It breaks my heart to watch all things cyber continue along very corrupt paths associated with a melange of linear thinking, bureaucratic inertia, truly evil covert operations that undermine cyber-security, and of course the persistent lack of accountability.
It was my great privilege to be among the first to sound the alarm on cyber-security, joining with Winn Schwartau in sponsoring the Information Warfare Conference. Although I left that endeavor to focus on Open Source Solutions, Winn and I continue to marvel at how little everyone has learned.
I do miss Peter Drucker. I also think often of him, and Frank Lloyd Wright and many others, such as Russell Ackoff (“stop doing the wrong things righter, do the right things”). I use them to remind myself that it takes a quarter-century or more — and generally some cataclysmic failure — before the C-level and SES/DISL mind-sets are ready to listen to new ideas.
IF sea level is rising by 3mm a year, and there are roughly 335,258,000 square kilometers of ocean surface, and a 3mm rise equates to 3,000 cubic meters per square kilometer, THEN there are one trillion cubic meters (1,005,774,000,000) of sea water available for harvesting if our objective is to both maintain the sea level and solve the industrial gutting of aquifers and related drought issues.
If I have the math right, 1,005,774,000,000 cubic meters translates into 266 trillion (265,695,317,580,000) gallons of water available for harvesting; divided by 365 days that is 738 billion (727,932,376,932) gallons per day in clean water that could be brought on tap within the year.
I am troubled by the platitudes and ignorance surrounding the murder of two New York police officers. I am a son of New York and my uncle was a member of the Nassau County police force back in the day when non-judicial punishment kept people out of jail and got them back on track with tough love.
The death of these two officers is the equivalent of the canary in the coal mine dying. They have died because the USA is on the verge of a revolution. Apart from concentrated wealth, loss of faith in government, and tens of millions of unemployed college graduates, we have an unemployment rate closer to 22.4% (see ShadowStats), with 22 veterans committing suicide every single day.
Mr. President: Please Fire Clapper, Vickers, & Brennan
I hold Jim Clapper, today the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and previously the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence (USDI) accountable for failing to serve the public interest all these years. I believe you should fire him, Mike Vickers the current USDI, and John Brennan, Director of the CIA, immediately.
Let’s start with the reality that the secret world is not in the business of producing intelligence (decision-support) with integrity. As William Binney has no famously observed, they are in the business of keeping problems alive so as to keep the money moving – secretly and without accountability. Torture is not the only secret program that has failed to produce intelligence with integrity – this failure is true of every part of the secret world from the CIA, which relies on foreign liaison hand-outs for the bulk of its “clandestine” intelligence to the NSA, which processes less than 1% of what it collects, to the NRO and NGA that are inept at “Big Data” and incapable of providing all-source fused data to the end-user at a desk in Washington or in a foxhole abroad.
You need a DNI, right now, who is committed to restoring the integrity of the intelligence process, and producing intelligence not only for you, but for all of our stakeholders in the future of the USA, including Congressional jurisdictions not now receiving decision-support (most of them), the media, academia, and of course the public. I summarized these possibilities in an earlier article, “Intelligence for the President – AND Everyone Else.” This individual should also be charged by you with eliminating the Office of the DNI entirely, prior to your departure from office, and would, upon their departure, step into a new role as Director of a new national Open Source Agency (OSA) that has been twice approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the first time by Sean O’Keefe, but always contingent on you or a Cabinet Secretary asking for it. As with my letters to you and to the Vice President, my letter to Secretary of State John Kerry of 15 February 2013 and my letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel of 9 July 2014 appear to have been intercepted. This new agency would satisfy roughly 80% of all decision-support requirements across the executive and legislative branches (providing both with a common public estimate of best available truths), at a cost of less than $3 billion a year, while allowing you to cut the secret intelligence budget in half over time (protecting jobs district by district, but cutting the failed technical collection programs that do not provide a return on investment).
