Government Surveillance Budget Revealed, $52.6 Billion To Spy


The U.S. government has a $52.6 billion “black budget” to operate its massive surveillance assets, according to new documents leaked by National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

The documents, which were publicized in an article by The Washington Times, reveal that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) receive about two-thirds of the massive budget.

The paper also reports that CIA and NSA budgets have increased by over 50 percent each since 2004.

Here are some key takeaways from the Post piece:

•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.”

•The NSA planned to investigate at least 4,000 possible insider threats in 2013, cases in which the agency suspected sensitive information may have been compromised by one of its own. The budget documents show that long before Snowden’s leaks, the U.S. intelligence community worried about “anomalous behavior” by personnel with access to highly classified material.

•U.S. intelligence officials take an active interest in foes as well as friends. Pakistan is described in detail as an “intractable target,” and counterintelligence operations “are strategically focused against [the] priority targets of China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Israel.” The latter is a U.S. ally but has a history of espionage attempts against the United States.

•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.

•The governments of Iran, China and Russia are difficult to penetrate, but North Korea’s may be the most opaque. There are five “critical” gaps in U.S. intelligence about Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs, and analysts know virtually nothing about the intentions of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The budget leak also reveals that the United States has spent more than $500 billion on intelligence since the 9/11 terror attacks.

Personal Liberty

Personal Liberty News Desk

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  • scott miller

    I think they have a wee bit too much on their plate, that they have time to actively hack peoples accounts and etc. What ever happened to congressional oversight? Why do the people that supposedly oversee this feign shock and ignorance about what goes on over there on and off our soil.

    • Vis Fac

      It’s to keep us safe–safe from ourselves didn’t you know? Terrorists What terrorists? 90 year old ladies and 5 year old toddlers are certainly threat so is my next door neighbor’s cow. Never mind Al Queda they’re no threat at all after all they were given the keys to the kingdom in Libya and access to our consulate and take stinger missiles and munitions and now ODUMBO wants to give them more arms. I’m in!! NOT

      The veritable problem in the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people full of doubts” Bertrand Russell

      America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our liberties, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.– Abraham Lincoln

      The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing–Edmund Burke

      A republic is defined as a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president…

      Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch with the well armed lamb contesting the vote. Liberty comes from the recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote.”

      A democratic government that respects no limits on its power is a ticking time bomb, waiting to destroy the rights it was created to protect.

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est


  • navigator37

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    Winston Churchill

  • Deerinwater

    The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), formed November 25, 2002 through the Homeland Security Act, is a Cabinet department composed of several different divisions that work to protect the United States from terrorists and natural disasters. It was created as a response to the September 11 attacks in 2001.[6] The Department of Homeland Security manages the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate. The directorate helps fulfill the Department’s overarching goal: to keep America safe from terrorist attacks.[8] The Department also works to enhance preparedness and response efforts and to integrate these efforts with prevention work.[8] With the Homeland Security Act there are several provisions that identify the specific duties for the EP&R Directorate.

    Well worth the read ;

    “Re: OPPOSE Gramm-Miller Homeland Security Bill!


    Your support helps the ACLU stand up for human rights and defend civil liberties.


    Dear Senator:

    On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its approximately 300,000 members, we urge you to oppose an amendment to H.R. 5005, the “”Homeland Security Act of 2002,”” that will be offered by Senators Gramm and Miller, and to vote against a cloture motion on the Gramm-Miller amendment because germaneness rules will seriously hinder any effort to add civil rights and other needed protections back into the bill on the floor.

    Strong oversight and public accountability measures are needed for this massive department, which includes roughly 180,000 employees from 22 federal agencies, including 74,300 armed federal agents.[1] Under the Gramm-Miller bill, however, basic oversight mechanisms are lacking, and the new department the bill would establish would be an unaccountable bureaucracy shrouded in secrecy.

    Read more of this article

    • Motov

      What if these so called “Terrorist Attacks” turn out to be an “Inside Job”? Apparently designed to cause war with a 3rd world country that happens to be rich with natural resources.

      Or take Louisianna for example,

      Now I hear sinkholes opening up and swallowing anything, I wonder If the BP mess a few years ago, contributed to property suddenly vanishing right off the face of the earth?

  • Motov

    I seem to recall how upset the Democrats were when Watergate happened.
    But it is ok to spend money we don’t have to spy on Americans? Even after they sworn to uphold and protect THE CONSTITUTION???
    It is way past the time to replace our dysfunctional and criminal government.
    We also need to set limitations, like lobbying, “special interest groups” etc,
    Term limits for both the House and Senate. No more exemptions from the laws they create, If they are unwilling to follow a newly created law, then that law is null and void to the rest of us.
    We must end this elitist attitude they have and bring them back down to equal rights for all. We as the people must have our own checks and balance of having the right to arrest our own government for criminal activities.

  • Al Levy

    I believe that is a total shame that the government is spending that much on spying while citizens are homeless ,staving and veterants are mistreated in VA hospital.this administration need to refocus and help the economy and infrastructure to improve the US posture and economic outlook

  • Al Chemist

    Don’t worry about being spied upon by the NSA (or any government agency for that matter) if you’re a liberal/progressive/commie/democrat. We already know from the IRS actions that it (being spied upon) will be reserved for Conservatives and Conservative Organizations… or perhaps anyone who speaks out against this administration.