Defense News

Friday, June 18, 2010

Your Resume Impress or Distress?

You carefully drafted and crafted your resume. You targeted, translated and revised it more than a few times. Before you send it out into the cold, cruel world, understand one important thing about your resume.

You spent way more time on it than a potential employer will…at least initially. It’s no secret that the competition for existing jobs today is beyond stiff with employers sometimes receiving hundreds of resumes for one job opening.

This rather dismal fact of life means your resume has to stand out. It has to outshine the others big time. It has to truly grab the attention of the person reading it. And, as if that isn’t enough already, it has to manage to do this in 30 seconds or less. That, sadly, is about all the time it will get before an employer decides to keep it for follow-up later on or toss it into the ever-growing thanks, but no thanks stack.

Even when the unemployment rate is not hovering near the 10% mark, potential employers just don’t take or make the time to read your sterling document of qualifications word for word on the first round of resume eliminations.

Granted, it doesn’t seem fair. Alas, dear job seeker, it is what it is.

Once you’ve accepted the painful reality of it all, go the extra step to increase your chances of making it to round two and a potential more.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Possible Shortage of Cyber Security Professionals

With the Department of Homeland Security poised to hire up to 1,000 cyber security engineers, developers and analysts over the next three years, many believe the demand for computer/cyber security professionals might outweigh the supply. Indeed, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano authorized her department to streamline its hiring process, which usually takes months.

That's the good news. The challenge: Cyber security is a relatively new and evolving field that, for many technology professionals, requires knowledge of multiple disciplines and relatively new credentials.

"We already had the plan to grow our cyber workforce, but what the secretary did is give the authority to DHS to make direct hires like most private sector companies," says Amy Kudwa, DHS spokesperson. "The direct hire authority from the Office of Personal Management will significantly streamline the process, reducing the timeline to a matter of days or weeks." more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Resume Tips for Analysis Occupations

Tips from the Intelligence Community when apply for these jobs.

Technical Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs): Analysts across the Community work in many different specialty areas. As a result, relevant skills, knowledge, and education vary according to the specialty area in which the analyst works. Analysts may possess expertise of a particular country or geographic region or may understand a particular issue in-depth. Carefully read the job vacancy announcement and ensure your resume includes job-related technical expertise. Examples include mathematics/statistical analysis, regional studies, and science and technology (e.g., aeronautical science).

Education: Include diplomas or degrees awarded from educational institutions. Many of the agencies require a bachelor's degree or a more advanced degree. Some common fields of study include political science, regional studies, international affairs, geography, economics, engineering, or physical or life sciences. Do not submit transcripts unless the agency requests them. Some agencies request grade point averages for each educational institution you have attended.

General Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs): While technical KSAs may vary depending on the specific agency and job vacancy announcement, many general KSAs are relevant to any Analysis occupation. Whenever possible, highlight your capabilities in these areas. In particular, emphasize:

* Written communication skills such as the ability to write concise prose
* Critical thinking/analytical skills
* Reading comprehension skills
* Problem-solving skills
* Interpersonal skills
* Research skills (e.g., to collect and evaluate data, synthesize large amounts of information)
* Oral expression (briefing) skills
* The ability to think creatively
* The ability to work in a team environment (i.e., to be a "team player")
* The ability to work independently
* The ability to work under tight deadlines and perform effectively under pressure
* Knowledge of the Internet/Internet searching capabilities (and other computer related expertise)

Foreign Language: Foreign language proficiency is essential (or desirable) for some job vacancies. It is to your advantage to disclose any expertise you have in this area. Be specific. List each language. If known, outline your level of proficiency with respect to key tasks such as reading, writing, listening, translation, and transcription. Specific training courses, other instruction, or experience in foreign languages should also be outlined.

Internships or Related Experience: Include job-related experience such as summer internships with government or industry. Laboratory or other research experience may be important for some positions.

Military Experience: Specify any military experience you possess including your rank and job-related experience.

Specialized Background: If relevant, include any specialized background you may have such as previous employment as a military or civilian pilot, navigator, or air traffic controller.

