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Category Archives: Defense

Procedures for Congressional Action in Relation to Nuclear Agreement with Iran

CRS report – Procedures for Congressional Action in Relation to a Nuclear Agreement with Iran. Valerie Heitshusen, Analyst on Congress and the Legislative Process; Richard S. Beth, Specialist on Congress and the Legislative Process. June 23, 2015.
“An April 2015 framework for negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran suggests that a final agreement that results in the easing of many existing sanctions on Iran might be reached. Amid concerns among some in Congress about the terms of the possible agreement, Congress passed, and the President signed, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-17). The act establishes a period for Congress to review any comprehensive agreement, during which certain presidential actions to provide relief from sanctions on Iran are barred. It also provides for congressional action during this period that could prevent (or allow) such relief. After this review period, further, the act requires the President to make certain certifications of Iran’s compliance with the agreement, and if these certifications are not made, it establishes expedited congressional procedures for legislation that could reinstate sanctions waived by the President. This report provides, in brief, analysis of the congressional procedural provisions laid out in P.L. 114-17.”

DoD Critical Technology ID and Protection

Critical Program Information (CPI) Identification and Protection Within Research,Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E), NUMBER 5200.39. May 28, 2015.

GAO Reports – Accessible Communications, Bank Regulation, Chemical and Biological Defense, Combating Terrorism, DHS IT Contracting

Accessible Communications: FCC Should Evaluate the Effectiveness of Its Public Outreach Efforts, GAO-15-574: Published: Jun 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2015. Bank Regulation: Lessons Learned and a Framework for Monitoring Emerging Risks and Regulatory Response, GAO-15-365: Published: Jun 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2015. Chemical and Biological Defense: Designated Entity Needed to Identify,Continue Reading

2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

“On June 25, 2015, Secretary Kerry submitted the 2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (commonly known as the Human Rights Reports) to the U.S. Congress.  The reports, now in their 39th year, are available at State.gov/humanrightsreports and HumanRights.gov/reports.  Mandated by Congress, the Human Rights Reports help inform U.S. government policy and foreign assistance.  TheyContinue Reading

Country Reports on Terrorism 2014

“Country Reports on Terrorism 2014 is submitted in compliance with Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f (the “Act”), which requires the Department of State to provide to Congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for those countries and groups meeting the criteria of the Act. The report was published AprilContinue Reading

DOJ Prevailed Over Google on Email Privacy Case

Ryan Gallagher – The Intercept: “The Obama administration fought a legal battle against Google to secretly obtain the email records of a security researcher and journalist associated with WikiLeaks. Newly unsealed court documents obtained by The Intercept reveal the Justice Department won an order forcing Google to turn over more than one year’s worth of data from the GmailContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Capitol Preservation Fund, Energy Savings Performance Contracts, Immigration Benefits System, Military Training, Nonproliferation, Senate Preservation Fund

Capitol Preservation Fund: Audit of Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014 Transactions, GAO-15-586R: Published: Jun 17, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 17, 2015. Energy Savings Performance Contracts: Additional Actions Needed to Improve Federal Oversight, GAO-15-432: Published: Jun 17, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 17, 2015. Immigration Benefits System: Better Informed Decision Making Needed on Transformation Program, GAO-15-415: Published:Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Army Combat Vehicles, Aviation Security, Defense Civilian Compensation, Disability Insurance, Federal Real Property, Prepositioned Stocks

Army Combat Vehicles: Industrial Base Study’s Approach Met Research Standards, GAO-15-548: Published: Jun 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 16, 2015. Aviation Security: TSA Has Taken Steps to Improve Vetting of Airport Workers, GAO-15-704T: Published: Jun 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 16, 2015. Defense Civilian Compensation: DOD and OPM Could Improve the Consistency of DOD’s EligibilityContinue Reading

Confidence in U.S. Institutions Still Below Historical Norms

Gallup: “Americans’ confidence in most major U.S. institutions remains below the historical average for each one. Only the military (72%) and small business (67%) — the highest-rated institutions in this year’s poll — are currently rated higher than their historical norms, based on the percentage expressing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidenceContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Indian Energy Development, 401(K) Plans, Military Personnel, Nuclear Command, Older Americans Act

Indian Energy Development: Poor Management by BIA Has Hindered Energy Development on Indian Lands – GAO-15-502: Published: Jun 8, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2015. 401(K) Plans: Frequent and Collective Trading Are Uncommon and Not a Significant Concern for Plan Participants, Sponsors, or Mutual Funds, GAO-15-427R: Published: May 14, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2015.Continue Reading

Massive hack of federal personnel files included security-clearance database

Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima: ” The Chinese breach of the Office of Personnel Management network was wider than first acknowledged, and officials said Friday that a database holding sensitive security clearance information on millions of federal employees and contractors also was compromised. In an announcement, OPM said that investigators concluded this week with “a highContinue Reading

CIA Releases Declassified Documents Related to 9/11 Attacks

“Today, CIA has released to the public declassified versions of five internal documents related to the Agency’s performance in the lead-up to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The documents can be found at CIA’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) online reading room at http://www.foia.cia.gov/collection/declassified-documents-related-911-attacks. The first of these documents is a redacted version ofContinue Reading