Maurice Botbol was among the first professional observers to notice the conflict between the secret intelligence world’s view of open sources as “Open Sores,” and the competing view of open sources as both complementary and often sufficient. Below is his presentation to OSS ’97. His most trenchant observations are regretably not included in the document. Click on his photo to reach his publishing company.
Temporarily two documents, move past Dick Kerr who has his own page, this document is being split up and will be properly mounted in the very near future.
Dick Kerr, former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Intelligence (DDI), was among hte most personable and approachable intelligence leaders in retirement. Like Jim Schlesinger, who nailed it in the 1970’s, he understood the problems, but “The Borg” has a life of its own absent a forced paradigm shift.
Whenever we get depressed about the inability of large organizations to “hear” we just remind ourselves that no one listens to Brent Scowcroft or Paul Strassmann either despite their stature as intellectual giants.
Strassmann is an enterprise unto himself after decades of being a CIO for Xerox, DoD, and then a reprise at NASA for Sean O’Keefe. His books are among the most vital for executives seeking to actually understand the business value of computing. Below is his presentation to OSS ’96.
For a time it appeared as if the US IC might actually listen, and a short standard briefing emerged that appeared to capture the essentials. Below is the outline as it appeared in the Proceedings for OSS ’96.
Something of a renaissance man, Mort Zuckerman is active across real estate, the media (US News & World Report), the talk shows, and the Smithsonian cultural circuit. Below is his hard-hitting commentary as presented at OSS ’96. Read this carefully. See especially the use of the word “manic.” The US Government is not trained, equipped, or organized to be intelligent. The consumers of intelligence do not represent the public as much as they do the recipients of the public’s largesse, and do not know how to do intelligence in the public interest. The secret intelligence community refuses to create a strategic analytic model, and continues to be driven by budget, technical, and bureaucratic consideration–inputs–rather than desired outcomes.
A Roundtable Discussion
On 1 March 1996, the Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the United States Intelligence Community (the Brown Commission) issued its report to the President and to Congress. On 26 March, Studies in Intelligence board members Brian Latell, Robert Herd, John Wiant, and Bill Nolte met at the Commission’s offices in the New Executive Office Building with Ann Z. Caracristi, a member of the Commission; Staff Director L. Britt Snider; and staff members Douglas Horner, Brendan Melley, Kevin Scheid, and William Kvetkas. What follows is an edited transcript of the discussion with them, reviewed in advance by the participants.
In 1986, Project GEORGE (Smiley) in the CIA’s Office of Information Technology discovered that computers had been designed without ever talking to librarians. There were created as unstructured bit buckets. It turns out that in the analog period, structure and the Dewey decimal system and humanly-constructed taxonomies were vitally important if one was to archive and retrieve knowledge within the limits of the individual human. During the middle period, which is STILL IN PROGRESS, computers have failed to get a grip on unstructured information. As Stephen E. Arnold and others have documented, electronic search yields less than 10% of what is online (apart from deep web not covered by any of the 75 search engines, there are C drives and peripheral drives that have not been indexed). Although David Weinberg is correct in his book Everything is Miscellaneous, and the digital world opens the propect for infinitely sharing information while retaining the original, and for creating infinite wealth by eliminating information asymmetries and data pathologies that favor the few at the expense of the many, there is no single government, corporation, organization, or collective other than Earth Intelligence Network and its affiliated society, Phi Beta Iota, that is actually committed to realizing the full potential of humans as H. G. Wells, Pierre Tielhard de Chardin, Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly, and others have envisioned: as the World Brain within Earth Game, all humans, all minds, all the time. See the 2009 article on Human Intelligence by clicking on the icon below.
2006 PLATINUM LIFETIME AWARD Dr. Joseph Markowitz
Dr. Joseph Markowitz is without question the most qualified Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) pioneer in the ranks of those presently in or retired from U.S. government service. As the only real chief of the Community Open Source Program Office (COSPO) he tried valiently to nurture a program being systematically undermined by both the leadership and the traditional broadcast monitoring service. When he moved on to advise the Defense Science Board, he served America well by helping them fully integrate the need for both defense open source information collection and exploitation, and defense information sharing with non-governmental organizations. His persistent yet diplomatic efforts merit our greatest regard.
Ralph Peters is the only author other than Will Durant to have his own shelf in the OSS/EIN/PBI library. He can anger, infuriate, provoke and sometimes even drive insane those who are impatient with controversy. We hold him in the highest regard as one who consistently speaks truth to power. See the reviews of his many books.
Below is his speech to the Open Source Intelligence Lunch Club on 12 September 1995, as included in the Proceedings of that year’s conference.
Ivian Smith, just prior to going to Little Rock during a Clinton Administration, was the top FBI executive for dealing with CIA on open source intelligence and related matters. His critique of both CIA and FBI is devastating–and this was in 1995, long before the litany of errors that allowed 9-11 to happen came to light. His book is less about spies and more about local, state, and federal political corruption as well as FBI incompetency, and highly recommended. The government is a beneficiary of public intelligence, NOT a source of public intelligence. We’re on our own.