Remembering Steve Garfinkel
We were very sad to learn that Steve Garfinkel, the former director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), passed away on September 24.
Appointed by President Carter in 1980, Mr. Garfinkel served as the second ISOO director for two decades until his retirement in January 2002. In that position, he played an influential role in the evolution of the national security classification system during its rapid expansion in the Reagan years and through the ambitious declassification initiatives of the Clinton era.
The ISOO director’s job of supervising the operation of the government’s classification system is an all but impossible one, since ISOO’s resources and authorities are not commensurate with its assigned responsibilities.
But Garfinkel made the whole system better than it was with the tools that he had available. He instituted training programs for classifiers, he restrained some of the excesses of agency officials, and he cultivated a rational approach to the diverse challenges that the late cold war classification system produced.
He made “many contributions to the well-being of our nation,” said J. William Leonard, his successor. “While I had the honor to follow in Steve’s footsteps as ISOO Director, from the very beginning I recognized that I would never be able to fill his shoes,” wrote Mr. Leonard, whose own shoes are quite large.
“He was a monumental man, a man of great honor and integrity,” wrote Roger Denk, the former director of the Defense Personnel and Security Research Center. “His sense of humor, combined with his brilliance, made him a joy to be around.”
During his years at ISOO, Mr. Garfinkel welcomed with some surprise the growing attention of public interest groups to classification policy. (“Notwithstanding you, very few people give a tinker’s damn about the security classification system,” he had told me in a 1993 interview.) The mounting volume of public complaints seemed to give him greater leverage in his own internal policy debates.
Yet he typically resisted the specific prescriptions offered by critics. After Tom Blanton and I wrote an op-ed in the New York Times 25 years ago criticizing a Clinton draft executive order on classification and comparing it unfavorably to President Nixon’s policy, Garfinkel lamented that we had been “too effective”: the final Clinton order shortened the duration of classification for most documents, as we had urged, but it also included “a lot more exceptions than I would have wanted,” he said. “Aftergood and Blanton hoisted themselves on their own petard.” Years later, Garfinkel continued to believe that we had made a fateful error.
Garfinkel brought a deep humanity to what was essentially a bureaucratic role. He was warm, kind, funny and not afraid of an argument or an opposing view.
When he “retired” from ISOO in 2002, he took on what might have been an even more challenging task — teaching high school students in suburban Maryland.
“I have no desire whatsoever to return to the government in any capacity, save public high school teacher, which is doing everything necessary to leave me ragged,” he told me. As for secrecy policy, “I hope we never get to the point where we quit trying [to do better], although I have personally quit worrying about it and I think you will inevitably reach that point also.”
Many of the qualities that made him a great public servant also made him a beloved teacher of a generation of students, some of whom remembered him on Twitter last week.
rest in peace to one of my all time favorite teachers. i feel so lucky to have been one of his students. he truly bettered my learning experience and was just so caring and genuine. we’ll never forget you, mr. garfinkel ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/MWVT4g85s4
— k ✿ (@kimberlyxcaffi) September 25, 2018
My nephew that goes to Einstein just told me that my favorite teacher of all time Mr Garfinkel passed away. I’m heartbroken 😔 he was so amazing and even years later I still haven’t had a teacher like him.
— Cynthia Rodriguez (@ohheycynth) September 25, 2018
Mr. Garfinkel, I couldn’t imagine going through high school without you. You were by far the best teacher I ever had, and even though I fucked around in your class often, I still feel that you instilled in me a confidence that I’ll never lose.
— Spencer Fye (@SpencerFye96) September 25, 2018
Remembering Jeff Richelson
We were sad to learn that intelligence historian Jeffrey T. Richelson passed away last weekend.
Richelson was one of a small number of pioneers of a new genre of public interest research focused on national security and intelligence. He advanced the boundaries of public knowledge and understanding of the far-flung national security apparatus through his writing based on official documents, carefully read and digested.
Richelson’s book The US Intelligence Community, published last year in its 7th edition, is so richly detailed as to be hard to read– but enormously valuable as a reference. Other works among the entire shelf of books and articles that he authored, such as Spying on the Bomb on the history of nuclear weapons-related espionage, displayed his story-telling gifts more engagingly.
