June 18, 2014
OPEN SOURCE IT ALL:
Government's Closed-Source Intelligence : Overclassification fetishizes reports stamped "secret," and covers up official malfeasance. (PHILIP GIRALDI • June 18, 2014, American Conservative)
Having been in U.S. intelligence myself, I can confirm that officials tend to regard classified information as reliable and comprehensive, which frequently leads them to ignore everything else. It might be comforting to peruse a glossy report stamped "Top Secret" in the National Security Council conference room, but from my role as an intelligence collector overseas I can assert without any fear of contradiction that clandestine source reporting can be as bad as what one reads on just about any site on the Internet, and is often considerably worse than what appears in the newspapers. This bias in favor of reporting produced by the "community" induces a tunnel vision on the part of intelligence analysts that has belatedly led to a debate about the value of open sources versus the tightly controlled version of reality that prevails in security clearance land.
MORE:Posted by Orrin Judd at June 18, 2014 7:07 PM
Open Source Intelligence (RICHARD S. FRIEDMAN, Summer 1998, Parameters)