White House requests $70 billion for new intelligence programs, operations

That figure is $400 million less than what intelligence officials requested for programs and operations in FY 2013. 


In a statement released Thursday, officials at the ODNI declined to provide details on what specific programs or operations the federal funds will be used for. 

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"Beyond this disclosure, there will be no other National Intelligence Program disclosures of currently classified budget information because such disclosures could harm national security," according to the ODNI statement. 

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander have come under fire for recent leaks over the NSA's domestic intelligence programs. 

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden illegally disclosed details of the agency's efforts inside the United States to The Guardian and The Washington Post

Clapper specifically has come under congressional criticism for his comments, under oath, to members of the Senate Intelligence Committee in March denying NSA is conducting intelligence operations on U.S. citizens. 

His comments came weeks before the agency began gathering data on cellphone calls and Internet traffic of U.S. citizens. 

The remaining $18.2 billion in requested intelligence funding for FY 2014 will go toward "military intelligence programs" run by the Department of Defense (DOD). 

The Pentagon's FY 2014 request is $1 billion less than the $19.2 billion it requested in the previous fiscal year to finance intelligence efforts by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the various service intel shops. 

Like Clapper's office, DOD officials refused to release further details of the intelligence programs covered under that $18.2 billion request. 

However, the request comes as intelligence officials at the Pentagon are building up a new clandestine intelligence service within the DIA. 

The new Defense Clandestine Service (DCS) is designed to work with its counterparts at the CIA and across the U.S. intelligence community to gather information on national security threats beyond the battlefield, according to defense officials. 

In the end, the DCS plans to field more than 200 intelligence operatives, supported by elements from the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community, focused specifically on potential, long-term threats posed by China, North Korea and Iran. 

But earlier this year, House Armed Services Committee members blocked 50 percent of DOD funding for the new intelligence shop, until Pentagon leaders can guarantee the DCS "is designed primarily to fulfill requirements ... that are unique to the Department of Defense or otherwise unmet" by the intelligence community.

The move was included in the House panel's version of the FY 2014 Pentagon spending bill. 

Administration officials pushed back against the move, arguing the House language would put the brakes on an "important intelligence collection program." 

"The administration remains committed to working with the Congress to resolve its need for additional information on DCS," according to the White House's official statement of policy on the FY 2014 Pentagon spending package.