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United States Government The Almighty Buck

Inside the 2013 US Intelligence "Black Budget" 271

Posted by samzenpus
from the itemized-bill dept.
i_want_you_to_throw_ writes "U.S. spy agencies have built an intelligence-gathering colossus since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but remain unable to provide critical information to the president on a range of national security threats, according to the government's top secret budget. The $52.6 billion 'black budget' for fiscal 2013, obtained by The Washington Post from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, maps a bureaucratic and operational landscape that has never been subject to public scrutiny. Although the government has annually released its overall level of intelligence spending since 2007, it has not divulged how it uses those funds or how it performs against the goals set by the president and Congress."
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Inside the 2013 US Intelligence "Black Budget"

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  • Cool (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:08PM (#44712377)
    Time to pretend like the president has any actual control over any of this! Makes you feel like you as an American matter, doesn't it?

    Douglas Adams was right. The presidency does not exist to wield power. The presidency exists to distract attention away from the wielding of power.
    • Re:Cool (Score:4, Informative)

      by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:57PM (#44712657)

      I think the only thing that is "intelligent" about "intelligence agencies" is the way they secure unlimited black box budgets. $60 billion for 100,000 staff is an average of $600k for each staff member. what are they spending it on? contractors i bet.

      • what are they spending it on?

        I hear these sorts of things are useful, and expensive: KH-11 [wikipedia.org]

      • Re:Cool (Score:4, Funny)

        by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday August 30, 2013 @10:07AM (#44716115)
        It's amazing to me that we voters accept that budgeting needs to be secret for legitimate security purposes. "Oh no! If China knew how much money we're spending on tanks, they'd only have to spend ONE MORE DOLLAR to get an edge on us and take our freedom in a tank war!"
    • Re:Cool (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jythie (914043) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:58PM (#44712659)
      People tend to vastly overestimate how much defacto power a president has.
      • I completely agree. As I saw it, the arguments about the Iraq and Afghan wars that were in the press during the Bush administration could be mostly understood as a part of the turf war between the pentagon and the state department.

      • Re:Cool (Score:5, Insightful)

        by schnell (163007) <meNO@SPAMschnell.net> on Friday August 30, 2013 @02:17AM (#44714041) Homepage

        People tend to vastly overestimate how much defacto power a president has.

        Why do people on Slashdot keep saying this? The POTUS really does hold ultimate power over the Executive Branch of the US Government, which includes the DoD and the DNI agencies. I get that we want to think he doesn't know or that he's just some dupe, but he's not. (It reminds me of how Soviet citizens in the '30s would look at terrible abuses or atrocities - usually specifically approved by Stalin - and often say, "If only Stalin knew!")

        Anyone who has spent much time around the government in DC can tell you that, yes, defense companies and lobbyists wield a lot of influence over the Legislative Branch... but they're not really in charge of the National Security apparatus - the president is. And he's not some patsy. The sad truth about these activities is that he knows about them and he thinks they're OK.

        Maybe he's right that they do actually stop terrorist attacks, maybe he's just letting these programs continue because he doesn't want to look "soft" on terrorism or get blamed if there's another attack. I don't know and neither do you. But either way please don't delude yourself that the POTUS has not 100% approved what the intelligence community's big initiatives and scope of surveillance are.

        • by Lennie (16154)

          Or maybe he just thinks all the companies provide employment.

          Or maybe his political party wants to secure funding for the next elections.

    • Re:Cool (Score:5, Funny)

      by PPH (736903) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @09:17PM (#44712761)
      The presidency is like a piano player in a whorehouse. He knows what is going on upstairs, but there's not much he can do about it other than to drown out the sounds.
      • Outstanding! LOL
        I have to say, that's the best analogy I've ever heard on this subject.
        On the surface it seems so simple, but the subtle implications are truly astounding.

        He knows what is going on upstairs, ...

        And nobody talks about what is going on in the basement....$52.6 bn USD worth of something.
        Those that break that rule usually have to flee the country.
        That from a country allegedly ruled 'by the people, for the people'.
        What people? Not me!

