CIA’s secret budget reached US$52.6 billion in 2013, says leaked reports


The Washington Post has published leaked reports from former U.S. ­intelligence contractor Edward Snowden on the government’s ‘top-secret budget’ estimated at US$52.6 billion for 2013.

According to the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Saturday, Snowden disclosed documents briefing the budget, which offered details for successes, failures and objectives of the 16 spy agencies, which make up the CIA of 107,035 employees.

“Spending by the CIA has surged past that of every other spy agency with $14.7 billion in requested funding for 2013. The figure vastly exceeds outside estimates and is nearly 50 percent above that of the National Security Agency, which conducts eavesdropping operations,” according to the report.

The report also mentioned that “intelligence agencies remain fixed on terrorism as the gravest threat to national security, which is listed first among five ‘mission ob­jectives.’ Counterterrorism programs employ one in four members of the intelligence workforce.”

“Governments of Iran, China and Russia are difficult to penetrate, but North Korea’s may be the most opaque. There are five ‘critical’ gaps in U.S. intelligence about Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs,” it added.

The report also described Pakistan as “intractable target” and that “counterintelligence operations are strategically focused against [the] priority targets of China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Israel. The latter is a U.S. ally but has a history of espionage attempts against the United States.

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. wrote in response to inquiries from The Post saying, “The United States has made a considerable investment in the Intelligence Community since the terror attacks of 9/11, a time which includes wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, the proliferation of weapons and asymmetric threats in such areas as cyber-warfare.”

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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