Overseas/In Country Experience: Previous travel, study, work abroad, or residency in overseas locations may be important for some positions. Outline your familiarity with each country/region.

Publications: List or reference publications (or presentations at professional conferences) that demonstrate your technical expertise. In some cases, resume page limits may not allow you to list publications or presentations. However, some on-line resume capabilities include an open text "comments" field for you to provide additional information. If relevant, you may want to mention that you have published in the technical area.

Professional Licenses and Certifications: List job-related licenses and certifications.

Training Courses: Outline any professional training you may have obtained that is directly relevant to the job vacancy.

Honors, Awards, and Other Accomplishments: List any honors, awards, or other accomplishments that are job-related and demonstrate your technical expertise. For example, list professional memberships or performance awards you have received.

Clearances: It is to your advantage to indicate if you currently or previously possess(ed) a clearance (such as a Top Secret clearance).


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Poll finds Uncle Sam's popularity up among job seekers

With the condition of the economy, more Americans are interested in federal jobs, according to a Gallup poll released on Thursday. Between 2006 and 2009, the number of respondents who told Gallup they were considering federal employment rose from 24 percent to 40 percent...However, 45 percent Gallup poll respondents said applying for a federal job was difficult, and 47 percent said it took a great deal more time than applying for jobs outside more.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Drug Involvement and Security Clearances

A 2003 national survey of drug use showed that about 60% of Americans between 19 and 30 years of age had used an illegal drug and about 20% had used a prescription drug for nonmedical reasons some time in their lives.

Like many other issues, the security concern related to past drug abuse focuses more on applicants’ demonstrated willingness and ability to abstain from future drug involvement than on their past conduct. Experimentation with drugs, particularly marijuana, is fairly common behavior during a person’s formative years. Such experimentation is usually benign and does not result in chronic or long-term use for most more.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Defense industry faces major shifts

In unveiling a proposed fiscal 2010 budget of $534 billion — up 4 percent from this year — Gates wants to cut some key programs and boost others, directly affecting companies such as Bethesda defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin and Rockville defense contractor BAE Systems. He also wants to cut the number of private contract workers from 39 percent of the Pentagon work force to the pre-2001 level of 26 percent, replacing them with full-time government more.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Federal contractors are likely to benefit from stimulus plan

Despite an expected slowdown in Defense spending during the next several years, the stimulus package will include billions in spending for both federal agencies and state and local governments -- some of which will trickle down to contractors. The government likely will award contracts to increase energy efficiency in federal buildings, expand health care information technology, and continue military construction projects...Defense spending currently represents roughly 4 percent of the gross domestic more.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Analysts See Steady U.S. Spending

The core U.S. defense budget is expected to keep growing at 4 percent to 5 percent annually for "the foreseeable future." However, supplemental spending is likely to come down with decreasing troop levels in Iraq...The Obama administration is unlikely to make radical defense spending changes in the near term, but some programs, such as Future Combat Systems and missile defense, could see cuts, and pension expenses might become a bigger problem than previously more.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Alcohol and Security Clearances

When does drinking become a security concern? Alcohol is legal and its consumption, regardless of quantity, does not by itself trigger a security concern. Alcohol consumption becomes a concern when there has been:

•Alcohol-related incident or other evidence of impaired judgment or misconduct while under the influence of alcohol.
•Negative impact on work/school performance, finances, personal or professional relationships.
•Failure to comply with court-ordered alcohol education, evaluation, treatment, or abstinence.
•Diagnosis of alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence by a qualified medical professional.
•Relapse after completion of an alcohol treatment more.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Take Your Pick: Defense Jobs On The Rise

Government contractors are looking for employees who understand the military system and how to be successful in it.

Police work wasn't Robert Cooper's dream job, and it certainly didn't fall into his comfort zone, either. But Cooper also wasn't ready for a headlong plunge into sedentary cubicle work, having served 21 years in the Marine Corps.

