The Atom Bomb and Transparency/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on May 2, 2015


A book entitled “Democracy in the Dark” has been authored by Attorney Frederic Schwarz, Jr. Mr. Schwarz gives an example of how secrecy can often work against the interests of society. The dropping of the Atomic Bomb over Japan was carried out by the US, under President Truman, after a period of great secrecy. many thousands of civilians were killed in the attacks over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Had the bombing plan been made more public it is arguable that alternative planning putting fewer innocents at risk could have been determined. The idea of the secrecy was intended to save lives. However, it is possible that more lives could have been saved had there been a candid exchange of ideas and a review of viable alternatives. More information is often better than less information.

How can parties engaged in a controversy pursue the goals of Win-Win. Common sense dictates that more information and candid talk will be more advisable than tight-lipped exchanges. Mediation seeks to put information in the public domain. The assumption that underlies mediation is that parties reach better decisions when more, not less, information is discussed and analyzed. Looking at the atomic bomb and its antecedents, one can see how transparency is in the interests of all. Mediates facilitates discussion. Discussion leads to enlightened results. Mediate don’t litigate.