Another Question

I don’t really have much to write this morning, or the time to write it. I note I’m still looking for data on the military (see my most recent post before this one). (Also… anyone know where I can find data on the number of living veterans by year?) I’d be grateful for any help on finding and/or reconciling data.

But in the comment section to that post, reader gc asks: “Aren’t those numbers in the realm of not being disclosed for national security purposes?”

I had heard that certain “black” agencies have their budget completely outside the regular National Budget process. It makes a lot of sense for a shlub like me not to know what NSA and the CIA and lesser known organizations like the NRO are doing. But if it even makes sense to keep the overall size of the clandestine world unknown, there is a problem. Wouldn’t it be possible to have some idea how much money is in the black agencies in total by looking at increases in the debt? I would presume the data on the national debt is fairly accurate; treasuries get sold on the open market, after all.

Some questions… Is the size of these organizations really knowable? If so, what would you do to keep the size of these organizations secret if you were running the show? Would it be easier to hide the size of these organizations if they owned private corporations, or would this just create more problems with the potential for IRS audits? How do you go about keeping the size of the black sector a secret in a relatively open society in the internet age?