We noted “New Orleans Ends Its Palantir Predictive Policing Program.” The interest in this Palantir Technologies’ project surprised us from our log cabin with a view of the mine drainage run off pond. The predictive angle is neither new nor particularly stealthy. Many years ago when I worked for one of the outfits developing intelligence analysis systems, the “predictive” function was a routine function.
ROBERT STEELE: I have personal experience with the lack of integrity in US Army intelligence procurement. I beat Tony Lake’s company and won the Open Source Intelligence contract with US Southern Command a while back, only to see Lake protest the win with Big Army. The G-2 at the time, Ron Burgess, lacked the integrity to stand up for the win and let Big Army bend over for Tony Lake’s political influence and lawyers. I was told later that the G-2 personnel who were extremely pleased with our production in the month before we got screwed, were so angry that they paid Tony Lake’s company a lump sum and told him his services would not be required. This reminds me of the Navy Admiral that over-turned the Marine Corps JNIDS IV win with the words (speaking of the JOINT NATIONAL Intelligence Development Staff), “we are a Navy shop, we will do a Navy problem.” Recently Big Army allowed Palantir in the door. In my personal experience in Afghanistan, Palantir is a bullshit offering — SOF trainers and marketing folks in front, pimply ignorant half-assed geeks in back, and zero comprehensiion of the space where data access and data integrity meet. Army’s Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) is crap and will remain crap. In 1994 I was invited to brief the National Research Council on the US Army’s “new” billion dollar futures architecture and told them what I told General Al Gray when I devised the following line for his Congressional testimony in 1992:
Communications without intelligence is noise;
intelligence without communications is irrelevant.
I also told them they had designed an insular system structured for internal communications only, with no way to access the 90% or more of the relevant information that was outside the wire — and no way to share what they might know with others. Of course they ignored me.
As long as we lack intelligence, integrity, and imagination in intelligence procurement — from national to tactical — we are frauds who cannot win wars. The US Department of Defense procurement mantra, well-represented by the US Army, appears to be “spend more, win less.” USDI is over-due for burial, I can smell the rotting flesh from here in Oakton, 15 miles away.
Steele, Robert. “Data Mining: Don’t Buy or Build Your Shovel Until You Know What You’re Digging Into,” Washington, DC: National Research Council, October 25, 1994, to the working group reviewing the US Army’s multi-billion-dollar future communications architecture.
Gray, Al (Ghost-Written by Robert Steele), “Global Intelligence Challenges in the 1990’s,” American Intelligence Journal, Winter 1989-1990, pp. 37-41.
Steele, Robert. “Intelligence in the 1990’s: Recasting National Security in a Changing World,” American Intelligence Journal, Summer/Fall 1990, pp. 29-36.
Steele, Robert. “Intelligence Support for Expeditionary Planners,” Marine Corps Gazette, September 1991, pp. 73-79.
Steele, Robert. “Applying the ‘New Paradigm’: How to Avoid Strategic Intelligence Failures in the Future,” American Intelligence Journal, Autumn 1991, pp. 43-46.
Steele, Robert. “1993 Talking Points for the Director of Central Intelligence,” McLean, VA: Open Source Solutions Network, Inc., 20 July 1993.
Steele, Robert. “Testimony to Presidential Inter-Agency Task Force on National Security Information,” Washington, DC: Department of Justice, June 9, 1993.
Steele, Robert with James Anderson, William Caelli, and Winn Schwartau, “Correspondence, Sounding the Alarm on Cyber Security,” McLean, VA: Open Source Solutions, Inc., August 23, 1994.