Although the question has been asked often, we did not understand it ourselves until we saw the US Government ignore the Somali pirates despite a coherent, unclassified, and very explicit report done for CENTCOM J-2 Plans in 2005. In 2007 both Special Forces and US Navy Irregular Warfare were asked why they had ignored the “clear and present” danger, and the answer was stunning identical from both: “Not an expensive enough problem.”
In our view, the open source concept got squelched, first by MITRE and CIA, then across the board as others rushed to spend money on false, fraudulent “butts in seats” OSINT, because it directly threatened the very expensive and very dysfunctional US secret intelligence community and US defense industrial complex. These people are not stupid–they are just unwitting or unethical or both. Their focus is profit (or promotion) at any expense to the public, not on the public interest. They give up their souls for a meal ticket and go through the motions because no one is holding them accountable.
Had there been proper attention to OSINT since the Aspin-Brown Commission recommended it be a “top priority” for DCI attention and funding in 1996; since Boyd Sutton’s Global Coverage report was blown off by George Tenet (“not an expensive enough solution”) in 1997, since the 9-11 Commission recommended an Open Source Agency in its 2004 Report, by now we would be well on our way to eradicating the ten high-level threats to humanity, eliminating the 50% of the US federal budget that is fraud, waste, and abuse; eliminating all 44 dictators, and empowering/educating the five billion poor “one cell call at a time” while also unscrewing the secret world by providing a comparative benchmark for creating faster, better, cheaper decision support for Whole of Government and multinational hybrid coalitions, and empowering the US public with the power that knowledge gives…