When we make decision we use a process that can be clearly defined and articulated.
First we make a decision statement regarding what it is we want to decide. An example would be buying a new car. Now that we know what it is we want to decide we can outline objectives such as reliability, cost, etc. After clarifying our objectives we can look at alternatives such as make of vehicles that meet our objectives. We can further classify our objectives as required and desirable. If it must be blue that is a required objective and this rejects any other colored vehicles we could look at. A desired feature might be air conditioning although we could decide it is not something we would necessarily need although it might be nice. After considering the objectives and the alternatives we further consider the adverse consequences of our tentative choice and make a final decision based on our determination of the risks versus the rewards. This pattern of decision making can be found in “The Rational Manager” by Kepner -Tregoe.
Now if we apply this process to the Comey decision to not make a recommendation of indictment of Hillary Clinton we see why the decision is so confusing given the outline of untruths Mrs.Clinton fabricated. We begin with a decision statement. In this case the decision will be whether or not to indict Mrs.Clinton on her handling of emails. The objectives required include obtaining the facts of the case . To clarify these objectives we need document review, interviews and testimony. Next we look at the alternatives and what best fits the findings ( objectives ). If we find there is careless disregard for national security we must look at the statutes and see if there is a match to the discovered action. In Director Comey’s determination an objective had to include an intent to perform criminal activity. Evidently from his presentation this element was not found and therefore he decided he could not recommend indictment. HIs required element was intent and since it was not found there was no reason in his mind to recommend indictment.
The word intent is defined as “resolved or determined to do something”. In this case the “do something” is further defined as something criminal. So Director Comey could not find any evidence of criminal intent. The question arises, if you do something that potentially violates the security of the nation is that a criminal act? Is this not what these security laws are written for? Additionally if you simply ignore protocol for convenience is this not an intension to defraud? Intent has to be observed unless the perpetrator confesses their intent. A person who robs a bank shows his intent by his actions. A persons who embezzles shows his intent by the missing funds that he deposits in his account. A person who endangers national security shows their intent by either carelessness or incompetence. You would not put a security guard in a position to protect anything if they were either careless or incompetent. If the security guard violated the requirements of his job you would replace him with a person who was more qualified. In politics, the voters necessarily are the final judges as favoritism and fear of job loss /repercussions enters the picture. No President without any knowledge of a candidate’s legal status would willingly campaign for a person who was under investigation and was to receive an exposure of possible indictment without either knowing what would be recommended or just simply didn’t give a damn.
Director Comey it appears used a rational decision making process as he delineated many failing of Hillary Clinton in her handling of emails. The conclusion that he would not recommend an indictment rests on his interpretation of intent to commit criminal behavior. Its interesting to note that he said he would require some form of discipline if this were the actions of one of his employees. Evidently the intent then would be clear to him. One has to ask, “What difference does it make?”Tags: decision making Director Comey