For the First Time, White House Reveals Total Intelligence Budget

In a remarkable step toward greater government transparency, the Administration last week disclosed for the first time the total intelligence budget. For 2010, the figure is $80.1 billion.

The intelligence budget was revealed in 1997 and 1998 in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Federation of American Scientists. However, the “national” and “military” components of the budget were not disclosed as part of that lawsuit, so the release painted only a partial picture of intelligence spending.

Since 2007, the White House has disclosed the National Intelligence Program (NIP) budget, as required by Congress in response to the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. However, at his July 20, 2010 confirmation hearing, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper admitted that revealing only the NIP budget was “disingenuous.”

This exciting step toward greater government openness would not have been possible without the tireless advocacy efforts of 2006 AALL Public Access to Government Information (PAGI) Award winner Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists. Congratulations to Steve on this significant victory!

[Posted by Emily Feldman]

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