Where to find black budget information on the web regarding secret defense projects
I suppose I should begin this by explaining what a "black budget" is in the first place?
In simple terms the “black budget” is the most “secret” part of the federal budget.
It has been described to me by insiders, as "that part of the federal budget that Congress is not able to see."
A “black budget” usually covers those expenses related to military research, but it can cover other things as well, including intelligence, special operations, and foreign military aid and assistance.
The black budget is kept "secret", I suppose, for valid “national security” reasons.
At least I would hope so? There is no real way to tell, since it is mostly classified top secret information. Understandably it is also very hard to get anyone inside government, particularly the military to talk about it. They fear losing their jobs, healthcare insurance and being prosecuted for discussing it...
So it is like a secret, within a secret, wrapped in another secret.
WHERE TO FIND BLACK BUDGET INFORMATION?
You can actually find a lot of the black budget in a section of the “Department of Defense Comptroller website” called “the Research, Development, Test and Evaluation” section. Then just point and "click" on that link. It is basically that easy!
DOWNLOAD THE INFORMATION FROM THE WEBSITE
Many people are shocked and surprised when I tell them that you can actually download the information over the internet and read for yourself (see: http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2011/fy2011_r1.pdf ).
LOOK THEN FOR THE FUNNY SOUNDING “CODENAMES”
There you can find line items denoted by curious and peculiar “codenames” like:
- “Chalk Eagle”,
- Retract Maple,
- Link Plumeria,
- Retract Elm”
And my personal favorite
- “Cobra Judy”
These codenames often times refer to top secret military research projects (or facilities located around the United States of America, like AREA 51, AREA 52, and the GROOMLAKE Test Facility where the military tests its most advanced design prototype stealth fighters and helicopters).
AMOUNTS GIVE YOU AN INDICATION OF THE SIZE AND SCOPE OF THE SECRET PROGRAM
While, nowhere to be found is specific information about the actual programs themselves, you can get an idea of their size and scope by seeing how much money is allocated to that part of the line item.
Often times the amounts, we are talking about here are hundreds of millions of dollars in some cases. Collectively they represent tens of billions of dollars.
It is important to remember that this is money actually being spent by the government, but not reflected in the federal budget that the public is allowed to see and Congress can debate and audit.
Within the black budget, you can sometimes see where the money is going and deduce from that what it is being spent, such as “IT technology” and “Cyber Defense Research.” They are self exclamatory and need no explanation.
BLANK SPOTS INDICATE SECRET PROJECTS
Within the “(UNCLASSIFIED) Defense wide, FY 2011 Presidents Budget Base and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Request” - you can see that some unknown amount of money is being applied to specific things such as:
- Classified programs
- Special Operations Forces
- Intelligence and Communications
- Support for other nations
We don’t have any idea what type and kind of program they are exactly…
DO THE MATH
In those instances where you encounter “blank spots” - you can minus the amounts published from all the other programs with specific dollar amounts listed in the “unclassified” report from the total budget figure at the end of the report and come up with an amount which could apply generally to those other secret programs.
WHICH AGENCIES GETS SECRET FUNDING?
You also can see how much of the black budget funding is appropriated to specific agencies including:
- Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA)
- Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)
- Defense Security Service (DSS)
Among these are government agencies where the amount of funding is purposefully left “blank” denoting it is “classified information”.
These include the following examples:
- Special Operations command
- National Security Agency
- Defense Intelligence Agency
- Counter-Intelligence Field Activity
- National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
These agencies operate almost exclusively on “black budget” funding, partly because everything they do is classified “top secret or “above top secret”.
WORD SEARCH CODE NAMES ON THE INTERNET AND GOVERNMENT DATABASES
Other secret black budget programs, we can never know about by design and you will have to leave to your imagination to figure out what is really going on here. Your only clue really is the “codename”, which you can word search online and in government databases.
LOOK FOR OMINOUS NAMES AND TITLES
Other black programs go by such ominous names as “Machine intelligence” and “Precision Tracking Space system” (PTSS is something I have been tracking since the early 1980’s believed to be an old Space Defense Initiative (SDI) program first devised and funded under Ronald Reagan).
LOOK ALSO FOR STRANGE SOUNDING PROGRAMS
There are many others programs as well that go by very interesting names like “Net Centricity” and “Teleport programs” which sound like they may be straight out of an episode of Star Trek or something.
I put them under the category of “weird science”…and have been comparing and cataloging such programs for years now.
HOW MUCH ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
The annual cost of the United States Department of Defense black budget was estimated at $32-33 billion in 2008, but was increased to an estimated $50-57 billion in 2009.
In 2011 the black budget for defense was estimated at $56-57 billion dollars (give or take a couple hundred million dollars).
This year (2012) , the military’s black budget appears to be $51-52 billion, down from the $56-57 billion which held steady for the last two years, not including inflation.
The reductions are also not really a surprise considering the cuts happening nearly everywhere else in defense…
This, of course, does not represent a complete or accurate number.
ELABORATE SHELL GAME!
The Pentagon likes to play games and it is very good at it where it’s black budget” is concerned (see article: See for Yourself: The Pentagon’s $51 Billion ‘Black’ Budget http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/02/pentagons-black-budget/ ).
A FEW LAST WORDS
Many people are critical of the whole idea of a black budget – as they should be, especially at a time when the entire country is in serious deficit and we are engaged in undeclared wars around the world, from Yemen to Somalia. Remember this is all going on at the same time we are cutting back on such things as food stamps for the poor, school lunch programs, social security, Medicaid, Medicare and education (see video report : Fireside: Pentagon's Black Budget http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-21O3pm1RE ).
It makes you wonder where America’s priorities are really at?
For more information on the black budget - see article: Paint it Black http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/01.09.97/cover/mil-spend1-9702.html and Exposing the Black Budget http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.11/patton_pr.html
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