Reference: Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) Number 300: Management, Integration, and Oversight of Intelligence Collection and Covert Action

Director of National Intelligence et al (IC)
OCD 300
OCD 300

Phi Beta Iota Editorial Comment (DOI: 11 August 2009)

This directive is “senior” to directive 301 but rather strangely does not appear to be included in the essential references relevant to creating the OSINT discipline.  Key points:

1.  OSINT is co-equal to HUMINT and TECHINT in DNI emphasis and stature, but the ADDNI/OS does not appear to report directly to the DDNI/C, has no staff, no program line, and is generally a sideshow.  The DNI should be challenged to make good on how this Directive treats OSINT.

2.  This directive also identifies the Mission Managers as key players, and they have not, that we can see, been included by the ADDNI/OS as they should be.

3.  Despite the best of intentions, the morphing of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) into the Open Source Center (OSC), both CIA entities whatever their label, has been a disaster.  We have destroyed FBIS, which was once a world-class foreign broadcast monitoring service, and put in its place a mediocre and poorly-informed make-believe service of common concern that makes promises it cannot keep, has done a great deal of damage to defense OSINT, and is incapable of organizing a Whole of Government OSINT capability.  The DDNI/C needs to revisit this, it cannot be done at lower levels.

4.  Authorities and Responsibilities of the DDNI/C include, as item 1(4), attention to gaps with OSINT.  This is a huge responsibility that has not been addressed by the DDNI/C, who needs to understand that OSINT, properly funded and managed, can resolve at least 50% of the extant gaps, and probably closer to 80%.

5.  The DDNI/C is responsible for helping the DDNI/M address competency and qualifications within the various collection disciplines.  This has not been done for OSINT, in part because those doing the defining are defining on the basis on what little they know.  They do not know what they do not know.  The DDNI/C needs an external advisory board fully familiar with global OSINT skills and competencies to make this right.

6.  This directive explicitly states that the ADDNI/OS is the Chair of the National Open Source Council.  The ADDNI/OS is in violation of this directive in delegating that duty to the Director of the CIA/DNI OSC.  Unless the ADDNI/OS wishes to switch places with the latter, this assigned duty must be immediately restored as intended, to the ADDNI/OS alone.

7.  The ADDNI/OS is charged by this directive with overseeing the OSC.  By all accounts, what the ADDNI/OS has actually done is ceded all responsibility to the OSC.  The DDNI/C needs to examine this situation and take corrective action.  It bears mention that the ADDNI/OS has zero authority, no staff to speak of (less one incredibly gifted person long over-worked and long over-due for recognition), and evidently no “big picture” justifying his appointment to the position.  At the DNI level, OSINT does not exist in tangible relevant form.

8.  The scattered assignment of executive agency to CIA, FBI, and DIA needs to be re-visited.  The OSC should be limited to serving the CIA at the same time that FBIS is restored as an independent entity.  It will take years to undo the damage, including the loss of foreign translators and subject-matter experts that FBIS was induced to lay off.  The National Virtual Translation Center should be put into the Open Source Agency, along with the National Documents Exploitation Center which still appears in this document as National Media Exploitation Center, a misnomer.

On balance, ICD 300 is superior to ICD 301 and needs to be re-visited before ICD 301 can be updated.  We recommend that the DDNI/C convene a very small group including Joe Markowitz, Boyd Sutton, and Robert Steele, as well as the chief librarians from the Library of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, and the Department of State, and that the entire OSINT account be scrubbed so that first ICD 300, and then ICD 301, and be completely revised and re-issued on 1 October 2009.

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