Heller goes to great lengths to point out the incompetence, pettiness, and corruption within the bureaucratic ranks. Its officers are often blindly selfish, heartless, indecisive, deeply insecure, and wildly ambitious. They have no compassion for human life or any sort of morality. They answer only to those with more money and more power. Accountability is often in question. The bureaucrats have no problem cutting corrupt deals with troublesome individuals to get rid of them, or sometimes just discreetly eliminating them. According to Heller, such a bureaucracy is the product of a modern capitalistic society.
In Catch-22, the bureaucracy shows more brutality towards their own men than they show towards the enemy.
Although the bureaucracy is undeniably corrupt, their deplorable actions make sense and might even be condoned under the logic of Catch-22.