First, Congressional Commissions typically are formed as instruments of last resort to resolve some controversy, hopefully to arrive at a consensus, about a vitally important matter where there have been significant disagreements within or between the Defense, Intelligence, and Scientific Communities--in other words, the EMP Commission and Strategic Posture Commission Reports are not merely "op-eds" but a solid and substantial body of work, representing a consensus that emerged after hearing all points of view and rigorous examination of all the evidence. In the case of the EMP Commission, eight years of work went into its threat assessment and recommendations. (Click here to read the reports.)
Second, Congressional Commissions are established and their Commissioners selected on a bipartisan basis so that there can be no question about the Commission's objectivity. In the case of the EMP Commission and the Strategic Posture Commission, Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate played an equal role in the nomination and selection of Commissioners--and both Commissions were established with unanimous consent of the House and Senate. Moreover, in the case of the EMP Commission, it was first established under a Republican-majority Congress, and then re-established under a Democrat-majority Congress - so the EMP Commission's bipartisan credentials and objectivity are impeccable.
Third, Congressional Commissioners are typically selected from among the most senior and respected statesmen, scientists and strategists - so there can be no question about the competence of their judgments.
For example, in the case of the EMP Commission, Dr. William R. Graham was appointed as the EMP Commission Chairman. Dr. Graham is the foremost EMP expert in the United States, perhaps in the world, having been among the scientific team that first discovered the EMP phenomenon in the Starfish Prime nuclear test of 1962, and having worked on EMP his entire professional life. Dr. Graham also served as President Reagan's Science Advisor and as Director of NASA, so his qualifications are "second to none" for making judgments about the larger strategic and societal implications of scientific phenomenon, like EMP. Another EMP Commissioner, Dr. John Foster, is the foremost nuclear weapons expert in the United States, and has served in