Only because of Edward Snowden's revelations do the American people now know the actual cost of the secret spying programs against them. Calling these programs extravagant would be a glaring understatement.
Relying on documents produced by Edward Snowden, the Washington Post reports that the top secret "Black Budget" of the U.S. Government's military-intelligence establishment is $52.6 Billion for fiscal year 2013.
This intelligence gargantuan is larger than the total military expenditures for every nation in the world, except for the United States and six others. It is larger than Germany's military budget, which in total is $45.8 Billion for 2013. Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Just on intelligence alone, the U.S. spends nearly as much as the total military budgets of Japan, the U.K. or France, each of which has a budget of approximately 60 Billion per year.
As the Washington Post reports, "The $52.6 billion 'black budget' for fiscal 2013, obtained by The Washington Post from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, maps a bureacratic and operational landscape that has never been subject to public scrutiny."
It is about time that the national debate about the super-sized Surveillance Industrial Complex (SIC) be informed with fundamental facts.
Obviously, it diverts a lot of national resources and taxpayer funds for the U.S. Government to have implemented its massive surveillance grids - - which it has implemented in secret in order to avoid public consideration, debate or backlash.
This month, it was announced that more than 57,000 children will be cut from Head Start, the program for pre-school age children from low income families. Head Start has a total budget for early education services of only $8 Billion for the nation. Head Start programs already have waiting lists, the need to educate far exceeding the funds allocated. Recent cuts will also result in 18,000 Head Start staff being affected, over 1.3 million service days will be slashed from the program which has clear and demonstrated benefits to the children it serves and the national interest.
The time for debate has come, and not a moment too soon. The surveillance state is far more developed, intrusive, extensive and - we now know with some greater detail - expensive than the public was ever advised.
The ThankYouEdSnowden campaign needs your support, to send a message to policy makers in Washington and the world at large that the people of the United States have never given their consent to this massive surveillance state which has been documented by Snowden's revelations, that of other whistleblowers and the public records demands and lawsuits of organizations including the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. If you haven't already, take one minute and join the campaign today.