THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC and the rest of the world now has a chance to gain some insight into US federal government intelligence agencies' black budgets for the first time.
The secret so-called black budgets of many US intelligence agencies have been published by the Washington Post after it obtained the documentation materials from the US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The Washington Post said, "The $52.6bn '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."
The 178 page budget summary for the US national intelligence programme details the successes, failures and objectives of the 16 spy agencies that make up the US intelligence community, which has 107,035 employees, according to the Washington Post.
It said, "The summary describes cutting-edge technologies, agent recruiting and ongoing operations."
The largest agencies' intelligence programme budget amounts are $14.7bn for the CIA, $10.8bn for the NSA, and $10.3bn for the National Reconnaissance Office, which manages satellite surveillance.
The newspaper also revealed that it withheld some information "after consultation with US officials who expressed concerns about the risk to intelligence sources and methods". µ