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CBS Does OSINT

Inside CIA headquarters, a high-tech monitoring operation scores an intelligence coup, obtaining a close-up photo of an Iranian nuclear facility.

The source: an Iranian blog discovered in the vast labyrinth of the Internet […]

Elliot Jardines is this United States’ first director for open source intelligence, an unusual job in a business that usually keeps its sources secret. […]

As a former student and colleague of Eliot’s I may be biased, but if anyone can move this effort forward it is him. Let’s face it; the guy made a good living doing OSINT back when no one could be bothered.

“One of the challenges that I have is to change the culture to value open sources more,” Jardines says.

Jardines acknowledges that the traditional attitude throughout the agency is that if information was not stolen, it cannot be valuable.

“That’s very much the old attitude,”

I was amused at the grizzled old IC veteran who said that if something wasn’t stolen off the desk of some foreign minister, it wasn’t intelligence. Either he wasn’t paying attention in Intel 101 lo those many years ago, or he was supremely frustrated. As Robert Steele proved years ago in the Burundi Exercise; a few phone calls and a few hours is often all it takes to best the best the IC has to offer.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.