Richelson had a resolutely independent, almost contrarian streak. In the 1990s when it was becoming conventional wisdom to say that the Central Intelligence Agency failed to anticipate the collapse of the Soviet Union, Richelson wrote an article in The National Interest called “The CIA Vindicated” (with Bruce Berkowitz) in which he argued that the opposite was the case.
Not least important, he was a kind and decent person and a generous colleague.
Jeff Richelson was remembered by the National Security Archive here.
Jeremy J. Stone, 1935-2017
Jeremy J. Stone, a pioneering arms control advocate who served as president of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) from 1970 to 2000, passed away on January 1, 2017 at his home in Carlsbad, California.
A mathematician by training, he turned to nuclear arms control in the early 1960s with a focus on preventing the development and deployment of anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems due to their destabilizing potential. The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, signed by the US and the USSR in 1972, was shaped in large part by Jeremy and his scientific colleagues, who collectively created the foundation for nuclear arms control in the last decades of the Cold War.
Jeremy jump-started the process of scientific exchange with China in the early 1970s. He was a prominent defender of dissident Soviet scientist Andrei Sakharov, and he instituted new mechanisms for monitoring and upholding the human rights of scientists around the globe. He discovered and helped terminate a CIA program to open U.S. mail.
All of these episodes, and many more, were vividly and insightfully described in his 1999 memoir “Every Man Should Try: Adventures of a Public Interest Activist”.
Jeremy was a chess-player, on and off the chess board. He took a strategic approach to his work and his life. He did not drift. He was always on his way towards one goal or another. He might take you with him if you were lucky.
He was a scintillating conversationalist who could successfully engage even the most tongue-tied staffer or physicist. He had a sophisticated sense of humor which he wielded skillfully — perhaps following the example of his early Hudson Institute boss, the nuclear strategist Herman Kahn — to disarm opponents and to make his own ideas more palatable to skeptical or hostile audiences.
He was lucky in love, having been married for 58 years to BJ (Yannet) Stone, a brilliant, beautiful and kind mathematician, who passed away in 2015.
He was an exceptionally capable talent-spotter, and he could see the latent potential in people that they could scarcely imagine in themselves. At the Federation of American Scientists, he gathered a group of scruffy young individuals of no particular academic pedigree or obvious distinction and he shined his peculiar light on them until they bloomed. He presented them (us) with enormously difficult problems — ballistic missile defense, nuclear proliferation, global arms sales, government secrecy — and challenged them to tackle those problems in creative new ways.
Of course, he was not without flaws. His intuitive powers, which usually made him uncommonly perceptive, occasionally hardened prematurely into convictions that proved to be unfounded. In one particularly lamentable episode, he suggested mistakenly that MIT physicist Philip Morrison, a Manhattan Project veteran and FAS founder, had once spied for the Soviet Union. Making such a false allegation could have been an unforgivable offense. But Morrison, himself a person of awesome depth and distinction, forgave him, although with some sadness.
More typically, Jeremy was a profoundly generous and thoughtful person. His intelligence and problem-solving abilities were often directed to meeting the needs of others — not just friends or employees (he once directed poorly dressed staff to buy some new clothes at his expense), but also casual acquaintances, foreigners, children and strangers. He knew how to give a gift, and he usually anticipated exactly what gift a particular person wanted or needed.
Above all, Jeremy was an institution builder, turning the Federation of American Scientists into a public interest platform of significant influence.
“FAS is a legitimate and prestigious scientific association,” wrote Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in a classified cable to the US Embassy in Japan in 1975. “Dr. Stone… is [a] highly regarded lobbyist on foreign policy and has wide contacts on the Hill. Embassy should have no reservations about facilitating his appointments in Japan,” Kissinger wrote.
By the time I showed up at FAS in 1989, the organization under Jeremy’s leadership had become a powerhouse of intelligent and effective advocacy in arms control and quite a few other areas. My own cohort included figures like John Pike, David Albright, Lora Lumpe, and the late Tom Longstreth, to name just a few. Wandering the halls of our Capitol Hill headquarters, I would sometimes run into Carl Sagan, former CIA director Bill Colby, Philip Morrison, Paul Nitze, former JFK aide Carl Kaysen, Ted Taylor, Dick Garwin, former Senator Alan Cranston, and you could never be sure who else. One day I literally collided with Hans Bethe in the hallway outside Jeremy’s office. (No particles were emitted.) Jeremy made all of that possible, providing a forum for scientists and others to participate in the national policy process and a strategic vision to guide them.
