U.S. company Cycorp is tied into the U.S. intelligence community like few other commercial entities. With a long-standing relationship with the ultra-connected Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, Cycorp has an intel pedigree that few others can match.
And Admiral Inman is linked to all of the key names popping up in the current anthrax scandal via his involvement with SAIC.
From the Dept. of Say What?
Only sheer brilliance or a crystal ball could foretell the next terrorist attack, right? Nope, says the inventor of a computer program that predicted anthrax might be sent through the mail six months before it happened. Cyc (as in encyclopedia), a project that is now part of the Pentagon's research on sniffing out terrorist plots, comes up with scenarios that could help focus screening efforts. It works by applying common sense to an extensive knowledge of terrorism. "It's not like beating Kasparov at chess," says creator Doug Lenat, head of the Austin-based firm Cycorp. He compares it to "a person with average intelligence but a vast amount of time and patience."
Cyc's roots go back to 1983, when Lenat concluded that efforts to create computer intelligence had hit a wall. "Robots lacked the common sense of humans," he says. So he began feeding Cyc concepts like the difference between turkey the meat or bird and Turkey, the country. The database now holds almost 2 million such simple truths.
Under a $9.8 million grant from the Defense Department's Information Awareness Office, Cyc has acquired a trove of knowledge about past terrorist activities, tactics, and weapons. But it is still a work in progress. Once, developing a scenario for a terrorist attack on Hoover Dam, it hypothesized a school of 1,000 al Qaeda- trained dolphins bearing explosives. Another time, Cyc, which can learn by asking questions, inquired: "Am I human?" It's reassuring to know it still needs our help. -Dana Hawkins
This story appears in the April 7, 2003 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.
Admiral Inman is linked to SAIC (among other things, SAIC is neck-deep in connections to digital voting machines). This article from 2003 is pretty informative;
""Currently on SAIC's board is ex-CIA director Bobby Ray Inman, director of the National Security Agency, deputy director of the CIA, and vice director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. According to the OC (*Orange County) Weekly, "Inman worked at the highest levels of American intelligence during an era (President Ronald Reagan) when it displayed a stunning lack of it. Inman's achievements include: failing to predict the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union; prolonging violent, useless civil wars in Central America; and giving arms to terrorists in exchange for hostages (Iran Contra)."
"During the Bush administration, Inman, Perry and Deutch - while directors of Science Applications (SAIC), were also members of the National Foreign Intelligence Board (NFIB), an advisory group reporting to the President and the director of Central Intelligence, which deals with production, review and coordination of foreign intelligence," reports the Crypt. Both Inman and Deutch were former Directors of the CIA. William J. Perry was also a former Secretary of Defense during the Clinton Administration.
SAIC proudly lists DARPA in its annual report as one of its prime clients. DARPA is the controversial Department of Defense (DOD) subsidiary, which until recently employed Admiral John Poindexter of Iran-Contra fame. Poindexter was forced to resign when it was revealed that DARPA was prepared to trade "futures" in terrorist attacks. DARPA has also developed a program to spy on American citizens, which has civil libertarians in an uproar."
So, an artificial intelligence program with an uncanny knack for putting the pieces together "predicts" the anthrax mailings, and 6 months later they happen?
And the program, under "widespread deployment" is funded heavily by DARPA, and is hard-wired into the U.S. intelligence community.
Admiral Inman is a very connected individual;
Including a maximum of 2 degrees of separation from all of the (known) players in the anthrax tango.
How detailed was Cy's (Cycorp) "prediction" about the mailings? Did it include variables like mailing the anthrax from different states to muddy the trail... stuff like that? How about a variable on creating false evidence trails to keep people guessing?
I'm not sure that Cy is any more humane than HAL ever was.
I call out to internet researchers everywhere for more info on Cycorp.