Review: Snow on the Golden Horn

5 Star, Fiction
Amazon Page

Walt Breede

5.0 out of 5 stars As good as Nero Wolfe, Travis McGee, or Matt Helm,December 2, 2012

DISCLOSURE: the author was my boss in the Marine Corps, and one of three truly brilliant bosses I have had in my 60-year lifetime. I read this book in galley, but now that he has two other books out and I have the set, this is a good time to do something I rarely do, review a book of fiction (I read in 98 non-fiction categories, you can access all my reviews by category at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog).

The author is a mathematics and operations research wizard (operations research is what the Navy used in WWII to anticipate submarine attacks and devise tactics that successfully drove the U-Boats from the sea). He is a US Naval Academy graduate who chose the Marine Corps, was the first Director of the Marine Corps Intelligence Center, and in retirement chose to teach high school mathematics and coach sports rather than cash in his clearances with beltway bandit work. I hold him in the very highest regard.

I should also mention that he was a defense attache in Turkey, back in the days when anesthesia for major medical for both men and women was a bottle of scotch, and I know from talking to him that quite a bit of each of his books is drawn from real-life experience with just a tad of embellishment (well maybe more than a tad). My point is that these three books are both engrossing, and connected to the real world.

I won’t spoil the story line, and will just say that the protagonist represents the ideal man, the man every woman wants and every man envies, and as a former spy myself (the author was not, defense attaches are totally legal), I consider the protagonist to be the perfect citizen intelligence officer — action oriented, observant, brilliant, and prudent, and of course outrageously successful in the face of ably-described evil on every corner.

STRONGLY RECOMMENDED as holiday gifts and holiday reading!

The other two books are Altar Stone: An Alan Llewellyn Novel and Sanity Check, which will be listed on Amazon soon and will be the last of my reviews–and I will not repeat the above introductory material but will point back to this, the first book in what should be a six to ten book series.

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Search: e veritate potens

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Although the search yields appropriate results, this is a good opportunity to highlight the history and intent of the various mottos of this public intelligence endeavor.

Ex Veritate Potens.  This was the motto of the Marine Corps Intelligence Center (MCIA), co-founded by Col Walter J. Breede III and his Special Assistant and Deputy Director Robert Steele.  It was inspired by a mix of the US Naval Academy motto (Breede is USNA ’68) and the CIA motto (Steele is a veteran of the CIA clandestine service).

Ex Sciencia Tridens + Ye Shall Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Set You Free (John 8:32)

When Open Source Solutions, Inc. (later Open Source Solutions Network, Inc.) was created, it adopted the informal MCIA motto, only to hear in 1994 from Winston Maiki (RIP) that the Latin was incorrect, that it should be E Veritate Potens (from truth, we (the people) are made powerful).  And so it became.

OSS.Net, Inc. went out of business in 2008 and closed its tax records in 2010.  The motto was adopted by its follow-on, the non-profit 501c3 Earth Intelligence Network, a Virginia corporation that is dormant at this time.

When Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog was created a few years ago, several quotations were assembled for the About page, generally focusing on the importance of the truth and the cost of dishonesty and the corruption of the truth.  At that time, founder Robert Steele refined a concept that has been on his mind since beginning to read about true cost economics as devised by Herman Daly, and composed the following:

The truth at any cost lowers all other costs.

More recently, inspired by the work of Doug Rushkoff and Venessa Miemis, and the long-running persistent championship of Michel Bauwens for Person to Person (P2P) global to local engagement, this web site, Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, devised a crude (Google translate) approximation of Connected We Are One: Connexum Sumus Unum.

Other translation sources became available, and Conexa Sunt Unum has been proposed. but not confirmed in part because Sunt appears to be external while Sumus is Of, By, and For We the People.  We await the intervention of a qualified Latin scholar, greatly missing our #1 OSINT Analyst, Winston Maiki.

In passing, Robert Garigue (RIP) is the original pioneer of the concept that all security is about truth–not about force of arms or prevention.  Security is about transparency, truth, and trust.  One could spend a lifetime thinking about and acting on this Nobel-level insight.  He is featured in the Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, see Garigue–together with Winston Maiki, he is one of the many angels that watch over this righteous endeavor.

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About: E Veritate Potens

Journal: MILNET Flags Sorting It Out: New Tools Wrestle Mountains of Data Into Usable Intelligence

Communities of Practice, InfoOps (IO), Methods & Process, Technologies, Tools

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

August 24, 2009

Pg. 11

By Kris Osborn

In 2008, U.S. military forces collected 400,000 hours of airborne surveillance video, up from several thousand hours 10 years ago. So the Pentagon is turning to computers to help save, sort and search it all.

“The proliferation of unmanned systems across the battlefield is not going to lessen in the future. We saw it happen in the first Gulf War. Once commanders have it, there is an insatiable appetite for FMV,” or full-motion video, said Maj. Gen. John Custer III, who commands the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

“You not only need the tools to exploit that, you need storage because commanders don’t only want to see a building now but what it looked like yesterday, six weeks ago and six months ago,” Custer said. “When you have 18 systems up for 18 hours a day, you get into terabytes in a week. We are going to be in large data-storage warehousing for the rest of time.”
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