Author Topic: THE "BLACK" BUDGET  (Read 2465 times)


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« on: February 09, 2017, 05:01:31 pm »



by Paul McGinnis April 1994


For many years, the United States has been spending billions of
dollars in secret on military programs. The first big project was the
"Manhattan" project that developed the American atomic bomb during
World War II. Since then, the practice of spending vast sums in secret
has been common.

Congressional budget analysts estimate that 44 billion dollars will be
spent in fiscal year 1994 on the so-called "black" budget. Out of the
44 billion dollars, approximately 26 billion will go to America's spy
agencies. This includes well-known intelligence agencies such as the
CIA and NSA, as well as new agencies such as the Central Imagery
Office (CIO) and the Tactical Reconnaissance Office (TRO). The
remaining 18 billion dollars will be spent on secret military
programs, particularly in what is known as RDT&E (Research,
Development, Test, and Evaluation) for advanced weapons. Such programs
are often known as Special Access Programs (SAPs), because additional
security measures above those used for Secret or Top Secret
information are required. This pamphlet will show that the U.S.
national security establishment doesn't want you to know how and where
some of your tax dollars are spent.


These programs are basically immune from the normal oversight that is
required for other government spending. The actual amounts of money
that are spent for each program and the purpose of each program are
highly classified, primarily to keep that information hidden from the
American taxpayers who have to pay the bills and to keep that
information hidden from the press and members of Congress who might
want to investigate these programs.

One of the fundamental ideas of American democracy is that the U.S.
government operates under the informed consent of American citizens,
and that the U.S. government works for the American people as public
servants. How can anyone say they or their elected officials gave
their informed consent to the spending of billions of dollars in

The military likes to chant the magic phrase "national security" to
hide their actions. Their argument is that such information could be
invaluable to enemies of the United States. This is a ludicrous
argument -- merely knowing the cost of a program and its purpose is
different from having the actual technical details about the program.
For example, knowing that the United States has built the B-2 Stealth
bomber at a cost of approximately 1 billion dollars per plane doesn't
mean that another country could build one or know how to counteract


Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution reads, "No
money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of
appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of the
receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from
time to time." Spending the taxpayers' money in secret clearly
violates the U.S. Constitution. It's ironic that the military officers
who support Special Access Programs take an oath to uphold the
Constitution, but ignore parts of the Constitution that don't fit in
with their plans.

Congress has authority over all U.S. government spending, but usually
doesn't look too closely at these secret programs. Knowledge of
Special Access Programs is limited to members of the House and Senate
Armed Service Committees or the Senate Intelligence Committee who have
a "need to know". Even with this secrecy, a category of SAPs has been
created known as "waived" SAPs that only the Chairmen of these
committees are allowed to know about.

The General Accounting Office (GAO) has the responsibility for
auditing government spending, but testimony at a House of
Representatives hearing indicated that only 5% to 10% of SAPs are ever
audited. It can be said that the policy of the national security
establishment towards the funding of these programs is the same as the
attitude of a street gang committing a robbery: "Just give us the
money and don't ask any questions!!"


In Congressional budget documents, secret military programs have a
single line entry that includes only a Program Element number (PE)
such as 0603105F, and either a code-name such as OLYMPIC or vague
description such as "special evaluation program". One of the ways to
estimate the costs of such programs is that dollar totals are listed
for groups of related programs. Subtracting the cost of the
non-classified programs from the total gives a budget analyst an idea
of the cost of the secret programs. Other documents may give clues as
to the purpose of a particular Special Access Program. Piecing this
information together, and using other sources, here are examples of
secret military programs in recent years that most people have never
heard of:

o A massive military satellite, code-named LACROSSE was orbited in
1988. This satellite, which weighed approximately 36,000 lbs. at
launch, and fully extended, is 150 feet long, contains a high powered
digital radar that is used to map target approaches for U.S. bombers
and to study the damage they cause to their targets. During the Gulf
War, it was found that this satellite could actually "see" several
feet underground. The environmental effects of a low orbiting radar
with a power of 10000 watts are unknown.

o Several years ago, the U.S. Air Force declassified the existence of
a program code-named RIVET RIDER (later known as VOLANT SOLO). This
program fitted C-130 transport aircraft with AM/FM and color
television transmitters and antennas. As part of U.S. psychological
warfare operations, these aircraft were used to spread American
propaganda during events such as the invasion of Panama.

