America's secret intelligence budget, in 11 (nay, 13) charts
Barton Gellman, the crazy good investigative reporter who broke the NSA story for us a few months back, has a major scoop with Greg Miller and researcher Julie Tate breaking down the Black Budget, a $52.6 billion portion of the federal government that goes to the CIA, NSA, and other secret intelligence agencies. They got the budget from Edward Snowden, who, you'll recall, was also the whistleblower responsible for the NSA story. Since 2007, we've known how much the total Black Budget is (before that, withsome years excepted, we didn't even know that), but not how much is spent on specific things. Now we know that too.
You can read a PDF of the budget's basics here, and read Gellman and Miller's storyhere. Wilson Andrews and Todd Lindeman at the graphics team did an awesome interactive breaking down the budget here. But if you're in a rush, here are the basics of what we know now that we didn't yesterday.
We spend more, across the whole Black Budget, on providing warnings of impending big events than on fighting terrorism or WMDs:
The most commonly spoken language in the intelligence community is Spanish, followed by Arabic. Farsi, not so much:
The CIA, NSA and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) receive more than 68 percent of the black budget. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Program's (NGP) budget has grown over 100 percent since 2004.
The CIA's our best-funded intelligence-related agency:
Though its funding fell in FY2013:
The overwhelming majority of CIA spending is on collecting intelligence:
National Reconnaissance Office (and other reconnaissance) spending, meanwhile, has been stagnant for a while:
And its spending is also mainly on collections:
Our cryptography programs have also seen stagnant spending since 2010, after a big jump from 2007 to 2010:
Which goes to more diverse functions:
The Community Management Account, which is led by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, saw funding go way up as the DNI office was phased in, but has seen it fall since 2011:
It spends mainly on management activities:
As the above shows, each agency has a unique breakdown of expenses that reflect the priorities of its mission:
My Fellow Users,
I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what's going on--the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.
What's going to happen now? We've already started preparing the paperwork needed to continue to fight for the Constitution in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. A favorable decision would allow me resurrect Lavabit as an American company.
This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.
Owner and Operator, Lavabit LLC
Defending the constitution is expensive! Help us by donating to the Lavabit Legal Defense Fund here.
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