Bruce Held To Speak On ‘In The Question Of J. Robert Oppenheimer’ At Historical Society Lecture Series Nov. 1

Bruce Held is the speaker for the Los Alamos Historical Society’s November talk, which will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Fuller Lodge. Photo Courtesy LAHS


Los Alamos Historical Society presents Bruce Held speaking on “In the Question of J. Robert Oppenheimer” at its November Lecture Series Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in Fuller Lodge. Normally scheduled on the second Tuesday of each month, this month’s lecture is offered a week early to allow for election day on Nov. 8. Held describes his talk:

“J. Robert Oppenheimer was a great man and a loyal American. In our discussion …, we shall see that Oppenheimer was not blameless in the events that led to the 1954 Atomic Energy Commission’s review of his security clearance. However, the AEC made an egregious error in revoking his clearance. They had the option – as Oppenheimer himself proposed – of letting his clearance expire. They did not do so because they admittedly sought to destroy his reputation as a source of trustworthy advice on nuclear policy. With all the historical facts now known, we can correct this error in a manner acceptable to all loyal Americans, and it is time that we do so.”  

Held was Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy, as well as Acting Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration during 2013-2014, with oversight responsibility for America’s nuclear weapons complex, including Los Alamos National Laboratories. Prior to his term at the Energy Department, he served three decades as a CIA clandestine operations officer, including tours as a CIA Chief of Station in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. He was also Special Assistant to CIA Director George Tenet. He received the CIA Intelligence Commendation Medal for “tenacity and extraordinary accomplishments during a period of hostilities.” 

Held is the author of A Spy’s Guide to American History which is free at .  

The lecture is free; donations are welcome. For more information, please call 505-662-6272.