o In recent years, the Pentagon has shown so much interest in Unmanned
Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that a Joint Program Office (UAV-JPO) was
created to coordinate the efforts of the military services in this
area. U.S. planners apparently realized the benefit of using small,
remotely or computer controlled aircraft for intelligence gathering
after Israeli successes with them in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. One
example of such a vehicle that has been tested is code-named SPRITE --
this vehicle resembles a sphere with helicopter rotor blades. Another
example is the GNAT 750, a small aircraft that looks like a scaled
down fighter plane.

o The U.S. Air Force has a program code-named SENIOR CITIZEN (PE
0401316F) that has been funded as a secret tactical aircraft. In
fiscal year 1994, this aircraft was not funded as a RDT&E program,
suggesting that it is in operational use. Available evidence indicates
that this may be the bat-winged Stealth aircraft that was recently
photographed in New Mexico (see for example, the illustration in the
February 1994 issue of "WIRED" magazine). Some people refer to this
aircraft as the Northrop TR-3A. History may repeat itself with this
aircraft -- the F117A Stealth fighter (code-named SENIOR TREND) was
operational for 5 years before its existence was revealed.

o At least 2 billion dollars are spent per year on photographic
reconnaissance satellites (some of these programs are funded under PE
0304111F and 0304111N - "special activities"). The U.S. is very
reluctant to admit that it operates spy satellites, preferring instead
to obliquely refer to "national capabilities" or "national technical

o A large, secret U.S. Air Force facility exists at Groom Lake, in a
remote part of Nevada. Satellite images of the area around 115 deg.
49' West, 37 deg. 15' North, show this facility expanding over the
years. This place is used to test secret American military aircraft.
It was originally built by the CIA in the 1950s for the U-2 spy plane.
The SENIOR CITIZEN aircraft mentioned above may also have been tested
there. The article about this facility in the March 1994 issue of
"Popular Science" magazine must have caused acute embarrassment for
the Air Force, since this place doesn't officially exist. (Maps of the
area, such as those from the U.S. Geologi cal Survey, show just an
empty dry lake bed.)

o Although the Department of Defense has claimed that it had great
success in tracking down mobile Scud missile launchers during the Gulf
War, it has had to urgently create and fund a project code-named WAR
BREAKER (PE 0603226E) to find ways of locating tactical ballistic
missile launchers.


Probably the single best introduction to secret military spending is
Tim Weiner's book "Blank Check" (1990, Warner Books). Two
organizations that seek to reform the problem of excessive secrecy in
the U.S. military are: Federation of American Scientists 307
Massachusetts Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 phone: (202) 546-3300


Secrecy Oversight Council HCR Box 38 Rachel, NV 89001

Government documents, such as the "National Defense Authorization Act"
that the House and Senate Armed Services Committees write each year
can be consulted for some information. On Congressional budget
documents, secret programs have the indication [] where the cost
should be. Other sources of government documents include the
Government Printing Office (GPO) and the National Technical
Information Service (NTIS).

"Aviation Week" and other defense industry publications often contain
leaks about secret military programs.

Some information may be obtained by using the Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA). There are several useful books on using FOIA, such as
"Your Right to Government Information", distributed by the American
Civil Liberties Union. Almost invariably, the military will turn down
a request for the amount or purpose of a secret program. You should be
prepared to challenge them with a FOIA appeal or legal action if

You might get an interesting response if you ask elected officials
such as Senator Sam Nunn, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services
Committee, or Ronald Dellums, Chairman of the House Armed Services
Committee, about the issue of secret military spending.

I wrote this pamphlet, and have funded its distribution, to educate
the public about the problem of excessive secrecy under the guise of
"national security." I can be contacted at:

Paul McGinnis P.O. Box 28084 Santa Ana, CA 92799 USA

or, by electronic mail at: Internet: [email protected] GEnie:
EXP.ENG-Compuserve: 76056,201 America Online: PaulMcG
(This file was found elsewhere on the Internet and uploaded to the
Patriot FTP site by S.P.I.R.A.L., the Society for the Protection of Individual Rights and Liberties. E-mail [email protected])