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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/27/14

Rebuilding National Intelligence -- A 12-Step Plan

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[24] My article on the seven strikes of defense intelligence is linked in Note 1. Two books among the 36 I have reviewed on DIA specifically include A. J. Rossmiller, Still Broken--A Recruit's Inside Account of Intelligence Failures, from Baghdad to the Pentagon(Presidio Press, 2008), my review: If the SecDef and DNI Could Read One Book, This is the One; and Jeffrey St. Clair, Grand Theft Pentagon :Tales of Corruption and Profiteering in the War on Terror(Common Courage Press, 2005), my review: Chapter and Verse But No Footnotes--a Cornerstone Read. The classic book on why defense intelligence matters is Chuck Spinney's still acutely relevant Defense Facts of Life: The Plans/Reality Mismatch(Westview Press, 1985), my review: Core Ideas Relevant to Imminent Defense Reform.

[25] I have reviewed 16 books on the FBI and counterintelligence. Military counterintelligence is just as broken for the same reason DIA is broken: entrenched civilians ignore and outlast uniformed leaders who are not allowed to clean house. Apart from being ineffective, the FBI is also accountable for its role, under Hoover, in the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The persistent refusal of the CIA and the FBI to work together -- or with military counterintelligence -- is a leadership failure that continues to this day. Three books worthy of citation here are Sibel Edmonds, Classified Woman-The Sibel Edmonds Story: A Memoir (Sibel Edmonds, 2012), a guest review from David Swanson, Sibel Edmonds Finally Wins; my friend and former FBI Supervisory Special Agent I. C. Smith, Inside--A Top G-Man Exposes Spies, Lies, and Bureaucratic Bungling in the FBI (Thomas Nelson, 2004); my review: Not Enough on Spies, Plenty on State-Level Corruption and FBI Idiocy; and Mark Riebling, Wedge--From Pearl Harbor to 9/11--How the Secret War between the FBI and CIA Has Endangered National Security (Touchstone, 2002), my review: Pogo Lives at FBI--We Are Our Own Worst Enemies.

[26] Col Mike Pheneger, USA, then J-2 for US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and I, then the second-ranking civilian in Marine Corps Intelligence and the senior civilian responsible for creating the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA), blew the whistle on Mapping, Charting, & Geodesy (MC&G) shortfalls in 1988-1992. The official USMC findings on MC&G short-falls (roughly 90% of our countries of interest) are contained in the study I led, Planning and Programming Factors for Expeditionary Operations in the Third World (MCCDC, 1990). Although I finally succeeded, as the Marine Corps representative to the Foreign Intelligence Requirements, Capabilities, and Priorities Committee (FIRCAP), in getting MC&G added to the national intelligence responsibilities as a priority, and third world countries short-falls recognized in the FIRCAP document, the reality is that senior military commanders do not think about MC&G shortfalls -- or strategic generalization such as bridge loading data and standard aviation day temperatures -- and neither do the so-called intelligence leaders. One very credible study of this matter by Arnie Donahue recommends that the NGA be combined with the US Geological Service (USGS) and focus on map-making for all instead of isolated (singular) geospatial displays costing hundreds of millions of dollars that are useless outside the beltway. It bears mention that USGS, while excellent in many ways, also has severe shortfalls. During the recovery from Hurricane Sandy, it was noticeably absent as first responders scrambled to blend together GoogleEarth, micro-drone images and hand-held photography from victims to establish "ground truth" for rescue and reconstruction operations.

[27] Cf. search at Phi Beta Iota on NGA big data >.

