Snowden reveals the government’s ‘black budget’

The Washington Post has an article that outlines the massive secret budget that the government has allocated for intelligence gathering. This was also part of the Snowden documents.

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.

Lee H. Hamilton, an Indiana Democrat who chaired the House Intelligence Committee and co-chaired the commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks, said that access to budget details will enable an informed public debate on intelligence spending for the first time, much as Snowden’s disclosures of NSA surveillance programs brought attention to operations that had assembled data on nearly every U.S. citizen.

Experts said that access to such details about U.S. spy programs is without precedent.

Among the revelations is that “The CIA and the NSA have begun aggressive new efforts to hack into foreign computer networks to steal information or sabotage enemy systems, embracing what the budget refers to as “offensive cyber operations.” This is despite the fact that the US warned that attempts to sabotage the computer networks of US-based organizations would be considered an ‘act of war’. This is why documentary confirmation of government actions is important, even if some people suspected all along that this kind of thing was happening. It prevents the US government from pretending that it holds the high moral ground and that only evildoers do such things.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Snowden has greater knowledge of how the government works than most of the senior people who on the surface are running things.


  1. says

    It is also becoming increasingly clear just why the Obama administration was so insistent that he be arrested and tried for treason: there is nothing more dangerous to the security and safety of a government than having its criminal activities exposed to the world.

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