Robert Steele: Intelligence at a Cross Roads: To Be Or Not To Be… Review of Principled Spying by David Omand and Mark Phythian

4 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret)
Robert David STEELE Vivas

Intelligence at a Cross Roads: To Be Or Not To Be…: 4 stars – A+ on Its Narrow Focus, C+ For Contextual Shortfalls

American Herald Tribune

25 June 2018

David Omand and Mark Phythian, Principled Spying: The Ethics of Secret Intelligence (Georgetown University Press, 2018), 286 pages, $32.95, ISBN-13: 978-1626165601.

This is one of those rare books where I am compelled to start reading at the index and then read each endnote with great care, before beginning to read the main volume. It is an important book that makes an important contribution, but most readers – those lacking an-depth appreciation for both the limits of secrecy and the potential of all human and open sources – may not realize this book’s limitations and take all that the authors offer at both face value and as “the final word.” [1]

In relation to their central focus – the ethics of overcoming extreme secrecy with extreme subversion, the book is excellent. For that alone Principled Spying is worthy of acquiring and reading.  The book offers a very solid discussion in its chosen area of focus, and easily comes in as a four star endeavor strongly recommended for purchase and reading.

On the other hand, from my vantage point as both a former civilian spy and former military intelligence officer, and still today the foremost proponent for both Human Intelligence (HUMINT) writ large as well as  Open Source Intelligence (OSINT),[2] I would like to see this book understood in context with one particular point stressed time and time again: spying is not intelligence, and principled spying cannot exist in a vacuum – principled intelligence is the greater good, principled spying a sub-set.[3]

Intelligence (decision-support) saves money, spying (espionage) costs money. This is a distinction that the President of the United States and his Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are beginning to appreciate. Put bluntly, this book is a good attempt to extend the life of a very expensive unethical archipelago of out-of-control secret capabilities, while avoiding the promotion, perhaps by design, the alternative: collective, ethical, legal, open capabilities. As I said in the 1990’s, “do not send a spy where a schoolboy can go.”

In my view the authors are rooted in old-school methods that have never been held accountable – truly, independently held accountable – for producing a return on investment commensurate with the multi-trillion dollar expenditures on secret collection, and the deca-multi-million dollar expenditures on wars and other mid-adventures rooted in lies that the secret world failed to challenge, and was, more often than not, complicit in developing and promulgating.[4]

Generally speaking, this is a conventional book that adheres to the dogma of the secret world and does not acknowledge that we must go all-in on all open sources (not just the digital sources convenient to NSA and GCHQ), while also harnessing decentralized citizen collective intelligence and multinational sense-making.[5]

The book’s treatise on principled spying – a most valuable construct – is somewhat diminished by the authors’ tacit acceptance of spying as the end-all.  The below graphic positions their book in relation to principled intelligence that fully integrates holistic analytics and true cost economics of all threats, all policies, all the time.[6]

Here are the larger ethical questions not addressed by this book:

  1. If intelligence is decision-support (the outputs) about all threats, all policies, all costs, what are the ethical failures attendant to the mandarins of secrecy refusing to do their job across the waterfront?
  2. If 90% or more of what all consumers of intelligence need can be provided by inexpensive open sources and methods, while the secret sources and methods provide “at best” 4%[7] of what a major commander needs and nothing for everyone else,[8] what are the ethical failures inherent in this myopia?
  3. If the spies don’t do open sources and the consumers don’t do holistic analytics, true cost economics, and Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE), who, exactly, is responsible for creating a Smart Nation?[9]

I must – with respect – point out that the aspects of the craft of intelligence that the authors discuss are nothing more than classified information rooted in the 1% of the collected technical data (both secret and open source) that is processed – 99% of what is collected secretly is not processed at all,[10] and the secret intelligence communities of the UK and the US are not actually producing intelligence (decision-support) but rather an endless stream of secret noise.

In fairness to the authors, this book appears to have been conceived as a Socratic dialog about the ethics of spying specifically, and there is both ample room for agreement as well as mis-understanding in what they do and do not discuss directly.

The book offers a very solid discussion in its chosen area of focus, and easily comes in as a four star endeavor strongly recommended for purchase and reading. A follow-on book, perhaps an edited work entitled Principled Intelligence: The Ethics and Tangible Value of Evidence-Based Governance, would be most welcome and I for one would embrace the leadership of the two authors should they undertake such a project.

Strongest Points of the Book

Ethics matter; there is a difference between the rule of law and a culture of ethics. 

QUOTE (5): It matters that intelligence officers act with good intent and that they think hard on the unintended as well as intended outcomes from their actions. The degree of ethical risk of harm to others that they judge acceptable must bear a relationship to the harms they are trying to prevent through authorizing intelligence operations.

All well and good in theory, but the authors fail to itemize the trillions of dollars and tens of millions of lives lost to the complete absence of ethics in UK and US intelligence going back over a century, not only as spent on intelligence, but as spent on five trillion dollar wars based on intelligence-led lies (935 of them in the case of Iraq),[11] rigging elections,[12] and more.

Intelligence is about prevention through anticipation.

Quite right and a confirmation of the techno-ignorance of the recently retired Director of National Intelligence (DNI) in the US, James Clapper, who has said in his recent book:[13]

I always cautioned the president and secretaries that intelligence work was about acquiring and assessing foreign secrets, not predicting events or reading minds.

Really? In my experience – including service on varied national intelligence governance committees – the Americans (and their British cousins) have gone far too deeply down the technical collection for the sake of collection rabbit hole, and in consequence sacrificed all prospects of being able to predict and prevent. On its present course, Anglo-Saxon “intelligence” is doomed and will continue to be disrespected by President Donald Trump among others, absent a major transformation.[14] Still, high marks for the author’s making the vital point that absent advance warning, one is left only with the “bludgeons of emergency powers, house to house searches, and even detention without trial.”

Just War principles can be used to calculate Just Intelligence.

The authors itemize and discuss seven principles: just cause; right intention; proportionality; right authority; reasonable prospect of success; discrimination; and necessity.

Never mind that the UK and US models fail on all counts, the authors are most erudite on these points.

Respect for the rule of law, regulation, and restraint can substantially legitimize secret intelligence.

Of course I agree, and the discussion, largely by Professor Sir David, is most valuable. Somewhat off-putting is the clear reluctance to state very clearly that both the UK and US secret intelligence communities have ignored the rule of law, flouted most regulations, and shown no restraint at all in the past fifty years.

The secret intelligence sledge hammer should not be used to swat local flies that are not a threat.

Mindful of the militarization of the police in both the UK and the US, it is most helpful to have the authors take pains to point out that using secret sources and methods against local level issues as mundane as “dog fouling” is totally inappropriate.[15]

Covert human officers must observe, not participate in, criminal activities.

This is harder done than said, particularly when violence is the norm and any hesitation means death, but it needs to be said – from the Irish civil war to Iran-Contra, we have too many officers engaged in transnational crime on a global scale. Recent successes in taking down Dark Web drug markets suggest that blurring the line between observing and getting involved is a standard operating procedure in some types of investigations. The authors will never admit this, but elements of MI-6 as well as elements of CIA and elements of the various European intelligence services have become sophisticated organized crime networks,[16] far beyond the traditional embrace of criminal networks by secret organizations.[17]

Human assets motivated by values are more reliable than human assets being blackmailed or bribed.

I found this portion of the book particularly interesting; one can read between the lines and appreciate the difference between Cold War defectors (walk-ins) seeking to bring down their own system, and Members of the US Congress entrapped by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell with pedophilia (and perhaps murderous pedophilia as well), all on video forevermore.[18]

9/11 led to the perversion and mis-direction of national secret intelligence.

The authors cite Charles Cogan writing in 2004 to the effect that intelligence operations in the 21st century will focus on hunting instead of collection. A similar disfigurement has happened to special operations forces, which are no longer about “White” operations by with and through indigenous allies, but instead about “Black” hunter-killer operations, very often against innocents because CIA simply cannot get the kill list right.[19]

CIA’s drone assassinations and its practice of rendition and torture disgrace us all.

