News / USA

US CIA Role Escalates Since 2001 Terrorist Attacks

FILE - Lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia, in 2008.
FILE - Lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia, in 2008.
VOA News
A newly leaked document from former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden shows the increasing role that the country's Central Intelligence Agency plays in American spy operations.
 
The document disclosed Thursday by The Washington Post reveals that the government has a $52.6 billion "black budget" for spying, covert military actions and intelligence gathering for the year ending in September. More than a quarter of that goes to the CIA, surpassing spending for any of the other 15 U.S. spy agencies, including the National Security Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office.
 
A national security expert at the Federation of American Scientists, Steven Aftergood, said the role of the CIA has expanded in the 12 years since al-Qaida's September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the U.S. from intelligence gathering to clandestine battlefield attacks. As a result, he said, the CIA is claiming a bigger share of the U.S. intelligence budget, up perhaps from about 10 percent in the 1990s.
 
"The CIA has taken on an extensive paramilitary and operational role post-9/11 that it did not have in the 1990s," he said. "It is providing direct support to military operations and carrying out operations of its own, including drone strikes and others that help to explain the surge in funding that it has received post-9/11."
 
Aftergood says U.S. spending on intelligence operations far exceeds that of other individual countries — perhaps by 10 times the amount. He said that is partly because of American security commitments to other nations and the U.S. role as the world's biggest military superpower.
 
"No other country really comes close," he said. "Part of the explanation for that, I suppose, is no other country has global committments of the same sort that the United States has or military engagements in so many different parts of the world. So, you know, the U.S. intelligence operation, activity, bureaucracy, whatever you want to call it, is far larger than any of our our allies or adversaries."
 
Although the U.S. government annually reveals overall intelligence spending, the 178-page document Snowden leaked breaks down how much money goes to which agency and, to a certain extent, what those agencies do with the funds.
 
Although the newspaper published graphs and charts tracking the spending of each of the intelligence community's 16 agencies, it said it withheld "some information after consultation with U.S. officials who expressed concerns about the risk to intelligence sources and methods."
 
The funding pays for an array of spy satellites, high-tech equipment and employees, including analysts, linguistic experts, cryptologists and an increasing number of cyber specialists.
 
The 30-year-old Snowden, the source behind one of the most significant intelligence leaks in U.S. history, fled Hawaii three months ago with a trove of secrets. He is now living in temporary asylum in Russia, leaving U.S. authorities unsuccessful in their efforts to have him expelled to face espionage charges.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid