Intelligence Law School - Course 1: Lesson 4.7.4 General Management Laws as Kryptonite to Conspiracy Theories [HTML-Only]


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LESSON 4: STATUTORY LAW


4.7 General Management Statutes (U.S. Code Titles 5 and 44)


4.7.4 General Management Laws as Kryptonite to Conspiracy Theories


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Annotated Lecture Transcript

4.7.4 General Management Laws as Kryptonite to Conspiracy Theories

These general management statutes apply to all agencies across the board with a few exceptions in the military and intelligence context.

Understanding these laws is necessary to understanding how America’s federal bureaucracies function, which will in turn give you greater insight into the way intelligence bureaucracies are run in the real world.

 

Ø  General Management Statutes and Administrative Law as Kryptonite to Conspiracy Theories: General Management Statutes and administrative law are like kryptonite to conspiracies.

o   There’s nothing like a little administrative procedure to put the kybosh on almost any conspiracy theory you might come across.

 

Ø  The Multiple Agency Problem: First of all: Any conspiracy theory that requires a large, coordinated conspiracy by multiple agencies is most likely bogus just because.

o   Agencies don’t play well with one another.

o   Just think about the FBI and CIA.

    

Ø  The CYA Problem and Middle Management: Even within 1 agency, most conspiracy theories are bogus because of the paperwork that would be required before any manager would sign off on it and no bureaucratic functionary wants to risk his pension to make somebody else’s Jack Bauer fantasies come true. 

o   It’s classic CYA = Cover Your … Butt.

o   Paper trails kill conspiracy theories, which is why government openness and transparency statutes are usually enough to curb most abuse.

o   Also, internal oversight and mandatory administrative procedures are also like poison to bureaucratic conspiracies.

§  99% of the time there’s simply no individual person in any bureaucracy who is willing to put their name on the kind of documents that would be required to approve something nefarious. 

 

Nope.

General management statutes and administrative law are like kryptonite to conspiracies.

The statutory requirements are bad, but they’re not the half of it.

The next lesson on administrative law will show you a whole new roll of red tape that should expose any complicated conspiracy theory you may have heard as pure fantasy.

 

Footnotes

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© 2012 David Alan Jordan. All rights reserved.