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Stealing the Atom Bomb: How Denial and Deception Armed Israel Paperback – February 16, 2016
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"Mattson was known at NRC for his direct manner and willingness to voice unvarnished opinions. He has done it again in this very interesting book—the research is most impressive.” J. Samuel Walker, former historian of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and author of Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective.
"As the possible spread of nuclear weapons continues to trouble the Middle East, this extensively documented book is a timely reminder that nuclear proliferation began there, in Israel, in the 1960s. Mattson's meticulous research spotlights the core question for Americans: why, in 2016, are U.S. intelligence agencies still trying to hide how Israel obtained U.S. Navy uranium to make its first bombs?" Margaret Ryan, former editor of Nucleonics Week.
"What a painstaking book! It needed to be done and Mattson hit the right reason, which is the moral one. This is a mighty work about tragic legal and political failings that will inform curious people for generations." John Fialka, former reporter on intelligence, military and energy for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Star.
“This book is painstakingly researched and gracefully written. I am floored, really, at its portrait of my father; I can almost feel his ironic gratitude to the author. I see here the careful balance my father maintained, reckless forces all around, guided by his own principles.” John Hadden, playwright, director and author of Conversations with a Masked Man: My Father, the CIA, and Me.
"Stealing the Bomb is the definitive book about how and why a team of spies and their American associate diverted U.S. weapons-grade uranium into the Israeli nuclear weapons program—and why the American government never did anything about it." Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy and author of Divert!
"No one has done a more thorough analysis of the disappearance of bomb-grade uranium from a U.S. plant in the 1960s, and the evidence points to an Israeli operation.” Victor Gilinsky, former Commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
"This is the most authoritative account of the 1960s diversion from the United States of highly enriched uranium that was used to accelerate Israel’s nuclear weapons program. In meticulous detail, citing hundreds of internal U.S. government documents, Mattson exposes the lies of senior U.S. and Israeli government officials in their efforts to cover up the diversion and protect the perpetrators; and he reveals how the CIA continues to needlessly classify 40-50 year old documents that could give U.S. citizens and federal authorities a full accounting of this shameful blotch on our government’s conduct." Thomas B. Cochran, Ph.D.
“This is a well written and important book. How did Israel become a nuclear weapons state and what roles, if any, did U.S. government agencies and political leaders play? Mattson’s book provides a major resource to those seeking answers to these questions.” William Dircks, former Executive Director for Operations, Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
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Top Customer Reviews
Some of the highlights include:
Both the index and the citations are extremely thorough, making it easy to locate and verify any piece of information.
Although he was involved in investigating the Apollo Affair, Mr. Mattson is not a central figure in the book and he doesn't rely on his own memories. The "star" of the book are the government documents that its based on.
The book doesn't overstate its case or unjustly accuse people. The only speculation in the book is limited to a chapter identifying important and valid questions that remain unanswered and highlight the ongoing importance of the case.
The book tackles the Apollo Affair in chronological order, not according to his investigation. This makes it much easier to follow.
Someone said that history is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think.
Mattson's book whipsaws the reader between the two views--and more.
NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND PROLIFERATION
Is nuclear weapons proliferation the elephant in the room? Where is the control of nuclear weapons proliferation on the global "to do" list?
Look at the good news. There has never been an unintentional nuclear weapons detonation. There has never been a "dirty bomb" event.
The bad news is that any entity that has a nuclear weapons capability is well on the way to having other capabilities. What are these?
WHO IS IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT?
Mattson's book is a page turner. It prompts some uncomfortable thoughts about nuclear weapons, about nuclear weapons related policies, about how policy is made in this country and others, about the confused and uncertain policy of the United States with respect to nuclear weapons proliferation and with respect to Israel more generally.
The episodes that Mattson relates seem reminiscent of the Iran-Contra episodes during the Reagan Administration with its casts of heroic and tragic figures.
STRONG PERSONALITIES IN A WEAK CULTURE
It is somewhat disconcerting to see how strong personalities create their own leeway. Personalities in the FBI, the CIA, the AEC, the Naval Reactor's Program, and the like interact with each other and with the emerging U.S. governmental culture to make things happen and to keep other things from happening. How is this different from the present time?
I was not prepared for the personal pain experienced while reading about persons and agencies I respected being taken for suckers by persons obviously acting as foreign agents. I generally do not ascribe to malice what can be explained by stupidity, but these were not stupid people. Mattson's documentation is so thorough that uncomfortable implications are inescapable.
It boggles the mind to see so much incompetence at so many levels of American government and industry. One would like to think that this is an isolated case, but the ACA Website Rollout, the Flint Water Debacle, and the like persuade otherwise.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should state that I have had significant personal and professional interactions with Roger Mattson. We first met in the early 1970s when I was a nuclear engineer having business before the NRC Staff. Later Roger and I worked together for years on a nuclear power utility safety review committee to which we were gathered after a major NRC and industry embarrassment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
to build the atomic bomb,and,our governments
failure to punish those responsible. Good job