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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Oct > Oct 17

Re: US Unveils Intelligence Budget For First Time

From: Ummo@concentric.net, Stig_Agermose@online.pol.dk (Stig Agermose)
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 18:11:38 +0100
Fwd Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 23:26:44 -0400
Subject: Re: US Unveils Intelligence Budget For First Time

Forwarded from "alt.alien.visitors". Date of message: October 17 09.36
local time:


Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 22:16:48 -0700
From: STARGATE <Ummo@concentric.net>
Subject: Black Budget Finally revealed?

I found this on:
http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=5449030-27c
05:08 PM ET 10/15/97

U.S. unveils intelligence budget for first time

By Jim Wolf


 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government  Wednesday
unveiled for the first time its annual spending on the CIA and
sister intelligence agencies, a secret for 50 years.

"The aggregate amount appropriated for intelligence and
intelligence-related activities for fiscal year 1997 is $26.6
billion,'' CIA Director George Tenet disclosed in response to a
Freedom of Information lawsuit that left scant choice but
declassification of the figure.

The disclosure of the so-called Black Budget capped a heated
political debate involving Congress, the White House and
directors of central intelligence for the past 20 years.

In making public the overall intelligence budget figure for the
fiscal year ended Sept. 30, Tenet said he had acted after
consulting President Clinton and appropriate agencies.

In April 1996, the White House said Clinton had determined that
making the sum public would not harm U.S. intelligence
activities, a stance shared by then-CIA director John Deutch.

Clinton made clear at the time, however, that he wanted to
declassify the total in concert with Congress, apparently to
share any backlash from critics who might otherwise accuse him of
undermining national security.

The Republican-led House  and Senate had refused to join Clinton
in the maneuver on the ground that Congress did not rightly have
the power to declassify and that this was a responsibility for
the administration alone.

In a statement, Tenet said the circumstances of the Freedom of
Information Act lawsuit "do not allow for joint action'' with the
Congress, as Clinton would have preferred.

"We believe this action is appropriate because it does not
jeopardize the ability of our intelligence agencies to carry out
their missions and serves to inform the American people,'' he
said.

The lawsuit was brought by the Center for National Security
Studies, a Washington group seeking greater intelligence agency
accountability, on behalf of Steven Aftergood, director of the
Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy.

"This is a long-overdue reform,'' Aftergood said in a telephone
interview. "Significantly, it took a lawsuit to accomplish this.
Congressional oversight couldn't get it done.''

Kate Martin, counsel in the case and director of the Center for
National Security Studies, said the CIA had been forced to unveil
the budget figure Wednesday because it could no longer defend
withholding it.

"Only because the CIA was required to present its defense to the
court today has it released the figure,'' she said. The annual
spending total had been kept secret since the CIA was founded 50
years ago.

Tenet runs the Central Intelligence Agency and serves as board
chairman for the 12 other U.S. spy outfits whose aggregate
funding level was at issue, including the Defense Intelligence
Agency, National Security Agency and National Reconnaissance
Office.

In his statement, Tenet stopped short of promising to continue to
release annual combined totals for intelligence spending, most of
which is buried in secret Pentagon accounts.

"Disclosure of future aggregate figures will be considered only
after determining whether such disclosures could cause harm to
the national security by showing trends over time,'' he said.

Executive branch officials would continue to protect from
disclosure "any and all subsidiary information concerning the
intelligence budget, whether the information concerns particular
intelligence agencies or particular intelligence programs,''
Tenet added. "In other words, the administration intends to draw
a firm line at the top-line, aggregate figure.''

The overall level of U.S. intelligence spending has long been
considered one of Washington's worst-kept secrets, widely
estimated at $28 billion to $30 billion. A few years ago, a House
panel published the figure inadvertantly.

REUTERS@




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