[28] Security oaths are administration matters that do not have the force of law, but the various Administrations have sought to equate violations with treason. In my view, the oath we take to defend the US Constitution against all enemies, domestic and foreign, trumps all laws and all regulations. That is an ethical point of order not honored by the present or recent Attorney Generals. It was my privilege to testify to the Moynihan Commission on Secrecy, where my core point was that secrecy is used by the secret world primarily to enable lies to Congress. I have reviewed a number of books on secrecy that provide vital perspectives on this schism between the public interest and routine betrayal of the public trust. See for example, Daniel Ellsberg, Secrets--A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (Viking Adult, 2002), my review: History Matters, Secrecy Permits War Crimes by Presidents; Ted Gup, Nation of Secrets--The Threat to Democracy and the American Way of Life (Doubleday, 2007), my review: Our Era's Tom Paine on Common Sense; Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy (Diane Books, 2008), my review: The Single Best Examination of Secrecy Costs; Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Secrecy--The American Experience (Yale, 1998), my review: Extraordinary Contribution to National Sanity and Security; Dilip Hiro, Secrets and Lies--Operation "Iraqi Freedom" and After: A Prelude to the Fall of U.S. Power in the Middle East? (Nation Books, 2003), my review: Most Scholarly Documentation of Bush-Blair Deceit; Michael Turner, Why Secret Intelligence Fails (Potomac Books, 2005), my review: Superb for the general audience, not for professionals.

[29] I was given a front row seat on 19 July 2014 when Ellsberg and Snowden were the keynote speakers at Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE). The live stream of that presentation was #1 in the world. My comments, their bottom line, and the entire embedded video are at HOPEX: YouTube (1:23:26) Ellsberg -- Snowden.

[30] My indictment of USD(I) Mike Vickers explicitly and at this time is detailed in "On Defense Intelligence: Seven Strikes," as published in CounterPunch, Supra note 1.

[31] Here I am citing General Tony Zinni, USMC, then Commanding General of the US Central Command (USCENTCOM) engaged at the time in two wars and over 12 joint task force actions. His exact words can be seen here, Graphic: Tony Zinni on 4% "At Best" and were first cited publicly in my seminal work, "Open Source Intelligence," in Loch Johnson (ed.), Strategic Intelligence: The Intelligence Cycle (Praeger, 2007), Chapter 6, pp. 96-122.

[32] Cf. Robert David Steele, "The National Security Act of 1992," American Intelligence Journal (Winter 1992).

[33] Robert David Steele, "Think Again: Intelligence," Reality Sandwich (7 January 2014). A refined academic version is forthcoming, Rob Dover and Robert Steele, "Intelligence and National Strategy? Rethinking Intelligence--Seven Barriers to Reform" (Sage Publications).

[34] In 2006 I published -- and Congressman Rob Simmons (R-CT-02) and I distributed to every Senator and every Representative, THE SMART NATION ACT: Public Intelligence in the Public Interest. Oakton, VA: OSS International Press. It is also free online as THE SMART NATION ACT__web PDF (270 pages).

[35] A one page version of this simplified act is online at Reference: Smart Nation Act (Simplified) 2011.

[36] Amy Zegart, Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC (Stanford, 2000); my review: Too Hard to Fix on the Margins--Fix Big or Don't Fix At All.

[37] Graphic: 9-11 Commission Open Source Agency. Mr. Kevin Scheid, today Assistant Chief Management Officer in the Pentagon, has never received due credit for his stellar performance on the staff of the 9/11 Commission, and in later postings. He is ideally suited to be the next Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

[38] Keith Hall, former Staff Director for the Budget at the SSCI, and later the Director of the NRO, is the originator of the original $1.5 billion a year estimate (150 topics at $10 million a year each). He was interviewed by Boyd Sutton, my former boss and one of the most ethical and experienced intelligence professionals I have ever known. Boyd, assigned by George Tenet to examine short-falls in US IC capacity, authored The Challenge of Global Coverage in 1997. When Tenet was told there was a need to spend on open sources instead of secret sources, he refused to attend to the study and ordered it locked up and never spoken of again. Fortunately, an unclassified version has been published and is free online.

[39] The first time, in 2000, by Sean O'Keefe, then Deputy Director of OMB, after being briefed by Don Gessaman, then recently retired Associate Deputy Director of OMB for National Security; the second time, in 2010, by Kathleen Peroff (Gessaman's replacement) and other senior staff, after being briefed by Dr. Joseph Markowitz, former Chief, Community Open Source Program Office (COSPO), and myself.

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Robert Steele is a former spy -- one of the first to chase terrorists in the 1980's -- who has become known for his global proponency of Open Source Everything (OSE). Raised abroad by a father born in New York and a mother born in Colombia, he spent four years on active duty as a Marine Corps infantry officer and S-1/Adjutant (personnel and (more...)
 

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