America

Intelligence Spending Tops $80 Billion

For the first time the entire intelligence budget of the United States has been released. Obviously it hasn't been broken down by program, but we do now know that the National Intelligence Program, which includes the CIA and other agencies reporting to the Director of National Intelligence, cost $53.1 billion dollars last fiscal year. The Military Intelligence Program budget, which has never been released before, runs some $27 billion. That includes $3.5 billion spent in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Washington Post reports that the spending, a 7 percent increase from the prior year, is raising eyebrows in congress.

The new total is more than double what was spent in 2001, noted Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. However, that was before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, prompted major shifts by the intelligence community.

"I intend to identify and remove any waste and unnecessary duplication in the intelligence budget and to reduce funding for lower-priority activities," Feinstein said in a statement. She added: "It is clear that the overall spending on intelligence has blossomed to an unacceptable level in the past decade."

CIA Director Leon Panetta told the Post he knows cuts are coming and is working on a 5 year plan for his agency.

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