Public admin weekly 2 | Government homework help


Question 1 and 2 must be answered on separate pages with separate references.

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Question 1

Review “Doing the Right Thing” in Chapter 5. Governmental Planning Takes Diverse Forms. A partial list of large-scale governmental planning activities would have to include at least the following:

 (1) planning for the conservation and use of natural resources

 (2) city planning,

 (3) planning for full employment,

 (4) planning for personal and family security

 (5) planning for agriculture

 (6) planning for the improvement of government organization. Provide one example from the case that addresses one of the five planning activities. Explain the lessons you discovered in this case that could create additional planning activities.

Question 1b

Review “Robin Hood” in Chapter 5. The story stated that the source of revenue (the rich) was dwindling because the rich were avoiding the forest. Robin considered increasing revenue by assessing a fixed transit tax. Recommend a contingency plan to increase revenue that would allow Robin Hood to stay true to his mission. Comment on the use and importance of contingency plans by public administrators. Provide an example to illustrate.

Question 2

Using the story about Robin Hood, discuss a cost-benefit and cost-effective analysis of the proposed assessment and contingency plan. Justify your rationale.

From the e-Activity, select one of the current events and discuss what method of rational decision making will better serve the public interest(s). Justify your response.


Go to Governing the States and Localities located at Select News and Topics. Select State or Local. Select and review one article


It was early in the spring of the second year of his insurrection against the High Sheriff of Nottingham that Robin Hood took a walk in Sherwood Forest. As he walked, he pondered the progress of the campaign, the disposition of his forces, his opposition’s moves, and the options that confronted him.

The revolt against the sheriff began as a personal crusade. It erupted out of Robin’s own conflict with the sheriff and his administration. Alone, however, Robin could accomplish little. He therefore sought allies, men with personal grievances and a deep sense of justice. Later he took all who came without asking too many questions. Strength, he believed, lay in numbers.

The first year was spent in forging the group into a disciplined band—a group united in enmity against the sheriff, willing to live outside the law as long as it took to accomplish their goals. The band was simply organized. Robin ruled supreme, making all important decisions. Specific tasks were delegated to his lieutenants. Will Scarlett was in charge of intelligence and scouting. His main job was to keep tabs on the movements of the sheriff’s men. He also collected information on the travel plans of rich merchants and abbots. Little John kept discipline among the men, and he saw to it that their archery was at the high peak that their profession demanded. Scarlett took care of the finances, paying shares of the take, bribing officials, converting loot to cash, and finding suitable hiding places for surplus gains. Finally, Much the Miller’s Son had the difficult task of provisioning the ever-increasing band.

The increasing size of the band was a source of satisfaction for Robin, but also a subject of much concern. The fame of his Merry Men was spreading, and new recruits were pouring in. Yet the number of men was beginning to exceed the food capacity of the forest. Game was becoming scarce, and food had to be transported by cart from outlying villages. The band had always camped together. But now what had been a small gathering had become a major encampment that could be detected miles away. Discipline was also becoming harder to enforce. “Why?” Robin reflected. “I don’t know half the men I run into these days.”

Although the band was getting larger, their main source of revenue was in decline. Travelers, especially the richer variety, began giving the forest a wide berth. This was costly and inconvenient to them, but it was preferable to having all their goods confiscated by Robin’s men. Robin was therefore considering changing his past policy to one of a fixed transit tax.

The idea was strongly resisted by his lieutenants who were proud of the Merry Men’s famous motto: “Rob from the rich and give to the poor.” The poor and the townspeople, they argued, were their main source of support and information. If they were antagonized by transit taxes, they would abandon the Merry Men to the mercy of the sheriff.

Robin wondered how long they could go on keeping to the ways and methods of their early days. The sheriff was growing stronger. He had the money, the men, and the facilities. In the long run he would wear Robin and his men down. Sooner or later, he would find their weaknesses and methodically destroy them. Robin felt that he must bring the campaign to a conclusion. The question was, How could this be achieved?