        Bin Laden won a decade ago.
        It strikes me as ironic that we kill him just before public awareness that

    • Re:Cool (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Camael (1048726) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @11:52PM (#44713473)

      Time to pretend like the president has any actual control over any of this! ...The presidency does not exist to wield power. The presidency exists to distract attention away from the wielding of power.

      I'm afraid I have to disagree. Obama is apparently a a keen supporter of intelligence spending. [defensenews.com]

      Jun. 2, 2009

      When U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair met with President Barack Obama in February to discuss a proposed new constellation of multibillion-dollar imaging satellites, the resulting series of conversations was unusual and maybe unprecedented in the country's decades-long history of using orbiting cameras to spy inside foreign borders. ...

      Obama's personal involvement in formulating a satellite acquisition proposal to Congress was "very unusual," said a retired intelligence official. U.S. presidents often receive briefings about spy satellite capabilities at times of crisis, the official said, but he did not know of another president being involved in acquisition planning. That is normally left to the intelligence community, which manages construction of spy satellites and operates them through the National Reconnaissance Office. Acquisition proposals are accepted indirectly by presidents when they sign off on their classified budget requests to Congress.

      Well, since Obama was personally (and unusually) involved in formulating a satellite acquisition proposal to Congress, I'd say the argument that he is a mere figurehead doesn't quite fly.

      • Re:Cool (Score:4, Insightful)

        by betterprimate (2679747) on Friday August 30, 2013 @02:20AM (#44714047)

        Time to pretend like the president has any actual control over any of this! ...The presidency does not exist to wield power. The presidency exists to distract attention away from the wielding of power.

        I'm afraid I have to disagree. Obama is apparently a a keen supporter of intelligence spending. [defensenews.com]

        Well, since Obama was personally (and unusually) involved in formulating a satellite acquisition proposal to Congress, I'd say the argument that he is a mere figurehead doesn't quite fly.

        That's President Obama. Now, if you were to quote Senator Obama, your point would be valid. You want to know how much he is a pawn? Military action against Syria will happen between next Saturday night and Tuesday morning. He will take action, as Presidents before him have, while Congress is in recess. He has until the 9th. This will be the main focus of his Presidential Address on Sunday; justifying the legality and U.S. interest in doing so. He'll pull at liberal heart strings.

        This has been planned for the past 15 years now just like the Iraq war was. U.S. and Britain (primarily) won't miss their chance even though there is more evidence to counter the claim Assad used chemical weapons. They're manufacturing evidence.

        The Elites need the Syrian pipeline and this is their chance to take it.

        (Did I mention the U.S. and NATO have been funding the destabilization of Syria for the past four years?)

        Next stop: Iran

        • Re:Cool (Score:5, Interesting)

          by BlueStrat (756137) on Friday August 30, 2013 @03:37AM (#44714297)

          This has been planned for the past 15 years now just like the Iraq war was. U.S. and Britain (primarily) won't miss their chance even though there is more evidence to counter the claim Assad used chemical weapons. They're manufacturing evidence.

          The Elites need the Syrian pipeline and this is their chance to take it.

          (Did I mention the U.S. and NATO have been funding the destabilization of Syria for the past four years?)

          Next stop: Iran

          You're close, but think bigger. Much bigger.

          The global interests have decided that it's time for global change. They want the "Age of America" as a top superpower finished and over with. They want a major global power-shift.

          The only way outside of natural disasters/pandemics that major and sudden global changes happen is through world war.

          World War 3 is what is being staged here. Russia has already sent a fleet to the area. Both Russia and China have warned the US not to strike Syria. The US will be facing Russia, China, Iran, and much of the Middle East and others with an over-extended and exhausted US military. The US doesn't come out of that well.

          The US Dollar is about to collapse. They've been running the printing presses at warp speed to maintain a rough status-quo while they make preparations. They see a war as not only the only way, but the preferred way, out of the somewhere-north-of ~$17T debt (that's admitted to), while simultaneously taking the US out of the top-global-superpower club and allowing martial law to be declared in the US and massive domestic political/societal changes made via the barrels of guns.

          Hang on boys and girls.

          Shit's about to get real after Obama strikes Syria.

          I firmly believe it will be the "Archduke Ferdinand" moment that starts a world war and signals the end of the US as a top superpower, and the end of constitutional civil liberties as we've known them for the people in the US.

