US intelligence spying costs over 80 billion dollars annually

Washington, Oct. 29 (ANI): The annual cost of U.S. intelligence has gone public for the first time. According to figures released by the government Thursday, it is just over 80 billion dollars for 2010.

Of this amount, 27 billion dollars goes to military intelligence and 53.1 billion dollars covers the CIA and some of the other 16 intelligence agencies, CBS News reports.

The 80 billion dollars exceeds the 51 billion dollars spent on the State Department and foreign aid programs in 2010, and is only a tenth of the 814 billion dollars economic stimulus program passed by Congress last year.

The new director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said during his Senate confirmation hearing that it was time to tell the American public the total cost of intelligence.

The last director of national intelligence, retired Admiral Dennis Blair, had revealed in congressional testimony that the 2009 figure was around 75 billion dollars.

Clapper said he has convinced Defense Secretary Robert Gates to make it standard practice to release the actual figure.

The military budget goes to places like Army and Navy intelligence and the Defense Intelligence Agency, while some organizations, such as the National Security Agency and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, get funding from both budgets, Aftergood says.

The figures drew an immediate pledge to slash intelligence spending from Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat.

She said intelligence spending had "blossomed to an unacceptable level in the past decade," doubling since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. (ANI)

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