Master of Arts in Communication Studies
First Committee Member
Donovan Conley, Chair
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Graduate Faculty Representative
Number of Pages
For over seventy-five years, the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) has played a significant role in the crafting of executive policy rhetoric. Yet, within the scholarship in presidential and rhetorical studies, the OLC remains one of the least understood and, thus, underappreciated forces behind executive policy action. This thesis seeks to bridge the research gap by: (1) accounting for the OLC's rhetorical history through discussion of available "opinions" and their rhetorical consequences; and (2) by submitting a case study from the OLC's rhetorical history to critical analysis. Often, I will argue, the OLC "co-invented" international and domestic policies with White House officials--policies with real effects in the realm of global and domestic affairs. These effects culminated under President George W. Bush, for whom the OLC became an invaluable legal interpretive resource in the war on terror. Throughout, the traditional conception of rhetorical invention is expanded upon to account for jointly- or co-invented rhetorics. This end is facilitated by the historical-theoretical framework of rhetorical hermeneutics.
Bush; George W. (George Walker); 1946-; Invention (Rhetoric); Legal opinions; Office of Legal Counsel; Rhetoric political aspects; Rhetorical invention
Communication | Rhetoric | Rhetoric and Composition | Social Influence and Political Communication | Speech and Rhetorical Studies
Saas, William O’Donnal, "A Rhetorical history of the Office of Legal Counsel" (2010). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 321.