While this is mostly Professor Phythian, with Professor Sir David all too eager to defend drones as precision weapons – they are not[20] – this is a very welcome and utterly necessary condemnation. I am particularly gratified to have Mike Hayden called out in this book, with a discussion in the body of the book of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) thirty-eight page guide to “Factual Errors and Other Problems” found in Hayden’s book, Playing to the Edge.[21] I anticipate that eventually George Tenet, Mike Hayden, and John Brennan will be judged by history for crimes against humanity on a scale that most cannot imagine today given the Deep State’s strict control over both the mainstream and social media – they are the embodiment of the present lack of ethics in spying.[22]

Edward Snowden made a difference – he inspired the public debate over mass surveillance.

As much as I abhor any violation of any oath, and while there are still alternative explanations of why Snowden did what he did (including a CIA White Hat take-down of NSA preparatory to the Trump win against all odds),[23] Snowden’s oath to the Constitution trumped his oath to protect wrong-doing by NSA. William Binney chose another route (incontrovertible reporting to the Inspector Generals of both the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense), and I am glad he did so because now he is a legitimate candidate to manage the demolition of 70% of NSA while re-directing the 30% worth saving.[24]

There are eight stages, all of which are required, to achieve effective counter-surprise.

The eight stages include existence of data and ability to overcome deception; available sources with access; impartial and responsible interpretation of acquired data; reaching the right people in the right way in time with warning reports; analytic assessments of quality for both secret and open sources; analytic explanations including probability that are understandable by the customer; acceptance by the customer of the intelligence offering; and sensible decision-making by the customer (in a timely manner).

As my own work has documented over the past thirty years,[25] we fail on all these counts, and even more so in that we only address two of the ten high-level threats to humanity,[26] do not do compare and contrast policy assessments or true cost economics, and ignore the needs of those below the President, Prime Minister and national security cabinet officials and major commanders. Still, it is nice to see the authors include this, it adds to the educational value of the book.

Bulk digital collection is a two-edged sword, and private sector violations of privacy are very troubling.

It is quite clear that Professor Sir David has spent a great deal of time thinking about digital collection and exploitation, and that he is acutely aware of the many crimes being committed by private sector parties taking advantage of their access to personal information. His comments on digital collection as a two-edged sword, and on the degree to which databases that are not secret but are privileged, are being violated, are valuable. I do not have the impression he embraces the five major criticisms of mass surveillance that William Binney has articulated.[27] Furthermore, most have no idea that Amazon is about to roll-out live stream analytics, blockchain and hyper-ledger cross-correlation across databases normalized across customers and frontiers. The future of finance, intelligence, value-added Application Program Interfaces (API), and live streaming is going to be known as Before Amazon (BA) and After Amazon (AA) and I strongly suspect neither the UK nor the US intelligence communities have a clue what is going to hit them (or their contractors who rely on Amazon cloud services and infrastructure that will be out in the cold with no notice) in about six months.[28]

Reasonable Disagreements

There are three areas where further open deliberation would be helpful.

Secrecy is at the heart of the tension between intelligence and policy.

Yes, sort of. Certainly there is tension when policy-makers feel they are being lied to or ignored or worse – as in the case of then-candidate Donald Trump – being actively targeted in an organized conspiracy orchestrated by the sitting President, Barack Obama.[29] What the authors also do not address is that secrecy has become the default not only across government policy domains, but in the private sector.[30] As I testified to the Secrecy Commission led by former Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003),[31] here in the US we all know that secrecy is used to enable lying to Congress and the President, not to actually protect sources and methods that are very well known to our adversaries. In addition, the authors do not address the tension resulting from the obstinate refusal of the secret mandarins to get it right across the board, fully leveraging overt human and open analog sources, as well as meta-data analytics (Thin Thread).[32] 4% “at best” satisfaction of major commanders (and nothing for anyone else, is an indictment having nothing to do with secrecy and everything to do with intelligence lacking integrity.

Safeguarding economic well-being is one of three legitimizing missions for secret intelligence.

This may be so, but the fact that the book fails to point out that NSA has since 1994 gutted the security of all US communications and computing equipment is most disappointing.[33] I will not speculate on the degree to which GCHQ has done the same to Commonwealth communications and computing. The book also observes that generally NSA and GCHQ do not spy for the commercial advantage of home countries (I am not sure this is completely true) while avoiding being quite clear on the fact that the Zionists, French, and Germans are vastly more annoying with their economic and industrial espionage than the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Russians.[34] Given the complete failure of the secret world on this front, one third of its “legitimizing” mission stands null and void.

If customers do not levy requirements, the secret intelligence world can be forgiven for not responding.

Professor Sir David is completely correct on this point, but on the basis of my experience with the Advanced Program and Evaluation Group in the Collection Requirements and Evaluations Staff (CRES/APEG) at CIA, and as a member of the Foreign Intelligence Requirements and Capabilities Plan (FIRCAP) Committee, there are three aspects of this that are still wrong: a) customers outside of defense are not taken seriously at all and generally give up while also recognizing that CIA among others is simply not good at compare and contrast analytics such as are needed for trade intelligence; b) the FIRCAP or whatever has replaced it assigns tier 1 and 2 priorities to a handful of hard targets and very low priorities to everything else; and c) we still do priority-driven collection instead of gap-driven collection – we will dwell on and repeatedly surveil and monitor an obscure Russian outpost instead of a unique troop riot in Japan simply because  Russia has an assigned threat priority of 1 and Japan is a 3 or less. This matter of customer requirements goes hand in hand with the question of “what is intelligence,” and I agree with Amy Zegart (today the co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution): until the President decides to “fix big,” intelligence will remain broken, dysfunctional, and largely worthless.[35] In my view, James Clapper’s epitaph on our side of the Atlantic is simple: one trillion dollars spent, nothing significant accomplished (other than spending one trillion dollars, which was precisely the point).[36] The secret world today is about spending, not about thinking or preventing or protecting.

Important But Not Fatal Shortcomings

There are three shortcomings in this book, none fatal but all important.

First, the book avoids the central ethical question that 21st Century intelligence must confront if it is to be both relevant and valued: what is intelligence? There is only one correct answer:

Intelligence is anticipatory decision-support about all threats, all policies, all costs, at all four levels of analysis – strategic, operational, tactical, and technical – all of the time. Decision-support is by no means secret, and more often than not, more valuable when it is not secret and can be shared across executive, legislative and allied jurisdictions, as well as with the public and the media (both mainstream and social).

Intelligence is defined by what it produces (decision-support), not by what and how it collects (the inputs), and certainly not about a system so pathologically dysfunctional that it chooses to ignore 90% of the sources – overt humans and analog data particularly – while obsessing on bulk technical collection and failing to properly fund machine-assisted meta-analytics, desktop tools for thinking, top-cited subject matter experts as analysts (instead of the children we have now laboring under the delusion that access to secrets will gloss over their ignorance of open sources not only in English but in all languages only to find that they are inundated with secret noise and shut off from the reality best depicted by open sources), and compelling relations with customers at every level across every policy domain.

While the authors do speak to intelligence as having a role in improving decision-support at all levels, and they do recognize open sources as a growing place in the digital world (not in the analog or human world) I am just not feeling the holistic spirit to that end, and certainly not in relation to creating a Smart Nation[37] (and a smart community of nations) in which the “eight tribes” of information (academic, civil society, commerce especially small business, government especially local, law enforcement, media, military, and non-government/non-profit) can share the 90% of the information that is not secret, not online, and not in English.

