Saturday, August 31, 2013

U.S. ‘black budget’ summary admits spying on Israel

From The Washington Post, 30 August 2013 , by Barton Gellman and :
U.S. spy agencies have built an intelligence-gathering colossus since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001..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. ...
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...
Among the notable revelations in the budget summary:
●Spending by the CIA has surged past that of every other spy agency, with $14.7 billion in requested funding for 2013. The figure vastly exceeds outside estimates and is nearly 50 percent above that of the National Security Agency, which conducts eavesdropping operations and has long been considered the behemoth of the community.
●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.”
●Long before Snowden’s leaks, the U.S. intelligence community worried about “anomalous behavior” by employees and contractors with access to classified material. The NSA planned to ward off a “potential insider compromise of sensitive information” by re-investigating at least 4,000 people this year who hold high-level security clearances.
●U.S. intelligence officials take an active interest in friends as well as foes. ...counterintelligence operations “are strategically focused against [the] priority targets of China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Israel.” ...
...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...
The result is an espionage empire with resources and a reach...sustained even now by spending that rivals or exceeds the levels at the height of the Cold War.
The current total budget request was 2.4 percent below that of fiscal 2012. In constant dollars, it was about twice the estimated size of the 2001 budget and 25 percent above that of 2006, five years into what was then known as the “global war on terror.”
Historical data on U.S. intelligence spending is largely nonexistent. Through extrapolation, experts have estimated that Cold War spending probably peaked in the late 1980s at an amount that would be the equivalent of $71 billion today.
Spending in the most recent cycle surpassed that amount, based on the $52.6 billion detailed in documents obtained by The Post plus a separate $23 billion devoted to intelligence programs that more directly support the U.S. military...

Follow the link to read this lengthy article in full.
Post a Comment