          Strat

          • Re:Cool (Score:4, Informative)

            by Deluvianvortex (2908365) on Friday August 30, 2013 @05:37AM (#44714707)

            World War 3 is what is being staged here. Russia has already sent a fleet to the area. Both Russia and China have warned the US not to strike Syria.

            That was not said at all. They cautioned about leaping to conclusions about the nature of the attack and should let the weapons inspectors finish their investigation. They said, literally, "Military strikes could have catastrophic consequences for the entire region." No one said anything about war, except Iran, who no one cares about. Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23845800 [bbc.co.uk]

  • Wow... I RTFA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:10PM (#44712401)

    And saw the American public ripping the big government a new asshole.

    Good job peeps. Keep doin gods work.

    We could spend this money almost any other way and do much more good.

    • by Seumas (6865)

      We'd spend it bailing out corporations or fighting for corporate interests overseas, in another sandlot where we justify our actions with some manufactured humanitarian atrocity.

      And you're still right, because at least with either of those things, the actions are not directly against the population and citizens of this government, itself.

  • Open Source (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chill (34294) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:13PM (#44712423) Journal

    Between the CIA and the DoDIA they have over half a billion in the category "open source". Very interesting.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Between the CIA and the DoDIA they have over half a billion in the category "open source". Very interesting.

      The notion of CIA and "open" impacts my mind pretty much as cognitive dissonance.
      If I leave aside the software context and put "CIA + open source" alongside, the impact is double (what the hell can be source from CIA and still be open?)

      • Re:Open Source (Score:5, Informative)

        by thoth (7907) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:35PM (#44712565) Journal

        Come on folks... read the damn info. The site says that "open source" data is "publicly available information appearing in print or electronic form". I'm gonna speculate part of the open source budget goes towards the salaries of linguists, computers for translation and the support staff, etc.

        There's also a government website: www.opensource.gov

      • Re:Open Source (Score:4, Informative)

        by NotSanguine (1917456) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @11:43PM (#44713449)

        Between the CIA and the DoDIA they have over half a billion in the category "open source". Very interesting.

        The notion of CIA and "open" impacts my mind pretty much as cognitive dissonance. If I leave aside the software context and put "CIA + open source" alongside, the impact is double (what the hell can be source from CIA and still be open?)

        IIRC, Open source in this context refers to intelligence gathering from public sources like newspapers and public records and such.

    • Re:Open Source (Score:5, Informative)

      by tukang (1209392) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:25PM (#44712493)
      "open source" refers to analysis of publicly available information such as news, social media, etc. (https://www.cia.gov/careers/opportunities/analytical/open-source-officer-foreign-media-analyst.html)
      • by chill (34294)

        Thank you. I was wondering where all the upstream contributions were, or if this was just support licenses for Red Hat and Apache.

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      Between the CIA and the DoDIA they have over half a billion in the category "open source". Very interesting.

      If you want to believe their lies, I have have some bottom land for sale along the Mississippi, or how about a bridge in New York City, real cheap, almost nothing.

    • I couldn't find that in the text. However, that likely doesn't mean "open source" as in software. It means "open source", as in, the source of info is, well, open. Think things like broadcasts, newspapers, slashdot...
    • by Livius (318358)

      Open source is easy stuff like newspapers from other parts of the world and other forms of public record.

  • Bomb Syria (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bhlowe (1803290) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:16PM (#44712445)
    Obama's (and the neocon's) response: bomb a civil war in the Middle East...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Seumas (6865)

      Funny thing, that.

      When Bush did it, Obama (rightfully) stated "The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."

      And Biden stated "I teach separation of powers in Constitutional law. This is something I know. So I brought a group of Constitutional scholars together to write a piece that I'm going to deliver to the whole United States Senate pointing out that the presid

  • Oversight (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:17PM (#44712453)

    If we are ever going to rein in our out of control government we desperately need to have all the public scrutiny we can get. Maybe even put some penalties up, say your budget gets slashed by a billion dollars every time one of your officials gets caught lying to congress or gets caught up in a scandal.