After leaving FAS, Jeremy pursued further adventures in conflict resolution as president of Catalytic Diplomacy, created a website in honor of his father, I.F. Stone, and advocated for independent journalism.
Andrew Marienhoff Sessler
Editor’s Note: This article1originally appeared in the August 2014 issue of Physics Today; it can also be accessed online. Dr. Sessler was involved with FAS for over four decades and served as Chairman of the Board from 1988 to 1992.
Andrew Marienhoff Sessler, visionary former director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), one of the most influential accelerator physicists in the field, and a human-rights activist, died on 17 April 2014 from cancer.
Born on 11 December 1928, Andy grew up in New York City. He was one of the first Westinghouse Talent Search finalists, for which he visited the White House as a high school senior in 1945. He enrolled at Harvard University just as World War II ended. He received a BA in mathematics, then went to Columbia University and earned a PhD in physics in 1953 under Henry Foley. After an NSF postdoc—in the first group ever awarded—at Cornell University with Hans Bethe and a stint on the faculty at the Ohio State University in 1954–59, Andy joined the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory—as LBNL was then called—in 1959; he spent the remainder of his career there.
Andy left his mark in several areas of physics, including nuclear structure theory, elementary-particle physics, and many-body problems. His 1960 paper with Victor Emery is generally acknowledged, along with a paper from a competing group led by Philip Anderson, as the first to predict the superfluid transition of helium-3.
His interest in accelerator physics began in the summer of 1955 when Andy was invited by Donald Kerst to join the Midwestern Universities Research Association (MURA) study group. MURA researchers were working to host a multi-GeV proton accelerator project in the Midwest based on a novel accelerator scheme called the fixed-field alternating gradient. Although the project did not materialize, their R&D achievements profoundly transformed accelerator design from an intuitive art to a rigorous scientific discipline centered around beam physics.
In collaboration with Keith Symon (another MURA member), Andy studied the RF acceleration process and for the first time in accelerator research employed the full power of Hamiltonian dynamics and computer simulation, using the most powerful computer at that time, ILLIAC. They discovered a method to produce intense circulating beams by “stacking,” repeatedly collecting the injected beam into a phase-space “bucket” and raising its energy. But if the intensity gets too high, beams in general become unstable, rendering them useless. In collaboration with several colleagues, Andy showed that high intensities can still be maintained by carefully controlling the beam environment.Those discoveries made high-luminosity proton colliders feasible; the most famous implementation, the Large Hadron Collider, recently discovered the Higgs particle.
After being at LBNL for several years, Andy became interested in the impact of science and technology on society. He helped usher in a new era of research on energy efficiency and sustainable energy technology and was instrumental in building the research agendas in those areas for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and later the Department of Energy.
In 1973 Andy was selected as LBNL’s third director. His first act was to establish the energy and environment division, with Jack Hollander as director, and the two men started more than 50 research projects in the first year. The division initiated many major research programs in such fields as air-pollution chemistry and physics, solar energy technology, energy economics and policy, and internationally prominent energy efficiency technology under the guidance of Arthur Rosenfeld. Andy supported the development of the nation’s largest geothermal research program, which led to the lab’s establishing one of the nation’s leading Earth-sciences research divisions.
Stepping down from his post as LBNL director in 1980, Andy returned to his first love—research. He began work in earnest on a new area of accelerator physics: the generation of coherent electromagnetic waves through the free-electron laser (FEL) interaction.
Together with Donald Prosnitz, Andy proposed in 1981 a high-gain FEL amplifier for high-power millimeter-wave generation. The group Andy assembled to perform and analyze the successful 1986 millimeter FEL experiment also explored FELs at x-ray wavelengths. The researchers found that the x-ray beam being amplified in a high-gain FEL does not diffract but stays close to the electron beam. That “optical guiding” phenomena presaged the success of x-ray FELs more than two decades later.
Andy noted that the high-power millimeter wave from an FEL can be used for high-gradient acceleration that could reduce the size, and hence the cost, of a multi-TeV electron linear collider. Thus he proposed in 1982 the concept of a two-beam accelerator in which a high-current, low energy accelerator runs parallel to and supplies millimeter power to a low-current, high-energy accelerator. The scheme is still very much alive as the Compact Linear Collider project at CERN.
