In arguing against the government's attempt to prevent publication, in The Progressive magazine, of his article on building an H-bomb, Howard Morland submitted this affidavit to the U.S. District Court in Madison, Wis. The first except is biographical. The second is a passage chosen to illustrate his investigative method, and a comment on his method. In the third, he explains why he wrote the article.
I graduated in 1965 from Emory University, Atlanta, Ga., with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in economics. Durin my college education, I took two courses in chemistry and one course in quantum mechanics.
From 1965 to 1970 I was an officer for the U.S. Air Force, serving as a C-141 transport pilot. I held the rank of captain at the time of discharge.
Since my discharge, I have traveled extensively, worked as a commercial pilot and, in recent years, become concerned about the production, storage, transportation, safety and potential use of nuclear weapons by this country as well as the policies of the U.S. government with respect to those issues.
For instance, the comment at lines 1-4, page Ad-17, comes from the following source:
"'I a hydrogen bomb in which uranium membrances are used, a considerable portion of the energy arises as a result of the fission U-238 by fast above-threshold neutrons of reactions (4) and (1).' (If the Soviets keep publishing our 'secrets' no one will 'need to know' anything in the Pentagon.)"-Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, October 1959, p. 349. (Attached hereto as Exhibit 38).
I used a more graphic description to describe "uranium membranes," but the idea is the same.
The fact that the two materials described in lines 9-11, page Ad-20, are the fusion fuel is clearly state on page 414 of the World Book Encyclopedia (Exhibit 28): "The heat from fission sets off the fusion of deuterium and tritium nuclei to form helium nuclei."
The information contained in line 10-11 page Ad-24, is found on page 27 of an article by George B. Kistiakowsky in Technology Review, May 1978, entitled "Enhanced Radiation Warheads, Alias the Neutron Bomb," a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit 39. The rate of fission to fusion is given in the Kistiakowsky article. The overall yield is also given in Fred M. Kaplan, "Enhanced Radiation Weapons," Scientific American, May 1978, pp. 47, 48 (Exhibit 40)9 I am at a loss to understand how the stattement in this article can be considered classified. . . .
To the best of my knowledge, what I have done is very similar in principle to what any investigator would do if he wanted to learn what was available in the public knowledge about the basic design concepts of thermonuclear weapons. I read the literature, I asked questions, and I speculated. Obviously, a competent physicist should be able to duplicate my efforst in considerably less time than iit took me. He could do it in this country, France, Britain, China and the Soviet Union or anywhere that knowledgeable nuclear-weapons specialists gather for conferany reasonable measure, the information is already in the public domain. I have not looked at any clasified documents of any kind or nature nor do I know of any classified information which has been given to me by any public information officer of the Department of energy or anyone else. . . .
The point of my article is that the myth of secrecy is used to create an atmosphere in which public debate is stifled and public criticism of the weapons-production system is suppressed. I hope to dramatically illustrate that thesis by showing that what many people considered to be probably the ultimate secret is not really a secret at all. The information is easily available to anyone to anyone who wants to acquire it; therefore, the attempt to keep such things secret is bound to fail in that other governments will have access to the information anyway.
Despite that, however, as long as screcy is employed, the people of the United States will have no opportunity to discuss the vital issues involved. Thus, the people who are being hurt are the people of the United States. The accuracy of my description has no impact on my belief in the validity of my thesis. However, the value of the article is directly dependent on whether the information is accurate or not.
J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, said, "No responsible person will hazard an opinion in a field where he believes that there is somebody else who knows the truth, and where he believes he does not know it." (Exhibit 47.) The clear implication of Oppenheimer's remark is that if the government bomb builders can maintain even the appearance of an information monopoly by comparison with the citizenry, they can also maintain a monopoly on "responsible" opinion. If an actual information monopoly cannot be maintained, an apparent information monopoly will still he effective in suppressing public debate. In the course of my research, I have felt the force of the intimidation described by Oppenheimer, and I have seen it operate in others.
For that reason, I believe that if the information in my article were not in the public domain, it should be put there. However, especially since the information in my article is already in the public domain, I believe it is important that it be assemble in a form that is readily accessible to non-technical readers so that ordinary citizens may have informed opinions about nuclear weapons.