Cooper retired from the Marines in 2001 as a first sergeant. He found a highly-desirable paramilitary culture, with plenty of opportunities for career advancement, at G4S Wackenhut in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The security services firm is a subsidiary of Group 4 Securicor (G4S) and protects a variety of governmental sites, in addition to commercial and industrial organizations.

His leadership skills acquired in the military eventually propelled him to operations manager in Miami, even without a degree in business management. Companies like G4S Wackenhut, which provide management training in addition to security experience, are ideal for former combat Soldiers, Cooper said.

Better yet, he's back in his comfort zone and happy about his future.

"You want to jump into something you can easily transition into from military life - something that can be used as a stepping stone," Cooper said. "While you're doing that, you can be pursuing other career opportunities, like going to school for a degree. If you go from 24/7 in military service to working someplace in an administrative office, you'll get culture shock." more.

For security cleared jobs >>>

Friday, May 2, 2008

Personal Finances and Security Clearances

Delinquent debt is by far the most common financial concern. In adjudicating these cases the following factors are taken into consideration:

• Cause of debt
• Response to debt
• Amount of debt

Cause of debt is generally more important than the amount of debt, because it reveals more about a person’s reliability, trustworthiness, and judgment. Of people who seek credit counseling, roughly 50 percent are due to irresponsibility. If the debt was caused by irresponsibility (including reckless behavior) that is likely to continue, the problem is magnified. If the debt occurred due to situations beyond the applicant’s control and the applicant is handling the debt in a reasonable manner (including bankruptcy or debt consolidation), the significance of the problem is substantially reduced.

Response to debt is evaluated by the things people do (or don’t do) about delinquent debt. How people deal with debt is often a decisive consideration. Those who ignore their financial responsibilities may also ignore their responsibility to safeguard classified information. Classic indicators of irresponsibility and unethical behavior are:

• Changing addresses without notifying creditors
• Failure to take reasonable measures to pay or reduce debts
• Knowingly issuing bad checks
• Increased credit card use immediately before filing for bankruptcy

For Full Article

Friday, April 25, 2008

In Resumes, Key Words Rule

Key words are nouns or phrases that communicate your job-related skills, responsibilities or functions. They're important because recruiters search resumes for key word matches when sourcing candidates from databases loaded with job-seeker profiles. The more frequently your resume matches the key words contained in a recruiter's search, the more calls you'll get.

"Key words are really buzz words," explains Wendy Enelow, a trainer and career consultant based in Coleman Falls, Va., and author of Best Key Words for Resumes, Cover Letters and Interviews. "Key words give you power when you are writing your resume. Not only is it important to include key words throughout your resume, but carry the concept throughout all of your job search activities by using the same language in your cover letter and during more.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Security Classified and Controlled Information

"Security Classified and Controlled Information: History, Status, and Emerging Management Issues,"
Report for Congress updated January 2, 2008:
Congressional Research Service (CRS):

3Com Sale Stymied Over Security Concerns

Concerns about national security could scuttle the $ 2.2 billion sale of networker 3Com Corp., shares of which dropped as much as 20% on Wednesday.

Marlborough, Mass.-based 3Com and its two partners -- Bain Capital Partners LLC and Huawei Technologies Co. -- said they would withdraw their application with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United more.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


The Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility has declined to open an investigation into allegations that Justice Department attorneys improperly refused to respond to the Information Security Oversight Office when it challenged the Office of the Vice President's failure to cooperate with ISOO's oversight of the classification system.

In a January 2, 2008 complaint, the Federation of American Scientists had argued that, under the terms of the President's executive order, the Justice Department was obliged to render an opinion on the executive order's applicability to the Office of the Vice President when ISOO asked for it. Yet Justice attorneys at the Office of Legal Counsel refused to do so. (Secrecy News, Jan. 3).

The Office of Professional Responsibility was not persuaded.

"We have concluded that the facts do not raise an issue of attorney misconduct that requires an investigation by this office," wrote H.
Marshall Jarrett, OPR Counsel.

"This matter does not involve an allegation of affirmative malfeasance, but rather, the alleged improper failure to perform an act," he wrote.

