You’re Spending $75 Billion on Intelligence, America

Just got off a conference call with Dennis Blair, the director of national intelligence, and Blair cited this absolutely ginormous figure for the intelligence budget, which used to be kept secret. If you click through the link, you’ll find some other disclosures about oversight of that money.

Context: since Congress ordered disclosure of the intel budget in 2007 (a disclosure that usually happens at the end of the fiscal year, btw), we learned that the intelligence budget was $43.5 billion in 2007 and $47.5 billion in 2008. Now it’s $75 billion.

Update:  A Blair spokesman calls me and says the $75 billion total is derived by combining two different budget lines, one for the national intelligence budget and one for the military intelligence budget. That military-intel budget line, though, is a very obscure (if not classified) figure — Congress didn’t require the intel chief to disclose it, for instance — and Blair implicitly revealed it today.

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Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman