Re: OTHER Starship Captains - Symbolism, Foreshadowing & Plot Devices
How do we know that Kirk didn't have contact with Star Fleet Command before rendering his decision? They might have just "deal with the situation as you see fit" or perhaps he ran the idea past someone and they signed off on it? Besides, by handling it this way they avoided any publicity for the incident (your basic coverup) and avoiding any messy PR problems.
"The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self-awareness." Annie Savoy