U.S. Intelligence Black Budget: $80 Billion for 17 Agencies


In a new report, William Hartung and Abby Smithberger, reliable and informed analysts of U.S. military spending, say U.S. security spending will total $1.1 trillion, most of which goes to foreign wars and weapons systems and veterans care.

One small but crucial portion of the budget goes to intelligence activities that are not disclosed to taxpayers and the public. These funds are paid out in what are known as “black budgets,” ie you can’t see what is inside.

From TomDispatch

We know remarkably little about the nature of the nation’s intelligence spending, other than its supposed total, released in a report every year. By now, it’s more than $80 billion. The bulk of this funding, including for the CIA and NSA, is believed to be hidden under obscure line items in the Pentagon budget. Since intelligence spending is not a separate funding stream, it’s not counted in our tally below (though, for all we know, some of it should be).

They identify the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies that spend this money.

In addition to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis and the FBI, … they are the CIA; the National Security Agency; the Defense Intelligence Agency; the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research; the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Office of National Security Intelligence; the Treasury Department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis; the Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence; the National Reconnaissance Office; the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command; the Office of Naval Intelligence; Marine Corps Intelligence; and Coast Guard Intelligence. And then there’s that 17th one, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, set up to coordinate the activities of the other 16.

Source: Tomgram: Hartung and Smithberger, A Dollar-by-Dollar Tour of the National Security State | TomDispatch

4 Replies to “U.S. Intelligence Black Budget: $80 Billion for 17 Agencies”

  1. For once I’m almost speechless.

    Intelligence. The word is used above in the last paragraph thirteen times or twelve if counterintelligence is not counted.

    So what is wrong with this picture. Immediately after WWII it was decided that intelligence collection would be done differently. And boy has it been. I mean why would government need and intelligence collection capability in every office and branch of government

    This reminds me of an old saying. A fool (or fools) and his (their-American taxpayers-that would be us of course.) money are soon parted.

    In my personal estimation I have to call B.S. and here is why. The intelligence community of the U.S. is pretty much useless.

    WHAT! You don’t think so. Fine you have the right to your opinion, can you spare a dime!

    For the sake of DOG, the next thing I’ll hear is that ISIS has been defeated!

    Nothing in the dictionary says that those collecting intelligence and using it must actually be intelligent and the last 55 years proves it.

    Thanks Jeff, I just lost one of my eye-teeth and it was easier to take than reading these numbers.

  2. Imagine if all of that taxpayers’ money went into real intelligence – i.e. Education. Instead of endless war, there’d be infinite peace as people become educate about the true meaning of health, happiness, the environment & compassion instead of greed & power for its own sake

  3. Who invented seventeen agencies? Each has a very definitive mission. By lumping — the line is blurred between intelligence and counter-intelligence. This allowed for a mess when FBI was not allowed to examine DNC servers in their role as the primary counter-intelligence agency. It resulted in illegal, private investigation by a company allied by DNC and latter quite inexplicably approved by CIA that should not have had any interference in the work of counter-intelligence. The muddle continues — 17 have different missions and who has an interest in lumping them together — giving CIA an unprecedented influence over all aspects of intelligence. CIA has been vastly privatized, and by gaining an upper hand over FBI — private interests can manipulate findings to their heart’s content.

  4. These agencies are the product of a government completely out of control with respect to keeping the business of the people secret. “For or own good”. Once the CIA established the precedent that their “work” must be kept secret, the B.S. part only gained momentum. A momentum from inside the secret government to take over. , as in “their protection of sources and methods”, the law be damned.

    All that needed to be done was come up with a way to compromise congress which in my opinion, James Jesus Angelton accomplished with his cover up of the murder of JFK.

    If CIA could ignore the murder of a setting president those in congress would soon got the message. That the Warren commission findings went without serious legal challenge is proof. All one needs to do is read Lock K Johnson’s A Season of Inquiry Revisited – The Church Committee Confronts America’s Spy Agencies

    He wrote it first in 1985 and then revised it in 2015, no changes to the first edition but added text to the 2015 version. Must read for all who yearn to live free.

    “Our own” secret government makes a mockery of the rule of law as we all should see by now.

    My hat is off to the authors of these comments, thoughts of vision and understanding. Two talents totally missing at CIA. et al. secret government agencies.

    They have control and they don’t want to give it up. Page vii of Johnson’s bool has this quote from Harry S. Truman.

    “You see, the way a free government work, there’s got to be a housecleaning every now and then.

    Time to clean house!

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