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After MuckRock FOIA lawsuit, CIA publishes declassified documents online

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Map from 1973 National Intelligence Survey of government and politics in East Germany.

“The CIA is made up of American citizens just like you. The people that I work with, we believe that we hold these records in trust for the American people. When their sensitivity attenuates over time, we feel we have a responsibility so the American people can judge them for themselves. It’s important that we put these source documents online.”- Joseph Lambert

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Shining a Light on Black Budgets

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CIALast week, the Washington Post reported that new documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal the budgets of the sixteen United States intelligence agencies. The budgets, which had never previously been revealed to the American public, totaled $52.6 billion, including $14.7 billion for the Central Intelligence Agency, $10.8 billion the National Security Agency, and $10.3 billion for the National Reconnaissance Office. This revelation shines a badly needed light on the way that our intelligence agencies spend money. We’ve written about the importance of spending transparency many times before. As we’ve argued, “access to government spending information is a fundamental pillar of an accountable government. It provides a basis for citizen participation, promotes government integrity, and encourages greater efficiency.”

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Boom Shaka Laka – Justice

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The San Diego Union Tribune, without whom this would not have happened, is reporting that corrupt contractor Brent Wilkes was found guilty by a jury on 13 of 13 counts related to his bribery of imprisoned ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham. The story of Brent Wilkes is perhaps one of the more telling tales of political corruption for our time. Here is a man who set up a series of bogus companies, many which appeared to be nothing but a name with similar addresses, and received million dollar contracts for important work including the bottling of water for troops in Iraq and providing “commercial cover for CIA operations,” despite having no background in air cover. This is the story of the atmosphere of corruption, embodied by the wanton abandon to cash in on political connections, which must have permeated Congress in the late-90s and early-00s.

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