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Presidential commissions & national security; the politics of damage control.


Presidential commissions & national security; the politics of damage control.

Kitts, Kenneth.

Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.


194 pages




Through a series of five case studies, Kitts (political science, Francis Marion U.) analyzes the role of presidential "blue-ribbon" commissions in the context of US national security policy. Offering chapters on the Roberts Commission and Pearl Harbor, the Rockefeller Commission and abuses by the CIA, the Scowcroft Commission and the MX Missile, the Tower Commission and the Iran-Contra scandal, and the 9/11 Commission, Kitts follows a common template for each case, exploring the precipitating crisis or event; the political situation confronting the president; the decision to create a commission; the process of determining mandate and membership; the mechanics and politics of the investigation; the drafting, issuance, and impact of the final report; and the political aftermath. Overall, Kitts argues, the story of presidential commissions is the story of presidential attempts at damage control.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 2006
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