“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”
– William Wilberforce
“Deliver Fund is a nonprofit, private intelligence firm that disrupts human trafficking markets by providing intelligence and specialized analytics about human trafficking activities to law enforcement authorities.”
– Deliver Fund founder
Participation over the last year with a this entity that is greater than me for the past year now, this Deliver Fund, has helped me not only to better define my own role in the organization, but has afforded me the good grace to define the essence of the organization as well.
That said, one year ago if you were to ask me what is Deliver Fund, I would have had to refer you to, or vomit the organizational mission statement onto your lap. Text book answer, that. After a year of some of the most absurdly heinous baptism of fire, of trial and error, of ‘should-hit’ and ‘did-hit’ cognitive judo… I can actually tell you in my own words what Deliver Fund is, and, perhaps more importantly, what Deliver Fund is NOT!
I just flipped a quarter in the air; heads I start with is, tails I start with is NOT. =catch… SLAP=
Heads it is…
First and foremost Deliver Fund is a private, non-profit charitable organization. Note that its World Wide Web address bears the .org high-level domain suffix, one that by direction of the Internet Assigned Names and Number Authority (IANNA) is reserved for 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.
What does that mean? It means for one thing that anybody involved in the organization understands that they have absolutely no expectation of ever getting independently wealthy, a goal that is not typically associated with a not-for-profit organization.
More importantly, it means that the organization is financed exclusively by donations from the private sector. Fundraising therefore is every participant’s first and foremost job description. I know, that is not the fun part. Well, when it comes right down to it, there really is no fun part of any of it; it’s serious and intense work, a real ‘thinking-man’s’ game… one day you’re the cat, the next day the mouse. The winner inevitably is the one who is crafty enough to control which of the two they want to be at a given time, yeah.
Now for the rest: Deliver Fund is an intelligence operations firm, with its front sight set on disrupting and fracturing Human Trafficking networks. We are mid-ninety percentile laminated pocket protector-wearing, snotty nose-sniffling, bad haircut sporting, no girlfriend-having computer nerds… and proud of it. Most of our best work is done pinning down office chairs with our asses, searching Internet data that is by definition Open Source Intelligence (OSINT); the big O!
OSINT is public information that is one hundred percent legally available information that anyone can glean, given a computer and internet connection. An additional volley of firepower comes to us through other commercially sponsored resources not typically available (or even desired) by the consumer.
A large repository of exploitable target information readily available comes from the many social media staples such as Facebook and BackPage. Ah, my favorite, Facebook… because nothing I say all day long is for every single person I know, and because everyone I know wants to see pictures of my infant children in the bathtub together wearing soap beards—I mean, where else would they get that, get it?
So if ~95% of our time is holding down our helium office chairs and fingering our mice… what then, pray tell, do with do with the other ~five percent? That then, must be when we dart into phone booths to change into our ninja blacks, cross our belts of machine gun ammo across our chests, and deliver a greyhound bus load of pimps and racketeers to city central lockup, right?
Well, I’ll be the last to admit that is incorrect, because I actually think that sounds pretty cool, and certainly will retain that version of the story for when I troll the mall for chicks on the weekends. At the (very real) risk of losing some of my fan base, the less swashbuckling truth is that last five percent is spent verifying, ultimately, if persons and places are who and where the Internet says they are, and most of that entails not even getting out of my truck.
The illusion of kicking in doors, diving through windows, and hog-tying pimps in record rodeo time trials is… well its an illusion. Having been asked where that concept escaped from, well, words escape me like Hogan’s Heroes. But, I have an educated theory: we do hire, and hope to continue to hire, retired operatives with military Special Operations backgrounds, primarily for the experience they offer in the realm of intelligence operations.
With that, I submit to you that those of us who are retired from the field, have had our share of thrills, danger, and attempted remakes of Jason Bourne movies. I for one am all about that, being retired from all that, that is. As far as excitement and adventure go, I’m happy with the prize at the bottom of my box of Alpha-Bits, and if I even do ride the merry-go-round at Coney Island with my Small Daughter, I would actually fasten that safety belt thingy, and wait until the ride came to a complete stop before unbuckling it.
I often say, and I will say again, that there is the real world, and then there is the game. The winners are the ones who can best distinguish between the two.
The game entails sweeping in on crime with my HT cape flapping in the breeze, as I snatch and deliver the bad guys to Gotham City Metro. In the real world I take my weekly 60 hours of internet research out for a windshield tour of the underbelly of my broken city, and bonus; I have a paycheck at the end of it all.
Here’s to you and me, my friends, my brothers and sisters, my fellow mothers and fathers. We who took the insane risk of having children and falling hopelessly madly in love with their precious faces… only to worry for the rest our lives. What possibly could we ever do if we lost them, even for a second, to the demonic scourge to humanity that is human abduction; trafficked for forced labor of EVERY kind.
This is what we’re doing for children. By the grace of God you may be grateful that we have a plan for the unthinkable, are ready to work that plan all the time, and don’t mind one bit doing it.
Image courtesy of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty