So I've Good News, and I've Got Bad News…

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The good news? The federal "black budget" for classified and clandestine activity is holding steady for the third straight year.

The bad news? The "black budget" is $31.9 billion.

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  1. Wow, $32 billion will buy a lot of reparations.

    What? It’s not that kind of “black budget”? Well now I look like an idiot.

  2. Should be higher offset by large cuts elsewhere.

    Assassination is preferable to war.

  3. $31.9 billion / ~ 300 million citizens = $106.33 for each citizen.

  4. We could relocate Iraq to the Moon for that kind of money. Or we could buy me a really nice house. Something America could be proud of.

  5. For that kind of money, I should be seeing people opposed to US strategic interests mysteriously falling over dead on a regular basis. I don’t think we’re getting a good return on the investment.

  6. Does this include the cool airplanes we never get to see?

  7. I should be seeing people opposed to US strategic interests mysteriously falling over dead on a regular basis.

    I certainly hope they are. I recall some small items aboutmysterious Saudi plane crashes in the months after 9/11

  8. I really liked that thing DARPA was working on, that could launch a person with full military gear to the top of a building. If they keep working on it, they could get the same technology built into a pair of shoes. The possibilities (for injury) are endless.

  9. “…they could get the same technology built into a pair of shoes.”

    And just guess how long it will be ’til the IOC bans them.

  10. Orbital Mind Control Lasers?

  11. Why can’t we design a killer robot to hunt certain enemies down and eliminate them? For instance, I could program the killer robot to relentlessly track down bin Laden and blow him away. That capability is worth a few billion, doubtlessly. Or I could tell the robot to find and eradicate a woman named, say, Sarah Connor. I envision this robot having some sort of tough-sounding European accent.

  12. I really liked that thing DARPA was working on, that could launch a person with full military gear to the top of a building.

    DARPA’s working on catapults?

  13. About $5 million of that money goes into finding paranoid schizophrenics and just fucking with their minds.

  14. I’m pretty sure all of that money goes to accountants who work to hide the real black ops money elsewhere in the budget.

  15. I can account for $2,000,000 of that budget. I was approached by some men in dark suits about making a black ops training video.

  16. I’m going to dye my hair black and make a video in which I mumble in a strange accent, only saying “Osama” every now and then, and post it on a hard-to-find website. Then I’m going to send a letter translating the threatening mumblings to the DoD, and offering to find and capture the mysterious jihadista in the film, for paltry $1.5 mil from the black budget. The only flaw in this plan is that the DoD will never believe a real terrorist would be that cheap.

  17. Orbital Mind Control Lasers?

    Of course fnord not.

  18. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will reportedly cost $1 trillion. We tax payers pay a lot for our macho warfare state. Maybe we should trade it in on a nanny welfare state. I mean, just to save the money.

  19. C’mon, I mean really, they are just throwing out that number. I’ll bet the actual black budget is secret, very large and funded by a myriad of schemes, including the WO(s)D.

    The easiest way to fund black ops is through illegal means, then there is no one to account for the money and deniability is plausible.

  20. That’s African-American budget to you, buddy.

  21. There’s so much Chapelle-esque humor to be had with this, but like the “n word”, we actually require a black/colored/negro/african american/brotha poster to make the jokes, or we’ll be racist. But after he says it first, we’re free to laugh our asses off.

  22. DARPA’s working on catapults?

    Let’s see…ah, here it is.

    “The human cannon: when you absolutely, positively have to get to the roof of a building but refuse to take the stairs. Accept no substitutes. Designed by researchers at DARPA, the Pentagon’s research arm, the launcher could shoot a very frightened individual to the top of a five-storey building in less than 2 seconds.”

  23. PL-

    Or you could program the robot to find Salma Hayek and deliver her to you unharmed.

    Karen-

    If they suspect that this terrorist is hiding in Texas, they’ll have no choice but to follow the precedents set by the Iraq War and invade Iowa.

  24. I’m still hoping for a cool dragon out of all this.

    http://blog.mises.org/archives/006512.asp

  25. For 32 billion you’d think maybe we could just buy a few of their oilfields – problem solved.

  26. C’mon, guys – You think reverse-engineering all that alien technology from Roswell crashes comes cheap?

  27. I don’t like the sound of ‘black’ budget. It sounds kind of evil. I think they should call it the ‘secret naughtiness’ budget.

  28. thoreau,

    Nah, I’m happily married. I’ll have it bring Salma Hayek to you.

    Now that I think about it, if the robot brings me Osama’s head, I’m going to be rich, aren’t I? Hmmmm. Revenge and profit!

  29. I hate to say it, but $31 billion ain’t even walking-around money by D.C. standards. The GSA probably spends more than that every year on climate control for the more antiquated federal buildings downtown.

  30. Actually, this is a reasonable budget. All that Man from U.N.C.L.E stuff is EXPENSIVE, and you can’t just buy it at Wal-Mart. The budget also includes the people who run the toys, the people who fix them and the people who work with the data collected.

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