September 18, 2013
The existence of a secret U.S. budget, amounting to a well-financed shadow government, used to spy on American citizens and monitor their daily activities, was always derisively consigned to insane conspiracy theorists. However, recent revelations by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden have exposed details of the secret budgets used by the intelligence community, known as the âBlack Budget.â
The reported amount of this budget is approximately $52.6 billion. These funds are in addition to the congressionally-approved budgets of the Armed Forces and the Department of Defense of $526.6 billion dollars for a total of more than half a trillion dollars. According to the National Priorities project:
âIn the Obama administration 2014 fiscal year, the administration is seeking a $526.6 billion budget for the Department of Defense, not including war funding or nuclear weapons activities at the Department of Energy.â
According to the Washington Post, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA) and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) receive nearly 68% of the black budget. During a peacetime economy, the budgets of the five intelligence agencies have grown exponentially while funds for urban cities and social services have dwindled.
For example, the CIA budget was increased to $14.7 billion dollars, a 56% increase since 2004. The NSA budget for domestic and international spying has increased to $10.8 billion dollars or 53% since 2004. The NRO, the office purportedly responsible for designing, building and operating the countryâs imagery satellites increased its budget to $10.3 billion dollars or 12% increase since 2004.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGIA) that provides imagery and map-based intelligence increased its budget to $4.9 billion dollars or an increase of 108% since 2004. Finally, in 2004 the General Defense Intelligence Program that conducts, collects and documents human and technical intelligence and media management within the DoD increased its budget to $4.4 billion dollars.
These kinds of intelligence organizations have operated in repressive government to control populations, such as East Germanyâs Stasi organization that deterred dissent, free speech and basic civil liberties of its people.
Edward Snowdenâs revelations continue to inform and illuminate the American media and public about a government operating in the shadows without accountability to the people or any pretense of adhering to democratic principles.
We can only assume that there are additional funds unreported within these secrecy organizations. Yet, the country suffers from high structural unemployment, skyrocketing poverty rates, inferior education for low-income communities, infrastructure decline and environmental degradation.
The recent 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington reminds us of the FBI surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King in the 1960s that escalated after the march under the pretext that he was affiliated with communist organizations. This FBI surveillance earned King the label of âthe most dangerous Negro in America.â
Had the U.S. civil rights movement that was celebrated on the National Mall with pomp and presidential ceremony occurred today, the $56.2 Billion dollar budget and its thousands of foot soldiers would have left no stone unturned to undermine and destroy the movement and its leaders.
As whistleblowers face life in prison, like Bradley Manning, or suffer exile, like Edward Snowden, we now have a glimpse into the biology of the U.S. shadow government that's viciousness abroad is matched by cruelty at home.
It allows cities and populations like Detroit to decay while exhorting the rich culture of Motown and the African heritage that gave rise to the music that became a global anthem. Children, particularly black children, are perishing for lack of basic nutrition, disproportionate exposure to environmental toxins, a lack of access to quality education and an over exposure to societal violence continues while the national security state demands more power and money.
This week, the Huffington Post reports that, based on internal U.S. government documents, âthe NSA in partnership with the British government, has secretly been unraveling encryption technology that billions of Internet users rely upon to keep their electronic messages and confidential data safe from prying eyes.â
Welcome to the world of the U.S. national security state.
~ Marsha Coleman Adebayo serves as Director of Government Transparency and Accountability in the Democracy Branch of the Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States.