“Black Budget” Billions: What The US Spends To SpySubmitted by McWilly on Thu, 08/29/2013 - 17:26
The Washington Post has published the 56.1 BILLION dollar "Black Budget," which details expenditures by the US "intelligence community" and was included in the documents that whistleblower Edward Snowden released several months ago. The budget summary is here , broken down by agency in a handy-dandy graphic layout. I'll sprinkle some highlights and excerpts here for those who don't like clicking links, however.
The 178-page budget summary for the National Intelligence Program details the successes, failures and objectives of the 16 spy agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, which has 107,035 employees.
“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. said in response to inquiries from The Post.
9/11 gave the U.S. government the perfect opportunity to force the terrible Patriot Act upon Americans (which was renewed again in 2011..) based on the fear created from that one day. One of the most rights-infringing, unconstitutional assaults ever perpetrated on the American people. But, crushing the rights of citizens costs money, thus the bloated budget for intelligence and counterintelligence. Naturally, the ill-advised, ongoing, unwinnable “War on Terror” sucks up the most expenses and manpower.
•In words, deeds and dollars, intelligence agencies remain fixed on terrorism as the gravest threat to national security, which is listed first among five “mission objectives.” Counterterrorism programs employ one in four members of the intelligence workforce and account for one-third of all spending.
Quite a few dollars of that 1/3rd of the budget went to creating the network that is used to spy on American online behavior, while another chuck is invested in tracking American conversations via phone, email, text, etc. through the NSA’s “3 Hop System.” The “3 Hop” is a “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon” for government spooks essentially, where they expand surveillance to connections 3 deep that a suspect has and leaves few people NOT connected in some way to a person under suspicion of being “engaged in combat” as a terrorist. Thus, they are spying on a very large portion of the populace without any of us being the wiser or having done anything wrong.