Secrecy News

DoD Says Military Intel Budget Request is Classified

The amount of money that the Pentagon requested for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP) in FY2012 — around $25 billion — is classified and will not be disclosed, the Department of Defense said last week in response to a Freedom of Information Act request for the figure.

The MIP budget request number “is currently and properly classified in accordance with Executive Order 13526 Section 1.4(g) concerning vulnerabilities or capability of systems, installations, infrastructures, projects, plans or protection services relating to the national security,” the December 7 denial letter stated.

The decision to withhold the MIP budget request number is incongruous, considering that the MIP appropriation is unclassified ($24 billion in FY2011).

Not only that, but the amount of money that was requested for the National Intelligence Program (NIP) is unclassified and has been released by the Director of National Intelligence ($55 billion for FY2012).

“No identifiable damage to national security was caused by the release of the NIP budget request figure,” we noted yesterday in an appeal of the initial FOIA denial.

“From a classification policy perspective, there is no substantive difference between the NIP and the MIP.  Each Program involves intelligence sources and methods requiring protection, classified acquisition programs, and other sensitive and properly classified activities.”

“Just as disclosure of the NIP budget request caused no damage to national security, it is clear that disclosure of the MIP budget request would be likewise harmless,” we wrote in the December 13 appeal.

Like other questionable classification choices, the decision to classify the MIP budget request is ripe for reconsideration and correction in the ongoing Fundamental Classification Guidance Review.