Furthermore, the Justice Department's handling of the matter appeared to be consistent with the support of the Vice President's position against oversight that was expressed by the White House counsel, Mr.
Jarrett said.

Finally, he suggested, if there are still questions of interpretation of the executive order that remain unresolved, "the ISOO may request an opinion from the Department clarifying the matter."

The Department's prior refusal to render such an opinion was the basis of the original complaint.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Debt can saddle students for many years

...Alan Collinge, founder of a Web site called, a grassroots organization, has heard from about 3,000 people struggling with student loan debt. "These folks are trapped in debt that typically has exploded far and away above anything they originally borrowed."

Mr. Collinge, an engineering grad from the University of Southern California and a resident of University Place, Wash., figures his student loans have ballooned above $100,000, ruined his credit ratings and prevented him from getting a security clearance needed for a job.

"I literally live in an RV on the wrong side of the tracks, on the bad side of town. I'm one step away from being completely off the grid." more.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bush Administration Wants Background Checks Put on Fast Track

Bush administration officials hope to resolve one of the government's most vexing problems before leaving office -- how to speed up security clearances for federal employees and contract workers.

With the system seemingly broken, companies that do business with the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies have offered luxury cars and signing bonuses of up to $20,000 for people who have the necessary more.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


The DNI Open Source Center, which gathers, translates, analyzes, and distributes unclassified open source intelligence from around the world, is steadily growing in capability and impact, according to Doug Naquin, the Center's Director.

The Open Source Center, which replaced the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service, is doing more analysis and outreach than its predecessor and is also exploring new media, said Mr. Naquin in a recent speech.

"We're looking now at YouTube, which carries some unique and honest-to-goodness intelligence," he said....

Wanted: Good engineers w/ clearance

Want a $62,000-a-year job in a growing industry an hour's drive from a world-class city? Apply today!

Most people would imagine that ad would have no trouble attracting job applicants.

But add in the details -- a required master's degree in computer engineering, strong background in higher mathematics, U.S. citizenship and government security clearance -- and that number can suddenly become very small.

That's the situation that Leslie Hielema, managing director of the Indiana office of ProLogic Inc., a computer engineering firm specializing in government contracts, finds herself in.

Because of the sensitive work her office does for the Department of Defense, Hielema is restricted to hiring U.S. citizens, which eliminates a large portion of the applications she receives from her job more.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


President Bush this week ordered executive branch agency heads to respond to dozens of recommendations that were issued earlier this month by the Public Interest Declassification Board, an official advisory group, regarding the declassification of historical records.

The Board's report, "Improving Declassification," presented 49 recommendations to increase the utility and productivity of declassification, such as establishment of a National Declassification Center, creation of a public database of declassified documents, expedited declassification of presidential records including the President's Daily Brief, and new procedures for declassification of closed congressional hearing records and other documents.

But the President's response increases the likelihood that the Board's recommendations will now receive serious consideration, inside and outside of the executive branch...

Great Blog...

Monday, January 28, 2008

No Slowdown For Defense Contractors

Global markets may be writhing and the U.S. economy teetering at the brink of recession, but for many of the nation's largest defense firms, the good times keep going.

Most have posted big earnings gains in recent years, largely because of record Pentagon spending on weapons programs and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And with the government, not consumers, as their biggest customers, defense contractors appear poised to weather any economic downturn that may lie more.

US spy satellite falling out of orbit may strike the earth by late February

A large US spy satellite has lost power and could hit the earth in late February or early March, government officials said yesterday.

The satellite, which no longer can be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down, they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as more.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Observers take critical look at Defense

The landmark 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act was widely credited with repairing the institutional damage done to the military by the Vietnam War and putting America on the path to military dominance in the 1990s.

Often likened to a "constitution" for the Pentagon, the act was aimed at getting the military services to fight together jointly, rather than as separate air, land and sea forces. The reforms led to the military's impressive performance in 1991's Operation Desert Storm and during the initial invasions of both Iraq and more.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

U.S. employing Russian weapons scientists

A U.S. program intended to keep Russian weapons scientists employed and prevent them from selling information or assistance to other nations has directed significant amounts of money to scientists not claiming to have weapons-related experience, the Government Accountability Office reported Friday.

