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The Pentagon dropped its $533 billion budget this week. Some line items get a thorough public debate — like stealth jet engines and soldier health care. Others have opaque names like “RETRACT MAPLE,” and are totally hush-hush. Welcome to the Defense Department’s classified, or black, budget. It appears to be about $56 billion, the same as last year, less some inflation.
This may only be the tip of an iceberg of secret funds (more about that in a sec). But we’d like your assistance in mapping out that icy tip. So, with help from the Center for New American Security’s Travis Sharp, we’ve put together this spreadsheet. Feel free to add, subtract and edit it — kind of like a classified cash Wiki.
It’s in research and development budget where you can find the bureaucratic poetry of black project code names at its most obscure. The services slap together the most random of nouns to make their code names. The Army’s fond of prefixing its black projects with “TRACTOR” (“TRACTOR JUTE,” “TRACTOR EGGS,” etc) and the Navy has a slight tendency for animal imagery with “COBRA JUDY” and “Pilot Fish.”
But don’t think that this is necessarily all of the Pentagon’s secret cash.
Originally posted by Kangaruex4Ewe
Did anyone actually think that? Really? And who gets paid a ridiculous amount of money to come up with "Tractor Eggs"?
Originally posted by spinalremain
Why is the defense budget never allowed to be cut or tampered with?
Obviously no answer can be expected here, but a
brief summary will be given of the elaborate official
security structure that does exist for extremely
sensitive and highly secret programs which could in
principle be made to accommodate a UFO-related
program of some sort having a very long time-scale
• In 1997 there were about 150 DoD approved Special Access Programs.
• Unacknowledged SAP is a core secret.
• Arrangements known as “carve-outs” remove black programs from defense
wide security and contract-oversight.
• Unacknowledged Waived SAPs can be completely hidden from outside civilian oversight
A more substantial limitation on oversight is that some unacknowledged SAPs are not reported
to the full committees. At the Secretary of Defense's discretion, the reporting requirements may
be waived. In this case, only eight individuals - the chair and ranking minority member of each
of the four defense committees, the House National Security Committee, the Senate Armed
Services Committee, and the defense subcommittees of the House and Senate Appropriations
committees - are notified of the decision. According to the 1997 Senate Commission,
this notification may be only oral. These "waived SAPs" are the blackest of black programs.
How many of the SAPs are unacknowledged, and how many are waived, is a question which
only a few people can answer: eight members of Congress, the members of SAPOC (including
The Deputy Secretary of Defense), and the Secretary of Defense.
(From Sweetman article in Jane’s International Defence Review
• A “deep black” SAP is frequently based in a compartmenalized area or facility of a
civilian government contractor (e.g. TRW, Lockheed Martin) because this actually
provides more control and flexibility than a government facility.
• The security fraction of the total budget for a “deep black” SAP can approach 50%
• Security may go beyond passive measures to active disinformation
• Programs may be so tightly compartmentalized that even a director (general,
admiral) may not be accessed to all programs within his area of responsibility
Intentional cover is supported by two mechanisms, inherent in the structure of unacknowledged SAPs,
that result in the dissemination of plausible but false data, or disinformation. Confronted with the
unauthorized use of a program name or a specific question, an 'accessed' individual may deny all
knowledge of a program - as he should, because its existence is a core secret, and a mere
"no comment" is tantamount to confirmation. The questioner - who may not be aware that an
Accessed individual must respond with a denial - will believe that denial and spread it further.
Also, people may honestly believe that there are no black programs in their area of responsibility.
For example, Gen. George Sylvester, commander of Aeronautical Systems Division in 1977, was
not 'accessed' into the ASD-managed Have Blue stealth program, even though he was nominally
responsible for all USAF aircraft programs. Had he been asked whether Have Blue existed, he
could have candidly and honestly denied it. Presented with a wall of denial, and with no way to tell
the difference between deliberate and fortuitous disinformation, most of the media has abandoned
any serious attempts to investigate classified programs.
(From Sweetman article in Jane’s International Defence Review)
“In Search of the Pentagon’s Billion Dollar Hidden Budgets: How the US Keeps Its R&D Spending Under Wraps”,
Bill Sweetman, Janes International Defence Reporter, 5 Jan 2000
“Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy: 1997”
Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Senate Document 105-2.
Program Cover stories. (UNACKNOWLEDGED Proqram.). Cover
stories may be established for unacknowledged programs in order to
protect the integrity of the program from individuals who do not
have a need to know. Cover stories must be believable and cannot
reveal any information regarding the true nature of the contract.
Cover stories for Special Access Proqrams must have the approval of
the PSO prior to dissemination.
Drones, metal detectors, chemical sniffers, and super spycams — forget ‘em. The leader of the Pentagon’s multibillion military task force to stop improvised bombs says there’s nothing in the U.S. arsenal for bomb detection more powerful than a dog’s nose.
Despite a slew of bomb-finding gagdets, the American military only locates about 50 percent of the improvised explosives planted in Afghanistan and Iraq. But that number jumps to 80 percent when U.S. and Afghan patrols take dogs along for a sniff-heavy walk. “Dogs are the best detectors,” Lieutenant General Michael Oates, the commander of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, told a conference yesterday, National Defense reports. That’s not the greatest admission for a well-funded organization — nearly $19 billion since 2004, according to a congressional committee — tasked with solving one of the military’s wickedest problems.