From Sun Feb 2 105248 1992 THE BLACK BUDGET BLACKER THAN

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From Sun Feb 2 10:52:48 1992 THE BLACK BUDGET: BLACKER THAN WE THINK by Michael Morrissey October 16, 1991 Somehow, somewhere, the figure of $30 billion to represent the U.S. intelligence budget has been written onto the menu of lies the corporate media are presenting for public consumption. A year and a half ago Time said: "About half of the classified fund, estimated at $30 billion for 1990, is earmarked for tactical and military intelligence. The CIA, NSA, DIA and civilian intelligence groups share the remainder (4/23/90)." This "information" from the world's largest magazine, published by the world's largest media conglomerate, was seemingly confirmed the same year by a book published by another Time Warner company (Warner Books), Tim Weiner's Blank Check, which put the intelligence bill plus the cost of all other secret programs hidden in the Pentagon budget at $34-36 billion: "But I can say with assurance that the black budget peaked at about $36 billion a year in 1988 and 1989. This year, in the fiscal 1991 Pentagon request, the declassification of the costs of the Stealth bomber and MILSTAR [a military satellite system designed to coordinate a protracted nuclear war] brought the black budget back down toward $34 billion (p. 16)." A year and a half later, Newsweek can mention "the $30 billion annual U.S. intelligence budget" (9/9/91:20) in passing, treating it as a revealed truth. $100 million a day of taxpayers' money spent secretly is bad enough, but if Big Brother's mouthpieces are set on having us swallow this much, we can be reasonably sure that the whole truth is even less palatable. (This is what the spooks call a "limited hangout.") The few reliable sources available on the subject corroborate the suspicion. In The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (NY: Alfred Knopf, 1974, p. 61, 81) Victor Marchetti and John Marks put the overall intelligence budget at $6.228 billion for 1973, of which the CIA disposed of $750 million. Sean Gervasi extrapolates from this and other sources to arrive at an estimated $1.5 billion CIA budget for 1978 (CAIB 7, 12/9-1/80, p. 18), which would put the overall budget proportionally at $12.456 billion. This is a conservative estimate, since according to David Wise the overall intelligence budget was already at $12 billion in 1975: "In 1975 the entire CIA budget was hidden within a $2 billion appropriation for "Other Procurement, Air Force." The $12 billion total for all U.S. intelligence, much higher than previous estimates, was indicated in the report of the Senate intelligence committee" (The American Police State, 1976, NY: Random House, p. 185)." The figure of $12.456 for 1978 represents an increase of exactly 100% over a period of five years, which corresponds remarkably well to Newsweek's report in 1983 that the CIA budget had increased at a rate of 17% annually since 1980 (10/10/83:30). The following figures, then, suggest themselves: Overall Intelligence CIA 1973 $ 6.228 billion $ 750 million 1978 12.456 billion 1.5 billion 1983 24.912 billion 3.0 billion 1988 49.824 billion 6.0 billion This would predict a 1993 overall budget of $99.648 billion and $12 billion for the CIA. The figures for 1991 would be approximately $83.04 billion (overall) and $10 billion (CIA). This conforms with CAIB's own 1990 estimate of the CIA budget at $10-12 billion (35, Fall 1990, p. 2). If Marchetti and Marks' breakdown is still correct, about 34.7% of the CIA's budget is spent on covert action, supplemented indirectly by about 60% of the allocations officially designated for the Science and Technology and Administration directorates, about one-third of the covert action funds going for media and propaganda activities. On this basis, Gervasi estimates the total cost of covert propaganda in 1978 to be $265 million, or about $10 million more than the combined budgets of Reuters, U.P.I., and A.P. The same calculation for 1991 would put CIA propaganda expenditures at $1.767 billion, for 1989 $1.237 billion, making the CIA a major media mogul (Time Warner being No. 1, with 1989 sales of $7.642 billion.) In other words, the CIA's propaganda budget is more than three times that of the largest magazine in the world (Time's revenue for 1989 was $373.4 million). The structure of the CIA (especially with the addition of a fifth economics directorate) and the intelligence community has changed since 1973, but since there is little else to go on, let us see, just out of curiosity, what Marchetti and Marks' breakdown might look like in 1991: Intelligence Agency 1991 Estimated Budget (in millions) State Department $ 107 Treasury Department 133 Atomic Energy Commission 267 FBI 533 Defense Intelligence Agency 2,667 CIA 10,000 Director ( 133) Intelligence ( 933) Administration (1,467) Science and Technology (1,600) Operations (5,867) National Security Agency 16,000 National Reconnaissance Office and Military Intelligence 53,333 _____________________________________________ Total $ 83,040 The bucks do not stop here, though. The CIA budget, whatever the amount is, does not include two other major sources of income which are virtually limitless: proprietaries and transfers of funds (as well as men and materiel) from