Edward Teller, popularly known as "the father of the hydrogen bomb," has died.It may sound trite, but I can't help wondering: Do we praise Teller, one of the earliest members both the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, for his towering intellectual achievements? Damn him for helping to bring an instrument as terrible as the H-bomb into the world? Or both? It's the question that surrounds all military scientists, I suppose...The Livermore lab has put up an extensive collection of all things Teller here. And quotes from his memoirs -- about his Los Alamos days, mostly -- are here.THERE'S MORE: Teller "was a forceful critic of government secrecy, particularly secrecy in scientific matters, which he considered self-defeating and detrimental to the national interest," according to Steven Aftergood, chief of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy. Aftergood offers up some select Teller quotes to prove his point:
"A short time ago, the Soviet Union was the most secretive organization in the world; it no longer exists," he wrote in 1992."Our keeping of secrets has often misled and confused our own people but has been ineffective in denying information to our enemies or competitors.""Let us pass a law requiring all secret documents to be published one year after their issuance," he proposed, to no visible effect.