The United States spent nearly $136 billion in the fiscal years of 2013 and 2014 on intelligence gathering, according to government figures.
According to figures released by the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) (ODNI) and the Department of Defense, the United States Intelligence Community, a federation of 17 government spy agencies, gobbled up some $80 billion in 2011.
The figures show that the Central Intelligence Agency had consumed most of the money out of $68 billion approved by Congress in the fiscal year of 2014 that ended in September.
According to the data, Congress also handed over $68 billion to the intelligence agencies in fiscal year 2013.
Officials did not provide a breakdown of the intelligence budget or details about how the funding was used.
Congress is only provided with information about the total of the budget allocated to the US Intelligence Community each year when it is asked to approve the budget and the top line spending levels for the spy agencies within the Community are not disclosed.
Based on documents obtained by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Washington Post published in August last year the details of US spy agencies’ spending levels in the fiscal year 2013 budget.
According to the Post’s report, the CIA was the top spender, being granted $14.7 billion of the intelligence budget. The National Security Agency (NSA) was ranked the second top spender, getting $10.8 billion of the $52.6 billion budget allocated to the National Intelligence Program (NIP). The NIP is distinct from the Military Intelligence Program which usually costs American taxpayers something between $20 and $25 billion each year.
Snowden’s leaks also revealed that the CIA and the NSA received a 56 and 53 percent increase, respectively, in their budgets since 2004.