other government agencies. In 1973, for example, the CIA was "the owner of one of the biggest--if not the biggest--fleets of 'commercial' airplanes in the world" (Marchetti and Marks, p. 137). The profits from such proprietaries--companies secretly owned or controlled by the CIA--not only disappear without a trace into the black hole of non-accountable CIA coffers, but much of the money comes from government contracts. For example, in 1972 Southern Air Transport had a $2 million AID contract to fly relief supplies to Bangladesh, and in 1973 Air America had $41.4 million worth of DOD contracts ((Marchetti and Marks, p. 142). Thus the taxpayer pays twice for his secret police--first through direct black budget appropriations, and secondly by government contracts awarded to CIA proprietaries. The CIA Act of 1949, in blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution, states: "(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, sums made available to the Agency by appropriation or otherwise may be exended for purposes necessary to carry out its functons, including--(1) personal services, including personal services without regard to limitations on types of persons to be employed...(2) supplies, equipment, and personnel and contractual services otherwise authorized by law and regulations, when approved by the Director. (b) The sums made available to the Agency may be expended without regard to the provisions of law and regulations relating to the expenditure of Government funds; and for objects of a confidential, extraordinary, or emergency nature, such expenditures to be accounted for solely on the certificate of the Director... (Par. 403j)." In other words, the CIA can spend its money however it likes and doesn't have to to tell anybody about it, the Constitution be damned. The "provisions of law" which this law annihilates are the right of the taxpayer to know what the government is doing with his money, a right which the framers of the Constitution thought they were establishing when they wrote: "No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time (Article 1, Section 9)." The sums "otherwise" made available to the CIA include, besides income from proprietaries, what L. Fletcher Prouty calls "horizontal financing," which is also anchored in the unconstitutional CIA Act and allows the CIA to "...transfer to and receive from other government agencies such sums as may be approved by the Office of Management and Budget, for the performance of any functions or activities authorized...and any government agency is authorized to transfer or receive from the agency such sums without regard to any provisions of law limiting or prohibiting transfers between appropriations. Sums transferred to the agency in accordance with this paragraph may be expended for the purposes and under the authority...of this title without regard to limitations of appropriations from which transferred." In other words, millions or billions of dollars appropriated by congress for one purpose can easily end up being used by the CIA for something quite different. Prouty knows from his personal experience of many years as Air Force liaison officer with the CIA that terms like "authorization" in practice mean little, since "...under high classification few people know that this is going on, and few want to become involved even if they find out. Also, the Agency works long and hard to get its own people, or entirely sympathetic people, into the key jobs where such things as this take place, and they see that the controls of the law do not bind at any point (The Secret Team, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973, p. 383)." We should not forget that we are talking here about funds that are acquired more or less legally, since the CIA Act, however unconstitutional and fascistic, is law. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The myriad financial scandals (Iran-contra, S & L, BCCI) in which the CIA is endlessly implicated but never quite nailed (an Ollie North scapegoat or two normally sufficing to quell the outrage of the corporate media) provide an occasional glimpse of the network of "ties" between the CIA and industry-- both legal and illegal. The CIA's pork barrel is not only black and bottomless but directly connected to gigantic reservoirs of legitimate and illegitimate private capital, creating a coalition of power that is staggering to contemplate: big bucks doing what they like while government (and the lapdog press) look the other way in the name of "national security." This has been the CIA's game for a long time, and it has it's "entirely sympathetic people," as Prouty puts it, not only throughout the government but everywhere. It has its Robert Maheus with Mafia connections to get rid of Castro or its (former director) John McCones on the board of ITT to oust Allende when it needs them, but even without these "assets" (in spookese) the coalition of interests would be enough to get done what needs to be done--Castro being an exception, so far--all in the service of Mammon, and the richest 1% or so of the population. Michael Morrissey Am Ruesteberg 6, W-3501 Niestetal, Germany Tel: 0561-527327, FAX 0561-8043341 RSVP e-mail: (I'd like to know where this is being read.)


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