Harold P. Green was a staff attorney at the Atomic Energy Commission’s security division in 1954 when he was asked to draft charges against Oppenheimer, who was known as the “father of the atomic bomb.” Oppenheimer’s interest in socialist and communist ideologies and his opposition to the development of the hydrogen bomb had raised suspicions about his political allegiance during the anti-communist “Red Scare” era.
As he reviewed the investigative files, Green became uncomfortable with the AEC director’s enthusiasm for investigating the renowned physicist. The AEC director was supposed to act essentially as a impartial judge—which was not how it was conducted. Green left the AEC shortly after as a matter of conscience, because he said he thought the pursuit of the case became political and Oppenheimer was being railroaded.
Green became a Washington attorney and a member of the District of Columbia Bar, and a professor of law at George Washington University.