I have begun planning for a conference to celebrate the 25th anniversary of my ideas being introduced at the McLean Hilton 1-3 December 1992 (OSS ’92). My new website, OSE-21.org, will be the conference web site, register there now to see updates as they are posted. Monthly updates will also be provided here at PBI for those subscribed here.
The graphic above will be turned into a coin with two sides, each participant will receive one. We are tentatively planning to also provide each participant with a flash drive containing a complete open source all-source analytic toolkit built around LibreOffice and adding all of the functionalities — all in open source software — from CATALYST.
Budget now, the cost will be $2,500 (50% discount for government, academics, and independent information professionals), with the traditional advance registration discounts beginning in January 2017 when registration opens (by which time most of our speakers are expected to be confirmed). If the McLean Hilton proves to be available, there will be a cap of 800 participants.
The CIA destroyed OSINT at its birth. They forced the Marine Corps to forbid me from doing a second conference (after refusing to attend the first unless it was US Citizens Only and at least SECRET), perhaps not anticipating that I would resign rather than allow myself to be silenced — over 900 people showed up at the second of 20 conferences (four in Europe) in 1993, including Alvin Toffler (RIP), who wrote a chapter about me, “The Future of the Spy.” Eight books on intelligence reform later — two of the books with Forewords by Senators who have been Chairmen of the Senate Select Committee for Intelligence (SSCI) — 25 years later — nothing has changed for the better — $1.2 trillion has been spent, and none of the six fixes I and General Al Gray, USMC (then Commandant of the Marine Corps) articulated in 1989-1990 have been achieved.
Although I have personally and decisively out-performed the entire US IC (it only took six phone calls) in front of the Aspin-Brown Commission (the Burundi Exercise); written the three original OSINT Handbooks (DIA, NATO, SOF) as well as the OSINT Executive Overview presented in Australia in 1998; and personally organized training for 7,500 officers from across 66 countries, I was grievously wounded in 2006 – 2007 when an unethical (as well as intellectually-challenged) individual serving briefly as the ADDNI/OS stole my conference from me after promising not to do so; and I lost my clearances after cheerfully declaring 7,500 foreign contacts to low-level apparatchiks in the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA). Their bad judgment was later overturned by a judge on every count — my clearances have been restored and I served in a SOF J-2 in Afghanistan in 2013, but the multi-year loss of clearances (and existing contracts requiring clearances) has cost me at least $6M in lost revenue and roughly $1.5M in personal compensation.
Everyone, without exception, is doing OSINT wrong because CIA has mandated that only Passive OSINT is allowed — they have forbidden all direct human contacts less translators at the same time that everyone has lacked the gumption to challenge CIA’s unprofessional and unwarranted handicapping of OSINT.
That ends now. Active OSINT is my new term for OSINT Done Right. The Nordics and elements of NATO as well as the Special Operations Forces (SOF) understand that CIA has — with malice aforethought — prevented us from accessing the 80% of OSINT that is not online, not in English, and not known to anyone with a clearance or US citizenship. Here are two graphics — the first from my U.S. Army monograph on HUMINT (cleared by CIA and DoD prior to publication); the second from my 2016 briefing in Copenhagen repeated in Oslo, that is now also a Kindle Short.
I plan to bring together the “top guns” for each of the overt HUMINT elements listed in the slide above. We are going to establish, with precision, the cost to the public interest of CIA’s very bad management of the OSINT discipline.
Between now and December 2017 I am going to help any US consumers of intelligence as wish to be helped, to create systems for documenting the inability of the secret world to satisfy their requirements for decision-support essential to their strategic, operational, tactical, and technical missions. Here is a graphic I created for the US Navy, which gets nothing of value from the CIA clandestine service, and is therefore totally in the right in seeking to create a Navy HUMINT capability that is responsive to vital Navy needs ignored by the CIA. I would be delighted if Congressional Hearings resulted from my initiative; we are long over-due for challenging the willful neglect by the secret world of over 80% of our valid all-source intelligence (decision-support) requirements in support of strategy, operations, tactics, and acqusition.
This is CIA’s scorecard on HUMINT. Their performance in relation to all-source analysis against all ten high-level threats to humanity across all twelve policy domains (true cost economics is not a concept the child analysts at CIA can grasp) is even worse.
It appears that the time has come for me to begin teach the craft of intelligence to the Cabinet departments such that they can articulate requirements for decision support and then demonstrate to the President and Congress that CIA is failing to meet those requirements at the same time that an Open Source Agency (OSA) could meet 90% if not more of their needs at a fraction of the cost of the very expensive secret world. The Collection and Requirements Evaluations Staff (CRES), where I served, has never been serious about evaluation.
The conference will reinstate my original vision, with an emphasis on the fact that all open sources are human at root. Period. Everything else is expensive waste. The conference will also have an open source engineering track with coverage of open access, open cloud, open data, open governance, open hardware, open spectrum, open software, and open standards, among the many opens that I defined in The Open Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, & Trust.
The conference will be multinational and have balanced attendance from the eight tribes of information with an emphasis on the civil affairs and educational elements of the US military that CIA can hardly forbid from talking to real humans. I will also encourage elements of the US military to seek a reiteration by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) as made in 1997, to wit, that open sources of information are a good or service, and therefore fall under acquisition rules, not intelligence collection rules.
The conference will include an exploration of the benefits to be gained by funding multinational HUMINT-OSINT “Stations” in which the military serves as the core cadre and facilitates reach-back into all eight tribes within their respective nations. A World Brain Institute and a United Nations Open Source Decision-Support Information Network (UNODIN) that enables achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in a fraction of the time at a fraction of the price of the dysfunctional socio-economic model now used by governments, will be considered in an Open Space session that the inventor of Open Space has agreed to lead.
In my view, HUMINT and OSINT are ready for a renaissance at the same time that Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE) is poised to change everything about how we collect, process, analyze, and act upon information. I am devoted to enabling constructive advances in all these areas. My memorandum to Vice President Joe Biden, copied to the Secretaries of State and Defense, is below. This is my recommended intermediate step toward the restoration of integrity and utility to the all-source intelligence enterprise and whole of government decision making not now supported by the secret intelligence archipelago of rival agencies.