Read a few things this week that gave me pause on the subject of intelligence.
Bill Sizemore – “Blackwater brass forms intelligence company”
Total Intelligence Solutions, inc.
The longitudinal implications here are very interesting.
First, the privatization of American professional intelligence by companies of former CIA and other IC veterans is the “white” mirror-image of the “black” downsizing and privatization of Eastern Bloc intelligence professionals during the 1990s where you had ex-KGB mafia clans and ex-Yugoslav pros running international safecracking rings.
The cream of this group (typified by TIS) will always be closely tethered to the official IC by virtue of steady Federal contracts and media scrutiny. The problem is going to be with the marginal PICs of uneven or uncertain performance which, before too long, will be found in some decidedly “gray” areas in order to maximize profit (or sustain financial solvency).
The antics of the subpar quarter are what may bring about loud calls for regulating an industry that exists primarily because of the prior legal constraints and bureaucratic compliance that has calcified the official IC. This in turn will lead to the use of unofficial, sub rosa, networks that are pulled together ad hoc and paid off of the books, possibly by private sources.
Assuming this is not being done to a considerable extent already.