Investigations

Top Secret America Grows After 9/11

Scary stuff from an investigative report in The Washington Post: America’s intelligence and counterterror bureaucracy is so large and unwieldy that the Post says, “No one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.” Among the Post’s findings: 1,271 government organizations work on counterterrorism, homeland security, and intelligence around the U.S.; 854,000 people have security clearances—more than the entire population of D.C. One of the Defense Department’s “Super Users”—what they call people who have the clearance to know about all of the department’s activities—tells the Post, "Because it lacks a synchronizing process, it inevitably results in message dissonance, reduced effectiveness, and waste. We consequently can't effectively assess whether it is making us more safe."