The NSA has some serious technology at their disposal so you’d probably go with them (I know I would).
But you’d be wrong.
Surprising isn’t it?
According to The Washington Post, more than a quarter of the US’s “black budget” for “spying, covert military actions and intelligence gathering for the year ending in September” goes to the CIA.
More precisely, the CIA receives $14.7 billion out of the total Black Budget of $52.6 billion (a 56% increase since 2004).
How much does the NSA receive? Only $10.8 billion (which is a 53% increase from 2004).
But that’s not the only revelation to come out of the Washington Post’s story.
It seems like the CIA spends the most on data collection, beating the NSA by $9 billion.
Here’s a rundown on the top spenders for data collection:
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): $11.5 billion
- National Reconnaissance Office (NRO): $6 billion
- National Security Agency (NSA): $2.5 billion
- Justice Department: $1.9 billion
- General Defense Intelligence Program (GDIP): $1.3 billion
- Specialized Reconnaissance Programs: $1 billion
- National Geospatial-Intelligence Program (NGP): $537.1 million
- Department of Defense Foreign Counter-Intelligence Program: $445.5 million
- Department of Homeland Security: $22.6 million
As you can see, the NSA is in third place, with the CIA at the top.
But remember that data collection doesn’t mean the same for each agency.
Data collection for the CIA consists of…
- Covert Action ($2.6 billion)
- Human Intelligence Enabling ($2.5 billion)
- Human Intelligence Operations ($2.3 billion)
- Sensitive Technical Collection ($1.8 billion)
- Human Intelligence Technical Tools ($1.4 billion)
- Computer Network Operations ($685.4 million)
- Counter-Intelligence ($158.2 million)
For the NSA, it’s a little different…
- Computer Network Operations ($1 billion)
- Sensitive Technical Collection ($597.3 million)
- Special Source Access ($463.5 million)
- Mid-Point RF Access ($380.7 million)
Notice how the NSA spends more on Computer Network Operations than the CIA does? That makes sense from what we know about the NSA. They focus more on the digital side of data gathering.
Well first off, it means that the CIA is a force to be reckon with.
They’ve grown tremendously since 2004, and if restrictions aren’t put on them they’ll get even larger. Already, the CIA has requested $14.7 billion in funds for the next budget. That amount exceeds all outside estimates, which means those “experts” whose job it is to stay on top of the intelligence community’s growth have failed to correctly evaluate that growth.
That’s not surprising after you saw how big the CIA has gotten. They’re bigger than the NSA, which, as I touched on in the beginning, has always been considered the biggest of the group.
The NSA was that muscular guy at school who no one messed with.
Only now, there’s a new guy on the block, and he’s seriously ripped.
The Intelligence Community has failed to provide critical information
Even with a $52.6 billion budget the Intelligence Community still can’t properly inform Obama and other government officials about the numerous national security threats the US faces.
What about terrorist attacks?
Are the NSA and CIA really doing the best they can to stop attacks before they happen, or are they beating around the bush trying not to make politically incorrect decisions?
If you and I are going to live under a surveillance state the least you would expect is for them to intercept these Jihadists before they attack.
The Boston Bombers and the Fort Hood Jihadist are prime examples of the intelligence community’s incompetence.
They haven’t revealed how they use the funds to accomplish predetermined goals
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.
This is in spite of the fact that intelligence spending for the US government has reached levels not seen since the height of the Cold War.
And remember that we’re not even in the same strenuous situation that took place during the Cold War. That was a conflict between two massive superpowers that could’ve ignited into a full blown nuclear war. Today, the aggressors are Islamic Jihadists separated into different camps. Some of which are against each other physically and doctrinally.
No “world war III” option exists. This isn’t the Cold War.
The CIA and NSA are increasing their offense
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.”
According to the “Black Budget” North Korea is a constant recipient of this tactic. They’re constantly surrounded by a wall of intelligence gathering systems that are trying to gather everything from potential nuclear bases, to info on North Korea’s leadership.
Iran’s heavily watched as well (no shock there).
The Intelligence Community has also “expanded efforts to ‘collect on Russian chemical warfare countermeasures’ and assess the security of biological and chemical laboratories in Pakistan.”
The NSA has also targeted Syria (no surprise again), trying to glean information on whether Syria has used any “illicit weapons,” and to collect communications between top Syrian commanders.
The Intelligence Community is not friendly to the idea of letting Americans in on its process
“There is a mind-set in the national security community: ‘Leave it to us, we can handle it, the American people have to trust us.’…” – Rep. Lee H. Hamilton
This mindset has led to decades of resistance from the Intelligence Community on the issue of transparency. Even getting their budget numbers was an intensive workout.
If the NSA and CIA are going to “protect” you and your family, don’t you have a right to know how they’ll provide for your security?
“But what about secrecy? We have to protect our national security”
Wouldn’t protecting “national security” be the Intelligence Community’s job, not yours?
And is national security supposed to come ahead of your privacy and personal freedom? A republic only works if the populace (that’d be you) is properly informed on the issues. Hiding the scale and of the operation, the exact amount of taxpayer money to be spent, and how it’s going to be used is not beneficial to the republic.
It breeds secrecy, distrust and corruption.
It’s obvious that you and I have misunderstood the scope of both the CIA and the NSA.
But the blame does not entirely rest on your shoulders. The level of growth and power that both intelligence agencies have been experiencing has fostered an environment where The People are no longer a vital part of the system.
You’ve been cut off from the process under the guise of “national security” and “for your protection.”
But don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’re free from blame. A Republic is only as transparent and truthful as its citizens allow it to be. Without your cooperation things will get worse (a lot worse).
Here’s your time to do something. Spread the word (share this article and others like it), contact your Senator and Representative, and if you feel brave enough tell the NSA how you really feel.
The NSA is big, the CIA is even bigger, and it’ll only get worse the longer you do nothing.
But until we meet again, I leave you with words of wisdom from two of America’s Founders…
For true patriots to be silent is dangerous. -Samuel Adams
These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in the crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” -Thomas Paine
[Source: The Washington Post]