Security Clearance Reform Gets “Re-Baselined”

The executive branch is reconfiguring its approach to vetting individuals for access to sensitive information and granting them security clearances in an attempt to modernize and improve its procedures, according to a new quarterly report. “The Insider Threat and Security Clearance Reform (ITSCR) Cross Agency Priority (CAP) Goals have been re-baselined so that they are […]

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A Vacancy on the Presidential Ticket, & More from CRS

A new report from the Congressional Research Service considers: “What would happen in 2016 if a candidate for President or Vice President were to die or leave the ticket any time between the national party conventions and the November 8 election day? What would happen if this occurred during presidential transition, either between election day […]

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CIA Poke at DoD Intelligence Was Not “Substantiated”

In a dispute that pitted member agencies of the U.S. intelligence community against each other, the Central Intelligence Agency claimed that “a questionable intelligence activity” had been carried out in 2014 by agents of the Department of Defense. But an investigation of the matter by the DoD Inspector General that was partially declassified last week […]

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Presidential Transitions, and More from CRS

The period of transition between presidential administrations can be turbulent, with potentially accelerated decision-making, diminished oversight, executive appointments, acts of clemency, “midnight rulemaking,” records management decisions, and heightened national security vulnerabilities, among other factors. Many of these areas are considered in a newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service. See Presidential Transitions: Issues Involving […]

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Interdiction and Deep Operations

Military doctrine has been defined as “fundamental principles that guide the employment of U.S. military forces in coordinated action toward a common objective.” Some of those fundamental principles are elaborated in two U.S. military documents that were made public this month. A newly revised Pentagon publication addresses Joint Interdiction (Joint Publication 3-03, Joint Chiefs of […]

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Conflict in South Sudan, and More from CRS

The conflict in South Sudan is one of four in the world — along with those in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen — that are classified by the United Nations as humanitarian emergencies of the highest order (Level 3), a newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service points out. “U.N. officials estimate that at least […]

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A New Intelligence Award for “Reporting Wrongdoing”

Organizations give out awards not only in order to recognize individual excellence, but also to advance and reinforce values prized by their sponsors. So it is both telling and somewhat unexpected that the U.S. intelligence community is creating a new award for certain kinds of dissidents and whistleblowers. “The intelligence community has […] committed to […]

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DEA Will Not Decontrol Marijuana, and More from CRS

After a 5 year review process, the Drug Enforcement Agency decided to reject a petition to reduce or eliminate legal controls on marijuana. However, it agreed to authorize increased legal cultivation of marijuana for research purposes. The current state of affairs was summarized by the Congressional Research Service in DEA Will Not Reschedule Marijuana, But […]

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When the President Pardoned a Leaker

In recent discussions of whether President Obama should pardon Edward Snowden, it has gone unnoticed that a presidential pardon was once granted to a person who committed an unauthorized disclosure of classified information to the press, effectively erasing his crime. In 1985, Samuel L. Morison, a U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, was convicted under the Espionage […]

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