I have the impression the authors would, if challenged, lay claim to life-saving accomplishments for the bulk collection program. LtGen Alexander made this claim, asserting 54 terror attacks prevented by bulk collection, but his claims have been proven to be completely without merit – not a single terrorist attack has been prevented by NSA. GCHQ claims along these lines are suspect, and the so-called independent review was nothing more than obfuscation.[38]

The authors buy into the entire “bulk data collection” approach that the US and UK IC have sold to Congress and Parliament as a justification for very expensive programs that are drowning the analysts in noise. They confuse “data” – billions of raw signals – with “information” – the patterns in those signals – with “intelligence” – precision predictive analytics that constructively alter decision-maker perspectives in time to make a difference.[39] The claims of SIGINT as well as clandestine HUMINT are in my view severely inflated and will not stand scrutiny by a truly independent inquiry – nor are NSA and GCHQ likely to win a benchmark exercise against Thin Thread today, against any common database, such as all New York City banking transactions or all telephone calls to and from Central Asia.[40]

Second, the book avoids confronting the most important ethical failings of US intelligence leaders – I will not speculate on UK intelligence leaders. The book strives to remain abstract and does not specify the top four ethical failings of the so-called intelligence leaders we have now: lying to the President and Congress as well as the public; active engagement in the bribery and blackmail of Members of Congress; tolerating pathological dysfunctionality and failure while keeping the money moving and also leveraging offshore funding rooted in the smuggling of cash, drugs, gold, guns, and small children; and budget-building rather than mission accomplishment as the persistent internal priority.[41]

Third and finally, the book has some modest errors and omissions starting with a jacket blurb from John Brennan who is from the perspective of many in the US, an alleged criminal and traitor awaiting the opening of his sealed indictment.  Such a blurb puts the authors “on the back foot” as it were, with anyone who values integrity as a root attribute of the craft of intelligence. There is no discussion of the failure of the secret world to bring down the Deep State and the Shadow Government (perhaps because the secret world serves the Deep State and is a core part of the Shadow Government),[42] with specific reference to traitors, elite pedophiles, and white collar criminals, particularly bankers who feel they can manipulate interest and currency rates with impunity, while managing trillion dollar insolvency fraud and offshore tax evasion on a global scale.[43]  There is no discussion of the bias of the secret world toward war and terrorism as budget-building scams,[44] while ignoring the other eight high-level threats to humanity (in rank order: poverty, infectious disease, environmental degradation, civil war, genocide, other atrocities including trade in women and children, proliferation, and transnational crime).[45] Minor nits include:

  • An incorrect crediting of Russia with the first cyber-campaign in the 1990’s; Israel, with PROMIS as distributed by Robert Maxwell, was actually the first, in the 1980’s.[46]
  • Overstatement of privacy being available – there is no assured privacy in the Dark Web, protonmail, whatever. Deanonymization technology is advancing and becoming increasingly automated. Digital privacy has become a chimera – especially if you own an Alexa that will record your conversations and then broadcast them or, as Professor Sir David notes, you data is in the hands of an unethical private corporation violating privacy with impunity – Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter all come to mind.[47]
  • Mention of Harry Truman creating CIA to brief presidents while the authors are dismissive of President Donald Trump, and fail to cite Truman’s repudiation of CIA in 1968.[48]
  • Avoidance of the growing problem of Private Military Corporations (PMC)[49] as outsourced spying enterprises, often against our own government and often carrying out false flag operations against civilians in a domestic context, along with a reluctance to openly admit that most foreign false flag events are stage-managed by US, UK, and allied intelligence services among which the Mossad stands out as especially effective. [50]
  • Professor Sir David speaking well of propaganda seeking to expose the nature of the Soviet regime, but very silent on the degree to which the Alternative Media is seeking to expose the Deep State, Shadow Government, fake news, and false flags. As I said before thousands at the Lincoln Memorial when invited to speak to Rolling Thunder, it is not possible to have an intelligent conversation about the Deep State or its gun control agenda without first confronting the reality that most school and club shootings are false flag events.[51]
  • Acceptance of the US IC findings on “the Russians did it,” which is absolute nonsense.[52]
  • The ending is well-intentioned. Despite the authors’ clear interest in the Internet they does not appear current with the #GoogleGestapo situation,[53] the emerging post-Google and perhaps even post-Western Internet; and the potential of a mesh network or ad hoc networks frustrating all forms of meta analytics.[54] The Western information technology industry, like the Western secret intelligence communities, remains retarded. We are a long way from human-centric sense-making computing, but architectural concepts are beginning to emerge, rooted in a combination of open source and blockchain, and accelerated progress may be possible, particularly if China, India, Iran, and Russia combine to create the post-Western noosphere starting with a World Brain Institute.[55]
  • Most distressing to me, but understandable, is the authors’ apparent oblivion to the fact that there are fifteen slices of HUMINT only four of which are classified;[56] and that OSINT – not digital OSINT but human and analog OSINT – is 90% of the decision-support solution and also able to move the intelligence world from 4% utility to 100% utility.[57]

Bottom line: a serious book by serious people, strongly recommended. This reductionist view of intelligence is what I have been fighting against since 1988.  It is my hope the authors (and those they represent most ably) and we iconoclasts and reformers can eventually converge in good faith toward principled intelligence instead of just principled spying – without the first, the second is moot.

IMAGE Credits: Book cover from publisher; three graphics created by Robert David Steele.


[1] The image, apart from depicting the cover of this excellent book, shows the two graphics created by the author (Robert Steele) most representative of “intelligence done right,” which is to say with complete respect for the majority of the human and technical sources that are not secret (and generally not online and not in English); and equal respect for the need to integrate all sources, including non-digital open sources, to provide constant anticipatory decision-support for Whole of Government, Global Law Enforcement, Global Operations Other Than War, and Global War. As long as spying refuses to integrate Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), it will remain inherently ignorant and unprincipled by design. The authors pay lip-service to OSINT in this book (and appear to only recognize digital open sources) and embrace the absolute demand for spying as a given, without regard to its relative cost, risk, and value across all threats and all policies in the Whole of Government matrix of need. Michael Herman may well be the only practitioner other than myself who is making this point, see Michael Herman, Intelligence Power in Peace and War (Cambridge University Press, 1996), a summary review is free online. Loch Johnson, who served as senior staff for both the Church Committee and the Aspin-Brown Commission, is the only scholar of note that I know of who deeply understands that “all-source” intelligence must by definition fully embrace all open sources of information, see his extraordinary five-volume series, Strategic Intelligence (Praeger, 2006), inclusive of Robert Steele, “Open Source Intelligence,” in Loch Johnson (ed.), Strategic Intelligence: The Intelligence Cycle, Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007, Chapter 6, pp. 96-122. My definitive works on this specific epistemological and existential matter include Robert Steele, “The Evolving Craft of Intelligence,” in Robert Dover, Michael Goodman, and Claudia Hillebrand (eds.). Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies, Oxford, UK: Routledge, July 31, 2013; Robert Steele, “The Ultimate Hack: Re-Inventing Intelligence to Re-Engineer Earth,” in U. K. Wiil (ed.), Counterterrorism and Open-Source Intelligence, Lecture Notes in Social Networks 2, Springer-Verlag/Wien, 2011; Robert Steele, “World Brain as Earth Game,” in Mark Tovey (ed.), Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace, Oakton, VA: Earth Intelligence Network, 2008, pp 389-398; Robert Steele, “New Rules for the New Craft of Intelligence,” in Robert David Steele,  The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political–Citizen’s Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide, Disease, Toxic Bombs, & Corruption, Oakton, VA: Open Source Solutions, Inc., 2002, Chapter 15, pp. 147-161; Robert Steele, “Creating a Smart Nation: Strategy, Policy, Intelligence, & Information,” in Alan Campen, Douglas Dearth, and R. Thomas Gooden (eds.), Cyberwar: Security, Strategy and Conflict in the Information Age, Fairfax, VA: Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, 1996, pp. 77-90; “La reinvention du renseignement: Les avantages du renseignement ouvert (OSCINT) / The reinvention of intelligence: The advantages of open source intelligence (OSCINT),” in l’Admiral Pierre Lacoste, Defense et Renseignement, Paris, FR: Editions L’Harmattan, 1995; and Robert Steele, “E3i: Ethics, Ecology, Evolution, & Intelligence,” Whole Earth Review, Fall 1992, pp. 74-79. For varied reasons, successive leaders of the US and UK intelligence communities have refused to evolve. The private sector has also been retarded by design – Thomson Reuters and Elsevier are quite content to publish 1% (published) of 1% (written) of 1% (known), and pretend they are competent. Compound that with the percentage of articles that are cited once published (across all languages) and you end up with a fractional amount that equates to embedded idiocy.

