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ODNI Releases $53 Billion Intel Budget

DNI James Clapper, Photo: dni.gov

In likely the most complete disclosure of the intelligence budget ever released, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed the annual cost of U.S. intelligence for 2010: $53.1 billion.

Federal News Radio also reported an additional $27 billion for military intelligence in addition to the amount for the CIA and some of the 16 agencies within the Intelligence Community, bringing the grand total of intelligence spending to a little more than $80 billion.

The release of the budget is mandated by the intelligence authorization act, which Congress passed in September.

Secrecy specialist Steven Aftergood, with the Federation of American Scientists, told Federal News Radio the release was “the most complete disclosure we have ever had.”

The intelligence budget for 2009 was about $75 billion, according to congressional testimony by the previous Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair.

And the new Director of National Intelligence Gen. James Clapper said during Senate confirmation hearings the American public should be looped in on the cost of intelligence.

According to Federal News Radio, Clapper has also convinced Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates “to make it standard practice to release the actual figure.”

Trying to compare the intelligence budget to even earlier previous years is difficult because official numbers in the past were infrequently released.

However, The Federal Times reports the intelligence budget is nearly double what it was in 1998 when the Clinton administration reported the figure as nearly $27 billion.

Upon release of the budget information, Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said intelligence spending had “blossomed to an unacceptable level in the past decade,” according to Federal News Radio, and cuts would soon be coming.

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