Draft Chapter for Strategic Intelligence
will. U.S. Intelligence is a small part of the overall federal government, and it merits comment that most of our problems today cannot be blamed on U.S. Intelligence as much as on a corrupt Congressional and Executive all too eager to ignore, for example, the Peak Oil warnings of 1974-1979 in order to keep the bribes going and the public docile. This is not, however, to excuse the U.S. Intelligence Community, in as much a focus on OSINT from 1988 onwards would have done much to illuminate and correct the policy errors that benefited from secrecy, obscurity, and public inattentiveness.
The U.S. Intelligence Community is incapable today, five years after 9-11, of creating a single consolidated watch list of suspected terrorists. The U.S. Government as a whole is incapable of sharing everything that it knows for lack of collaborative mindsets, willing management, interoperable systems, and coherent data sets. There are three primary impediments to the U.S. Intelligence Community ever being able to share readily:
1. . The obsession with security is occasioned in part by the fact that the secret intelligence world, even though it has “compartments,” has never learned to disaggregate secret from non-secret information. Everything is stored at the “high side,” at the highest possible level of security, meaning that nothing can be shared with anyone who is not cleared for the highest level of security, however unclassified the information might be.
2. . The secret world has for decades operated under a “third party rule” that prohibits the sharing of any information received from one party, with another party. This rule is extremely detrimental to multi-lateral sharing, and
Version 2.4 dated 7 April 2006