Robin knew that the chances of killing or capturing the sheriff were remote. Besides, killing the sheriff might satisfy his personal thirst for revenge but would not change the basic problem. It was also unlikely that the sheriff would be removed from office. He had powerful friends at court. On the other hand, Robin reflected, if the district was in a perpetual state of unrest, and the taxes went uncollected, the sheriff would fall out of favor. But on further thought, Robin reasoned, the sheriff might shrewdly use the unrest to obtain more reinforcements. The outcome depended on the mood of the regent Prince John. The Prince was known as vicious, volatile, and unpredictable. He was obsessed by his unpopularity among the people, who wanted the imprisoned King Richard back. He also lived in constant fear of the barons who were growing daily more hostile to his power. Several of these barons had set out to collect the ransom that would release King Richard the Lionheart from his jail in Austria. Robin had been discreetly asked to join, in return for future amnesty. It was a dangerous proposition. Provincial banditry was one thing, court intrigue another. Prince John was known for his vindictiveness. If the gamble failed he would personally see to it that all involved were crushed.

The sound of the supper horn startled Robin from his thoughts. There was the smell of roasting venison in the air. Nothing had been resolved or settled. Robin headed for camp promising himself that he would give these problems first priority after tomorrow’s operation.

What are Robin’s key problems? How are they related to each other? How did they emerge? What should Robin do in the short term and in the longer term?


Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.

Frederick Nietzsche

Leon Panetta was a surprise choice to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), since his reputation rested primarily on his mastery of domestic policy—a mastery acquired as chairman of the House Budget Committee, as President Clinton’s budget director, and later as his chief of staff. Although some colleagues say that Panetta can be “principled to the point of rigidity,” it was more his reputation for rectitude and integrity than as his grasp of the intricacies of national security issues that got him the CIA job.

In May 2009, Panetta found himself preoccupied not with foreign enemies but with domestic critics, both conservative and liberal. From the right, former Vice President Dick Cheney accused the Barack Obama administration of “making the American people less safe” by banning the enhanced CIA interrogation of terrorism suspects that had been sanctioned by the George W. Bush administration. From the left, human rights activists and some Democratic members of Congress called for the establishment of some sort of inquiry—a special prosecutor, a congressional investigation, a truth commission—to determine whether the Bush administration lawyers who had argued that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques could be employed in the aftermath of 9/11 should be prosecuted. These liberal groups were especially appalled that Panetta had advised Obama against such an inquiry.

As the director of the CIA, Panetta knew this was a sensitive issue for his agency. Critics believe that the agency had lost its moral bearings after 9/11. In 2007, when a confidential Red Cross report became public, no doubt remained that the agency had subjected terror suspects to prolonged physical and psychological cruelty. Officers shackled prisoners for weeks in contorted positions; chained them to the ceiling, wearing only diapers; exploited their phobias; and propelled them headfirst into walls. At least three prisoners died.

There was more bad news for the agency when President Obama released disturbing classified government documents describing how one prisoner was waterboarded 183 times in a month. For more than a century, the United States had prosecuted waterboarding as a serious crime, and a 10-year prison sentence was issued as recently as 1983. Indeed, the memos authorizing interrogators to torment prisoners clashed so glaringly with international and U.S. law that some of them were later withdrawn by lawyers in Bush’s own Justice Department. Torture itself is a felony, sometimes even treated as a capital crime. The Convention Against Torture, which America ratified in 1994, requires a government to prosecute all acts of torture; failure to do so is considered a breach of international law.

Although Panetta might oppose an inquiry, that did not mean he took torture lightly. One of his first acts as director was to ask the CIA’s inspector general to ensure that there was no one on the payroll who should be prosecuted for torture or related crimes. The inspector general assured him that no officer still at the agency had engaged in any action that went beyond the legal boundaries as they were understood during the Bush years. Panetta’s position was therefore consistent with that of President Obama, who had promised immunity from prosecution to any CIA officer who relied on the advice of legal counsel during the Bush years. For the longer term, Panetta was trying to set up a state-of-the-art interrogation unit, staffed by some of the best CIA, FBI, and military officers in the country and drawing on the advice of social scientists, linguists, and other scholars.