About 15% of the scientists involved in the cases GAO auditors looked at were born in 1970 or later, making them too young to have had a hand in Soviet-era WMD efforts.

"This is contrary to the original intent of the program, which was to reduce the proliferation risk posed by Soviet-era weapons scientists," government auditors wrote in the more.

Source: Government Executive

Monday, January 14, 2008

Federal appeals court blocks NASA background checks

A federal judge blocked the government Friday from conducting background checks of low-risk employees at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory after an appeals court said the investigations threaten the constitutional rights of workers.

U.S. District Judge Otis Wright issued the injunction after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed his earlier ruling and issued a sharp rebuke to the judge.

The higher court said the 28 scientists and engineers who refused to submit to the background checks faced "a stark choice _ either violation of their constitutional rights or loss of their jobs." more.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Small Business Administration Whistleblower's Email Tracked

Senate lawmakers are calling for stronger employee protections at the Small Business Administration after a government report found agency managers had tracked emails from a staff more.

Friday, January 11, 2008

United States looks to military to take on cyber threats

The US Air Force (USAF) is setting up a command centre to be responsible for conducting offensive and defensive military operations in cyberspace.

The unit ­ known as Afcyber ­ will be fully up and running by the end of this year, with 30,000 staff headed by former Pentagon chief information officer Major General William Lord.

The centre is emblematic of a significant change to the role of the air force, according to former Major Bruce Jenkins of the more.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Defense contractors rigged the bid

During an 18-month span in 2005 and 2006, a pair of European aircraft ground support contractors had a run of good luck, winning three successive Defense Department contracts to supply fuel for military and civilian planes stationed across the globe. But according to the Justice Department, the firms may have gained an inside track on the contracts by conspiring to steal trade secrets from their biggest competitor.

On Sunday, the heads of two Defense contractors were arrested in New York City and charged with rigging the competitions by illegally obtaining secret information about a competing firm's more.

Private military industry continues to grow

In October, leaders in the private military security industry -- ArmorGroup, DynCorp, MPRI, and several others -- gathered at the Phoenix Park Hotel near the Capitol for the annual three-day summit of their trade group, the International Peace Operations Association. Panel speakers and members of the audience debated the future of nation-building efforts in failed states.

Almost snapping to attention, the former military officers who dominate this industry introduced themselves in sincere baritones of "Lieutenant Colonel So-and-So, retired," or "Major So-and-So, retired." "The U.S. military was in fact experiencing a "watershed" moment in its 200-plus-year history -- nation building was now a core military mission to be led by the more.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Port Workers Begin Enrollment for Federal Port Security Credential

New Orleans Port and longshore workers, truckers and others at the Port of New Orleans are now able to enroll in the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The program's goal is to ensure that any individual who has unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels has received a thorough background check and is not a security threat.

Nationwide, more than 1 million workers with unescorted access to secure areas will apply for TWIC during more.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

West’s deadly nuclear secrets for sale

A WHISTLEBLOWER has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets.

Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office.

She approached The Sunday Times last month after reading about an Al-Qaeda terrorist who had revealed his role in training some of the 9/11 hijackers while he was in Turkey.

Edmonds described how foreign intelligence agents had enlisted the support of US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions. more.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Staff shortages at border/ports jeopardizes economy & security

Both national security and economic growth are jeopardized by an overtaxed and dysfunctional system for inspecting people and goods at U.S. land ports of entry. That was the picture painted by government officials, federal employee representatives and business leaders testifying Thursday at a House Homeland Security Committee field hearing in El Paso, more.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Germans, some Rockets, and Huntsville

In 1950, this cotton market town in northern Alabama lost a bid for a military aviation project that would have revived its mothballed arsenal. The consolation prize was dubious: 118 German rocket scientists who had surrendered to the Americans during World War II, led by a man — a crackpot, evidently — who claimed humans could visit the moon.

Those German helped launch the first American satellite, Explorer I, into orbit in January 1958 and putting astronauts on the moon in 1969.

