Presidential Secrecy and Deception: Beyond the Power to Persuade

Presidential Secrecy and Deception: Beyond the Power to Persuade

Presidential Secrecy and Deception: Beyond the Power to Persuade

Presidential Secrecy and Deception: Beyond the Power to Persuade

Synopsis

Orman bravely tackles an extraordinarily demanding issue.... This is the book of a well-read scholar and by virtue of its very difficulties will interest advanced undergraduate and graduate students and produce challenging debate." - Choice

Excerpt

This book examines presidential uses of secrecy and deception from the Kennedy through the Ford administrations by applying a framework to describe and explain such behavior in various case studies. The framework, which involves four components: personality development, bureaucratic politics, pragmatic calculations, and institutional constraints, is applied to the Kennedy administration program to eliminate the Castro regime, the secret war in Laos of the Johnson administration, the Nixon administration program to undermine systematically the legitimacy of the Allende regime in Chile, and the handling of sensitive information by the Ford administration in response to the Church and Pike committee investigations during 1975-76.

Political science on the whole has failed to deal systematically with potential abuses of presidential power. This research seeks to restore the investigation of secret and deceptive presidential behavior to its rightful place in contemporary scholarship. After attempting to explain why presidents engaged in secretive and frequently deceptive behavior, the case studies are evaluated as to their constitutionality, legality, morality, necessity, and justifiability. This book concludes by offering guidelines and reforms in the hope that disciplined and informed research on these highly controversial issues can help to clarify the complex problems associated with controlling secrecy and deception in the presidency.

The findings of this book suggest that the power of the presidency involves much more than just "the power to persuade." It also involves the power to issue unilateral commands for secret and deceptive actions.

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