August 29, 2013

The Dark Continent of Spooklandia



Of course this is all only according to the Washington Amazon Post ... which, of course, lies all the time. Often, of course, at the behest of Washington insiders. And so, of course, we would automatically assume that the totals are larger than the ones presented here. Think of this as a "baseline" and scale up as your paranoia dictates.

As it stands this chart means that 1 in 17 working Americans works for Spooklandia. But relax, what could go wrong?

Details, if you can believe them, are to be found at: The Black Budget: Top secret U.S. intelligence funding - Interactive Graphic - Washington Post

Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 29, 2013 2:54 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Here's hoping that there are so many of them that they cannot help but being grossly incompetent.

Posted by: james wilson at August 29, 2013 3:48 PM

This was the problem with 9/11 and the Orwellian-named Department of Homeland Security. Intelligence staff bloat. They just hired on a ton of people.

Not only is this a gigantic expansion of the federal government, its a gaping door for foreign spies to get into the system and even worse incompetents. There just aren't that many really qualified people to work intelligence, let alone a small city's worth.

If you have a department in government with more people than the population of several states, that's a serious problem.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 29, 2013 6:21 PM

I cannot recommend the FX TV series The Americans highly enough. It's available on Amazon Prime Instant Videos and iTunes.

I was once a connoisseur of true-life espionage from the Cold War Era. My Aspy mind screeches to a halt when I see unreality in what is trying to be realistic. In the whole season, the espionage elements were masterfully authentic, perhaps the final episode got a touch too dramatic in one scene. Otherwise I think I saw only one light switch from more modern times. One comment with a modern slang from a minor character.

Even while dealing with the Reagan Era, my formative years, it didn't take every opportunity to preach about cowboys or lard up the dialog justifying American lefty tropes.

The show is well worth a try.

Posted by: Scott M at August 30, 2013 1:02 AM

I have four working age relatives who moved to or grew up in the DC suburbs. One works for NSA, one is with a major defense contractor working on intelligence matters, another is with a large government contractor doing computer/technical services in intelligence, and the last is doing highly sensitive work of an undisclosed nature. Politically, one a fanatical Obamabot, one Clinton Democrat, one indifferent nonvoter, and one squishy independent. Only four relatives in that region, they are all part of the intelligence machine, that's a heck of a concentration.

Posted by: Ed at August 30, 2013 6:24 AM

It is reassuring to know that the one-in-seventeen are federal employees. Government workers like the DMV and sanitation department and road repair crews and Parks Dept. leaf-rakers. Gathered from the ranks of no-childs-left-behind they are union organized and led, diversified and equal-opportunitied.

Performance expectation of about 30%, they are mostly counting days until the next vacation or their retirement. Bosses selected by seniority and reinforcing the Peter Principle at every turn.
They got their favorite clever coffee mugs and cruise the net when the boss ain't looking and drink beer at a boys/girls night out.

What could go wrong? Oh, maybe out-sourcing.

Posted by: chasmatic at August 30, 2013 6:45 AM

Not one in 17 working for the federal government: 1 in 17 working for intelligence ONLY in the federal government. Far more work in the government in total.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 30, 2013 9:59 AM

Does that make it better or worse? I was never any good at math. Seems to me that any labor group employed by or associated with government will have a high level of mediocrity, sloth, ineptness. Plus-or-minus 10% would be stringent tolerances.

Posted by: chasmatic at August 30, 2013 1:33 PM

Could someone clear this math up for me? According to the BLS, there are approximately 145,000,000 employed Americans. If there are only 107,000 working for the intelligence community, then how does that equal 1 in 17? According to my math, not even 1 in 17 GOVERNMENT employees work for the intelligence community.

Posted by: mcmeador at August 31, 2013 12:55 PM