If the Al Queda troglodyte Osama bin Laden can take responsibility for anything beyond 9/11, it’s for the phenomenal growth in the U.S. intelligence apparatus – both domestic and overseas as well as counter-terrorist organizations.
The Washington Post the other day had an interesting piece on the explosive, untrammeled growth in U.S. intelligence organizations post 9/11.
The gist of the Post piece:
The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.
Here’s a snapshot:
* U.S. intelligence annual budget – $75 billion, 2.5x the figure on 9/10/2001 (the $75b figure excludes several military and domestic counterintelligence activities)
* 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private firms are said to work on programs concerned with counter-terrorism, homeland security and intelligence in 10,000 locations across the U.S.
* Some 854,000 people hold top security clearances
* 50,000 intelligence reports are published each year, a lot of it likely unread and/or unacted upon
Most of our intelligence folks must be total schmucks because we’re often (at least publicly) in reactive mode whether it’s tackling the guy in the plane or ferreting out the guy in the cave trying to attack us or stopping the Taliban laying the IEDs in Kandahar province. 🙁
Some Known U.S. Intelligence Agencies
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Director of National Intelligence
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
National Security Agency (NSA)
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)
National Reconnaisance Office
National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
Special Operations Command
Air Force Intelligence
Joint Forces Command
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Transportation Security Administration
Customs and Border Protection
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Energy
Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization
* Source: Washington Post, July 19, 2010
God knows, how many classified, secretive unknown agencies exist.