tlie greater
capacities. Then' is need here for considerable flexibility, and as I seiv al the-
outset, I Ihink for a looking al the man
as et whole einel viewing his entire personality einel not judging portions of
Q. Many people would say. Mr. Kennan. lhal you are- a gifted individual. I
know of nothing In suggest lhal you
came to lln- governmenl and remained
In il for so many long years of greal
service as lhe resull of any unconventional background. How do vmi reconcile those thiiiL's?
\. I consider myself io he- ei fortunate
man. \l the age of 23, at a time when
many American young people of rrood
education were drifting into what I
ihink weis em unsound approach to life.
I was soul oul lo lhe Baltic Slales. I
aeiw the square where the Bolshevik
commissars had only recently been
shooting their hostages. I saw ihe building on Elizabeth Street in lhe cellar of
which the) had done their torturing. 1
was affected from the beginning hy a
sense of the grotesque injustice of tak-
ing ;i whole class as they diel. the bourgeoisie of these countries, and punishing
them jusl because they were classifiable
I must say I was so affected by whal
I saw of the cruelty of Soviel power lhal
I never could receive any of ils hoasis
about social improvement wilh anything
Other than skepticism. I think lhal experience helped me ;i great deal at an
early dale and helped me lo avoid
mistakes theit I mighl otherwise, lietw-
Later ii fell to
lure, and I have' hail lo go through all
that. It has developed in me. as I think
in long foreign residence il does I was
abroad eighteen years ami a deep acquaintanceship wilh lhe- thinking of
olhe people il has involved me siime-
times in conflict when I came home. I
find myself tending to he critical s,,T,p.-
linics of condition in our country more
than oilier people are. and il is a thine
eehieli I have had lo fighl within myself.
Probably what you can sav in reply
to wun question is lhal I have been
lucky in Ihe firsl place, and secondly,
I have been able to conceal the difficulties on the intellectual road I have
gone more than other people haw- been
me Very deepl) in
and German litera-
ahle to. lo keep them within myself
and fight them mil myself.
• • •
',1. ... I hope I eun not out of order
in saying lhal eis a lawyer I cannot believe lhal the \tomic Energy Act intended lo deny lo llie Alomie Energy
Commission lhe services of gifted people.
...In your opinion ... are lhe char
acter, associations, and loyalty eef Dr.
Oppenheimer such as lo bring you tei a
determination lhal permitting him to
haw- access lo restricted data will nol
endanger llie- common defense einel security?
• • •
A. ... On the basis of whal is known
lo mr of Dr. Oppenheimer's qualities.
his personality and his activities during
ihe period lhal I haw. known him. I
would know of no reason win he should
not he permitted lo have access to restricted data in lip. government.
• • •
RE-CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. ROBB
Q. Was Owen I.allimore one of vour
associates or friends?
A. No, In- was mil. I never hail anv
personal acquaintance wilh him.
• • •
Q. | hy Dr. Evans] Mr. Kennan, in
answer lo one of llie questions lhal weis
asi*d yon. I ihink you stated in effect,
or al least win implied, that all gifted
individuals were more or less screwballs.
\. Let me sen lhal they | are | apt to
be, if I may.
Q. Woulel you sav thai a large percentage of them are?
\. So, sir. I woulel not sen that they
an- screwball, hut I would say that when
gifted individuals come to a maturity of
judgment which makes them valuable
public servants, w.u are apt to find theit
tin- road hy which they have ap] reached
. . . has nol been as regular as tip. road
hv which oilier people have approached
il. ll may have hail zigzags in il of
Q. I ihink il woulel he borne mil in
lhe literature. I believe il was \ddison.
ami someone correct me if 1 am wrong.
lhal said. "Greal wits are near lo madness, close allied ami thin partitions ilo
their lieiumls divide."
Dr. Oppenheimer is smiling. He
knows whether I am righl or wrong on
that. Thai is all.
• • •
0. | hv Chairman Gordon Gray] One
further serious question.... You feel
that lhe unusual person or gifted person.
who has traveled perhaps a differenl
road than most other people, can at one
point reach a stability on lhe basis ,,f
which there can he absolute predictability as io no further excursions?
A. Let me sav al a point where' there
can he sufficient predictability lo war-
rani his being accepted by the governmenl for public sen ice.
i age 48