Intelligence Community Budgets

Budget for Fiscal Year 1999


Materials presented in reverse chronological order.

Washington Post. "[Editorial:] Cloak Over the CIA Budget." 29 Nov. 1999, A22. [http://]

"It simply cannot be that the same figures can sensibly be unclassified one year and classified the next." Clark comment: It does not help this discussion that the main media seemingly refuse to learn the difference between the CIA (one agency) budget and the Intelligence (multiple agencies) budget, the latter being the figure released in the two previous years.

Loeb, Vernon. "Intelligence Budget Can Be Secret, Judge Rules." Washington Post, 23 Nov. 1999, A4. []

In an opinion dated 12 November 1999, "U.S. District Court Judge Thomas F. Hogan dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) under the Freedom of Information Act, saying the director of central intelligence has broad power 'to protect the secrecy and integrity of the intelligence process.'" The opinion was made public on 22 November 1999.

Washington Post. "[Editorial:] A CIA Secret." 28 Dec. 1998, A24. [http://www.]

"[T]he CIA is refusing to release the intelligence budget request for 1999 and is vigorously opposing a suit that is seeking that information.... The budget request ... is a critical figure in any public policy debate about the intelligence budget, because it involves pending public policy questions.... The government's unwillingness to disclose the budget request smacks of reflexive government secrecy and of an unreadiness of the agency to subject itself to the most rudimentary public accountability. The CIA should reconsider."

Loeb, Vernon. "CIA Won't Disclose Total Intelligence Appropriation for Fiscal Year." Washington Post, 25 Dec. 1998, A10. []

DCI Tenet "has refused to disclose the budget request or final appropriation for intelligence activities in the current fiscal year [FY1999], prompting concern among anti-secrecy advocates that the nation's top intelligence officer is trying to reverse his own recent moves toward greater openness." This information was provided for FY 1997 and FY 1998.

Clark comment: It is somewhat discouraging to those who us who teach that supposedly knowledgeable journalists continue to make the most basic of mistakes when reporting on intelligence matters. In this instance, Loeb refers to "CIA Director George J. Tenet," rather than to Tenet as DCI, a mistake carried forward into the article's headline. Either Loeb does not understand that Tenet is not "CIA Director" and certainly was not acting in his CIA capacity in this matter, or he simply assumes a lack of sophistication in his audience. Which ever of these two options is valid, it does not speak well for Loeb's abilities or sensibilities as a journalist.

Pincus, Walter. "Much of Intelligence Funding Will Go to Satellites." Washington Post, 23 Oct. 1998, A16. []

"More than $1.5 billion in emergency supplemental funds approved this week for U.S. intelligence agencies" is "mostly for new Pentagon-run satellite collection and analysis systems.... Intelligence from human sources ... will receive less than 20 percent" of the total. Most of that will be for additional CIA "case officers and analysts and the costs of moving more of them overseas.... Technical collection received almost $1 billion...; $200 million was added to intelligence for anti-terrorism efforts involving the FBI along with the CIA and the Pentagon; more than $200 million went for other Pentagon intelligence systems; and funds were added to pay for CIA and Defense Department intelligence operations in Bosnia."

McCutcheon, Chuck. "Intelligence Bill Clears with Small Rise in Spending, Expanded Wiretap Authority." Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 10 Oct. 1998, 2760.

The conference report of the intelligence authorization bill for Fiscal Year 1999 cleared the House and Senate on 7 and 8 October 1998 respectively.

Pincus, Walter. "Intelligence Budget Cuts Criticized: 2 Senate Panels Clashed on Funds." Washington Post, 5 Jul. 1998, A10. []

"Senate cuts of some $400 million from President Clinton's request for intelligence spending in fiscal 1999 could have a 'fairly severe' impact on support to future battlefield operations, according to administration and congressional intelligence experts." OMB "has told Congress it 'strongly opposes' the 'significant reductions' in the fiscal 1999 Intelligence Authorization Bill....

"This year, the intelligence committee made significant reductions and moved that money to other intelligence programs.... Overall, according to one source, the intelligence committee shifted almost $1 billion. But when the bill went to the Armed Services Committee, that panel's staff ... used the intelligence committee's cuts to fund nonintelligence Pentagon programs" that committee members favored.... The measure's next stop is a conference with the House," where the SSCI "slightly increased the president's original request."

Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report. Editors. "Senate Passes Authorization for Intelligence Activities." 27 Jun. 1998, 1776.

On 26 June 1998, the Senate passed legislation authorizing funding for intelligence activities for Fiscal Year 1999. The House had acted previously on 7 May 1998.

Chatterjee, Sumana. "Intelligence Bills Target New Threats." Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 9 May 1998, 1241.

"According to proponents, the intelligence authorization bills for fiscal 1999 are attempting to address 'real-world threats' -- proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile technology among rogue nations, as well as terrorism, narcotics, counterespionage and even computer hackers."

Pincus, Walter. "[House] Panel Ties NSA Funds To Changes at Agency: Report Urges Strategic, Business Planning." Washington Post, 7 May 1998, A21.

HPSCI threatened on 6 May 1998 "to withhold funds from the $4 billion National Security Agency (NSA) unless the worldwide eavesdropping organization makes 'very large changes' in its 'culture and methods of operation.'". The committee also called on DCI George J. Tenet to take a more active role in managing the overall intelligence community budget of about $27 billion." The committee criticized the NRO "saying last year's hopes that the switch to smaller satellites and acquisition reforms would free some funds have 'not been fulfilled.'"

Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report. Editors. "House Committee Approves Intelligence Authorization Bill." 2 May 1998, 1169.

On 29 April 1998, the HPSCI approved a Fiscal Year 1999 authorization bill for intelligence activities.

Pincus, Walter. "[House] Panel Boosts Funding For Covert Operations." Washington Post, 1 May 1998, A12.

Although the headline says covert operations, the text of the article indicates broader concerns about the CIA Operations Directorate and NSA's infrastructure: "The House intelligence committee has increased 'marginally' the roughly $27 billion President Clinton has proposed to spend next year on the nation's intelligence agencies, allocating additional funds to modernize interception of worldwide telecommunications and revitalize the CIA's clandestine spy service." NSA will get additional funding, because it "needs new computers and new tools to get into the new data streams that are crisscrossing the world."


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