Some Light on Intelligence
Friday, May 14, 2004; Page A24
David Ignatius identified several features of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) that make it a star performer in the U.S. intelligence community [op-ed, May 2].
Another revealing fact about INR is that its budget is openly appropriated -- about $40 million in 2004.
Other U.S. intelligence agencies claim that disclosure of their budgets would damage national security and compromise intelligence sources and methods.
CIA officials insist that even decades-old budget figures must remain classified.
Never mind that a growing number of other countries, including Canada and Britain, routinely publish annual intelligence budget totals.
Intelligence budget secrecy is the cornerstone of an outmoded classification system that degrades performance and practically guarantees mediocrity.
Without fixing that, little useful reform will be possible.
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
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