News Column

'Black Budget' Reveals Spy Agency Goals

August 29, 2013

A summary of U.S. intelligence spending plans, the "black budget," shows counter-terrorism remains the top priority, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The 178-page summary of proposed spending of $52.6 billion in fiscal 2013 for the National Intelligence Program was leaked by fugitive contractor Edward Snowden, the Post said. The newspaper said it withheld some details because U.S. officials said their release could harm U.S. operations.

The spending is divided among 16 intelligence agencies with a total of more than 107,000 employees, the Post said.

The budget shows that efforts aimed at terrorism account for one-third of the spending and one in four employees at the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and other intelligence services. It shows the CIA has the biggest individual budget, about 50 percent above that for the NSA.

Other points include increasing efforts to hack into the computer systems of foreign agencies, activity described as "offensive cyber operations."

The budget also shows the NSA planned to investigate 4,000 suspected leaks by employees or contractors in fiscal 2013.

The budget described the priority targets for counter-intelligence as China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Israel. Pakistan was called an "intractable target," and the document said U.S. intelligence on North Korea's atomic weapons program has gaping holes and its knowledge of the intentions of Kim Jong-un, the country's new leader, is non-existent.




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Source: Copyright UPI 2013


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