The below memorandum was delivered to the Vice-President-elect via the Transitioin Team. Although Condi Rice, prodded by Kevin Scheid, did read a related memorandum on reforming national intelligence, and asked for a tailored one-pager on homeland security, the White House never really got it and Sean O'Keefe left the Office Management and Budget (OMB) before they could be briefed into a Presidential Initiative that was ready to go at $125M a year Initial Operating Capability, climbing to $2B a year at Full Operational Capability (FOC).
GOLDEN CANDLE AWARD: CONGRESSMAN ROB SIMMONS (R-CT-02)
IOP '06. To Congressman Rob Simmons (R-CT-02), who, as a pioneer in the 1990’s, won his first Golden Candle as a Lieutenant Colonel commanding an open source unit, later officially recognized as the “Best Small Unit in the US Army Reserve. As a Congressman, elected in 2000, he has been diligent and faithful to the Republic in pressing for open source intelligence (OSINT) reform across both the defense and the homeland security communities. There is no more influential champion for public intelligence and open source information exploitation serving the U.S. Government today.
Below is the paper Rob Simmons, as gentle and intelligent a Member as we have ever encountered, wrote in 1995 as a Major in the Post Graduate Intelligence Program.
In 1995 the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) took and interest in Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), and c arried out a survey that to the best of our knowledge, was blocked, side-stepped, and generally not respected by the U.S. Intelligence Community generally and the Department of Defense (DoD) specifically.
Click on the below JPEG to read two pages summarizing what OSS CEO said to them.
The below memorandum is very professional and a tangible example of the diligence that Paul Wallner, on detail from DIA to run the Community Open Source Program Office (COSPO) in its first incarnation, brought to the job. Paul Wallner coined the term “source of first resort,” and he did everything in his power to get OSINT right when we were able to force the matter to the high table. That he failed is not a reflection on him, as much as it is on the history of opposition, both passive aggressive and blatantly treasonous, that has characterized the “institutional” responses to this transofrmative “full spectrum” discipline.
Tom Pedtke was the single most important practitioner during the 1992 surge when we thought we had a chance to get it right. Coming out of the National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC) in Cleveland, Ohio, he had an appreciation for “full spectrum” Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) such as would never be achieved by those steeped in the culture of foreign broadcast monitoring, and he understood research and citation analysis and all the other tricks of the OSINT trade that simply do not come into play when you are monitoring fixed schedule broadcasts. Following in the tradition of National Intelligence Officer for Science & Technology (NIO/S&T) Jan Herring who tried all of this in the 1970's, Tom Pedtke had all of the knowledge and the best of intentions. Like Paul Wallner, he simply could not move the beast from within.
1992 was a good year. Everyone tried to do the right thing, but the forces of passive aggressive opposition were over-whelming. Within the military, only the U.S. Marine Corps took this seriiously, and within the U.S. Intelligence Community (more like an archipelago) only the Defense Intelligence Agency–and within that agency only one man, Paul Wallner, took this seriously. Everywhere we went, “nice to have, not invented here, certainly not interested in redirecting funds” was the refrain. Below is a decent effort by decent people.
After four years of advocacy by the US Marine Corps, in 1992 the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) agreed to take action on Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). As would be natural, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) was asked to provide a report on behalf of a Joint Open Source Task Force. As is the custom at CIA, everything having to do with OSINT is classified. Below is the UNCLASSIFIED Marine Corps evaluation of the Final Report. So very little has changed within CIA and FBIS in 20 years that most of this evaluation–and especially those aspects of this evaluation pertaining to the CIA/FBIS (or Open Source Center/OSC) ability to a) understand the military and b) meet military needs, remain valid as a starting point for discussing how DoD and other elements of the US Government not now satisfied by CIA or OSC, should address their needs for OSINT in support of policy, acquisition, and operations.