[2] I will not cite all of my relevant articles, they are easily viewed free online. In addition to those in Supra Note 1, see particularly Robert Steele, with Nafeez Ahmed. “The open source revolution is coming and it will conquer the 1%,The Guardian, June 19, 2014; Robert Steele, “On Defense Intelligence: Seven Strikes,” CounterPunch, July 2, 2014; Robert Steele with Hal Berghel. “Out of Band: Robert David Steele on OSINT,” IEEE Computer Vol. 47, No. 7, July 2014, pp. 76-81; Robert Steele, “Fixing the White House and National Intelligence,” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 23: 353-373, Spring 2010; Robert Steele, “Intelligence for the President–AND Everyone Else,” CounterPunch, March 1, 2009; Robert Steele, “Intelligence Affairs: Evolution, Revolution, or Reactionary Collapse?,” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 19/1 519-537, Fall 2006; Robert Steele, “Private Enterprise Intelligence – Its Potential Contribution to National Security,” Intelligence and National Security, 10/4, October 1995, pp. 212-228; Robert Steele, “National Intelligence and Open Source: From School House to White House,” American Intelligence Journal, Spring/Summer 1993, pp. 29-32; Robert Steele, “Applying the ‘New Paradigm’: How to Avoid Strategic Intelligence Failures in the Future,” American Intelligence Journal, Autumn 1991, pp. 43-46; Robert Steele, “Intelligence in the 1990’s: Recasting National Security in a Changing World,” American Intelligence Journal, Summer/Fall 1990, pp. 29-36 and Al Gray (Ghost-Written by Robert Steele), “Global Intelligence Challenges in the 1990’s,” American Intelligence Journal, Winter 1989-1990, pp. 37-41. All of my writings appear to have been banned as heresy by all of the intelligence and defense schools in the US and UK. What price idiocy? See my just published review, Robert Steele, “Grand Theft, Mass Murder, & Legalized Lies: Book Review as Epitaph,” American Herald Tribune, 19 June 2018, which eviscerates James Clapper, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence (Viking, 2018).

[3] The value of secrets remains questionable at all four level of operations when – and this is a vital distinction – open sources in all their forms and languages are properly harvested. A Kingsman – a spy – is going to see and hear and say what a Kingsman – a spy – is accustomed to seeing and hearing and saying. In as much as I am both a very successful former spy and also the foremost proponent for open source intelligence and have been roundly abused for 30 years by the secret intelligence world of which I used to be part, I cannot raise the grade for this aspect of the book beyond a C+.

[4] Charles Lewis, 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity (PublicAffairs, 2014), a summary review is free online; and Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz, The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (W. W. Norton, 2008), a summary review is free online.

[5] Intelligence-driven governance implies both ruthless counterintelligence against corrupt government officials and corrupt bankers and corporate and other leaders, and inclusive intelligence such that all threats and all policies are addressed in a holistic manner that exposes and eradicates redundancy and waste. This is not what we have today. Others such as Tom Atlee and George Por have labored for decades in the vineyards of collective intelligence. I brought them and 53 others including the former Prime Minister of Canada together in one book, Mark Tovey (ed.) COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace (Earth Intelligence Network, 2010), followed by my own capstone work, Robert Steele, INTELLIGENCE FOR EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability (Earth Intelligence Network, 2012). A Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Elenor Ostrom, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (Cambridge University Press, 1990), for making the point that only local knowledge will serve to create useful local regulation, and only local eyes on will serve to enforce those regulations. Federal and Commonwealth governance is doomed, one reason why populism and secession are in the air. A summary review is free online. There are three major schisms embedded in imperial national governments today: the schism between the dominant cult of secrecy and the emerging demand for openness; the schism between the 1% that leverage secrecy and the 99% that now realize they are being screwed by secrecy; and finally the schism between a Western industrial and financial and legal and information system that is “rigged” in favor of the 1% and against the 99% when a post-Western equivalent can be created, with Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE) at 10% the cost of the Western model. As much as one might agree that principled spying is a necessity, in the absence of ethics in the larger context, spying cannot, by definition, become ethical, it is merely a tool of the Deep State and the Shadow Government. It must also be emphasized that the so-called modern information industry is retarded in both technical and content terms. It is a failure across the board because it was designed to serve the 1% (both the bankers and the military-industrial complex) in narrow ways, not the 99% in fulsome ways.

[6] An earlier version of this graphic was created for a conference in Wales and can be found at Robert Steele, “Intelligence Future,” London, UK: Centre for Intelligence and International Security Studies (CIISS), 23-25 May 2013. This was the invited keynote but they ran out of money and withdrew the invitation after the work was completed. The vertical axis is explained at Robert Steele, “10 High-Level Threats to Humanity,” Huffington Post, October 27, 2010, citing High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change, A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility (United Nations, 2004). A summary review of the latter book is free online. The horizontal axis reflects the evolution of my thinking as a professional intelligence officer committed to the public interest. For the latest on OSINT see Robert Steele, “Royal Danish Defence College: Lecture by Robert Steele on Open Source Intelligence Done Right,” Copenhagen, Denmark: Royal Danish Defence College, 18 April 2016; Steele, Robert. “Robert Steele on OSINT – Why and How,” Copenhagen, Denmark: Government of Denmark, 18-20 April 2016, as commissioned and presented to military, police, and national services; and Robert Steele, “The Ultimate Hack – Resilient Villages, Smart Cities, Prosperous Nations at Peace — and Unlimited Clean Water,” Potomac, Maryland: 6 March 2016, as developed for transmission to the Government of India and others.

[7] General Tony Zinni, USMC, then Commanding General US Central Command (USCENTCOM), engaged in two wars and twelve joint task force actions, is on record at stating that he received, “at best,” 4% of what he needed to know from the US IC.  Editors, “Graphic: Tony Zinni on 4% ‘At Best’,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 7 December 2010.

[8] The original evaluation charts for performance across the major functional areas (direction, collection, analysis, dissemination) in relation to the four levels of consumer need (strategic, operational, tactical, technical) were first provided in Robert Steele, On Intelligence: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World, Open Source Solutions, Inc., 2001 and are available online (table followed by text expansions) at 2012 USA Intelligence Scorecard – Deja Vu 2000 1 of 5; 2012 USA Intelligence Scorecard – Deja Vu 2000 2 of 5; 2012 USA Intelligence Scorecard – Deja Vu 2000 3 of 5; 2012 USA Intelligence Scorecard – Deja Vu 2000 4 of 5; 2012 USA Intelligence Scorecard – Deja Vu 2000 5 of 5, all at Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 9 December 2012.  See also Robert Steele, 2012 USA Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Scorecard 1.1, Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 9 December 2012. Equally negative evaluations can be made of all aspects of cyber security and cyber intelligence for the simple reason that NSA chose to emphasize collection convenience over full spectrum decision support combined with national-interest counterintelligence and security against domestic and foreign hacking. See Robert Steele with James Anderson, William Caelli, and Winn Schwartau, “Correspondence, Sounding the Alarm on Cyber Security,” McLean, VA: Open Source Solutions, Inc., August 23, 1994 along with, today, various posts at Cyber Déjà vu @ Phi Beta Iota.

[9] Cf. Robert. “SPECIAL FEATURE: Creating a Smart Nation–Strategy, Policy, Intelligence, and     Information,” Government Information Quarterly, pp. 159-173 and Robert Steele, “National Intelligence and Open Source: From School House to White House,” American Intelligence Journal, Spring/Summer 1993, pp. 29-32.

[10] NSA has two kinds of major inputs: business records, the bulk of its “collection” under Executive Order 12333 (section 2.3.C).  There are at least 78 companies participating in the business records program today, probably many more, particularly if one includes Amazon’s emerging capability as an intermediary. The scope of this ingestion is extraordinary. To take one example, in its infancy the business records input from AT&T alone was 400 million records a day (a day, not a year) of which 80% (~ 320 million) was domestic. Multiply that times 78 at reduced levels of global and domestic coverage. The second major input comes from its contrived interception points, both fiber access points and embedded backdoors across all communications and computing systems, along with “open air” capture of signals in transmission both wireless and cellular.  Despite claims to the contrary, NSA and presumably GCHQ are still in “Google Search” mode within these massive databases. Absent meta-analytics (both back office and desktop), the analysts are drowning in data and unable to do analysis. As of 2013, NSA was ingesting 29 petabytes of data a day, according to Chris Duckett, “NSA hunger demands 29 petabytes of data a day,” ZDnet, 12 August 2013. The same article cites NSA as saying that it “touches” 16 percent of the ingested data and selects no more than 0.025 percent for review. A useful overview on NSA’s compliance with the law is provided by Julie Dickerson, “Meaningful Transparency: The Missing Numbers the NSA and FISC Should Reveal,” National Security Journal of Harvard Law School, 17 February 2015.

[11] Supra Note 4, Lewis, Bilmes & Stiglitz.

