Guerilla Government

Guerilla Government

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Guerilla Government

Chapter 4 Discussion Questions

Question 1

The Claude Ferguson story integrates the need for the individual to weigh between following the forest agency’s policies that cause severe damage to the environment or be faithful to his moral instincts by opposing such measures at a huge cost to his economic security and comfort. It is thus a tricky situation since the Use-Sustained Yield Act of 1960 gives the service the power to make conservatory as well as destructive actions within the forest.

Question 2

One can tell whether he/she is right by analyzing the amount of support received from other environmental groups that are not affiliated to the government body. Such organizations offer additional momentum to the case as well as vital research data for use in proving the environmental destruction. The heavy-handed response of the forest service is also an indicator of the lengths that the agency would go to silence such dissent due to the damning revelations contained in the suit.

Question 3

Ferguson’s admitted love of hunting neither does nor results in a conflict of interest scenario to his stance on the prohibition of ORVs because the former is done under a controlled environment. Hunting of endangered species is not allowed within the park hence helping to preserve their heritage whilst construction of ORV tracks would cause soil degradation and result in the uprooting of certain plants as well as felling of trees. Such damage has a ripple effect on other plant and animal lives within this ecosystem.

Question 4

Ferguson could not have been captive to local interests because the issue of forest conservation was a national one and was already gaining traction on a wider level. The state legislature was debating the policy while Congress was monitoring the developments with the aim of offering a long-term solution to such environmental issues hence the efficacy of the case could not be hijacked by local entities due to the enhanced interest in the case, by numerous parties.

Question 5

A public servant is obligated to follow directives and implement decisions raised by his supervisors in line with the agency’s mission statement. In conducting one’s duties, it is imperative to remember that ethical behavior is universal irrespective of one’s station thereby making it mandatory for an individual to assess his/her responsibilities in comparison to doing the right thing. It is paradoxical to be under obligation to follow wrong instructions hence making one’s dissent known is justifiable for the greater good it would cause.

Question 6

Career public servants should not be allowed to criticize their bureaucracies publicly due to the risk of making speculative comments that could threaten the social order. It would also be a betrayal of the system since internal mechanisms exist for conflict resolution and these need to be exhausted first. The public onslaught of agencies by employees needs facilitation because the citizens have a right to know the developments in such institutions in order to foster transparency and accountability. Having public sessions also enhances the pressure to fulfill one’s mandate thereby avoiding malpractices as well.

Question 7

It is conceivable that once a person strongly disagrees with another entity and externally voices such frustrations, he/she needs to resign from the position held in pursuit of the necessary course of action. The environment becomes hostile as it pits two confrontational parties thereby making it unsafe for workers to operate. It is better to quit because that provides one with an opportunity to level the accusations without having to worry about the security of tenure or other disciplinary measures that may be instituted to prevent further leakage of sensitive information.

Question 8

Ferguson’s character and behavior stemming from the over 30 years he served the forest service would be sufficient grounds to make such allegations. His distinguished record and lack of evidence to show that he was a rogue employee is an indicator of genuine intentions on his part in revealing the disastrous effects of the ORV policy. The attacks on the agency are not therefore personal since he even lacks ownership of the said lands hence cannot benefit directly from the conservation efforts.

Postlude General Questions

Question 1

The case of private First Class Bradley Manning is similar to the others since it identifies a whistleblower that makes revelations concerning sensitive government work whose repercussions are detrimental to citizens if left unraveled. The same theme accompanies the other stories since they are laden with instances of government employees voicing their dissent of federal programs with a view of informing the public the misdeeds of such members of staff. In most instances, the revelations are fiercely opposed by the administrators although the public shows divisions in supporting or opposing such tactics.

Question 2

Manning acted ethically in exposing the metadata containing details of human rights violations by the government during the Iraq War. Whilst the information produced was sensitive and needed the high-level clearance he had, Manning was right to inform the public about the torture, unreported civilian deaths, and unfavorable cables sent from various diplomats that the US was withholding since public opinion was divided about the necessity of the war effort. It was his moral duty to expose such negative occurrences as a way of helping people to make informed decisions about the Iraq War especially since it was an issue in the upcoming elections.

Question 5

Newspapers such as the New York Times and the Guardian were within their rights to make publications of the leaked reports since the records were public knowledge anyway and they had an obligation to make them available to their large reader base. The editorial input of their journalists in explaining the various contents was vital in helping to shape a national conversation about the government’s false image of respecting the law. It also helped to pile pressure for accountability within government thereby empowering the people to make greater demands of their elected officials as was envisioned in the constitution.

Question 8

The Wikileaks scandal could have been prevented by protecting the system integrity of pentagon machines as well as conducting regular vetting of staff allowed to see highly classified military and diplomatic material. It should not however have been prevented because that would have denied the public the chance to exercise their right to free speech and access to public documents. The revelations made jolted the government into following protocol even when in a combat environment as well as empowering citizens to demand more accountability within the administration while seeking justice for victims of unfair deaths and torture.

Question 9

The everyday workplace needs constant surveillance of the systems in order to detect loopholes in the hierarchical structure. The Manning-Wikileaks case shows that employees who are curious about certain events need to design ingenuous ways of extracting the truth and concealing it until the relevant authorities are informed. Avoiding detection is vital in ensuring the success of any whistle blowing operation and maintenance of the integrity of the data is necessary for offering authentification as well.

Question 11

The use of social media would increase incidents of guerilla work within governments since whistle blowers have the opportunity to create fictitious online accounts and post their content. The ability of the internet to reach a large audience within a short period is alluring to such individuals hence increase the use of such social networking sites to expose malpractices within public agencies. Slowing down such behavior would thus be challenging since perpetrators may not be easily traced too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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