Armistice, Contractor Bribes and 70 Dead in Egypt – Daily Intelligence

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Americans who gave until they had nothing left to give”: Armistice in Korea! & Armistice Signed60 years later.

FROM THE DESK OF CLEARANCEJOBS.COM

1.  Latest phishing scam leverages NATO guise.  Silicon Valley contributor and insider Chandler Harris explains a latest way to trick you out of your personal data: “convincingly disguised emails . . .  looked to be from NATO’s Human Resources Division, which listed numerous NATO job openings.  If a person was interested in applying for any of the positions, they were instructed to fill out phony NATO employment application and interview forms. Both forms required the applicant to submit personal and sensitive information including: name, address, telephone and cell phone number, email address, marital status, date of birth, information on their children, education, other skills, employment history, and much more.”  Just don’t do it.

2.  Social Media Avenue runs to the corner of Job Street and Income Boulevard.  Editor Lindy Kyzer shares three hot tips on how to use social media without looking like a “Weiner”:  “Unlike email, social media messages are generally directed toward a group rather than an individual. . . . if you ensure your communication reflects that, you’ll find it can be one of your greatest hiring assets.”   So, what r u doing?

THE FORCE AND THE FIGHT

1.  SecDef Hagel – Thank you Korean War Vets.  American Forces Press Service shares Secretary Hagel’s statement: “Korean War veterans stepped forward to serve at a defining time in our history, and they deserve our thanks. They liberated millions of people from tyranny and helped forge a strong and lasting partnership with the Republic of Korea — one that has endured for more than six decades because of our shared values and shared sacrifice.”  Also related, President’s Proclamation:  “Most of all, we remember those brave Americans who gave until they had nothing left to give. No monument will ever be worthy of their service, and no memorial will fully heal the ache of their sacrifice. But as a grateful Nation, we must honor them — not just with words, but with deeds. We must uphold our sacred obligation to all who serve — giving our troops the resources they need, keeping faith with our veterans and their families, and never giving up the search for our missing and our prisoners of war. Our fallen laid down their lives so we could live ours. It is our task to live up to the example they set, and make America a country worthy of their sacrifice.”

2.  Egyptian military escalates violence in EgyptReuters’ Tom Perry and Noah Browning report from Cairo, “Egyptian security forces shot dead at least 70 supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi on Saturday, his Muslim Brotherhood said, days after the army chief called for a popular mandate to tackle ‘violence and terrorism.’” Related, read “Dozens killed in clashes at pro-Morsi rally” and Netanyahu’s thoughts on political Islam.

3.  Assad must step down – Syrian rebels conditionsAP’s Edith Lederer reports that Syria’s Western-backed opposition group told the U.N. Security Council on Friday that it is ready to attend a peace conference if the Syrian government makes a commitment to implement a plan that requires President Bashar Assad to hand over power to a transitional government. . . . the opposition needs ‘far more international pressure to force the Assad regime to accept a political transition.’ Otherwise, he warned, ‘the regime will never step down, and its violent repression will continue.’”

4.  In AFRICOM, Ash Carter makes his way to Ethiopia and Prime Minister Hailemariam DesalegnArmed Forces Press Service’s Cheryl Pellerin reports from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, “Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with senior government and military leaders here to discuss the U.S.-Ethiopia security partnership and shared interests in East African security challenges . . . . “My visit here to Addis represents not only the increasing importance we place on our partnership with Ethiopia, but the importance we place on the role of the African Union also in addressing Africa’s security challenges, be it Somalia, Mali, the troubled Sudans, or the Central African Republic,” Carter said after a meeting last night with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.”

5.  Afghan government cracking down on media and journalistKhaama.Com’s Shafiq Hamdam reports, “Lately the numbers of journalists and social activists have been either arrested or threatened to stop their actives. Life is not easy for a journalist and social activist anymore. In absence of access to information law and the presence of a very inequitable media law Afghan media and social activist can be threatened, questioned and impeached at any moment by the Afghan authorities. On regular bases here are ongoing cases against media in the media commission, which is established by the government. So far majority of Afghan media outlets have been impeached by the commission and questioned.”

CONTRACT WATCH

1.  Homeland Security supervisor heads down the river – and I don’t mean the Potomac.  GovExec.Com’s Kellie Lunney reports that a U.S. District Court has sentenced Mr. Derek Matthews to nearly a year-and-a-half in the big house for taking 13 g’s in bribes from contractors:  “Matthews, who served as deputy assistant director for operations at [the Federal Protective Service] and later was promoted to regional director for the national capital region, netted $12,500 in bribes from Keith Hedman, an executive at an Arlington, Va., consulting firm, known as Company B in court documents. Company B was a shell company Hedman set up to obtain federal contracts set aside for minority-owned and disadvantaged small businesses.”  Likely, Matthews will play his juice card and ride leg with the screws to buy space in the ghetto penthouse, but he’ll soon find out he is dipping in the kool-aid and get chin-checked for being a cell warrior.  Dang.