You need a USDI, right now, who is committed to showing Ash Carter how to comply with your most reasonable demand for a 30% cut across the Department of Defense (DoD) budget – where waste is documented from 45% in weapons acquisition to 75% in Afghanistan. However, you also need a USDI with the competence and capacity to show the new Secretary of Defense and the Service Chiefs, in partnership with the theater commanders, how to rapidly create a 450-ship Navy, a long-haul Air Force, and an air-mobile Army at the same time that we draw down on our expensive overseas presence that impedes our agility and all attempts to achieve defense reform. I summarized the short-falls in defense intelligence, for which I hold Clapper and Vickers accountable, in my article “On Defense Intelligence – Seven Strikes.”
You need a D/CIA, right now, who has the capacity to oversee jointly with the out-going DNI, the dismantling of NSA and the NRO, each becoming an Office within the new Classified Intelligence Agency. The NGA should be merged with USGS as recommended by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). This new Director of Classified Intelligence or DCI must have the broad understanding necessary to recast Human Intelligence (HUMINT) so as to properly manage all 15 slices, only four of which are classified; to recast analytics to address the eight severe flaws from sourcing to processing to analysis to dissemination that persist today; and to recast how we approach science and technology innovation today; what we have now is a national embarrassment.
Below is my broad brush concept for evaluating what we have now and where we need to go.
What Is To Be Done?
You could start by paying attention – and recognizing that the intellectual and moral pathologies of the secret world are what the rest of the world sees as representative of your Administration and our Republic.
I am a natural-born citizen, a “top gun” for intelligence with integrity, and Hispanic. I am immediately available to help you with a conversation that will illuminate choices. In my view, in the two years remaining in your second term, you have ample opportunity to achieve intelligence with integrity within your Administration and in the public interest.
Within your immediate Executive powers, you have the capacity – I would say the obligation – to fire Jim Clapper, Mike Vickers, and John Brennan. This is about far more than torture – this is about the complicity of military and civilian intelligence in assassinating thousands (with a documented 98% innocents along the way) while spending over a trillion dollars in a manner that is not helpful to Whole of Government strategy, policy, acquisition, and operations.
In partnership with Congress, you have the potential of embracing the Smart Nation Act that Congressman Rob Simmons (R-CT-02) and I devised, in order to achieve a bi-partisan baseline for going forward with shared truths – achieving intelligence with integrity in the public interest.
I know how to do that. I know who else knows how to do that. May we help you serve the public interest?
ROBERT STEELE: I am seeking invitations to speak about the future of US intelligence as well as the potential for electoral reform (a pre-requisite to all other reforms). My email is robert.david.steele.vivas AT gmail DOT com. My personal web page is www.robertdavidsteele.com.
The headquarters of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) is now complete and being inaugurated in Quito, Ecuador on 5 and 6 December 2014.
I was just in Ecuador, delivering a briefing on the importance of civil-military relations in professionalizing intelligence. That briefing is available free online in both Spanish and English. It was featured on the front page of Ecuadorean intelligence web site, which for me represented all that is right with Ecuador and all that is wrong with the USA — my ideas, nine books, two Senators, and a Congressman later, have NEVER been accepted by the $100 billion a year US Intelligence Community — indeed, they call me “Open Sores.” (Alvin Toffler, in the chapter on “The Future of the Spy“, more kindly refers to me as “the rival store.”)
Below I provide a very short assessment of what I believe is going to emerge from UNASUR, and three ideas that I have proposed to UNASUR directly and also indirectly via the Government of Ecuador.
Profit is Sustainable – If You Build Upon Intelligence with Integrity
There are so many success stories today on the edges of the economy and society – EcoVillages, Transition Towns, and Intentional Communities among them – but the core concept of sustainable profit consistent with social and ecological integrity has yet to go mainstream. At the same time, the progressive activists are nearly incoherent – they do not share information, lack tools for thinking, and have virtually no political power to speak of. On this point, see Mich Sifry’s lovely new book, The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn’t Fixed Politics (Yet).