Panetta wondered if he had done enough. Should he resist or welcome an investigation of the CIA by the Attorney General that might lead to prosecution? Or should he resist or welcome the creation of an independent “truth commission” that could grant immunity to witnesses? As he pondered the pros and cons of some sort of inquiry, it became increasingly apparent how unappetizing his choices were.

Here are some of the arguments against any investigation:

  • If Panetta did not argue against investigation, he would not be      seen within the agency as someone      people want to follow.
  • Prosecution would be unfair to CIA officers who thought they were      abiding by the law. People      shouldn’t be punished for doing      what they took to be their duty.
  • An investigation might look vindictive, as if the Obama administration was trying to      go after Cheney and Bush. Such a perception could have a serious political      downside, namely, the risk of      losing support from independents.
  • Prosecution of officials would have a chilling effect on future      U.S. government officials. Few would be brave or foolhardy enough to put      forward daring proposals that one day could be judged illegal. Putting      things down in writing is a useful intellectual exercise and central to      good decision making. With the      threat of prosecution, serious memos on controversial matters would      increasingly become the exception      rather than the rule. Bottom      line: U.S. national security would be weakened.
  • Investigation and prosecution would take time and focus away from      what the CIA, the country, and its elected and      appointed representatives thought important. Investigations and trials      would constitute an enormous distraction at a time when the United States faced a daunting      array of international problems.
  • Investigation would undoubtedly result in the release of more memos and photos highly unflattering      to America’s image abroad. Such releases could spark an anti-American      backlash among allies and provide a superb recruiting tool for terrorist organizations.
  • It is impossible to specify clearly a firm chain of causation.      Certainly, a series of actions at the      highest levels of government set the      conditions for and allowed abuse and torture, but there is no proof that      higher policymakers intended severe abuses to occur. And what about top      officials who knew about the      interrogation program but had no operational control over it? As one      former CIA official said, “You can’t throw out the entire agency.”

Advocates for investigation make the following points:

  • Failure to investigate leaves the      impression that the Obama      administration is trying to cover up something.
  • The U.S. citizenry needs a full      accounting, especially as it relates to the      health professionals. Released Justice Department memos contain numerous      references to CIA medical personnel participating in coercive      interrogation sessions. Were they the      designers, the legitimizers, and the implementers—or something else?      Their participation is possibly one of the      biggest medical ethics scandals in U.S. history.
  • The argument that CIA officials      thought they were doing their      duty because of legal cover provided by the      Department of Justice will not stand. Many times courageous individuals      objected and walked away from policies that led to abuse and torture. As      one FBI assistant director told one special agent who had objected to the enhanced techniques, “We don’t do      that.” That agent was then pulled out of the      interrogation by the FBI director      Robert Mueller. At the Department      of Defense, the Army Field      Manual for Human Intelligence Collector Operations explicitly      prohibits torture or cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment in specific      terms (no waterboarding, for example).
  • Some legal scholars think it would be hard not to do something. No      criminal charges have ever been brought against any CIA officer involved      in the torture program despite the fact that (as noted earlier) three      prisoners interrogated by agency personnel died as the result of this treatment. Yet the only Americans who had been prosecuted and sentenced      to imprisonment were 10 low-ranking servicepersons—those who took and      appeared in the Abu Ghraib      photographs.
  • Former Vice President Cheney has said the United States must torture, because it’s effective.      That is, at best, an illogical argument: A crime is not a crime just      because it works. After all, terrorism can be quite effective. The argument is not only illogical but      also fallacious. According to interrogation experts in the FBI and the U.S. Army, people will say anything to stop their      torture.
  • The fact that the independent commission would be politically      distracting isn’t a good argument for resisting it. Jeffrey Rosen writes:      “The Bush torture policies are the most serious violation of American      values since World War II internment of Japanese-Americans. A closed      Senate intelligence committee investigation would be inconsistent with the transparency Obama demanded when he      release the memos in the first place. At this point, only a      full truth commission-style investigation can allow the Bush lawyers to make clear that      they didn’t conspire to break the      law, while focusing public opprobrium on the      real architects and abettors of torture policies: namely, the policymakers …. An independent      commission would indeed be politically embarrassing… but at least it would      provide the accountability that the nation deserves.”