Bribes as a way of doing business, the Obama Peace Prize

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ITALY G8 SUMMIT - Malia Obama Peace t-shirt

When I talk about employee data security vulnerabilities, I like to bring examples of how gambling or cyber-stalking can threaten an employee and make them vulnerable into being exploited and disclosing or manipulated company information. A competitor or criminal may offer to help with a gambling debt in return for stealing some documents.   That’s a bribe of course. When an employee steals proprietary company documents and leaks them to a competitor the damage is done – even if the company is not immediately aware.

Bribes are way of doing business in some countries.   In Russia, it’s institutionalized, on the table and part of the process. In the US – it’s been wrapped, packaged and prettified as media consultants, management consultants and congressional lobbyists.  In Russia, it’s acceptable to talk about paying 50,000 US Dollars to get the name of the official in Moscow municipality who approves vending machine permits.  In the US – it’s still taboo to ask how much Obama paid a media consultant to get his name to the top of list of the Nobel comittee.

Of all the the talkbacks I saw the past few days heaping scorn or praise on the Nobel Peace Prize committee, not a single comment was made on when the Obama application was added to the list of 205 candidates for the Peace Prize.   Since – it appears trivial that the selection process takes close to a year and Obama has been in office only 9 months, one may assume that the decision to promote Obama for Peace was taken sometime in the beginning of the presidency.   I can visualize a process where a consultant was retained to identify the key movers and shakers and then additional influencers retained to promote Obama with the key movers and shakers who would then make sure the committee made the right decision – which aligns the particular left-leaning political agendas of both the committee and the US President.

Timing is an important element in a bribe. If you need to make a bubble payment on your mortgage – it’s money you need now. If you’re a President with a declining popularity rating, it’s political capital you need now.  I don’t really see the difference between the two.

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