Intelligence budget continues to drop
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies before Congress
October 30th, 2012
02:26 PM ET

Intelligence budget continues to drop

By Pam Benson

Spending by the intelligence community dropped for the second year in a row following the dramatic increases in the  years after the 2001 terrorist attacks and it's a trend that will continue.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a statement on Tuesday revealing the budget for national intelligence programs in fiscal year 2012 was $53.9 billion, a 1 percent decrease from the previous year. 

And according to the Defense Department, the amount spent for military intelligence dropped by 10 percent to $21.5 billion.

The overall spending of $75.4 billion in 2012 represents a 4% cut in intelligence spending.

The fiscal year ended on September 30.

Overall intelligence spending peaked in fiscal year 2010 when the United States spent a total of $80.1 billion.

Clapper had originally requested a slight increase for intelligence programs in 2012, but was forced to pare it back when the Office of Management and Budget ordered all government departments and agencies to make further cuts in light of the budget deficit.

The money supported the operations of the 16 agencies and departments that make up the intelligence community and did not include military intelligence which is funded separately.

Earlier this year, the Director of National Intelligence announced the budget for fiscal year 2013 would drop further to $52.6 billion, an additional 2.4% decline.

Clapper warned Congress in January that the cuts would be tough.

"Never before has the intelligence community been called upon to master such complexity on so many issues in such a resource-constrained environment," he said. "But candidly, maintaining the world's premier intelligence enterprise in the face of shrinking budgets will be difficult. We'll be accepting and managing risk more so than we've had to do in the last decade."

Last year, Clapper said significant savings could be found by integrating the intelligence community's information technology infrastructure. But he also warned that mandatory cutting that would ensue if a deficit deal is not reached by Congress would be "disastrous."

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  36. elpfeifer

    Knowing very well what the money is being spent on, first hand, I can assure you that it is all connected to criminal activity within the government, especially elite child porn, and human trafficking rings, as well as other crimes they actually work to cover up, because they are the ones who are doing it, not the people they are harassing with their stupid psyops and dirty tricks. They shouldn't be allowed to spend one penny on it. They have satellites that can read newspapers off of the side-walk, so why do they need all these idiotic red squads to harass and stalk people, and have Healthnet fly over their houses 10 times a day. The Government has no right to harass people, and that is all they do. They destroy lives, it has nothing to do with surveillance.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  37. PJ

    How much money does it take to grope airline passengers? That's all were paying for. TSA workers steal pretty much everything else they need.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      That comes from the Homeland Security budget, not the Intelligence budget. The TSA is a total waste though, for sure.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  38. Jim

    Intelligence? Is that what they called them? That's hilarious.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
  39. EricInNC

    The answer doesn't have to be all or nothing. How much do we need the Bluffdale complex in Utah, whose purpose is to spy on US citizens? That alone would save billions. How much do we need law enforcement using weaponized drones on American citizens? How much do we need 6000 (or is it 10000) warheads that need billions in upkeep, or would 3000 do it? Do we really need 700 military bases around the world, or would 500 do it? Do we need to spend as much on the military as the next dozen nations combined (which include allies), or would spending only as much as the next dozen foes do it? It amazes me how people automatically assume that any amount the war machine asks for is anointed by God, but education and infrastructure are wastes of money.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:03 am | Reply
    • Guest

      I'm pretty sure your tinfoil hat fell off. Or you forgot to take your meds.

      It's definitely one of the two.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:10 am | Reply
      • Jim

        why don't you take your tin foil hat and shove it up your @$$. Your heads obviously up there.

        October 31, 2012 at 10:14 am |
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        Eloquent, Jim.

        You obviously have nothing intelligent to say.

        October 31, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
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      Seems you can't post specifics on the facility...

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    Cut the budget to cut the fat, not cut the function. There is not a single government agency at this moment that is not carrying some extra weight.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Reply
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    This is a good thing.

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    Can we just drop it to 0 and call it a day?

    The only thing that has the government has gotten "better" at in the last 10 years is the stirpping away of our freedoms.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Reply
    • Hasai

      That's pretty-much what Congress did after the Cold War ended.

      The result was 9/11.

      People never learn.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Reply
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        You are a moron.

        October 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
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      Wow. Dumb comment is dumb. Why would we need intel? America has no enemies. Everyone loves us.

      October 30, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Reply
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    Bad this world we need to boost the Intel budget. Maybe double it.

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      Only if you're super stupid and inept.

      October 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Reply
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        Stupid and inept. Two categories in which Joe is considered an expert. Thanks for playing.

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      What for, imaginary boogy men?

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    It is time for American's to live with courage again.

    October 30, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Reply
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      Why do you think it is a waste of time, or that the government is inept? In fact, what has happened is that since 9/11 we have foiled a great many terrorist attacks that would have killed our citizens and wreaked economic havoc. And who did the hard and intelligent work of foiling these attacks, through painstaking intel? The US government, of course. I think they did a great job, and we should be grateful and proud that American civil servants kept us mostly safe in the face of a dangerous, nebulous, and unscrupulous enemy.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:39 am | Reply
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      No one is disputing that bro.

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      October 31, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Reply

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