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THE SMART NATION ACT: Public Intelligence in the Public Interest Hardcover – September 11, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Few have thought as deeply or imaginatively about such questions as a super-smart [now fifty-four]-year old former Marine and intelligence officer named Robert D. Steele... -- Alvin & Heidi Toffler, in War & Anti War

Robert Steele is about 100 times as smart and 10,000 times more dangerous as the best of the hackers, for he is successfully hacking the most challenging of bureaucracies, the U.S. intelligence community, and doing it for the right reasons. -- Bruce Sterling, Hacker Crackdown: Law and Order on the Electronic Frontier

Steele's advocacy and efforts have led the way toward an enlightened and informed public. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for the sacrifices he has made to drag us - kicking and screaming - into the modern information age. --Lieutenant General Patrick Hughes, U.S. Army (Retired)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: OSS International Press; 1st edition (September 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971566143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971566149
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

60 years old (the new 40) in 2012 -- raised in Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia including Viet-Nam as the son of an oil engineer. AB 1974 Muhlenberg Political Science (thesis on multinational corporations and home-host country issues), MA Lehigh University thesis on predicting revolution in all forms, then USMC Active Duty as an infantry officer and BLT 3/4 S-1 Adjutant, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, then CIA as a clandestine case officer, scored in top 10 in my class, three back to back tours overseas, one chasing terrorists, three Washington tours (counterintelligence, information technology, DCI's vault for all technical systems), CIA Mid-Career Course, invited by Marine Corps to come back as a GS-14 to help created the Marine Corps Intelligence Center, did that. That was also my fork in the road. Discovered that the secret world is largely worthless in supporting all policy, all acquisition, all operations, and totally absent in supporting Whole of Government, public education, and public research. Started the modern Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) movement against very strong resistance from CIA, went on the train 7,500 mid-career officers from across 66+ countries, wrote the DIA, NATO, and SOF OSINT Handbooks. Created a for-profit (Open Source Solutions Network, now closed) and a non-profit (Earth Intelligence Network, 501c3, lying fallow). Published a number of articles and chapters in addition to book, and am now focused on a mix of Open Source Everything (OSE) and Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2). I remain the only persistent proponent for a national Open Source Agency to champion OSE and NOT be part of the secret world. Actively seeking a government-academic-industry sponsor or sponsor group interested in creating the World Brain and Global Game to harness and monetize the distributed intelligence of the Whole Earth.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Retired Reader on August 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is really a compilation of the writings of Robert D. Steele that are relevant to the Smart Nation Act. This remarkable piece of legislation was introduced by Congressman Rob Simmons (R, Ct.) in September 2006 and represents an effort to persuade congress to think seriously about the kind of real intelligence reform that Steele has been advocating for close to twenty years. Simmons, like Steele, has a background in intelligence and is a rare informed critic of the U.S. Intelligence System. Needless to say there is neither powerful lobbyist support nor national security establishment support for real intelligence reform. And especially since few voters care one way or the other about such issues, this act will probably go nowhere.

What is commonly forgotten is that intelligence in the CIA sense of the word is simply processed information focused on specific subjects in such a way as to provide unique knowledge of those subjects. Intelligence does not have to be classified. It usually is classified for one of three reasons:1) to protect the sources and methods by which it was produced; 2) to protect bureaucratic turf from rivals; and 3) to prevent the subject(s) of the intelligence from realizing that unauthorized persons are in possession of knowledge about them. Steele correctly maintains that classification hinders the development of real knowledge about a variety of subjects and is largely unnecessary.

The core of the Smart Nation Act and Steele's primary theses is that an Open Source Intelligence Agency based on the free flow of information, the widespread use of outside experts, and the input from everyone including common citizens would provide better and cheaper intelligence than that now obtained from the existing U.S. Intelligence System.
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THE SMART NATION ACT: Public Intelligence in the Public Interest
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