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.