You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Latest Snowden leak reveals multi-billion dollar "black budget"

U.S. 'black budget' reveals spending on spy programs

The latest leak from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden details the government’s so-called “black budget” — the multi-billion dollar budget request of America’s intelligence agencies.

The 178-page document outlines federal spending on surveillance programs. Intelligence agencies requested $52.6 billion for the 2013 fiscal year. The information was obtained by The Washington Post from Snowden, and published in part Thursday.

The budget shows the Central Intelligence Agency requested the most money at $14.7 billion or 68 percent of the budget.

Most of the total pot will go to data collection expenses — one of four spending categories — and warning U.S. leaders about major world events, like threats — one of five objectives.

And the black budget might be even larger than the $52 billion figure cited by the Post. A writer for The New York Times points out the N.S.A. budget figure omits much of the support it receives from military personnel who carry out eavesdropping on its behalf.

The budget report doesn’t just outline numbers; it also details targets. The Christian Science Monitor lists countries of “interest” to the intelligence agencies. “Among the nations listed as counterintelligence ‘priority targets’ are China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, and ... Israel,” a U.S. ally.

But despite the intelligence community’s sizable budget, its surveillance isn’t always effective. The Guardian points out this latest report highlights several key weak points in the U.S. intelligence community.

“Huge gaps in knowledge about Iran, China and Russia are acknowledged, with North Korea identified as the most difficult to penetrate, mainly because of its relative lack of internet and other modern communications.”

And freelance journalist Joshua Foust noticed an interesting connection in the report. Some of the documents suggest Snowden may owe his success to the leaker who came before him: Chelsea Manning.

Apparently the government was supposed to start investigating high-risk, high-profile contractors like Snowden. But “the government panicked so strongly about the threat caused by leaking documents classified at a lower level than this document that it diverted resources from the very program that possibly would have exposed Edward Snowden before he could have leaked.”

 NSA head James Clapper defended the budget request in a statement to The Post, arguing the total federal budget for intelligence was less than one percent of GDP. In a separate statement, Clapper reiterated his department’s commitment to increased transparency.

- See more at

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Nation World

Help shape Springfield by volunteering to serve on a city board
Help shape Springfield by volunteering to serve on a city board

With Springfield’s incorporation in 1850, city fathers quickly put their most valuable resource — their citizens — into service on a variety of community boards. That practice continues today. More than 100 seats on boards and committees are filled by city residents. The boundaries for some boards expanded with the inception of combined...
Poor Will’s Clark County Almanack: Days longer in deep winter’s 3rd week
Poor Will’s Clark County Almanack: Days longer in deep winter’s 3rd week

A day of thaw. Early this morning crows flew westward over the prairie, cawing in the fresh, temperate air, their voices as always filling the morning with the promise of spring. — August Derleth, A Countryman’s Journal, Jan. 15 The Almanack Horoscope Moon Time: The Tufted Titmouse Moon entered its final quarter on Jan. 19. On the 22nd...
School Notes

CLARK STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE Local Clark State Community College full-time students recently named to the 2016 fall semester dean’s list include: Joshua Lyons, Megan Miller, Olivia Taylor and Hannah Walls, all of Cable; Eric Schellentrager, of Catawba; Carley Jones, John Murray and Patricia Voisard, all of Cedarville; Keara Nelson, Michaela...
Cailtyn Jenner thinks the Republican Party needs help with LGBTQ issues
Cailtyn Jenner thinks the Republican Party needs help with LGBTQ issues

Caitlyn Jenner thinks she knows what the Republican Party needs. Jenner took to Twitter on Wednesday to share her opinions on the Republicans and LGBTQ issues and was faced with a plethora of responses. "Republicans need help understanding LGBTQ issues and I'm here to help!" she tweeted Wednesday. One follower responded, "good luck with...
Florida Woman pulls a machete at a day care
Florida Woman pulls a machete at a day care

A Florida woman took “custody battle” to a new level when she pulled a machete on a day care worker, police said. >> Read more trending stories  Ashley Dailey, 25, attempted to pick up a child she didn’t have custody over in Sunrise, Florida. After being denied the child, Dailey pulled the machete on the employee and threatened...
More Stories