Dean Acheson wrote that the early atomic period was "one of great obscurity to those who lived through it." The future and the present were clouded and "the significance of events was shrouded in ambiguity." 1 As the man charged with early postwar responsibility for U.S. efforts in the control of atomic energy, Acheson operated amid uncertainty in a milieu only partially understood by scientists, much less by politicians. Frequently, little more than faith in the word of those who discovered and kept the atomic secrets shaped thought about the peaceful atom. "For many, secrecy was endowed with a moral fervor and emotional intensity both pathological and sacred." 2 That intense fervor, coupled with demands to push for a growing atomic arsenal, at the same time arguing for international control, raised numerous questions about the political and institutional shape of the postwar world that could not be answered in isolation. Since most of the substantive questions about control were of the most baffling political, as well as technical, complexity, an initial task called for coordination of efforts with allies. Weapons production would have to proceed in secret.