    • Re:Oversight (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jythie (914043) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @09:01PM (#44712669)
      I doubt that would actually help much. Look how protective they get over secrets and accountability when the only 'cost' is embarassment. Imagine how much energy they would put in to not being accountable if there were actual penalties.
  • by Myria (562655) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:21PM (#44712469)

    Slashdot - and other news aggregation websites - should put warning labels on links that go to leaked classified information. Some people can get into trouble for viewing it. I love reading it, but some people who read Slashdot work in the classified world and have to work under some of its sillier rules. (Like having to wipe your unclassified work computer because it got Top Secret data on it from the Washington Post.)

    • That makes sense..... and is truly the most insane thing I have heard this week.
      • So if there were an article on a news site about top secret news but it was pretend and wasn't really top secret would you still have to wipe your computer? If yes, then you will be wiping your computer often. If no, then you get acknowledgment if a leak is actually true or not.

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:42PM (#44712605)

      No, fuck that. It's our moral responsibility to make sure this shit hits every wall in the room.

      • by bmo (77928)

        Pretty much this.

        Prior restraint is bollocks.

        --
        BMO

        • That's not prior restraint, that's information labeling. Prior restraint is when the government says you can't publish it.

      • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday August 29, 2013 @09:36PM (#44712869) Homepage Journal

        No, fuck that. It's our moral responsibility to make sure this shit hits every wall in the room.

        Right - don't enable the bastards. Does a spook have to spend three days re-installing his PC because some stupid rule says that he has to if he reads a WashPo article? Good, that's three days less that he can be doing other damage.

        Somebody give me a "Top Secret" nugget that's been in the MSM for months so I can I can put in my .sig.

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          Long term the nugget idea is interesting, just keep quoting the info as posted to Slashdot and adding your own insights.
          A lot of staff will for the first time face the reality/limits of their rights and freedoms and wonder about their own internet logs.
          Self censorship takes over and very well educated staff members notes group think setting in.
          Thats why the more successful clandestine services ensure staff read as much as they can and offer to keep their education going.
          Languages, propaganda, protest mo
      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Friday August 30, 2013 @12:15AM (#44713557)

        if you haven't paid attention to the many other threads, your computer has to be wiped. as a programmer I keep notes and snippets and URLs and all kinds of helpful stuff handy. not to mention the installation and config.

        if I worked on a controlled pc and clicked an interesting link while researching why Md5 is harmful so u can explain why a Microsoft patch disables cert checimg for md5 signatures, I have to start over.

        a controlled computer, without being able to set options like disabling scripts, and likely ie8, on potentially underpowered hardware is a recipe for browser unresponsiveness. I constantly mis- click on android browsers, and dad's ie8 is slower than sloth crap.

        a warning would be helpful, and if you still disagree, you should do all of your computing from a livecd with a 3.5" floppy for storage, to remind yourself what starting over entails.

        assuming that source is controlled, mails are on the server, and your home drive is not local, most people would be down at least a day, best case, and slower than normal for weeks.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Slashdot - and other news aggregation websites - should put warning labels on links that go to leaked classified information. Some people can get into trouble for viewing it. I love reading it, but some people who read Slashdot work in the classified world and have to work under some of its sillier rules. (Like having to wipe your unclassified work computer because it got Top Secret data on it from the Washington Post.)

      You chose to work for the Devil. It turns out, sometimes the Devil wants his due.

      That's your problem. So fucking tired of every edge-case person wanting the whole rest of the world to accommodate them. It's self-important entitlement at its finest.

      Here's an idea: don't click on links that talking about US intelligence agencies. Simple!

    • by CoolGopher (142933) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @09:38PM (#44712887)

      I'm sorry, but if it's available to all and sundry on the internet, it is no longer secret, let alone Top Secret. The cat is out of the bag, the genie is out of the bottle, the train's left the platform, etc.

      If institutions fail to adapt to the changing world, that's their problem, not the world's.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cold fjord (826450)

        Sorry, but it doesn't stop being classified if it is stolen and published. The only way it stops being classified is to be declassified in the usual way. There are lots of reasons for that.

        • by rts008 (812749)

          There are lots of reasons for that.

          Are any of those reasons valid after they have been uploaded and spread around the internet?
          It HAS to be about retribution, and not secrecy. IT'S ON THE FRIKKING INTERNET ALREADY!!!

