In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the United States federal government’s various espionage agencies were bundled together in one giant octopus of information-gathering techniques, skills, and services. These 16 different organizations make up the so-called National Intelligence Program under the oversight of the Director of National Intelligence. The government typically releases their collective budget as an overall number, but never before have the people of the United States actually seen which agency gets what money. Thanks to Edward Snowden, that’s changed. Snowden has leaked the “black budget” summary of the United States government’s spying agencies, detailing who gets what money and who spends what money on what quasi-legal/actually illegal evidence gathering.
“The United States has made a considerable investment in the Intelligence Community since the terror attacks of 9/11, a time which includes wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction technology, and asymmetric threats in such areas as cyber-warfare,” Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. wrote to the Washington Post. “Our budgets are classified as they could provide insight for foreign intelligence services to discern our top national priorities, capabilities and sources and methods that allow us to obtain information to counter threats.”
I just wonder how much of that money is spent on, say, forcing Verizon to turn over customer information or threatening Google or otherwise conflicting with the basic right of freedom that Americans enjoy thanks to the Constitution of the United States. Ugh, I just don’t know what to think about this issue. Trying to parse out difficult moral quandries–the eternal conflict between security and liberty, etc.–this early in the morning is no fun. I guess I’m just glad it’s not more money than it already is.
Tags: washington post, edward snowden, leaks, national security, nsa, cia, black budget, top secret budget leaked, us government, united states of america, united states government, us government black budget leaked, united states espionage industry budget leaked, spy budget leaked, national intelligence program, director of national intelligence, james r. clapper jr.