There is good news on two fronts. First, a breaking of ranks among the elite, moving away from their industrial-era control precepts; and second, an emerging concept for uniting the eight information networks needed to create sustainable future-oriented hybrid governance rooted in ethical evidence-based decision-support.
Intel is doing something new and useful. They have introduced a Conflict-Free Smelter Program (CFSP) to migrate toward assuring Intel consumers that its offerings are free of minerals from conflict environments — tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold are the ones they are focusing on.
What Intel is doing impresses me for two reasons.
First, they are re-introducing strategic ethics into their business model. As a professional intelligence officer and the #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction I will assert with confidence that Will and Ariel Durant nail it in their capstone work, Lessons of History, when they write to the priceless value of morality. Morality — ethics — is “root” for human consciousness and the transmission of core cultural, economic, and social lessons from one generation to the next. I am certain that Ethics, which embodies the intangible value of being right with one another and right with Nature, is going to be a 21st Century stand-out.
It was my great privilege to be a co-founder with Winn Schwartau of the first Information Warfare Conference in the early 1990’s. Winn, through his books and Congressional testimony did more than anyone else to warn us of both NSA’s likekly malfeasance (see his 1980’s book Terminal Compromise) and of the vulnerability of the Internet to melt-down if we did not address security at the code level.
It was also my privilege to serve on rotation to the CIA’s Office of Information Technology where I led the effort to introduce advanced information technologies including artificial intelligence, from 1986-1988. When Bill Casey died this initiative died with him. We still do not have today the tri-fecta I called for back then: geospatial attributes for all data in all mediums and languages; open standards and embedded security to allow for the inter-operability of all information and communications technologies and related data; and finally — defined much more ably by Diane Webb and Dennis McCormick, eighteen integrated desktop analytic functionalities (look for CATALYST – Computer-Aided Tools for the Analysis of Science & Technology).
Since 1990, when I first itemized six things that US intelligence needed to do in order to better serve the USA, I have been persistently troubled by the lack of leadership and the lack of integrity in this profession that I consider so fundamental to creating a prosperous country at peace with itself as well as the rest of the world.
Today, 24 years later and no less than $1.2 trillion dollars down the drain, most of it spent on technical collection (mass surveillance) that is not actually processed, not a single one of these six fundamentals has been addressed with integrity.
I’ve been invited to participate in The New Story Summit in Scotland, and they are paying all expenses, which matters since I have no salary, no pensions, and no savings. The event is closed now to further registration, but open to any who wish to take advantage of the live streaming portions. For myself, with help from Tom Atlee, it is an opportunity to reflect on the past quarter century of failed activism in favor of government intelligence reform, and at the same time to lay down some aspirations for the next quarter century during which I intend to be active in new ways — creating the people’s world brain. Although there are those — including Buckminster Fuller (don’t fix a broken system, create a new system that displaces the old) and Russell Ackoff (stop doing the wrong things righter, do the right thing instead) that might consider my time and energy wasted these past 25 years, I do not — everything has its time and place. Now is the time for me to take what I have learned from tilting at windmills owned by others, and apply that deep experience to building the people’s windmill — what Google and Microsoft and IBM should have been doing all this time.
I was thinking this morning about how little has changed since I was a founding member of the Advanced Information Processing and Analysis Steering Group (AIPASG) and also a member of the Information Handling Committee (IHC) for the US secret world (late 1980’s early 1990’s).
I note in passing my continued dismay as I see — year after year — papers that address the problem without doing their homework. In relation to just two of the eight factors below (proessing), I note that one paper, “Top Ten Needs for Intelligence Analysis Tool Development“(Batelle, 2009) did a nice day’s work without ever discovering the original four requirements documents (CIA, USMC, 1989). Worse, I am seeing papers today about to be published, that themselves take the 2009 article at face value without having a clue that there is so much more work that has been done….and been ignored by intelligence community seniors. Everyone goes through the motions. NGA means well but it will never accomplish what it claims to be already be doing. Ask them when their cave will be at the White House. At OMB. At CIA or DIA. At a theater command. In Afghanistan. The truthful answer is “not in my lifetime.”