    • We went over this when wikileaks Material was posted to /.

      It's your responsibility. Not the site's. Otherwise, they'd have to accomodate to every small request.

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        The US press did to with Nixon too. The old trick was to get to the press/publisher/author first. That worked well for many, many years :)
    • by nsaspook (20301)

      You mean the words "Intelligence Black Budget" didn't clue you in?

      • Nahhh - some people probably think it's the government's budget for black SUV's. And, that would be "news for nerds" based on all the options and accessories to be found in said black SUV's.

        I saw one not long ago, in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Damned thing was completely blacked out, violating any and all laws about tinted windshields. There had to be six antenna sticking up out of it, maybe more. I only saw it for a couple seconds, in cross traffic at one of the three red light intersections in town. Wonde

        • by rts008 (812749)

          Hi from Stillwater!
          Don't bet the farm on a Fed vehicle, the description sounds like our own Tri-County Task Force, made up of all local law enforcement agencies.

          There has been on ongoing trend in civil law enforcement to become more 'militarized' since 9/11 in the USA.
          It's starting to remind me of the rise of Nazi Germany. Not total, but just starting....

          Before you jump to conclusions, check it out.

    • by Gravis Zero (934156) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @09:56PM (#44712961)

      Slashdot - and other news aggregation websites - should put warning labels on links that go to leaked classified information.

      yes, that's it, let's have everyone go out of our way to help those poor souls like you that are helping perpetuate the problem. oh wait, here's a better idea, dont work for criminals or companies that help them.

    • by rts008 (812749)

      Why should we take responsibility for your choices and actions?

      If you work with classified info, then you should know better than to let your curiosity rule over responsibility. 'Do you know how curiosity killed the cat?'

      Not all of us are molded to think this way. Some of us prefer a more open and honest government that is truly ' by the people, for the people', as advertised!

      I your case(and those similar/applicable), I will concede that the above was a bit harsh. I meant no insult...consider it a warning

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:34PM (#44712557)

    $52 billion? That's like burning up a Bill Gates or a Warren Buffet every year.

    With that amount of money spent, there shouldn't a terrorist left breathing on the face of the planet.

    Um, Secret Squirrel guys, I think that you are doing something completely wrong with that money. I know that you like listening to other folks telephone calls, but clearly, this isn't the way.

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @08:43PM (#44712609)

      Ah, I see you're mistake. This budget has absolutely nothing to do with terrorists. As with all government programs its primary goal is in justifying its own existence.

      • The budget is for intelligence, of which terrorism is just one slice. Other slices keep track of the ballistic missile and nuclear programs of Iran and North Korean. Another slice keeps tabs of Russia to check and see if it is cheating on its nuclear missile and conventional forces treaty obligations. Another slice is watching Russian submarines and bombers as they have restarted their probes of NATO and US/Canadian territory. Another slice is watching China and its occupation of territory claimed by In

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by AHuxley (892839)
          Re maintain as much peace in the world as possible?
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covert_United_States_foreign_regime_change_actions [wikipedia.org]
          Much of that seems to been keeping the world in a mess so it needs US help/arms and political cover/support.
    • by whoever57 (658626) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @09:04PM (#44712693) Journal

      Um, Secret Squirrel guys, I think that you are doing something completely wrong with that money.

      Perfectly reasonable statement, but wrong. The goals of the program are being well met -- it's just that you misunderstand the goal, which is really to funnel money into the privatized defence/intelligence community.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      Don't be so hard on them, they predicted that the USSR was going to break up - oh wait, they didn't - despite more than half the Russian civilians on the street knowing it was going on. Arab spring? Not as such. Planes crashing into buildings? No, that was Tom Clancy and the writers for the Lone Gunman series.
      OK then, be hard on them. Kick the toy soldiers out and replace them with real ones. Nowhere near as many will be needed and the outsourced money funnels will be removed.
    • by Livius (318358)

      The purpose is to have an impressive-looking budget to create the *appearance* of Doing Something(tm).

      They achieve that more effectively by not spending the money sensibly.

    • by khallow (566160)

      With that amount of money spent, there shouldn't a terrorist left breathing on the face of the planet.

