According to the Washington Post, documents released by Edward Snowden provide insight into the so-called “black budget” of the CIA, NSA, and other off-the-books funded entities. Since 9/11 hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent on building a massive intelligence machine that still cannot provide the president with adequate intelligence. It seems the “black budget” has a lot more to do with enriching contractors and building bureaucratic empires than fighting terrorism.
U.S. spy agencies have built an intelligence-gathering colossus since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but remain unable to provide critical information to the president on a range of national security threats, according to the government’s top-secret budget.
The $52.6 billion “black budget” for fiscal 2013, obtained by The Washington Post from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, maps a bureaucratic and operational landscape that has never been subject to public scrutiny. Although the government has annually released its overall level of intelligence spending since 2007, it has not divulged how it uses the money or how it performs against the goals set by the president and Congress.
A time of austerity? Where were all these budget hawks during the votes for this? Austerity is just for kids who need food stamps, roads and bridges, and the long term unemployed. Disgusting.
The summary provides a detailed look at how the U.S. intelligence community has been reconfigured by the massive infusion of resources that followed the 2001 attacks. The United States has spent more than $500 billion on intelligence during that period, an outlay that U.S. officials say has succeeded in its main objective: preventing another catastrophic terrorist attack in the United States.
The result is an espionage empire with resources and a reach beyond those of any adversary, sustained even now by spending that rivals or exceeds the levels at the height of the Cold War.
No wonder they kept it a secret. $500 billion to build our own electronic prison? Combine that with the money spent on Homeland Security and it seems there is always money for elite interests, just not for the 99%.
The black budget details over a dozen federal agencies with their snouts in the secret trough. The top five beneficiaries being: the CIA, NSA, National Reconnaissance Office, National Geospatial-Intelligence Program, and the Department of Defense’s General Defense Intelligence Program. With the four main spending categories being: data collection, data analysis, management, facilities and support, and data processing and exploitation. Read electronic spying with a special focus on the internet.
What have we gotten for all this money?