[12] Cf. Robert Steele, “Rigging Elections – and Worse! The Americans Rigged Our Election, Bribed Our Government, Stole Our Gold, Killed Our Men, Raped Our Women, and Poisoned our Air, Water, and Earth – and You Want to Blame Something on the Russians?American Herald Tribune, 10 March, 2018 drawing on the work of William Blum particularly. See also three hundred non-fiction books on intelligence that I have reviewed, at Robert Steele, “Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Government Secret Intelligence,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 24 August 2011, updated 20 July 2015.

[13] James Clapper, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence (Viking, 2018), p. 159.

[14] William Binney and I have agreed that 70% of each of the secret agencies can be defunded and dismantled, with the 30% of each worth saving to become a new Directorate in the restored Central (Classified) Intelligence Agency. All those dismissed including contractors would receive a two-year “soft landing” with pay and education toward alternative employment. An Open Source Agency (OSA) within the Executive Office of the President (EOP), i.e. not subject to repression by the secret mandarins as has been the case for OSINT since 1988, and the transfer of the National Intelligence Council (NIC) to EOP, perhaps reporting to the Deputy Director for Management (DDM) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), would complete the transformation. Our ideas have been communicated to the President, and are consistent with the tremendous re-organization now underway under the direction of OMB, see for instance the White House press release and two short videos at Donald Trump, “Federal Government Reorganization to Include Merger of Education & Labor – POWERFUL Videos from D/OMB Mick Mulvaney,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 23 June 2018.

[15] This will become much more of an issue as Amazon grows its offerings as the hub for a police state, able to offer authorities (and private parties willing to pay) virtually all information about anyone including their current location and their private conversations as recorded by Alexa. We must all be concerned about 5G, the Internet of Things, and Amazon, which makes the US secret world and US law enforcement look like the elementary sorts that they are.

[16] I never tire of pointing out that 90% of all of the people employed in the secret world (or any organization for that matter) are good people trapped in a bad system.  I was one of them. The fact remains that great evil is being done behind the veil of secrecy, and those who seek to address that evil are murdered, sent to jail, harassed, and impoverished as well as digitally marginalized. We cannot rest until we restore integrity to the totality of the secret world and the totality of government. Others can police their own secret services – my quarrel is with elements of the US IC are that well over into both crimes against humanity and transnational crime for offshore profit. Cf. Douglas Valentine, The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World (Clarity Press, 2017), Douglas Valentine with Sibel Edmonds, “CIA, Media, & The Mind-Controlled Opposition,” Newsbud (YouTube, 1:16:50), 22 February 2018; Robert Steele, “CIA and the Deep State: Mike Pompeo is Totally Wrong – and Politico Totally Worthless,” American Herald Tribune, June 2, 2018. For the leading banking voice documenting the conversion of mot if not all secret intelligence services into international criminal organizations fully engaged in smuggling and trading drugs, guns, and gold while also trafficking in children, and many other criminal activities, see the videos featuring Ronald Bernard, for example, London Seating, “Ronald Bernard ~ Former Dutch Banker,” International Tribunal for Natural Justice (YouTube, 33:05), 4 June 2018.

[17] After reviewing a draft of this book review, a retired US intelligence professional with decades of domestic (US) field experience across multiple US intelligence and counterintelligence agencies had  this to say:

The first rule of Intel is to work with, align with criminal subcultures, eventually absorb and take them over and use them to attain goals, justified by the maxim that all societies have deviance, it will be done by somebody so why not hijack it and use it for the government? The FBI did this with the Cosa Nostra, keeping top Mafia figures on as informants, similar to Whitely Bolger case. CIA and DEA have done this with the drug cartels, and after Viet-Nam, CIA become the strategic coordinator from the fields of Afghanistan to the processing plants in Pakistan to the street corners of LA and beyond.

There have been no direct ethical checks and balances on Intel. Their operations are protected by secrecy and they have get out of jail free cards. Langley always files immunity waivers under national security on important agents like Bill and Hillary Clinton which every single federal judge honors due to fear. The CIA under GHWB was as bad as the KGB under Stalin or the East German Stasi or Mao's Red Guard.

Secrecy by itself produces moral drift in Intel agencies and militaries too and it can only be mitigated in America by exposure and mass outrage by the public. And that is only possible, eventually, because in the USA We The People still have the 2nd Amendment – the final check and balance that they are trying desperately to take away with their many false flag events in support of a gun-control agenda.

Intel loves the criminal underground. It is a ready-made secret Intel network in any nation and it is easily approachable to form alliances with. The criminal network loves to work with any part of an official government operation which can give them protection. No major organized criminal network in America would exist without the FBI and CIA and other of the 37 Intel agencies (many not public) making deals with the underground criminal networks.

Separate from the strategic and tactical criminal aspects of secret intelligence are the embedded secret society aspects, where Freemasons, Knights of Malta, Opus Dei, Zionist sayonim and others can utilize the secret intelligence infrastructure to their own ends, through alternative chains of command.

[18] Cf. Epstein @ Phi Beta Iota and Pedophilia @ Phi Beta Iota.

[19] Quite right, but not discussed by the authors is the complicity of selected leaders within the US intelligence and counterintelligence world who enabled Vice President Dick Cheney to execute the 9/11 attacks as an insider job. The fact is that 9/11 was a false flag covert operation conceived of by the Zionists, facilitated logistically by the Saudis who documented the patsies (with John Brennan reportedly signing their visas when he was Chief of Station in Saudi Arabia), detected by  thirteen nations that warned us months in advance (which led Dick Cheney to schedule the national counter-terrorism exercise, months in advance, so he could leverage the day), and it was carried out by Zionist elements combined with rogue elements of US intelligence and the US military against US citizens (and some foreigners) on US soil. From George Tenet and Buzzy Krongard at CIA to Robert Mueller at the FBI, 9/11 will stand in history as the single greatest ethical collapse in Western intelligence since World War II (WWII) – it was both allowed to happen and made to happen in order to justify the Global War on Terror (GWOT) as a sequel to the Cold War for the sole purpose of perpetuating the military-industrial complex while laundering the profits from the Gold War against Russia and justifying an elective war on Iraq with the intent of controlling its oil. Cf. 9/11 @ Phi Beta Iota. It must be said: otherwise distinguished practitioners and scholars who have either bought into the official narrative, or who know the truth about 9/11 and pretend not to, are disqualified from leading intelligence forward into the future. 9/11, as with pedophilia and especially murderous pedophilia, are the twin pillars of the Great Awakening that is taking place, a Great Awakening that will dismantle the Deep State and Shadow Government and make possible a re-emergence of informed democracy of, by, and for We the People. On pedophilia, for which I am a Commissioner and the Chief Counsel for the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Human Trafficking and Child Sex Abuse, see International Tribunal for Natural Justice, “Videos & Magazine on Pedophilia Hearings in London — A New Era in Eradicating Pedopredators Begins…,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 6 June 2017.  My own summary of the pedophilia situation delivered at Westminster in London can be viewed at London Seating, “Chief Counsel Robert David Steele,” International Tribunal for Natural Justice (YouTube, 15:45), 4 June 2018 as taped 16 April 2018. Put bluntly, the secret intelligence world is complicit in and perpetuating crimes against humanity, not stopping them.

[20] Robert Steele, “Review Essay: UNHINGED: drone assassination – American suicide,” Intelligence and National Security, 33/1, March 2017, pp. 145-150. On a related travesty (crime against humanity), see Robert Steele, “Book Reviews: Rebuttal – Lies Presented as Truth; BROKEN – The Truth as Fiction,” Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Volume 18, Number 2, 2016, pp. 163-166.

[21] Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein, “Factual Errors and Other Problems in ‘Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror,’ by Michael V. Hayden,” Staff Summary, March 2016, 38 pp. I ignored Hayden’s first book but found his second so blasphemous that I was compelled to review it most negatively, see Robert Steele, “The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies – Book Review,American Herald Tribune,5 June 2018.

