Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About
Spying, 9-11, and Why We Continue to Screw Up

a speech given by Robert Steele
with clips compiled by Eli Courtwright

Robert Steele spent 30 years in the classified world and gave a four-hour lecture at the fifth HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth) convention about reforming the intelligence community. His thesis is that most of what politicians and citizens need to know to make informed decisions is not secret. So while covert spying has its place, we should be paying much more attention to open sources of information. These sources include newspapers, websites, speeches, studies, etc, and this methodology is called Open Source Intelligence, or OSINT. For an example, listen to the Taking on the CIA clip, which is possibly the best single part of the lecture.

I highly recommend listening to the entire thing, which can be found here. After staying up all night to finish this four-hour lecture, I went to sleep and then woke up the next afternoon and immediately listened to it all again. However, for people who are too busy to spend that many hours on this, I've compiled twenty-two short clips of what I feel are the best parts.

Clip #1 -   Introduction

Clip #2 -   What We Collect

Clip #3 -   Major Threats

Clip #4 -   Bin Laden's Return on Investment

Clip #5 -   Our Responses

Clip #6 -   The Failure of 20th Century Intelligence

Clip #7 -   Smart Security

Clip #8 -   Military Spending

Clip #9 -   Confusing Secrecy With Intelligence

Clip #10 - Central Intelligence is an Oxymoron

Clip #11 - Citation Analysis

Clip #12 - Bombing the Chinese Embassy

Clip #13 - The Peace Corps

Clip #14 - A Vision of OSINT

Clip #15 - What Does Spying Consist Of?

Clip #16 - Taking On the CIA

Clip #17 - Botched Policies

Clip #18 - Various Reforms

Clip #19 - 9/11 and Conspiracy Theories

Clip #20 - Smart Terrorists and Defending Against Them

Clip #21 - Who Has The Best Intelligence Services?

Clip #22 - Chalabi and the War in Iraq