At the American Physical Society (APS), Andy helped expand the organization’s focus to encompass many issues related to “physics and society,” including national funding, science education, and arms control. With a life-long interest in promoting human rights, Andy was instrumental in initiating the APS Committee on International Freedom of Scientists and raising funds to endow the APS Andrei Sakharov Prize. He and Moishe Pripstein cofounded Scientists for Sakharov, Orlov, and Sharansky; the group’s protests along with those of other groups led to the release of the three Soviet dissidents.
In 1998 Andy served as president of APS. He received many honors, including the AEC’s Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award in 19702, APS’s Dwight Nicholson Medal in 19943, and the Enrico Fermi Award from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2014.4
An avid outdoorsman, Andy enjoyed physical activities—swimming, rowing, skiing, bike riding—especially when shared with family and friends. Even later in life, when maintaining his bodily balance took extra effort, he kept up his lunchtime jogging routine and shared jokes and some good physics with the entourage around him. He was a mentor to many younger colleagues and to many his own age who learned more from him than a lot of them realized at the time. Andy ever kept the physics community at the center of his life and work.
Dr. Robert J. Budnitz has been involved with nuclear-reactor safety and radioactive-waste safety for many years. He is on the scientific staff at the University of California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he works on nuclear power safety and security and radioactive-waste management. From 2002 to 2007 he was at UC’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, during which period he worked on a two-year special assignment (late 2002 to late 2004) in Washington to assist the Director of DOE’s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management to develop a new Science & Technology Program. Prior to joining LLNL in 2002, he ran a one-person consulting practice in Berkeley CA for over two decades. In 1978-1980, he was a senior officer on the staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, serving as Deputy Director and then Director of the NRC Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. He earned a Ph.D. in experimental physics from Harvard in 1968.
Kwang-Je Kim received B.S in Physics from Seoul National University (1966) and Ph.D. in Elementary Particle Physics from the University of Maryland (1970). Kwang-Je was originally trained as a theorist in elementary particle physics, but switched to accelerator physics in 1978 when he joined LBNL. He moved to Argonne National Laboratory in 1998, where he is currently Argonne Distinguished Fellow. He is also a part time professor at the University of Chicago. He performed groundbreaking research in the emerging area of generating highly bright photon beams via synchrotron radiation and free electron lasers. He is a Fellow of APS since 1995, received International FEL Award in 1997, USPAS Award for Achievement in Accelerator Physics and Technology in 2013, and Robert R. Wilson Prize for Achievement in the Physics of Particle Accelerators in 2014.
Herman Winick is a Professor (research) emeritus at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Applied Physics Department of Stanford University, where he has been since 1973. After receiving his AB (1953) and PhD (1957) in physics from Columbia University, he continued work in experimental high energy physics at the University of Rochester (1957-9) and then as a member of the scientific staff and Assistant Director of the Cambridge Electron Accelerator at Harvard University (1959-73). In the early 1960s his interests shifted to accelerator physics and then to synchrotron radiation. In 1973 he moved to Stanford University to take charge of the technical design of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Project. Since then he has played a leadership role in the development of synchrotron radiation sources and research at Stanford and around the world.
George S. Stanford
Editor’s Note: Dr. Stanford served as a member of FAS’s National Council from 1986 to 1990.
The far-ranging and versatile impact of George S. Stanford as a professional colleague includes many contributions to human betterment.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, George — a Canadian-born PhD physicist — became a contributor and spokesperson for universal, conscientious nuclear composure and restraint. His role was initially manifested through opportune and enduring participation with the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Chicago chapter, which had been transplanted from the University of Chicago to Argonne National Laboratory.
As a physicist at Argonne, George engaged in hands-on work with reactor and accelerator facilities. He gained a comprehensive understanding and appreciation not only of nuclear reactors, but also of the basic science underlying nuclear weapons and their potential risk to civilization. After retirement, he devoted much of his personal time to promoting the Integral Fast (Breeder) Reactor, having professionally been part of the large Argonne team that worked on power-reactor safety.