      That's crazy talk. If they did that, then how would they get $52 billion next year? The US government is a place where one gets paid generously to not do their job.

  • Thought experiment: What if just before we went into Vietnam and Iraq, someone leaked all our intelligence about these countries. There is a good chance the outcry would have stopped these stupid/criminal wars.

    • by PPH (736903) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @09:07PM (#44712709)
      Iraq and Vietnam were different cases. In Iraq, the evidence was manufactured at the outset to get us in there. In Vietnam, it was a misunderstanding of the internal politics (a civil war) plus lies later on about how badly things were going.
      • by Livius (318358)

        Not identical, but not that different either.

      • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @10:30PM (#44713141) Homepage Journal

        https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=vietnam+CIA+false+flag+ [google.com]

        Like Iraq, Vietnam was also based on manufactured false information. You may limit your reading to the wikis, or you may dig deeper, as you wish. But, Tonkin Bay, which was the primary igniter in getting our troops into Vietnam was entirely a false flag operation.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        you're completely wrong about Vietnam.

        Vietnam started at the request of France. They wanted the US military to help back them up in Vietnam because they were losing control of it [Vietnam being a colony of France at the time]. France turned the revolution in Vietnam into a civil war, with the revolutionaries turning into the VC and the other side becoming our guys. The US was pulled wholesale into the conflict by the NSA and the Johnson administration distorting information around the gulf of tonkin inci

  • Agent recruiting - this was exposed in the Church reports wrt to US press/universities and their very close role to the US gov.
    Spending has been sort of public but out by 50% seems too low?
    Offensive cyber-operations - very public in many comments about direction changes and new missions, recruiting needs.
    Insider threats - that is interesting. All the new contractors and rushed language needs add up to people with pasts and family connections/faith well outside the USA.
    The "anomalous behaviour" has been
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29, 2013 @09:05PM (#44712697)

    ...thanks to Edward Snowden.

    • by b4upoo (166390)

      The public needs to know about these budgets. Now we have no way to know the growth rate of this budget over the years and we have no real way to know if these agencies get enough money or too much money. So what good is a vote? One can not vote with any clarity when important information is held back.

  • by Antipater (2053064) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @09:14PM (#44712753)
    I loved when Clapper tried to minimize the number by saying that it accounts for "less than 1% of GDP". Not 1% of government revenues, not 1% of the government's total budget. 1% of fucking GDP is his chosen comparison. That's like someone claiming they're not an alcoholic because they only drink one bottle a day, and Jack Daniels makes thousands!
    • Yeah, especially when NASA's budget is ~0.1% of GDP. We bitch about NASA's inability to get anywhere these days, but here the NSA is blowing far more money doing far far less. I hope the Republicans can finally jump on this bandwagon now that the issue can be framed as "government waste" instead of "protection from terrorists". It amazes me that conservatives have given Obama such a free pass on all of this so far. Hopefully that changes now.

      • by causality (777677) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @09:53PM (#44712945)

        It amazes me that conservatives have given Obama such a free pass on all of this so far. Hopefully that changes now.

        It amazes me how you or anyone else can see this happen time and time again and still believe that we have two distinct parties.

        Jefferson knew what a two-party system would become and specifically warned against it. At some point they both realize they can play the voters in the middle, sort of like "good cop, bad cop". For maximum effect, switch roles once in a while. Then people support a given one for irrational, emotional, tribal, "my team" reasons and stop thinking critically. Take a hard look at the world of US politics and tell me this isn't exactly what's happening. Then make the next tiny leap and understand that someone definitely benefits from this, and it is not accidental.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Yes we have seen that "chosen comparison" like idea used on Slashdot. If you forget data compression and keep raw footage/recodings no real data can be stored for very long.
  • by dcollins (135727) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @11:51PM (#44713469) Homepage

    "To further safeguard our classified networks, we continue to strengthen insider threat detection capabilities across the Community." (p. 5)

  • by msobkow (48369) on Friday August 30, 2013 @12:09AM (#44713527) Homepage Journal

    Over 50 BILLION dollars and they didn't catch and stop the Boston bombers.

    <SARCASM>What a great investment.</SARCASM>

    It makes it worth every penny to spy on the whole nation and surrounding world, doesn't it?

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