2.  IDLO breaking bad with SIGAR over Afghanistan contracts.  Also in GovExec.Com, Charles S. Clark reports that Secretary may order more stringent oversight for one of The International Development Law Organization’s (IDLO) largest contacts: “SIGAR’s auditors said they are not receiving the cooperation they seek from the new contractor. ‘IDLO has refused to fully comply with SIGAR’s repeated requests for information regarding its budget, organizational structure, and financial relationship with the U.S. government.  IDLO has also refused to provide complete copies of the materials it uses to help train Afghan justice-sector officials under its award from INL,’ the auditors said.  Such failures, the IG continued, raise ‘serious concerns’ regarding the contractor’s commitment to ‘transparency and willingness to acknowledge the authority of the U.S. government to oversee how U.S. taxpayer funds are spent.’”

TECH, PRIVACY, & SECRECY

1.  Numbers indicate big money drove House NSA voteWired.Com’s David Kravets reports, “The numbers tell the story — in votes and dollars. On Wednesday, the house voted 217 to 205 not to rein in the NSA’s phone-spying dragnet. It turns out that those 217 ‘no’ voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 ‘yes’ voters.”

2.  Assange and Ellsberg comment on Bradley ManningCSMonitor.Com reports, “’If the ‘aiding the enemy’ charge is permitted to stand, this case will forever change the ability of journalists to reveal the most important crimes of the state,’ and, in so doing, to change the course of US foreign policy with which the public might disagree.  That’s because the US government is increasingly naming journalists as co-conspirators in whistle-blowing cases, Assange argues, which in turn has the effect of embroiling journalists in prosecutions that could potentially carry the death penalty. ‘It directly connects journalists and publishers into the Obama administration’s new attempt to define journalism about national security as conspiracy to commit espionage.’”

3.  How to overcome your video-conferencing prejudicesVentureBeat.Com contributor Sreekanth Ravi, CEO and founder of Tely Labs, explains the great benefits and scary myths surrounding tele-conferencing:  “The biggest problem lies in what people think they know, but actually don’t. These are the six top misconceptions muddying the videoconferencing waters. . . . If more of us (Federal purchasing departments included) understood the truth concealed behind these myths, we might see videoconferencing begin to make some major contributions to US and global productivity and cost reduction.”

POTOMAC TWO-STEP

1.  A stand by his man man – John BoehnerTheDailyBeast.Com reports that Peter Roskam (R-IL), Chief Deputy Whip of the House of Representatives, has found his name on the list of the parade of horribles – along with Michelle Bachman, Tim Bishop (D-NY) and John Tierney (D-MA) – “facing a possible investigation by the House Ethics Committee . . . . When asked if Speaker Boehner was comfortable with Congressman Roskam continuing as Chief Deputy Whip while under investigation, Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel replied ‘of course.’”  Yes, of course.

2.  Texas chainsaw massacre.  The Department of Justice intends to head Texas off at the pass as the state attempts to re-write its voting laws to require voter I.D.: “’The Justice Department action against Texas will likely affect the voter identification law State Attorney General Greg Abbott rushed to implement a mere two hours after the Supreme Court decision. And the announcement comes as the state senate in North Carolina, another state that had jurisdictions covered by the Voting Rights Act, is moving forward with a sweeping restrictive voting bill that requires voters to present voter identification at the polls, reduces early voting by a week, ends early registration for 16 and 17-year-olds, and prohibits counties from extending polling hours on election days. Other states like Alabama and Mississippi, once covered by the pre-clearance provisions, have also been considering changes to their voting laws.’ As a result of the move, the Justice Department hopes to maintain the current system, wherein possible discrimination is headed off before an election.”  For background on the Texas –and other states’ – proposed law, see “States Eye Voting Obstacles in Wake of High-Court Ruling.”

OPINIONS EVERYONE HAS

1.  Swing center in EgyptAljazeera.Com contributors Ellen Lust and Gomal Soltan argue, “The post-Mubarak era is best understood in terms of the changing relationship between Islamists, secularists, and the swinging centre. The broad national coalition that brought down the Mubarak regime began to disintegrate immediately after his ouster, when the ideological conflict between Islamists and secularists re-emerged, each seeking to institute their own encompassing vision for the nation through legitimate channels of power.”

2.  Mideast peace – and elusive but worthy objectiveTime.Com contributor Fareed Zakaria argues, “Choosing to take on this issue might seem a fool’s errand, but there are some practical reasons to pursue it. Unlike with the constant calls for the U.S. to magically stabilize Egypt and stop the slaughter in Syria, this is an issue on which Washington still has enormous leverage, and there is a clear path forward where Kerry’s efforts could yield results. And success, even modest, would genuinely change the atmosphere in the region and in the wider Muslim world.”

3.  Stop messing with TexasUSNews.Com’s Peter Roff argues, “Eric Holder, the most partisan attorney general to hold office in decades, has announced that the Department of Justice will try to outmaneuver the court to bring back the “preclearance” process the Supreme Court has just declared unconstitutional.” (I say, mess with Texas – it’s fun to watch).

THE FUNNIES

1.  Kennedy to Japan.

2.  Putin’s crystal ball.

3.  Syria’s draw.

 

Visit Ed at http://blog.edledford.com.

Ed Ledford enjoys the most challenging, complex, and high stakes communications requirements. His portfolio includes everything from policy and strategy to poetry. A native of Asheville, N.C., and retired Army Aviator, Ed’s currently writing speeches in D.C. and working other writing projects from his office in Rockville, MD. He loves baseball and enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring anything. Follow Ed on Twitter @ECLedford.