Wednesday Morning Federal Newscast – October 20th

The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Amy Morris discuss throughout the show each day. The Newscast is designed to give users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • The Small Business Administration has lifted its suspension of GTSI Corp. from government-wide contracting. But, gone from the equation are CEO and president Scott Friedlander and senior vice president and senior counsel Charles DeLeon. Both men have agreed to resign as part of the lifting of suspension. Under a new agreement signed by SBA and GTSI, the company says it can return to full business with most of its existing clients while pursuing new contracts with agencies.
  • One book – they burned. This time, they’re suing. The CIA says the book called “The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture,” was submitted to the agency’s publications review board, but that the author has broken their secrecy agreement. The lawsuit, filed in July in federal court in Alexandria, Va., seeks an injunction against further violations of “Jones”‘ secrecy obligations and recovery of proceeds from unauthorized publication. “CIA officers are duty-bound to observe the terms of their secrecy agreement with the Agency,” Director Leon E. Panetta said Tuesday in a statement. The former CIA staffer worked under deep cover, and published the book under the pseudonym “Ishmael Jones.” He tells the WashingtonTimes that the book doesn’t contain classified information.
  • The CIA will not discipline or fire anyone in connection with a suicide bombing last year that killed seven agency workers at a base in Afghanistan. Director Leon Panetta says that internal reviews found the bombing could have been prevented. But a patchwork system of responsible officials left no one in charge of vetting the suicide bomber — who was a Jordanian double agent. Panetta says the agency will tighten security procedures and launch an analytic team to better spot double agents.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission is staggering under the load of rulemaking it was handed by the Dodd-Frank financial regulation overhaul law. SEC chairwoman Mary Schapiro tells a group of corporate directors, the agency must complete 105 new regulations. Congress Daily reports the cost of the rule-writing is stretching the agency’s $1.1 billion budget, forcing Schapiro to shift money from other tasks.
  • GSA has given 11 vendors places on the first governmentwide contract for cloud computing. The blanket purchase agreement for infrastructure as a service includes cloud storage, virtual machines and Web hosting. Before the vendors can begin selling services, each must go thru a cybersecurity certification and accreditation process. All of the cloud services will eventually be listed on the government’s Web portal.
  • The troubled Secure Border Initiative Network is on borrowed time. Homeland Security Department has given the project a 30-day extension, possibly ending with cancellation. NextGov, citing a staff member of the House Homeland Security Committee, reports congressional audits of the program are showing little progress. The project is supposed to secure the U.S. border with Mexico using a string of high-tech sensors and cameras. It was awarded to Boeing in 2006, and has experienced repeated delays and cost overruns. The latest one-year extension of the contract expired last month, leading to the 30-day renewal.
  • Police are calling the shots fired yesterday at the Pentagon a random event. No one was hurt in the pre-dawn incident. Shots were fired into two windows at the sprawling DOD headquarters. Authorities are looking into whether the shooting was tied to the discovery of bullet holes in windows at the Marine Corps museum in Quantico Marine Base, Virginia.
  • The State Department is ramping up its presence in Iraq as the U.S. military departs. Federal Times reports, 1,085 State employees and 2,700 contractors are in Iraq now, with plans to stay as long as five years. They will help the Iraqi government improve its police department and other civil agencies. Michael Corbin, deputy assistant secretary for Iraq, says State will hire another 7,000 security contractors once Congress comes through with a 2011 budget. State has requested $2.6 billion for operations in Iraq.
  • Hours after President Kennedy was assassinated, President Johnson was nearly shot…by the Secret Service! A new book called The Kennedy Detail tells how one Secret Service agent was assigned to protect Johnson’s home the night after President Kennedy was killed. The agent heard someone approaching, so he picked up a submachine gun and activated the bolt on top of it. USA Today reports that the agent expected the person to retreat, but as the footsteps got closer, he kept his finger firmly on the trigger. That’s when President Johnson rounded the corner, and the agent had the gun pointed directly at the president’s chest.
  • What happens when you get tens of thousands of people together — but don’t give them access to restrooms? We may find out – in about a week. If you’re planning on going to those Comedy Central rallies on the National Mall, consider holding off on the fluids. The rallies are happening one day before the Marine Corps Marathon. Race organizers already called dibs on 800-porta potties. They tell the New York Times that they’ll be locked up until the morning of the race. The National Park Service tells our sister station WTOP that the rally organizers should be able to find, and provide, more porta-potties for their events. A spokesman for Comedy Central was confident about finding replacement facilities if needed, telling AOLnews, “This isn’t our first rodeo.”

More news links

USCIS official’s transfer probed (WashingtonTimes)


National parks generate $4 in value for every tax dollar invested (National Parks Conservation Association press release)

End of the Earth Postponed (


Coming up today on The DorobekInsider:

** Open government — how are you doing? And is the Obama open government and transparency initiative helping you do your job. We’ll get two assessments — from a government group, and details of a new survey.

** Innovation — you’re being challenged to think outside the box. Craig Newmark — the Craig of Craig’s List — we’ll talk to him about how to innovate.

Join Chris from 3 to 7 pm on 1500 AM or on your computer.