Far less attention, though, has been given to the space program’s permanent transformation of Huntsville, now a city of 170,000 with one of the country’s highest concentrations of scientists and engineers. The area is full of high-tech giants like Siemens, LG and Boeing, and a new biotech center.

Rocket scientists, propulsion experts and military contractors have given the area per capita income levels above the national average and well above the rest of the state.

Huntsville residents regard their city as an oasis, as un-Alabaman as Alabama can be. But they acknowledge that the state’s backwater reputation is a hindrance to more.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Maryland is geared up for BRAC growth

Through BRAC, Maryland could gain up to 60,000 defense and military contract jobs, mostly at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County and Fort George G. Meade in Anne Arundel County. It is billed as the single largest job growth in the state since World War II and is expected to produce about 28,000 new more.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

CRS Reports: Intel

A couple of interesting reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

Open Source Intelligence Issues for Congress

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: A Brief Overview of Selected Issues

Source: Federation of American Scientists (FAS)

FAS: Classification Reform Bill Introduced in the House

Speaking of classification reform, Rep. Jane Harman and 13 Democratic colleagues this week introduced "The Reducing Over-Classification Act of 2007."

The legislation focuses on the Department of Homeland Security and aims to make the Department a model of judicious information policy by curtailing classification and other restrictions on disclosure.

"The goal is simple: make the Department of Homeland Security the 'gold standard' when it comes to preventing over-classification and to limiting the use of sensitive but unclassified markings," Rep. Harman said in a news release.

The legislation's incremental approach has much to recommend it, though some of the details of the proposed strategy are questionable, obscure or remain to be determined.

Other proposed steps, such as establishment of "an independent Department declassification review board to expedite the declassification of documents," could help create new impetus for disclosure.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

FAS: US Intelligence Becoming More Secret Than Ever

The U.S. intelligence community is reverting to old patterns of cold war secrecy, warned the former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), to the detriment of U.S. intelligence.

"The reality that I see is an Intelligence Community that is retreating into greater secrecy and old cultural habits, even in the short time since I left the NIC in early 2005," said Amb. Robert L. Hutchings in recent testimony.

"Try to get a CIA analyst to go on the record at an academic conference, or participate in an interactive website or blog with experts from outside government or other countries, and you will see how deeply ingrained are the old Cold War cultural habits and mind-sets," he said.

"What this means, additionally, is that the Intelligence Community is not attracting the 'best and brightest' into their ranks. They go elsewhere."

One of the aspects of the trend towards increasing secrecy is what appears to be a newly restrictive approach to pre-publication review of writings by current or former intelligence employees.

Monday, December 17, 2007

FAS: Intelligence Agencies to withhold Contract information from public database

Several defense intelligence agencies will withhold unclassified information about their contracts from a new public database of government spending.

The new database at is intended to provide increased transparency regarding most government contracts.

But when it comes to intelligence spending, there will actually be a net loss of public information because categories of intelligence contracting data that were previously disclosed will now be withheld.

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA) argued that online disclosure of their unclassified contracts could present an operational security vulnerability.

Friday, December 14, 2007

DHS contracts slammed in new report

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is beset by "mismanagement, grossly excessive spending, criminal conduct and shady no-bid contracts," says a report.

The report, "Homeland Security for Sale," was published last week by the non-profit watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

It recaps government and news media investigations into departmental contracts and programs worth billions of dollars -- including the Coast Guard's troubled Deepwater modernization program and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's virtual border fence called SBINet, or Secure Border Initiative more.

U.S. intelligence: Quo vadis?

Intelligence — knowledge acquired or imparted, whether overtly or covertly, for the purpose of both internal and external statecraft — is a permanent fixture of international life and is as old as history itself.

And yet, this reality has not been very well understood in the American environment and body politic since the Founding days of the more.

Intel oversight critical, officials say

Top U.S. military and intelligence officials met recently in Texas to discuss privacy rights among other topics during an intelligence oversight conference.

