US Surveillance Program Out of Control

by on July 19, 2010 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, War and Peace

NSA logoby MSNBC Staff / July 18, 2010

Since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, top-secret intelligence gathering by the government has grown so unwieldy and expensive that no-one really knows what it costs and how many people are involved, The Washington Post reported Monday.

A two-year investigation by the newspaper found what it called a “Top Secret America” that’s hidden from public view and largely lacking in oversight.  The newspaper’s investigation is based on hundreds of interviews with intelligence, military and other officials, as well as public documents and records.

In its first installment of a series of reports, the Post said there are now more than 1,200 government organizations and more than 1,900 private companies working on counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in some 10,000 locations across the U.S.

Some 854,000 people — or nearly 1 1/2 times the number of people who live in Washington — have top-secret security clearance, the paper said.

Ben Franklin quote signDefense Secretary Robert Gates told the Post that he doesn’t believe the massive bureaucracy of government and private intelligence has grown too large to manage, but it is sometimes hard to get precise information.

“Nine years after 9/11, it makes sense to sort of take a look at this and say, ‘OK, we’ve built tremendous capability, but do we have more than we need?'” he said.

The head of the CIA, Leon Panetta, said he knows that with the growing budget deficits the level of spending on intelligence will likely be reduced and he’s at work on a five-year plan for the agency.

After the Sept. 11 terror attacks nearly ten years ago, Congress authorized an extra $40 billion — beyond what was in the federal budget — to bolster domestic defenses and fight al-Qaida. In 2002, it added $36.5 billion more and, in 2003, another $44 billion, the Post reported.  With all that spending came more analysts, more organizations and more entities gathering intelligence — but with little coordination over the effort as a whole.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar justmy2cents July 19, 2010 at 8:53 am

All that money spent, all those man hours AND yet 25′ panga’s skiffs come from Mexico all the time and nobody is watching a radar screen to stop it….hummmmmmm

You would think being on the border as we are that the waters right offshore would be watched….Especially in the dark of night. If a 25′ skiff is spotted 50 miles south and is heading north at 18 knots at 2 am SOMEBODY would be watching and send out a aircraft or at least when the skiff heads east going ashore that somebody would try and intercept the skiff …

just me thinking out loud….
What a waste of money…


avatar Marilyn Steber July 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm

What agency does one report to when we see that skiff come in. San Diego Police? The DEA? Are they open at 2 am?
Justmy2cents has reported this to us before and I wonder if he/she has taken action, and what sort?


avatar nunya July 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Is anybody that has been in this county (SD) actually shocked, or even surprised by this?

Meh, I’m not.


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