How do bureaucrats make policy? Specific examples?
Why might it be good for bureaucrats to make policy? Expertise Harder to pressure, fairer to everyone?
Why might it be problematic for bureaucrats to make policy? Unelected Unaccountable because of civil service protections
Why might it be good for policy decisions be made by politicians? Accountable to the public Responsive to the public
Democratic control? What are the mechanisms for democratic control of the bureaucracy? Congress: lawmaking Congress: oversight Congress: budget President: budget President: regulatory review President: PARTISAN APPOINTMENTS
Should elected officials or neutral experts make policy on: How to balance forest health against public use? –Experts: biologists –Elected officials: represent loggers or environmentalists Troop levels? How to deal with foreign nations? –Experts: military officers, foreign service officers –Elected officials: represent public opinion Whether global warming is a real phenomenon? –Experts: physicists, chemists, geologists –Elected officials: represent public opinion
Example: the Torture ban Timeline: April 2004: News about Abu Ghraib Military officers ask McCain for clarification on what interrogation techniques are allowed McCain introduces “torture ban amendment” to approps. bill
Torture ban timeline Sept. 2005: Bush threatens veto: –Calls amendment “unnecessary and duplicative” –“McClellan said existing law already prohibits the mistreatment of prisoners in American custody, and the amendment ‘would limit the president's ability as commander-in-chief to effectively carry out the war on terrorism.’”
Torture bill timeline Senate votes 90-9 to approve House approves 308-122 Bush signs, saying “Senator McCain has been a leader to make sure that the United States of America upholds the values of America as we fight and win this war on terror. And we’ve been happy to work with him to achieve a common objective, and that is to make it clear to the world that this government does not torture, and that we adhere to the international Convention of Torture, whether it be at home or abroad.”
Text: Detainee Treatment Act No person in the custody or under the effective control of the Department of Defense or under detention in a Department of Defense facility shall be subject to any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by and listed in the United States Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation. Sct. 1002
No individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. Sct. 1003
In this section, the term `cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment' means the cruel, unusual, and inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, as defined in the United States Reservations, Declarations and Understandings to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment done at New York, December 10, 1984. Sct. 1003(d)
Bush’s second signing statement “The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks.”