In August of 2004, the bipartisan 9/11 Commission released its report to much media buzz. However, when all ten commissioners reconvened in late 2005 to issue a report card on progress made on the recommendations of the Commission, they issued five Fs, twelve Ds, nine Cs, and one A minus. This article looks at independent commissions in the United States and the role they play as flak-catchers—stopgaps that assuage public fears while giving the appearance of decisive government action. It uses historical and comparative case-study analysis to portray how the 9/11 Commission operated in a manner similar to U.S. race riot commissions, despite differences in inception, focus, and jurisdiction. The result for both riot commissions and the 9/11 Commission is a “management” of the crisis rather than an understanding, followed by little in the way of actual policy change. One should expect similar outcomes whenever an independent commission is appointed.
"What Happened to the 9/11 Commission? What a Century of Riot Commissions Teaches us about America’s Dependence on Independent Commissions,"
Ralph Bunche Journal of Public Affairs: Vol. 3:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.tsu.edu/rbjpa/vol3/iss1/3