Washington, DC. Jan 9th, 2006 ---- Washington makes strange bedfellows and next week the military OSINT crowd should make a point of getting one of the 500 free tickets to visit IOP' 06. Here you will see speakers who want to "Crucify" American Industry and Wall Street Leaders, overthrow the Federal Government and give power to the billions of the poor roll out the carpet for the ultra right wing Neocons.
The conference, billed to include many left wing thinkers such as Alvin Toffler and Howard Bloom is being opened by Congressman Rob Simmons, linked by many to Tom DeLay, PACs, Abramoff and others under judicial hospitality. Not only Simmons, but the new Assistant Deputy Director of Intelligence for Open Source, Eliot Jardines, whose appointment has not been well received by the entrenched Washington Bureaucracy.
The socialist thinkers believe the power is with the masses, and they will rise up and overthrow the capitalists. Er.....I don't think so. From personal travel around all these countries they would sooner either join the capitalists or use the money to buy food, firewood and seek shelter. They have no use for intelligence, open source or secret. After all the Soviet Union collapsed, not Wall Street.
The organizers believe we are all "Pretenders" and "Charlatans" wanting to steal their thunder and kudos. No such thoughts. I must say they devoted the last 18 years to trying to convince the Department of Defense to embrace their views of military Open Source Intelligence. Unfortunately if you attack them on Monday, don't expect them to give you contracts on Tuesday.
The question then becomes"Will DoD embrace an Open Source Intelligence model open to private companies." and the answer is, and always was a resounding NO! For to create such a useful resource would bring much of the manipulation and fabrication of intelligence into the open. There is lip service underway with the appointment of Eliot Jardines as Assistant Deputy Director. About as far as the Aleutian Islands from the Washington power base.
The hope by advocates of OSINT is that Eliot Jardines will create a new paradigm to give the United States a better understanding of the world, after so many Intelligence failures have cost us dearly, in everything from global prestige to brave volunteers blown to pieces following faulty intelligence. For it is the open source political intelligence that failed in Iraq, not the military. Now Paul Bremmer admits the Administration never expected the Insurgency to occur. Where is their history, or understanding of the culture. Didn't anyone do a Google search? James Risen slams the CIA in his new book Underestimating Intelligence, but they did try and warn the deaf politicians, who were too busy receiving "favors" from Lobbyists to listen, or in the case of Cheney and Rumsfeld had made their minds up decades ago.
The organizer Robert Steele did complain about the original draft of this piece, as it unfairly criticized his Republican credentials. Fair enough, we only used his direct quotes and they are in plentiful supply, but I see no purpose in condemning his work over the years. That of course is the problem with writing 90,000 long statements du jour. You forget how you blasted the government, military and the people you are seeking to employ you. Now we too are the recipient of vitriolic condemnation we can rest at night, knowing we are in good company.
OSINT is merely a technique to achieve an end in a specific area. When you become so obsessed with the concept it takes on a religious fervor, and eventually will destroy you. Over the years I have met and crossed swords with many "OSINT Gurus", in Europe, Asia and America. Most disappear after a vocal period, usually either bankrupt or counting their mounting losses. The last made his excuses and went off to develop a better understanding of socialism in Germany.
OSINT has to be based on capitalist principles if it is to be the business plan of a corporation, even an individual consultant. The adoption of the techniques you propose have to achieve a quantifiable metric, for "If it can't be measured it can't be managed." That means focusing on a specific area of expertise. Even the US Government can't hope to cover all languages, all dialects 24/7. Anyway the cost would be prohibitive and the operation unmanageable.
ComLinks focuses on Energy, Political Intelligence, Telecommunications and a new subject Water. We don't seek to replace the military, nor even want to run their operations. That is not what we were created to achieve, and frankly there is no commercial opportunities to get near the hyped inflated contracts reserved for the Big US Defense Contractors. Global Energy Geopolitics is the No 1 intelligence worry for the United States, and the rest are just commercial sideshows.
To achieve that end we too have a widespread group of strange bedfellows, who if we brought together in a single room would constitute a riot. The opinions are often widely differing, especially when Israel and Iran are concerned. But the product is the blueprint to the future, and is often at odds to the established thinking. But that is why we need competitive thinking, and do not need the belief that one flavor, opinion, or group has all the answers and the rest are Unethical Copycats seeking to steal the 15 minutes of Fame.
Politics creates strange bedfellows, and we welcome those who can see beyond their own publicity. We need Political and Energy Intelligence to meet the needs of the United States. We are trying to prevent the Second Great Depression which could be a real possibility if Oil supplies are cut, for a prolonged period of time. To achieve that, unlike the neocon polarized and racist thinking from the White House, we welcome all shades of analysis.