Even though the in-your-face terrorist attacks have significantly diminished, we are spending more than ever on National Intelligence gathering. The pro-spook world would say that the high expenditures are what has kept us safe. But that is not something anyone can prove.
Note that these figures do not include military intelligence gathering.
The nation spent $54.6 billion on national spy agencies and programs in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, excluding spending on military intelligence programs, according to figures released by the nation’s intelligence director.
“If today’s number isn’t the absolute apex, it’s definitely within spitting distance from it,” said a congressional aide involved in intelligence budget deliberations.
The trajectory on spy spending has been breathtaking since the Sept. 11 attacks. Budgets more than doubled during a 10-year span in which the CIA and other spy agencies were charged with tracking al-Qaeda and staying abreast of the intense intelligence demands associated with two distant wars.