January 15, 2014
WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of members of congress is asking the White House to declassify the so-called black budget, the budget that funds intelligence operations and make public the amount of money spent on by each agency involved.
There are 16 agencies that are involved in intelligence for the U.S., and the budget for doing so cannot be found anywhere in the 1,500-page appropriations bill that congress will vote on this week. Rather, their budgets are considered classified, kept secret from Americans and even from most members of congress.
But several lawmakers want to change that.
The goal, said Vermont Democratic Rep. Peter Welch, a sponsor of the bill, is “to try to get back to the right balance between security and privacy” and to restore “accountability” to the process.
“The biggest threat to the implementation of a vital national program is the combination of unlimited money with nonexistent oversight, and that’s essentially the situation that congress has allowed to develop in the critical work of intelligence gathering,” he said at a press conference Tuesday.
This article was posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 6:28 am