[22] Clapper is merely an administrator and thus not included as indictable. In the case of Tenet, apart from his dismissing OSINT at precisely the time he most needed to get a grip, his major failings include his complicity in the 9/11 false flag operation under the direction of Dick Cheney; and his role in the Gold War against Russia organized by Buzzy Krongard using the Black Eagle Trust. On Tenet see Boyd Sutton, “The Challenge of Global Coverage,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 18 July 1997; and Boyd Sutton, “Global Coverage, Looking Backward, Looking Forward,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 24 December 2006. More recently – this is still the most catastrophic failure in the US IC, Boyd Sutton, “Open Source and the World Brain,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 31 March 2014; 9/11 @ Phi Beta Iota; and Fred Burks, “Black Eagle Trust Fund,” WantToKnow.Info, 3 June 2011. Hayden will never live down warrantless wiretapping and rendition & torture. Brennan – whom the authors were happy to have endorse this book in what I can only conclude is a British brain fart – is the most likely, along with Hayden, to be found guilty of high crimes within the decade.

[23] London bookmakers, who are very good at what they do, gave Donald Trump 200-1 odds at worst and 20-1 odds at best. I tell the story of how he won – and the persistent threat to his survival – in Robert Steele, “Donald Trump, The Accidental President — Under Siege! A Soft Coup Rages within a Closed Rigged System… (Trump Revolution 05),” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 12 November 2016, also an Amazon Kindle digital book.

[24] Several of my former CIA operations course (1979) classmates are spread across the USG in very senior positions, and I consult them when I write, particularly when I write critically on national security and national intelligence issues. The prevailing consensus among those still serving is that Snowden materially degraded the ability of NSA to be effective, while also violating every oath and commitment he ever made regarding his duty to keep secret that with which he was entrusted. In evaluating the relative mis-deeds of Snowden I cannot ignore the fact that Mike Hayden’s warrantless wiretapping along with his rejection of Thin Thread, and his embrace of rendition and torture as well as drone assassination at CIA, are the greater threats from a presidential and public perspective. Snowden, like Daniel Ellsberg, appears to have served a greater good. In brief, the pervasiveness of secrecy across both the government and in the private sector today (e.g. financial fraud, #GoogleGestapo), and the crimes against the public that this secrecy makes possible, strongly mitigate and recommend the value of what Snowden did in directing public attention to the pathologies of a national security state that is completely unaccountable to the Courts, Congress, or the public – a national security state that is now known to have targeted the Trump campaign with between 7 and 10 human informants, while collaborating with GCHQ against presidential candidate Trump, all under the personal direction of then President Barack Obama (see Note 29 for sources and links on this point). The crimes – and the motivations – simply cannot be compared. Cf. Editors, “Edward Snowden,” Wikipedia, undated, accessed 16 June 2018, and Ewen MacAskill and Alex Hern, “INTERVIEW Edward Snowden: “The people are still powerless, but now they’re aware,” The Guardian, 4 June 2018. The latter reference cites Professor Sir David Omand crediting Snowden with hastening attention toward a sounder and more transparent legal framework.

[25] I have my own eight stages divided between technical and human measures. See Robert Steele “Foreword,” in Stephen E. Arnold, CyberOSINT: Next Generation Information Access, Harrods Creek, KY: Arnold Information Technology, 2015. Supra Notes 1 through 7.

[26] Supra Note 6, ten high-level threats.

[27] William Binney to Robert Steele, personal communication (electronic mail), 14 June 2018.

As I summed it up for the Intelligence Policy Committee in the House of Lords in the United Kingdom, drawing on Snowden’s materials, mass surveillance is very bad for five reasons:

First, mass acquisition of everyone’s data (emails, texts, calls) creates an omni-powerful central government that achieves Stasi-like, Gestapo-like, Stalinist-like, capabilities.

Second, mass acquisition makes the analysts dysfunctional – we are not doing the meta-data pattern analysis and anomaly detection but are instead burying the analysts with noise, which is why they can no longer achieve any sort of early warning on anything. We have lost the ability and the human skills necessary to predict “intentions and capabilities.”

Third, mass acquisition has turned the US IC – NSA particularly – into forensics agencies (basically a law enforcement job).

Fourth, mass acquisition has been weaponized for political purposes, with US IC agencies (as well as allied agencies such as GCHQ[27]) using their capabilities for political advantage.

Fifth, mass acquisition is extremely expensive in its demands for data storage with its attendant energy and water consumption levels, and is doomed.

[28] A number of posts that hint at what is coming can be viewed at Arnold Amazon @ Phi Beta Iota. A full briefing rooted in actual Amazon patents discovered by Stephen E. Arnold (who did the same exposure of Google years ago in his now famous The Google Trilogy), can be obtained from Arnold directly.

[29] Cf. Mary Fanning and Alan Jones, “Whistleblower Tapes: Trump Wiretapped “A Zillion Times” By ‘The Hammer,’ Brennan’s and Clapper’s Secret Computer System,” The American Report, 17 March 2017; Yoda, “Deep Throat II “Fat Boy” aka “Cambridge Zero” Stefan Halper Outed as FBI’s “Penetration” of Trump Campaign UPDATE 2 Gone Missing,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 21 May 2018; Norie Huddle, “Daniel Lazare on RussiaGate — Trump Right, Media Wrong, FBI/DOJ Criminal (To Which We Would Add, DNI and D/CIA Also Criminal),Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 24 May 2018; Owl, “Not One But SEVEN to TEN Spies Against Trump from Corrupt DOJ/FBI,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 25 May 2018; and Mongoose, “Obama White House Coordinated the John Brennan False Flag Attack on Trump Campaign — British Were Totally Complicit in This Act of Treason,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 3 June 2018.

[30] Cf. Amy Baker Benjamin, “The Many Faces of Secrecy,” William & Mary Policy Review, 8.2, 2017 and see also the many references accessible via Secrecy @ Phi Beta Iota.

[31] Robert Steele, “SOURCES AND METHODS: A PRIMER FOR CONGRESSIONAL INQUIRY,” Washington, DC: US Senate, The Moynihan Commission on Protecting and Reducing Secrecy, March 16, 1996; see also Robert Steele,  “Talking Points ‘Secrecy and Accountability in U.S. Intelligence’,” Washington, DC: Center for International Policy, October 9, 1996, and earlier, where I coined the term the “cement overcoat of excessive classification,” in Robert Steele,  “Testimony to Presidential Inter-Agency Task Force on National Security Information,” Washington, DC: Department of Justice, June 9, 1993. Recently, in discussing where we have gone wrong on the secrecy front, I elicited this commentary from a retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer who practiced clandestine HUMINT across multiple wars from Viet-Nam to Afghanistan. Speaking of James Clapper and my review of Clapper’s book (Supra Note 2), he says:

He is part of the overall problem that has befuddled the intelligence community since Vietnam….during that period the clearance level of most intel folks was no higher than collateral (secret). If you worked in three areas, clandestine HUMINT (not what HUMINT is normally thought of, but rather deep penetration), Imagery, and SIGINT, you had a much higher level (SCI) in order to protect sources and methods. For the Army, we had 06's coming out of Vietnam who found they did not have access to these highly restricted sources and felt they were being cheated (although most didn't understand what any of these disciplines actually did or the value of the information they provided). These guys put together a push to bring into “mainstream” intelligence these three areas and in doing so accomplished exactly what always happens when combining different groups…..things always slide to the lowest level, i.e. we became emasculated in our ability to perform). Regular guys felt they could do just as well as the highly trained folks who were actually doing the work. This was furthered by guys like Hayden, Clapper, etcetera so they could march their way to flag level. None were able to explain the value of these disciplines nor understand the actual work required. This destroyed the value of these (then) ultra-sensitive and occasionally spectacularly useful collection disciplines and began to reduce their integrity. Enter the idea of OSINT, they were about to shown to be emperors without clothes if OSINT was able to show its value. Their argument that ALL intelligence folks needed to have TS/SCI level access would be found to be built on a house of cards. None of them could allow that to happen. OSINT would have been the foundational and transformational player had the “leadership” not become over infatuated with clearance levels (evident by the fact that none of them can explain what that really means and why it should apply to everything) and demanding access to ALL sources and methods. The integrity of most senior level officers (04 and above) is seriously lacking…….so, yes, Clapper is a liar, and he is not alone….  Just some random thoughts and rumbling….

[32] William Binney, “Thin Thread – Signals Intelligence within the Rule of Law,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 3 March 2018, integrating full text of Diane Rourk, “Thin Thread,” White Paper, May 2002.

[33] I wrote the original letter co-signed by three others on the need to invest one billion dollars a year in cyber-security (in 1994 dollars, closer to ten billion today). NSA was given the mission and proceeded to gut the security of every communications and computing system whose CEO was willing to be complicit. Robert Steele with James Anderson, William Caelli, and Winn Schwartau, “Correspondence, Sounding the Alarm on Cyber Security,” McLean, VA: Open Source Solutions, Inc., August 23, 1994. See also the varied posts at NSA Back Doors @ Phi Beta Iota.

[34] When President Donald Trump speaks out against trade imbalances, he is leaving out three other major factors in the destruction of the US economy: the mendacity of the banks that manipulate lending rates against the public interest while also managing sub-prime mortgage and insolvency fraud scams —  the worst case they are known to have contrived is the Great Depression; the mendacity of corporate leaders that ignore true cost economics while playing the short game (market manipulation, often with outright lies and moral hazard short-cuts), and the degree to which the Zionists as well as “friendly spies” are using their command of compromised US commercial communications and computing networks to do insider trading on a scale most would not comprehend. The sad reality is that no one across the US intelligence and counterintelligence communities is doing anything serious, broad, or deep on the commercial intelligence or counterintelligence front. A proper intelligence endeavor focused on national prosperity would have a mostly unclassified spectrum of decision-support products and services that integrate compare and contrast competitive studies; true cost economics; and an absolutely ruthless program of blocking the subversion of US commercial communications and computers that now have at least 100,000 NSA penetration points (on the fiber), and are totally open to the Zionists, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Russians, among many others. Cf. Liam Vaughan and Gavin Finch, “Libor scandal: the bankers who fixed the world’s most important number,” The Guardian, 18 January 2017; Editors, “Government urged to force action * end ‘the great insolvency scam’,” Business Matters UK, 14 June 2018; Wayne Jett, The Fruits of Graft: Great Depressions Then and Now (Launfal Press, 2011), a summary review is free online; John Fialka, War by Other Means: Economic Espionage in America (W. W. Norton, 1997), a summary review is free online; Martin Dillon and Gordon Thomas, Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy: The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul (Carroll & Graf, 2002), a summary review is free online; Peter Schweizer, Friendly Spies: How America’s Allies Are Using Economic Espionage to Steal Our Secrets (Atlantic Monthly, 1993). A summary review is free online; and Ellen Seidman, then Special Assistant to the President on the National Economic Council:

CIA reports only focus on foreign economic conditions. They don’t do domestic economic conditions and so I cannot get a strategic analysis that compares and contrasts strengths and weaknesses of the industries I am responsible for. On the other hand, Treasury, Commerce, and the Fed are terrible at the business of intelligence – they don’t know how to produce intelligence.

As cited in Robert Steele, “The Evolving Craft of Intelligence,” in Robert Dover, Michael Goodman, and Claudia Hillebrand (eds.). Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies, Oxford, UK: Routledge, July 31, 2013, note 5, based on her address to an open source lunch club meeting in Rosslyn, VA, date not recollected.

[35] Amy Zegart, Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC (Stanford, 1999). A summary review is free online and Supra Note 14. My life’s work on intelligence reform is easily accessible free online. The time has come to fix big and that means transforming national intelligence to the point that it can ably and inexpensively address all threats, all policies, all costs, all the time for all possible consumers down to desk officer and front line leader (military and police). Preliminary recommendations communicated to the President including public education and election reform pre-requisites are at Robert Steele, “Trump 2.0: Build the Base, Go Long (25 Years),” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 12 March 2018, and Robert Steele, For the President of the United States of America Donald Trump: Subject: Eradicating Fake News and False Intelligence with an Open Source Agency That Also Supports Defense, Diplomacy, Development, & Commerce (D3C) Innovation to Stabilize World. Earth Intelligence Network, 2017.

[36] Robert Steele, “Grand Theft, Mass Murder, & Legalized Lies: Book Review as Epitaph,” American Herald Tribune, 19 June 2018, on James Clapper, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence (Viking, 2018).

[37] Supra Note 1, Smart Nation.

[38] Cf. Justin Elliott and Theodoric Meyer, “Claim Of '54 Terrorist Attacks Thwarted' By NSA Continues To Spread Despite Lack Of Evidence,” TechDirt, 23 October 2013; Cindy Cohn and Dia Kayyali, “The Top 5 Claims That Defenders of the NSA Have to Stop Making to Remain Credible,” Electronic Frontier Association, 2 June 2014. The ostensibly independent review of GCHQ appears no more credible than US Congressional “oversight.” Bill Goodwin, “Bulk surveillance review is ‘fiction’, claims former NSA technical director,” ComputerWeekly, 4 October 2016.

[39] I have held Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) clearances since 1976. My first memory – as an S-1/Adjutant for a Battalion Landing Team (BLT) – is of shredding all the TS/SCI each morning without bothering to show it to my Colonel because there was absolutely nothing in all that noise that was useful to him. While the authors mean well, they are clearly out of touch with what the GCHQ and NSA analysts are all saying: that they are drowning in raw data and not able to do the anomaly detection and pattern analysis needed to derive useful conclusions. Cf. Peter Maass, “Inside NSA, Officials Privately Criticize ‘Collect It All” Surveillance,” The Intercept, 28 May 2015; Ryan Gallagher, “Facing Data Deluge, Secret U.K. Spying Report Warned of Intelligence Failure,” The Intercept, 7 June 2016; and from 2007, REDACTED, “Data Is Not Intelligence,” Document Cloud, 18 September 2007, reporting on the remarks of Dr. Thomas Fingar.

[40] It merits comment that NSA has never sought to take down illicit financial transactions by Wall Street, nor does NSA  provide direct SIGINT support to either clandestine operations overseas or counterintelligence operations at home, one reason both the CIA and FBI continue to struggle in their respective domains, apart from being politically neutered and not allowed to do their jobs. I beat the entire US IC over a week-end on the topic of Burundi, with just six telephone calls. The exercise, for the Aspin-Brown Commission, demonstrated conclusively that the US IC was not competent at OSINT and also demonstrated conclusively that the US IC knew nothing about Burundi, a representative “Global Coverage” target. It was on that basis that the Aspin-Brown Commission explicitly recommended that OSINT be a top priority for funding and a top priority for DCI attention, recommendations that were ignored because OSINT is not an expensive enough solution. Robert Steele, “Reference: Open Source Burundi Exercise,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 20 September 2000. Subsequently the 9/11 Commission agreed, including a new Open Source Agency in its recommendations, “Reference: 9-11 Commission Pages 23 and 413 Providing for a Separate Open Source Agency (OSA) C-Equal to and Independent From the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),” Phi  Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 22 July 2004.

[41] The CIA got its start in gold smuggling when Ed Lansdale secured the map for the 175 Japanese buried treasure sites, roughly 25 of which were harvested and became the Black Lily Fund managed by the Secretary of the Treasury but used to fund the restoration of fascists in Germany, Italy, and Japan, as well as support to dictators world-wide – the USG and CIA favor dictators over publics, a startling contrast with the Soviets who supported “wars of national liberation.” Sterling and Peggy Seagrave, Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold (Verso, 2003), a summary review is free online; and Mark Palmer, Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), a summary review is free online. Other books document CIA’s drug running and money laundering out of Viet-Nam, and more recently we are seeing a literature on CIA, the US military, and private military contractors engaged in the smuggling of children as a cash crop for sale to pedophiles – elite pedophiles not only in Europe but across the US (Governors and Mayors, not just Vice Presidents and Members of Congress). I strongly support the closure of all US military bases around the world because they are expensive and they serve no national security purpose, but rather are lily pads for the smuggling of cash, drugs, gold, guns, and small children. David Vine, Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World (Metropolitan Books, 2015), a summary review is free online; and Robert Steele with Mohsen Abdenmoumen, “In Depth: Robert David Steele” (editor’s misleading title: “Robert David Steele: CIA Uses 1000 of US Overseas Bases to Facilitate the Smuggling of Drugs, Cash, Gold, Guns, and Small Children for the Elite”), American Herald Tribune, 20 February 2017. See 300 reviews of non-fiction books about secret intelligence free online.

[42] Yes, there is a Deep State, and yes, there is a Shadow Government, and they are not the same thing. Both are defined and discussed, with additional sources in the endnotes, at Robert Steele, “Dealing with America — and the Deep State: Beyond the banks, beyond party politics — modern public diplomacy…,American Herald Tribune, 4 February 2018; Robert Steele, “Xi, Putin, and Trump for Life – A Few Thoughts — What If We Could Bury the Deep State & Create Peace & Prosperity for All?,” American Herald Tribune, 22 March 2018; and Robert Steele, “CIA and the Deep State: Mike Pompeo is Totally Wrong – and Politico Totally Worthless,” American Herald Tribune, 2 June 2018.

