On the black budget disclosure
Thanks to Edward Snowden and The Washington Post, we now know how the 52 billion dollar “Black Budget” of the US national security agencies is being spent. Although there are claims this type of information undermines US security, this assertion is somewhat dubious. Clearly, nations looking at this data might speculate on potential weaknesses in US operations due to spending priorities, but our national security officials should always assume potential enemies would be able to identify such weaknesses while they should be prepared to identify and respond to any treats that might exploit such shortcomings. That said, this kind of information is more important to the democratic process. Democratic oversight depends upon our ability to have at least some idea about what our government is spending money on. Certainly, the secrets in this black budget could have created greater controversy, but there are concerns. For example, 2.5 billion dollars is spent by CIA on “covert action programs.” Considering the Central Intelligence Agency exists to gather intelligence, these types of operations, including drone attacks should probably not be under the authority of the CIA. (Just look at the hatred that exists around the world toward the CIA, and the US, due to its interventionist activities.) There need to be debates on issues like this one.
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