Intelligence, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command officials among others met to discuss Department of Defense agencies that conduct intelligence and how to give proper oversight during an evolving technological environment, U.S. Northern Command more.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Intelligence Oversight In Free Fall

Whatever else one might say about America's accident-prone intelligence agencies, it seems clear that the system of congressional oversight that was established in the mid-1970s to supervise them isn't working.

Right now, we are getting the worst possible mix -- a dearth of adequate congressional scrutiny on the front end that could improve performance and check abuses, and a flood of second-guessing at the back end, after each flap, that further demoralizes and enfeebles the spies. Congress silently blesses the CIA's harsh interrogation tactics, for example, and then denounces the practices when they become public. It's supposed to be the other way more.

New Defense "Technology Corridor" in Southwest Virginia

Northrop Grumman and the Virginia Information Technologies Agency opened its Southwest Enterprise Solutions Center (SWESC) as part of a landmark public-private infrastructure partnership between the Commonwealth and Northrop Grumman to modernize the IT infrastructure for state government.

The 101,000-square-foot facility will house employees working on the IT Infrastructure Partnership project and Northrop Grumman internal IT operations. Approximately 400 employees housed in the new building will provide core IT services such as enterprise security, network operations management, data backup and recovery and help desk services. SWESC has additional capacity for growth.

Help Me Spy on Al Qaeda

[Mike McConnell is the director of national intelligence.]

"THE Protect America Act, enacted in August, has lived up to its name and objective: making the country safer while protecting the civil liberties of Americans. Under this new law, we now have the speed and agility necessary to detect terrorist and other evolving national security threats. Information obtained under this law has helped us develop a greater understanding of international Qaeda networks, and the law has allowed us to obtain significant insight into terrorist planning.

Congress needs to act again. The Protect America Act expires in less than two months, on Feb. 1. We must be able to continue effectively obtaining the information gained through this law if we are to stay ahead of terrorists who are determined to attack the United States..." more.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment on Iran

The Bush-Cheney obsession with restoring presidential authority has provoked new challenges to powers the White House can legitimately claim. It is as if this administration has developed its own political version of Jimmy Carter's aborted project for a neutron bomb, which was intended to destroy people while sparing buildings. Bush consistently manages to destroy or damage goals he proclaims and friends who support him, while foes escapes harm.

The publication of an unclassified version of the NIE, which concludes that Iran is "probably" not working on a nuclear weapon at this more.

State of Maryland Targets Tech Industry for $200 Million in New Taxes

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed into law on November 19th the "Tax Reform Act of 2007", enacted by the Maryland General Assembly during its 2007 Special Session.

The Act would extend Maryland's six percent sales tax to include a variety of computer services—computer facilities management and operation, custom computer programming, and computer system planning and design—that integrate computer hardware, software and communication technologies, computer disaster recovery and data processing, storage and recovery, as well as hardware or software installation, maintenance and repair.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

BRAC Process Withhold Information, May Cause Review of Certain Closings

Defense Department officials improperly withheld crucial data from the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission that might have justified the continued operation of certain Department laboratories and facilities, according to a new insider account.

A House Armed Services Subcommittee will hold a hearing on December 12 "on implementation of the Base Realignment and Closure 2005 decisions."

FAS Project on Government Secrecy: "Pentagon Officials Withheld BRAC Data to Protect Proposals That Failed Legal Requirement"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

More details on ex-agent's security breach

An illegal immigrant from Lebanon who became an agent for the FBI and CIA allegedly used her access to sensitive U.S. government secrets to help her brother-in-law, a suspected major fundraiser for the terrorist group Hezbollah, according to new details concerning a national security breach that emerged Wednesday.

In court documents and interviews, federal authorities said that as part of a criminal conspiracy, Nada Nadim Prouty, 37, illegally accessed top-secret FBI investigative files on five occasions and most likely shared the information with the suspected Hezbollah operative. When she pleaded guilty to unauthorized computer access and naturalization fraud charges three weeks ago, authorities revealed only that Prouty had accessed the FBI's Hezbollah files once, and said nothing about her sharing information about ongoing investigations with anyone more.