ABSTRACT

Hijacking of TWA 847: A Study of Bureaucratic Paralysis   [open pdf - 498KB]

"This paper will attempt to examine briefly the subject of bureaucratic politics, in this case the politics of the bureaucracy responsible for combatting terrorism, through discussion of a specific incident: the hijacking of TWA 847 in June 1985. To narrow the focus further, I have chosen to confine the discussion to the Algiers phase of this incident. This is not only because I am more familiar with this phase, but also because the disarray within the U.S. Government, crystal clear during the Algiers phase, led (as in a Greek tragedy) to the subsequent media circus in Beirut and to events beyond. I will examine first the various institutional actors who played a role in combatting terrorism and will then discuss the actions of their representatives in Algiers. I have not used names, although these are, in some cases, unclassified and could be found on any Algiers diplomatic list. What is important, however, is the institutional aspect of this incident ('where you sit determines where you stand'), not the interplay of personalities."

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Date:
1989-12-15
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Public Domain
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