"True communication is possible only between equals, because inferiors are more consistently rewarded for telling their superiors pleasant lies than for telling the truth." -- a central tenet of Discordianism, often invoked by hackers to explain why authoritarian hierarchies screw up so reliably and systematically. The effect of the SNAFU principle is a progressive disconnection of decision-makers from reality.It should come as no surprise to find this principle manifesting itself in the Bush administration. He's the CEO president after all.
I wonder if good CEOs have ways of combatting the snafu principle, and somehow breaking through the encrustrations of yes-men that inevitably adhere to power? There are all those stories of kings disguising themselves as peasants and wandering among the people to find out what's really going on (a practice still engaged in by the King of Jordan, apparently).