Reformers in Congress and within the administration used proposals for nonproliferation legislation to wage a war on plutonium proliferation and to attempt a fundamental alteration of accepted truths about the inevitability of the plutonium economy. They wisely could have recalled Hiram Johnson's maxim, however, that the first casualty in war is the truth. Thus the target of their outrage and reforms became elusive as they sought to realign attitudes about plutonium risks. But more was at issue than consciousness raising. In their eyes, legislation had to halt U.S. participation in the ineluctable proliferation of nuclear facilities, material, and technology that was without safeguards or that led to the plutonium economy. Only then could the United States lead the nonproliferation battle.