The use of defence contractors to spy civilians, monitor activism and manipulate online discourse

70 percent of the entire US intelligence budget is spent on hiring private contractors, and  the U.S. “black budget” (for covert operations) that is allocated to the NSA amounts to over $10 billion (£6 billion). The NSA operates under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense.
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USA’s 2015 budget for ‘defence’ is $1 trillion not $496 billion

Winslow T. Wheeler, “America’s $1 Trillion National Security Budget,” 16 March 2014, Truthout

Scarcity of money is not their problem.  Pentagon costs, taken together with other known national security expenses for 2015, will exceed $1 trillion.  How can that be?  The trade press is full of statements about the Pentagon’s $495.6 billion budget and how low that is.

There is much more than $495.6 billion in the budget for the Pentagon, and there are piles of national security spending outside the Pentagon-all of it as elemental for national security as any new aircraft and ships and the morale and well-being of our troops.
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The True Cost of National Security

David Cay Johnston, “The True Cost of National Security,” Columbia Journalism Review, 31 January 2013

But budget stories then and now tend to report on the base budget from the Department of Defense, leaving readers with the impression that that is the full cost of fulfilling the Constitutional mandate to “provide for the common defense.”

It isn’t. From the perspective of taxpayers who must bear the burden, total national security costs are as much as 2.5 times the base Defense budget. Reporters might want to take a look at the true costs, and not just at the way the White House prepares the budget and Pentagon spins it. Continue reading

The Nearly $1 Trillion National Security Budget

Chris Hellman and Mattea Kramer, “War Pay,” TomDispatch, 22 May 2012

Here, then, is a simple question that, for some curious reason, no one bothers to ask, no less answer: How much are we spending on national security these days? With major wars winding down, has Washington already cut such spending so close to the bone that further reductions would be perilous to our safety?

In fact, with projected cuts added in, the national security budget in fiscal 2013 will be nearly $1 trillion — a staggering enough sum that it’s worth taking a walk through the maze of the national security budget to see just where that money’s lodged.
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