America's 'black budget': CIA, NSA, satellites, spying

This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency. (AP Photo / The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras)

The Washington Post has published a summary of the U.S. government's $45 billion-plus "black budget," which is typically withheld from the American people (and even critics in Congress) but was stolen by the former government contract employee Edward Snowden (who has fled to Russia) and supplied to the newspaper. 

Black budget highlights here, more about the Post's black budget reporting hereAnd here you can read then-Inquirer reporter Tim Weiner's ground-breaking reporting on the black budget, from 25 years ago.

After Weiner won a Pulitzer prize for his Pentagon and intelligence coverage, then-Inquirer editor Eugene Roberts relegated Weiner to a stint as a South Jersey assistant editor (where he edited one of my first stories here). Weiner got out of that gig pretty quickly, and went on to cover national intelligence for the NY Times (where Roberts joined him as boss) and to write the books "Legacy of Ashes" (on the CIA and its many failures) and "Enemies," a similarly critical but somewhat more hopeful book about the FBI.