Born July 23, 1928, he graduated in 1949 from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia with a BS in Physics/Math; Wesleyan University, in 1951 with an M.A. in Physics; and Yale University in 1956 with a PhD in Experimental Nuclear Physics. He passed away on 7 October 2013.
During much of his professional lifetime, the Cold War seemed to be spiraling out of control, with many hardline protagonists promoting armaments and strategies that could lurch the United States uncontrollably toward nuclear war and human devastation. Along with other nuclear scientists at Argonne and elsewhere, George tried to inject some sense of realism and perspective. He was one of those who frequently practiced public outreach, widely communicating the devastating potential of excessive nuclear armaments.
His outreach extended to then-raging complex and emotionalized issues such as excessive nuclear-armed missiles, needed arms-control initiatives, and improved nuclear-reactor safety. In this connection, George helped organize and became co-chair of the Concerned Argonne Scientists (CAS), an ad-hoc organization of laboratory employees which had separated itself from the local FAS chapter because of the war in Vietnam. The CAS persisted as the Argonne-based group that contributed systemic experience and advocacy about a broad range of public issues.
George served a stint on the FAS national council, and he frequently contributed his knowledge and experience to both the Argonne FAS Chapter and the national organization.
Professionally, he made significant contributions to Argonne analytical and experimental programs in nuclear-diagnostics for reactor safety, and later in arms control and treaty verification.
George’s perceptivity is reflected in several books of enduring relevance. He was a co-author of the two-volume, multi-authored Nuclear Shadowboxing: Contemporary Threats from Cold War Weaponry, which later was transitioned into the contemporary three-volume Nuclear Insights: The Cold War Legacy. The latter book was billed respectively as “an insider history” of U.S. and Soviet weaponry, an analysis of contemporary “nuclear threats and prospects,” and discussion of “nuclear reductions.”
With Gerry Marsh, he co-wrote The Phantom Defense: America’s Pursuit of the Star Wars Illusion. George not only participated in the troublesome, but widely publicized Progressive Case in the late 1970s that drew international attention to thermonuclear weaponry and government secrecy, but he was a consummate and fastidious editor of the resulting narrative: Born Secret: The H-bomb, the Progressive Case, and National Security. [Editor’s note: The Progressive Case involved independent investigator Howard Morland, who was lured by the Progressive magazine to research using openly available resources how thermonuclear weapons worked.]
A sample of wide-ranging articles he wrote or co-wrote include, “Reprocessing method could allay weapons fear,” “Smarter use of nuclear waste,” “Reprocessing is the answer,” “Integral Fast Reactors: Source of Safe, Abundant, Non-Polluting Power,” “LWR Recycle: Necessity or Impediment?” and “The antiballistic missile: how would it be used?”
George had been a member of the American Nuclear Society and the American Physical Society. Long after formal retirement from Argonne, he was contributing time and intellect to a comparison of future reactors, favoring fast breeders. One of his contemporary memberships was the Science Council for Global Initiatives.
To his very, very last days, he was applying his intellect and experience in promoting nuclear-reactor development and in assessing improved radiation-diagnostic methods.
George Stanford was married twice, living in the Chicago western suburbs, first to Ann Lowell Warren, having several children together, and later to Janet Clarke — all of whom, along with his many friends and colleagues, dearly miss him.
Peace, humanity, and progress were always on George’s mind.
Dr. Alexander DeVolpi, George Stanford’s colleague and friend since the 1950s, is a nuclear physicist long active in arms-control policy and treaty-verification technology. Retired from Argonne National Laboratory, he has authored or coauthored from first-hand experience several books about arms control. After earning an undergraduate degree in journalism from Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va., Alex served with the U.S. Navy, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander, with numerous assignments to the Naval Research Laboratory and the Radiological Defense Laboratory. Later he received his Ph.D. in physics (and MS in nuclear engineering physics) from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Va.
Alex was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society for contributions to arms-control verification and public enlightenment on the consequences of modern technology. As a citizen-scientist, he has long been involved in public-interest arms-control issues, including the Chicago/Argonne Chapter of the FAS. He was cofounder of Concerned Argonne Scientists, and a member of activist organizations and executive committees in the Chicago area. Alex was a participant and technical consultant in the FAS/NRDC joint project with Soviet counterparts on nuclear-warhead dismantlement, as well as an elected member of the national FAS council in 1988-92.