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Robert David Steele
Steele headshot never used before (afghanistan).jpg
Steele in 2013
Born July 16, 1952
Died August 29, 2021(2021-08-29) (aged 69)
Florida, U.S.
Nationality American

Robert David Steele (July 16, 1952 – August 29, 2021) was an American CIA officer and conspiracy theorist.


Steele's father was an executive in an oil company, and he therefore spent the first twenty years of his life in Asia and Latin America. He held a bachelor of arts in political science, a master's degree in international relations, and an AMP in public administration. He worked at the Embassy of the United States, San Salvador during the Salvadoran Civil War as a political officer. He then researched artificial intelligence and cognitive strategy.

Steele is credited with coining the terms "virtual intelligence" and "peacekeeping information". He called for intelligence reforms in the United States and advocated for the private sector to develop and sell such intelligence to the central government. He was a supporter of open-source intelligence and argued that the CIA refused to take open-source information seriously and should not be responsible for developing new systems that ran contrary to its history of secrecy.


Steele died of COVID-19 in Florida on August 29, 2021, at the age of 69, after being placed on a ventilator machine.

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