NGA’s ideas are very expensive non-inter-operable, bandwidth-impossible, non-scalable day dreams. Saying — as was said today at AFIO — that the NRO is responsible for all the big data hard stuff — the pipes, the speeds, the feeds — is an unprofessional cop-out. Even the idea of reversing the 75-25 ratio between legacy government software and COTS is wrong headed — only open source everything is affordable, interoperable, and scalable. What NGA leadership does not know about nuts and bolts is troubling. If the next USDI goes down this path, our analysts will continue to be the redheaded step kids locked in the closet with a sock in their mouth — and our strategists, policy-makers, acquisition managers, and operational commanders will continue to be (as Mike Flynn was and remains) screwed by a system that cares more about keeping the money moving than it does about serving our troops and those that train, organize, and equip our national capabilities. CrisisMappers, humanitarian UAVs, non-US commercially-created geospatial, and unfettered multinational open sources are all part of the solution — and are all banned from discussion within the US secret world.
When things are not going well, until you get the truth out on the table, no matter how ugly, you are not in a position to deal with it. Bob Seelert, Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide (New York)
Below is my rough take on where the US Intelligence Community stands today on analytic excellence. The green outside the IC borders represents all of the possibilities that are actively and inexpensively present.
I worked with four quadrants, as is my custom.
Quadrant A: Source Diversity and Source Integrity
Quadrant B: Processing Big Data and Processing Desktop
Quadrant C: Analyst Education & Training and Analyst Outreach
Quadrant D: Analyst Access to Deciders and Deciders Integrity
Reflections: Seven Steps to US Intelligence Reform
I was quite surprised to see multiple searches using the same language. It is an important question that I have been asking — and answering — since 1988 when I helped create the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (today a mini-me of the larger mis-directed secret intelligence world).
My six challeges defined and published (with pre-publication clearance as usual) in 1994 have still not been met because we have not had any intelligence “leaders” willing to commit to intelligence with integrity.
I now believe that the DNI was a wrong turn. The next DNI should be charged by the next President with dismantling the DNI, restoring the DCI position, and executing a variety of straight-forward reforms that I have championed for a quarter century. A transformative intelligence reform process would shut down ODNI, restore the DCI, create an Open Source Agency (OSA), and elevate the National Intelligence Council (NIC) to the Executive Office of the President (EOP). Somewhere in there OMB, Congress, the media, and the public would receive public (open unclassified) ethical evidence-based decision-support on all threats, policies, and country counterparts, while creating Community Decision-Support Networks that implement the proven process of intelligence at the local, county, state, and regional issue management levels.
Below is my primary graphic that speaks directly to the two things that are missing from the project — a comprehensive embrace of Open Source Everything (OSE); and a coherent approach to decision-support across all mission areas and at all levels. After the first graphic, below the line, are several of my long-standing intelligence renaissance graphics with a few words about their applicability to Ecuador Initiative, a Presidential endeavor.
As this graphic, building on the complex vision of the entire team, shows, there is a need for a larger construct that both blends together all that is being done in the relatively isolated domains, each with their own project manager, and that also serves as a service of common concern, doing research and providing ethical evidence-based decision-support to each of the project managers as well as all others.
The central precept, from my book THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth, & Trust (North Atlantic Books / Evolver Editions, 2012) is that one must embrace all of the opens together. They are a “package deal.” Hence this interpretation of the President’s vision adds the essentials for doing open source information-sharing and sense-making across all boundaries.
In that context, it adds the needed function of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), the revolution I led prior to becoming enthusiastic about a complete liberation of the public from the industrial era elites that are corrupt and that are destroying our commonwealth.