[43] The UK-US intelligence community persists in treating war and terrorism as its bread and butter issues despite the fact that it is the UK and US and Israel that are the primary antagonists, while neglecting the much larger threats to peace and prosperity from organized banking and state crime. A most useful summary of where GCHQ is today is provided by Press Release, “GCHQ Director addresses NATO on shared security threats,” GCHQ, 19 June 2018.

[44] Cf. Smedley Butler, War Is A Racket (Feral House, 2003), a summary review is free online; T. Christian Miller, Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq (Little, Brown, & Company, 2006), a summary review is free online; and James Risen, Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, a summary review is free online. There were at least eleven unconstitutional wars going on under Obama to which US forces and funds were committed.

[45] Supra Note 6, ten high-level threats.

[46] Martin Dillon and Gordon Thomas, Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy: The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul (Carroll & Graf, 2002). A summary review is free online. I believe that today the communications and computers of the White House, Congress, the NSA, and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as law enforcement jurisdictions at the state and local level, are completely compromised by Zionist software and hardware penetrations.

[47] William Binney, drawing on materials placed in the public domain by Edward Snowden, is the single most effective speaker on this point because of his past as NSA Technical Leader and later Technical Director for Military and Geopolitical Analysis & Reporting (6,000 people). I also rely heavily on Stephen E. Arnold, whose work on the deanonymization is gradually being understood and implemented by varied law enforcement agencies. Binney and Kirk Weibe have created a company Pretty Good Knowledge in the Netherlands with Dutch partners, and Arnold leads ArnoldIT based in Louiseville, Kentucky. On Alexa see Jeffrey Dastin, “Amazon’s Alexa records family’s conversation and sends it to one of their contacts,” The Globe and Mail, 25 May 2018. 5G and Internet of Things will go beyond a loss of privacy and into mind-control, targeted incapacitation, electromagnetic diseases, and more.

[48] First off, President Trump is absolutely right – the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) is an empty shell of what a full service intelligence briefing could and should be, and the secret world is not useful to him as he copes with strategic, operational, tactical, and technical challenges across all threats, all policy domains, in relation to every country on the planet. The US IC is simply not keeping up. Mike Pompeo, while trusted by President Trump, never understood that he was surrounded by professional liars and moved on the Department of State not understanding that CIA was created by the Deep State and continues to serve the Deep State. Harry Truman renounced the nature of the CIA late in his life. Cf. Robert Steele, “CIA and the Deep State: Mike Pompeo is Totally Wrong – and Politico Totally Worthless,” American Herald Tribune, June 2, 2018; and Harry Truman, “Limit CIA Role to Intelligence,” The Washington Post, 22 December 1963.

[49] Robert Young Pelton, Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror (Crown, 2006), a summary review is free online.

[50] An examination of multiple false flag operations in the US from the Boston Bombing to Orlando to San Bernardino and Las Vegas all point to multiple shooters in paramilitary garb, with patsies being set up for death and blame. I managed a false flag operation for CIA and have written two published chapters: Robert Steele, “The Orlando Mass Casualty Event A False Flag Drama, Atrocity, or Hybrid?,” in Kevin Barrett, Orlando False Flag: the Clash of Histories, Lone Rock, WI: Sifting and Winnowing Books, 2016, pp. 25-58; and Robert Steele, “Was Paris 11/13 a False Flag Event? A Matrix for Evaluating Possibilities,” in Kevin Barrett, ANOTHER French False Flag? Bloody Tracks from Paris to San Bernardino, Lone Rock, WI: Sifting and Winnowing Books, 2016, pp. 83-90. For many other contributions by many others, see 9/11 @ Phi Beta Iota and False Flag @ Phi Beta Iota. In the very near term we are looking for a third false flag attack in Syria, see Syria False Flag @ Phi Beta Iota.

[51] Robert Steele, “#UNRIG Washington DC Rolling Thunder, There Is A Deep State & False Flags,” Victurus Libertas VLTV (YouTube, 4:17), 27 May 2018.

[52] I and 30 others – including President Barack Obama until he received his instructions from the Deep State to the contrary – decisively refuted the Russian narrative created by Brennan and supported by Clapper. Cf. Robert Steele, “The Soft Coup Collapses – Blackmail Revealed – What Next? CIA was bluffing, produced no evidence – Russians did not “hack” the election. Is this the beginning of the end of the Deep State in the USA? Can Trump clean house & wage peace? (Trump Revolution 06),” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 9 January 2017 also on Amazon Kindle; and Robert Steele, “US IC Allegations Against Russians Are Crap — Our Own Traitors, Not the Russians, Are the Real Enemy, Fake Evidence & Fake News – UPDATE 22,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 30 December 2016.  The CIA report on Russian “hacking” is all about Russian Today, a relatively mediocre overt media operation. On page A-13 the CIA report states that CIA’s conclusions are not based on evidence.  The Russians did not “hack” anything of significance; the only person who “hacked” the election was Hillary Clinton, who stole thirteen primaries from Bernie Sanders with electronic voting machine fraud. Cf. Mongoose, “Hillary Clinton Electoral Fraud Confirmed by Stanford University — Bernie Sanders Won…Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 7 August 2016.

[53] Robert Steele, “How The Deep State Controls Social Media and Digitally Assassinates Critics: #GoogleGestapo – Censorship & Crowd-Stalking Made Easy,” American Herald Tribune, 7 November 2017. See also Robert Steele, “#GoogleGestapo: Censorship & Surveillance (Including Amazon, Facebook, Google, MeetUp, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia) – UPDATE 6,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 24 October 2017 updated 14 May 2018.

[54] Every investment in technical collection that is not matched by a commensurate investment in technical processing, human collection (both covert and overt), processing (meta-analytics), and human multi-national inter-disciplinary analysis, is a step backward. Technology is not a substitute for human access, and spying is not a substitute for intelligence.

[55] Cf. Robert Steele “Foreword,” in Stephen E. Arnold, CyberOSINT: Next Generation Information Access, Harrods Creek, KY: Arnold Information Technology, 2015; Robert Steele, “Creating a Post-Western Independent Internet: An Open Source Internet Can Create Peace and Prosperity for All,” Russian International Affairs Council, February 5, 2018;  Robert Steele, “Healing the Self & Healing the World: The Open Source Way,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 2 September 2017 also available as Amazon Kindle; and Robert Steele, “Augmented Intelligence with Human-Machine Integrity: Future-Oriented Hybrid Governance Integrating Holistic Analytics, True Cost Economics, and Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE),” forthcoming in Daniel Araya. Augmented Intelligence: Smart Systems and the Future of Work and Learning. Bern, CH: Peter Lang Publishing.

[56] Robert Steele, Human Intelligence: All Humans, All Minds, All the Time, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College Press, 3 June 2010.

[57] Supra Notes 1 and 2. In 1997 General Peter Schoomaker, then Commander-in-Chief of the US Special Operations Command (CINCSOC) was briefed on OSINT and got it within five minutes. He ordered the creation of the J-26 (OSINT Branch) and the teaching of OSINT in the Special Operations Forces (SOF) schoolhouses. Within one year, the director of J-26, Ben Harrison, was documenting that he was answering 40% of all global Essential Elements of Information (EEI) for all SOF units with just $5 million a year and 22 people on staff including contractors. Among the many projects he sponsored was a global survey of all terrorist, insurgent, and opposition websites in twenty-nine languages, something CIA had been unable to accomplish. OSS Inc. with the assistance of InfoSphere SA accomplished this in sixty days for under $70 thousand dollars. Cf. Ben Harrison, “Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Requirements Management: A U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Perspective,” Washington, D.C.: Open Source Solutions Conference, 23 December 2004, reprinted in Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 23 December 2004. His success appears to have terrified CIA – they have spent the last ten years demanding that the military services shut down their OSINT and cyber-monitoring capabilities (especially the allied multilingual programs) and today SOCOM J-26 has roughly five people and no money of significance.  CIA would rather destroy OSINT as a competitor for Presidential attention, than see it serve the Republic across all the topics CIA cannot handle with its present bias. See also Supra Note 7, General Tony Zinni.

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