Snowden revelation: US 'black budget' disclosed

2013-08-30 10:03
Edward Snowden (File, AFP)

Edward Snowden (File, AFP)

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Washington - A detailed breakdown of the so-called black budget - the amount of money Congress grants to US spy agencies every year - was revealed on Thursday by the Washington Post.

The newspaper said it obtained the information from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. The report details how the 16 US intelligence agencies spend the amount of money Congress allocates.

The overall amount of spending - $52.6bn in 2013 - has been revealed by the government in the past, but it has not divulged how it uses the money or whether the spending meets goals set by the president and Congress.

Snowden, a whistleblower whose leak of classified information provoked outrage in the United States and abroad, gave the Post a top secret 178-page budget summary that provides those details.

Since the attacks of 11 September 2001, the US intelligence budget has approximately doubled, with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) receiving the most for 2013 - $14.7bn - and the National Security Agency (NSA), where Snowden worked as a contractor, receiving the next-highest amount - $10.3bn.

The report reveals that the US intelligence community has 107 035 employees and that they remain fixed on terrorism as the gravest threat to national security.

The Post said it withheld some information out of concern that revealing everything could put some intelligence sources and methods at risk.

Obama in June pledged to release more information about surveillance programmes. A statement issued on Thursday by James Clapper, director of national intelligence, gave details about what information would be released and said it would be released annually.

The statement said Clapper directed the intelligence community to declassify and make public as much information as possible about certain sensitive US government surveillance programmes while being mindful of the need to protect sensitive classified intelligence and national security.

Read more on:    nsa  |  cia  |  washington post  |  barack obama  |  james clapper  |  edward snowden  |  us  |  privacy

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