Secrecy News Extract: CIA Open Source on Pakistan

Corruption, Government, Methods & Process

CIA “OPEN SOURCE WORKS” ON PAKISTANI LEADERSHIP

“A review of the Pakistani media during October 2010 indicates that there is less talk of imminent political change.”  That is the rather pedestrian conclusion of a brief report (pdf) that was prepared last November by “Open Source Works,” a previously unknown initiative of the CIA Directorate of Intelligence.

Open Source Works “was charged by the Director for Intelligence with drawing on language-trained analysts to mine open-source information for new or alternative insights on intelligence issues.  Open Source Works’ products, based only on open source information, do not represent the coordinated views of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

The recent report on Pakistan seems to be the first Open Source Works document to have reached public hands, though it is more of a digest of recent news and opinion than what would properly be termed an intelligence product.  A copy was obtained by Secrecy News.  See “Pakistan Leadership Watch: October 2010,” CIA Directorate of Intelligence, November 8, 2010.

Phi Beta Iota: In light of Chuck Spinney’s many posts on Pakistan and Afghanistan (using only English-language sources), and the reality that Pakistan is about to explode, the abyssmal limitations of this report merit gloomy note.  It’s been 18 years since Joe Markowitz first got a DCID on OSINT–and this is what we have to show for it?