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Attempt to Discredit Gofman's Testimony in Johnston Versus U.S.

GOFMAN: I'll tell you something. First of all, William Douglas, former Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, wrote me some very complimentary letters about my work. He was a great fan of my work; thought I was right on track.

I was a witness in the Karen Silkwood case. Judge Frank Theis was the judge. It was a jury trial. As you know, we won that case. Judge Theis said some very nice things about me. I was back in Wichita, which is his home. He took me out to lunch. Then we had a talk about things like that.

Then Judge Jenkins in Utah, the downwinder trial, said some very nice things about me. There's Judge Patrick Kelly in Wichita, who said some extremely unnice things about me. I'll tell you something about that case.
GOURLEY: I'd love to hear what you have to say about that case.
GOFMAN: I have a lot to say about that case. There's going to be some developments I hope within the next year. I can only say that at this point.
GOURLEY: Can you give us a hint?
GOFMAN: Yes, I'm going to have something from some major judges of the Federal Court say something about that.
GOFMAN: But there's a very important thing about, Judge Kelly's [decision] in Johnston vs. the U.S. It is so scary that you might think you're living in Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany, not in the United States. Let me tell you what that is.

I was in [to see] Karl Morgan,[46] the eminent physicist, the man that I just think so highly of. We were both witnesses in that case. I'm sure you know the scathing condemnation that Judge Kelly provided both Morgan and me. I think Earl Johnston, I think he took off on him, too.

Any rate, I testified and I went back to San Francisco and about four weeks later, Ken Peterson, the lawyer, called me up and said, "John, [when] you were being sworn in and examined, we used the fact that there's a plaque which you said was given to you by the Atomic Energy Commission for the discovery of 233U [and] its fissionability and that it's on the door of the room where you did the work." I said, "Yes, what about it Ken?" (I have Glenn Seaborg's book showing a picture of the plaque. If you've never seen it I'll show you the book in the next five minutes.)

Peterson asked, "you think that it could be that the plaque's been taken down?" I said, "Ken, are you crazy? That plaque is not going to come down until that building comes down." I said, "It's sitting just 10 feet away from the plaque given to Seaborg. That plaque has to be there."

"I didn't think we'd be calling you to talk about this, but I think we'd better." Peterson said, "You're pretty sure the plaque is there?"

I said, "Of course it's there Ken. If you want me to I'll go over and take a picture of it," (which I did by the way)-"What makes you think the plaque isn't there?" He's in Wichita and he thinks my plaque isn't there anymore.

So he said, "Well, they brought up Jacob Frabrikant, member of the BEIR[47] committee." Jacob Frabikant is from Berkeley.
HEFNER: He passed away about two years ago.
GOFMAN: Frabrikant?
HEFNER: Jacob Frabrikant.
GOFMAN: I didn't know that.
HEFNER: Yes, we'll talk about that later.
GOFMAN: I didn't know that. Anyway, though I don't speak about the dead, I'll have to. Peterson said they brought Jacob Frabikant in, and this is the conversation, paraphrased:

"Dr. Frabikant, are you on the Berkeley Campus?" He said, "Yes." Have you ever gone by Gilman Hall?" He said, "Yes." "Have you ever gone into Gilman Hall?" He said, "Yes." He said, "Have you ever been on the third floor of Gilman Hall?" Imagine this, Jacob Frabrikant had about as much business on the third floor of Gilman Hall as I had on the moon shot. He said, "Did you ever see a plaque on any of the doors on the third floor of Gilman Hall?" He said, "Yes." "What did the plaque say?" "It said, 'For the discovery of plutonium.'" "No other plaque there?" He said, "Not that I saw." "Thank you."

So here somebody came in, a professor at Berkeley, who had made a liar out of me. There is no plaque there [is, in effect, what Frabrikant had said in testimony.] So I said, "Well, Ken, this is serious. I'll go over."

O'Connor and I went over, [and] took a picture of a calendar and the plaque on the wall. I'm going to get that picture of the plaque, you ought to see it.

The reason I said you [Karoline] should really worry about this is where you're living [Washington, DC]. Glenn Seaborg [was] the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, who wrote a press release for AEC in 1968 saying what a great discovery the 233U work was and that they were awarding this bronze plaque to the discoverers for this [work]. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Justice Department, trying a case in [Wichita], act as though they don't know that a different branch of government has announced this "fifty quadrillion dollar" discovery. There is your plaque in Glenn Seaborg's book. Fourteen years after this book, they frame up this thing in Wichita, and you asked me to comment on Judge Kelly and the whole shebang?

Sure, the plaque's on the door. It's not coming down until the building comes down. Then they'll put it somewhere else in the Chemistry Department. That's the kind of tricks they were up to. Judge Kelly's decision doesn't phase me. But god, they spent a lot of public funds sending out thousands of copies of Judge Kelly's decision. Where did you get a copy?
GOURLEY: From the law books.
GOFMAN: They sent it out all over the country. I'll tell you about that sort of thing. In Judge Jenkins' courtroom in the Utah case, there was no jury, because the trial was against the U.S. government. Anything against the U.S. government, you don't get a jury. Judge Theis in the Karen Silkwood case, there was a jury. Judge Theis and Judge Jenkins both are just elegant men. If Theis hadn't had a jury in the Karen Silkwood case, I think we would have won based on Judge Theis. But we did have a jury.

But when the case came up of Johnston vs. U.S., what you may not know from the law book, there were 19 civilian defendants, companies, in addition to the Government. Based upon my deposition and Karl Morgan's deposition, they[, the private companies,] plunked down a million nine hundred thousand dollars, not to go to trial. Did you know that? A million nine hundred thousand dollars, [be]cause they thought the evidence was that good against them. When Ken Peterson called, it was the day before they were going to go to trial, but they all settled except the U.S. government.

Ken said, "Well, now let's try it against the U.S. government." I said, "Ken, are you crazy? You just got a million nine hundred thousand dollars put in your lap. Anytime you go to court with a judge and no jury, you're taking an awful big chance. It happens occasionally, you'll come out all right, but don't count on it. I'd love to be out of this case, now that you're alone against the government, because you lose the jury. If one of those civilian defendants had stayed in, we would have had a jury in Wichita. Patrick Kelly wouldn't be able to [do] what he did. But once you don't have anybody but the Government, no jury."

[Ken] said, "I feel I have to do this for my clients. They think we ought to go after the Government and we [have] Judge Kelly's decision, including a frame-up using Frabrikant as their foil."

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