by Kenneth J. Theisen
On October 28, 2010 the U.S. government announced that it expended $80.1 billion on national intelligence activities during the fiscal year which ended on September 30, 2011. Sixteen spy agencies such as the CIA, FBI, NSA, etc., which are part of the National Intelligence Program (NIP) and report to the Director of National Intelligence, spent $53.1 billion in fiscal year 2010. Meanwhile the Military Intelligence Program spent and additional $27 billion.
These vast billions are only for so-called intelligence activities and do not include the hundreds of billions of dollars spent by these and other agencies to protect U.S. imperialism or the money spent by the military for non-intelligence activities.
“Only” about $3.5 billion of this amount was spent on Iraq and Afghanistan according to the Department of War. So how are they spending the other $76 billion? A look at the 2010 Washington Post Series called TOP SECRET AMERICA http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/
gives you an idea of where much of the money goes. I have written numerous other articles on this site that also detail some of these spy programs.
Illegal and “legalized” programs begun under the Bush regime and continued under Obama now allow the government to act as “big brother” on a massive scale. Virtually every phone call, email, financial transaction, border crossing, passenger airline flight data, etc, is now intercepted and stored in some government data base. While the government would like you to believe the targets of all this spying are “terrorists or terrorist suspects” the reality is that even your emails and phone calls are subject to surveillance. You are part of the massive data mining operation conducted by the government. The government is also keeping its eyes on activities of protesters within the U.S.
When Obama was a candidate for the presidency he led people to believe that he would rein in massive “illegal” spying. In some ways he kept his promise. While still in congress he voted in the Senate to “legalize” many of the illegal surveillance activities of the Bush regime. He converted illegal spying into legal spying.
As president he has continued and expanded the surveillance capabilities of the national “intelligence” community. He has backed legislation to legalize even more spying. And he has been a very active user of the intelligence. Some of the military spying has been utilized to conduct his drone assassination program, which has now been used to kill at least two U.S. citizens without any due process. The increase in intelligence activities has also allowed Obama to conduct “covert” wars in Pakistan, Somalia, the Sudan and Yemen, among just a few of the nations that are now active targets in the U.S. war of terror.
At the same time his administration has refused to hold any of the Bush regime officials accountable for their illegal actions. But then it may be a bit hypocritical to hold them accountable when he and his minions are now doing the same things. Maybe this is why Obama administration lawyers have made so many appearances in court over the last three years to defend Bush regime officials and programs by asserting “national security privileges” in order to further the government cover-up of these actions.
Current intelligence expenditures are more than double the money expended before 9/11. Expenditures for FY 2010 were an increase of 7 percent over the prior year. In February of this year the Obama administration stated it would ask to increase the NIP budget to $55 billion from the then $53.1 billion.
Obama, as the political leader of the American Empire, is fully committed to continuing the war of terror begun during the years of the Bush regime, including its spying upon the people of the world, including those in the U.S.
Just like Bush, Obama is the leader of imperialist America. He must do what he can to protect imperialist interests. This includes waging the U.S. war of terror and spying on the people of the world, including those in the U.S.