Intelligence Budget Disclosure Is Hailed

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Democratic chairman and ranking Republican member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday praised the administration's declassification of the $43.5 billion budget total for national intelligence programs, calling it a useful step toward enhanced accountability.

When the cost of intelligence by the military services is added, aggregate U.S. intelligence spending for fiscal 2007 exceeded $50 billion, according to administration and congressional sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the total remains classified.

Spending on intelligence has nearly doubled since 1997, when it stood at $26.6 billion, the last time the aggregate figure was disclosed officially. Two years ago, a senior intelligence official put total spending at $44 billion during a public meeting.

-- Walter Pincus

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