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Whenever there is a new invention which could strengthen a country but it is critical to keep it a secret the government usually takes over Sometimes the information is brought to the government first This was the case with the development of the atomic bomb The promise and threat of the power of an atomic device were presented to President Roosevelt in a letter signed by Albert Einstein and its importance was acknowledged by Roosevelt The seed for the Manhattan Project as the development of the atomic bomb became called codenamed Manhattan Engineer District or MED was planted However knowledge of the United States new weapon was not to be widespread The Manhattan Project was kept secret via the top secret designation compartmentalization and informing the least number of people General Leslie R Groves headed the Manhattan Project almost from its inception in 1942 until 1947 when atomic energy affairs were turned over to the newly created civilian Atomic Energy Commission He was in charge of all phases of it - scientific technical and process development construction production security and military intelligence of enemy activitiesand planning for the use of the bomb For about the first year internal security in the MED was supervised by War Department Counter Intelligence As far back as February 1942 they and J Edgar Hoover of the FBI had agreed upon the various phases of security each organization would cover The War Departments area of responsibility was to include all its civilian employees as well as all civilians on military reservations or under military control It was not until much later in 1943 that a reorientation in the counterintelligence operations of the War Department made it impossible to rely any longer on the centralized organization The next course of action for the MED was to set up a complete security staff When it became necessary to move this activity into the
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