Copyright 2002 Nuclear Age
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Leslie R. Groves to J. Robert Oppenheimer
July 29, 1943
Dear Dr. Oppenheimer:
In view of the nature of the
work on which you are engaged, the knowledge of it which is possessed by you
and the dependence which rests upon you for its successful accomplishment,
it seems necessary to ask you to take certain special precautions with
respect to your personal safety.
(a) You refrain from flying in airplanes of any description; the time saved is not worth the risk. (If emergency demands their use my prior consent should be requested.)
(b) You refrain from driving an automobile for any appreciable distance (above a few miles) and from being without suitable protection on any lonely road, such as the road from Los Alamos to Santa Fe. On such trips you should be accompanied by a competent, able bodied, armed guard. There is no objection to the guard serving as chauffeur.
(c) Your cars be driven with due regard to safety and that in driving about town a guard of some kind should be used, particularly during hours of darkness. The cost of such guard is a proper charge against the United States.
I realize that these precautions may be personally burdensome and that they may appear to you to be unduly restrictive but I am asking you to bear with them until our work is successfully completed.