Danger Room: See For Yourself: The Pentagon’s $51 Billion ‘Black’ Budget


Categorie: Budget, Robert Beckhusen, Secrecy, Wired |
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Photo via Flickr user Malakh Kelevra.

Photo via Flickr user Malakh Kelevra.


The military keeps a lot of little things secret. It could be the exact range of a jammer, sensitive missile data or the timing of a raid. But the larger context — that jammers and missiles exist, or that our forces conduct raids — is unclassified and even listed in the Pentagon’s budget for all to see.

These secrets are different. Their names are obscured by code words, or simply listed as “classified programs.” But with a little digging, we can get a (limited) sense of how much money is being spent on the U.S. government’s most secret military projects. In fact, you can take a look for yourself. We’ve put together this spreadsheet with the latest information. Feel free to add, subtract and edit it — kind of like a classified cash wiki.

This year, the military’s black budget appears to be a little over $51 billion, down from the $56 billion which held steady for the last two years, not including inflation. The reductions are also not really a surprise considering the cuts happening nearly everywhere else.

Because it’s not easy saying we have the complete number. The Pentagon likes to play a little hide and seek with its black budget. Projects with code names like the Navy’s “RETRACT JUNIPER” and “LINK PLUMERIA” are simple enough to find in the research development, testing and evaluation budget (.pdf). As are many of the Army’s “TRACTOR” projects: “TRACTOR NAIL,” “TRACTOR CAGE,” and so on. But then comes along a project like “TRACTOR DESK” hiding in one of the Army’s eight research budget documents, while others find their way to the operations and maintenance and procurement budgets.

Read the rest at Danger Room.


2 Responses to “Danger Room: See For Yourself: The Pentagon’s $51 Billion ‘Black’ Budget”

  1. SM says:

    That black budget is on the order of the -whole- military budget of large, high-spending industrialized countries like France, the UK, and Germany. Yet there are plenty of people who insist that your military spending couldn’t possibly go down without endless nameless terrors.

  2. Yukie Yamada says:

    Dear David Axe, thanks for your article about the “black budget” of classified type monies funneled to agencies/contractors etc. In Hawaii, it is little known that our relic Senators are still in power for only one reason: they know about such monies, how, when and where. It doesn’t need to be fully understood in operational terms, really, but isn’t it obvious that in Hawaii, our economic/political structure lacks the substance to persevere with that type of cash flow pressure. It’s Inouye’s fault. Akaka should just be euthanized.

    As a victim of such an incestuous relationship between industry, commerce, black budgets and organized crime, I am leaving a trail of intent on the internet with social media sites registered under my birth name. Tonight, I found that the famous online internet auction/sale site that doesn’t need any more free press, has all capabilities for victims like me to create services for urgent transition into safe haven from Hawaii’s disastrous criminal court and government systems. Debit card and online services to receive, send, transfer monies, services, goods, etc. All on record while I pound down official doors ad hoc style to get out of the intellectual/political dungeon here.

    Likewise, others who are stuck in or around this economic structure might be doing the same in a less overt manner, yet still on record online. It was Seymour Hirsch from the New Yorker that mentioned the “black budget” in early 2006 when Pentagon’s Talon had been exposed for intelligence harvesting abuses with local enforcement in NYC. About this time, Halliburton was exposed, Fitzgerald exposed Libby and a few Congress members in So Cal and Bamford went on record in Rolling Stones hyped about the National Security Agency (no such agency) harvesting via digital. Even in Hawaii, we experienced the symptoms with CIA/FBI fraud emails sent to me and other residents.

    So, now that intelligence wire terror financing drug trafficking all falls into the same allusion file in our brain of associations, we don’t quite know who the Empire of Evil is.
    After all, all those Muslim’s seen on cable news since last year look to us like they are wanting political reform and freedom, too. All via Facebook and Twitter.

    Tell it to Julian Assange, who still might go to prison for raping the Swedish babe while trying to survive exposing false intelligence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Truth has been told on the internet but the dots need to be connected with this classified funneling of such monies to small economic dungeons with pharaceutical and researchers licking their chops thinking of the Asian yellow peril as the best economic engine for cancer drugs.

    Yukie Yamada
    aka Fern
    Haiku Maui

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