Intelligence Spending: Public Disclosure Issues
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Although the United States Intelligence Community encompasses large Federal agencies the Central Intelligence Agency CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency DIA, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency NGA, and the National Security Agency NSA among others neither Congress nor the executive branch has regularly made public the total extent of intelligence spending. Rather, intelligence programs and personnel are largely contained, but not identified, within the capacious budget of the Department of Defense DOD. This practice has long been criticized by proponents of open government and many argue that the end of the Cold War has long since removed any justification for secret budgets. In 2004, the 911 Commission recommended that the overall amounts of money being appropriated for national intelligence and to its component agencies should no longer be kept secret. The Constitution mandates regular statements and accounts of expenditures, but the courts have regarded the Congress as having the power to define the meaning of the clause. From the creation of the modern U.S. Intelligence Community in the late 1940s, Congress and the executive branch shared a determination to keep intelligence spending secret. Proponents of this practice have argued that disclosures of major changes in intelligence spending from one year to the next would provide hostile parties with information on new program or cutbacks that could be exploited to U.S. disadvantage. Secondly, they believe that it would be practically impossible to limit disclosure to total figures and that explanations of what is included or excluded would lead to damaging revelations.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Military Intelligence