Clapper: Military Intel Budget to be Disclosed

By July 21, 2010

The size of the annual budget for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP), which has been classified up to now, will be publicly disclosed, said Gen. James R. Clapper, Jr., the nominee to be the next Director of National Intelligence.  He said that he had personally advocated and won approval for release of the budget figure.

“I pushed through and got Secretary [of Defense Robert M.] Gates to approve revelation of the Military Intelligence Program budget,” Gen. Clapper told Senator Russ Feingold at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday.

Since 2007, the DNI has declassified and disclosed the size of the National Intelligence Program (NIP) at the end of each fiscal year, in response to a legislative requirement.  But despite its name, the NIP is not literally the whole “national intelligence program.”  Rather, it is one of the two budget constructs, along with the MIP, that make up the total U.S. intelligence budget.

Thus, when former DNI Dennis Blair said last September that the total intelligence budget was around $75 billion, he was referring to the sum of the NIP (which was $49.8 billion at that time) plus the MIP.

“I thought, frankly, we were being a bit disingenuous by only releasing or revealing the National Intelligence Program, which is only part of the story,” said Gen. Clapper.  “And so Secretary Gates has agreed that we could also publicize that [i.e., the MIP budget]. I think the American people are entitled to know the totality of the investment we make each year in intelligence.”

The MIP budget figure has not yet been formally disclosed.  A Freedom of Information Act request for the number that was filed in October 2009 by the Federation of American Scientists remains open and pending.

Categories: Secrecy