The Aug. 30 front-page report on U.S. “black budget” spending was highly reassuring. Unlike the rest of the Washington establishment, adults appear to be in charge of the National Intelligence Program. These adults set clear objectives, allocate resources and, most important of all, recognize deficiencies. A reasonable person would assume they were making great efforts to resolve the deficiencies. And I accept that the details of those efforts should be kept secret.

Would that our politicians had the same clarity of focus and objectivity in directing the rest of the nation’s full $3.8 trillion budget. For $52.6 billion, or 1.4 percent of my taxes, I think we’re getting a bargain.

Charles Wilde, Dumfries

In the Aug. 30 story on the National Intelligence Program, Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists was quoted as saying: “this kind of material . . . has simply not been available.” Of course it’s been unavailable. We’re only seeing it now because of a betrayal of trust. At its root, the intelligence community is trying to protect the people of the United States. Covertness is integral to this goal. Is it a good idea to hang a bell around the intelligence community’s neck as it tries to do its job?

David Bouvé, Brookeville