I forgot. “A frequent issue we see in our cases is the late-filing of tax returns. There are a variety of legitimate reasons why it happens, ranging from disorganization to medical situations, to being deployed overseas. Most of these cases can be mitigated; we’ve done it successfully with as many as eight (8) years of late-filed taxes. Twenty-three years, however, is slightly more problematic…”

Degree or no degree? That is the question. “With more than one million employees, 400 occupational specialties and 100 agencies and bureaus, the federal government is the nation’s largest employer. The government is also one of the leading employers keeping universities in business as many jobs do require at least a bachelor’s degree. But as the largest employer, it also means there are many government security clearance jobs that do not require a college degree.”


DNI’s MOSAIC: Multimodal Objective Sensing to Assess Individuals with Context. “Secret agents typically use tracking devices to monitor foreign adversaries, but now, U.S. spies will assess their own capabilities by outfitting (willing) intelligence personnel with body sensors. Yes, spies have plans to spy on themselves with wearables. . . . The biofeedback captured will relate to behavior, physiology, social dynamics, physical location and proximity, among other data sources that all will be aggregated . . . .” (Nextgov)

Freedom of information, reformed. “Nearly a half-century to the day after President Lyndon B. Johnson reluctantly signed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) into law, granting the public the right to access federal government records, President Barack Obama signed into law a historic FOIA reform bill that aims to make it easier for the public to file FOIA requests and obtain government documents. This means that Obama will leave office ensuring that the federal government is, in theory, the most transparent it has ever been when Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is sworn into office — both of whom have proven hostile to transparency.” (Vice News)

NSA on smarter hackers and cybersecurity strategy. “A senior official with the National Security Agency is betting identity theft is the goal of the Office of Personnel Management data breaches. Curtis Dukes, director of information assurance at NSA, said he doesn’t know ‘precisely what the end objective was for the OPM breach,’ but regardless of the reason, it’s a reminder that enemy objectives are not only shifting, but becoming more sophisticated.” (Federal News Radio)

The evolution of airport security. “We’ve become so concerned with keeping terrorists off of airplanes that we’ve created an entirely new terrorist target: lines of people waiting to get through airport security. The Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, and Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, will increase security at some U.S. airports over the July 4 holiday weekend.  But the best way DHS could fight this problem for the long term, in addition to more security officers on both sides of the screening line, may be getting more people into advanced screening programs before they even reach the airport — like TSA PreCheck.” (Defense One)


$6 billion in ships to Ingalls and NASSCO. “The long-anticipated award of two new major US Navy shipbuilding contracts turned out as expected Thursday, with long-time amphibious shipbuilder Ingalls Shipbuilding getting a new assault ship and veteran support ship builder NASSCO set to build the first six of a new class of fleet oilers. Altogether, the total potential value of the deals is around $6.3 billion.” (Defense News)

NATO’s new approach to software acquisition. “weeping changes are on the horizon for one NATO agency as it reshapes its software acquisition processes and embarks on a task to create what officials call an in-house ‘software factory.’ The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency wants to overhaul the way it buys software after inspections revealed acute shortcomings that led to several program cost overruns and delays . . . . In addition to the acquisition alteration, NCI Agency is creating a software factory akin to building an app store, constructing a cloud-based environment with standard software engineering tools and configuration management tools to instantiate reference systems for industry to test against so that industry can develop components that work within the alliance’s environment . . . .” (AFCEA)


Meet Iran’s new Armed Forces General Staff Chief: Major General Mohammad Bagheri. “Iran’s new Armed Forces General Staff chief, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, has reiterated the Islamic Republic’s security red lines and priorities the day after his appointment. . . . Bagheri’s appointment is a shake up in the General Staff and follows a series of deputy appointments and reappointments that were announced last week. Bagheri’s prior post was General Staff headquarters and joint affairs deputy, and before that he was deputy of operations and intelligence, his area of expertise. He has also led the Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base, the IRGC’s engineering arm.” (The Long War Journal)

Taliban kill 33 outside Kabul. “Taliban insurgents bombed a convoy of buses carrying police cadets on the outskirts of Kabul, the Afghan capital, on Thursday, killing at least 33 people, including four civilians . . . . The bombings were the second large-scale assault by the Taliban in Kabul in less than two weeks. On June 20, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives next to a minibus shuttling Nepalese and Indian security guards to work at the Canadian Embassy, in one of the deadliest attacks on foreign contractors in the capital.” (The New York Times)

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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.