May 6th, 2011

How much do government secrets cost? Try $10 billion.

In its first full year in office (FY 2010), the Obama administration generated a record-breaking 224,724 “new secrets” — a 22.6 percent increase over the year before, according to the Information Security Oversight Office and first reported by Secrecy News. Transparency expert Steven Aftergood also reports that as the volume of secrets goes up, so does the price tag for taxpayers to keep information hidden.

According to Secrecy News:

The estimated costs of the national security classification system grew by 15% last year to reach $10.17 billion, according to the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). It was the first time that annual secrecy costs in government were reported to exceed $10 billion.

This does not include the costs for the intelligence agencies like the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. Their spending on information secrecy is itself considered a secret.

April 29th, 2011

Cost of global war on terror reaches $1.2 trillion

"As of March 2011, Congress had approved a total of more than $1.2 trillion dollars for costs associated with the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other post-9/11 ‘war on terror’ operations, the Congressional Research Service said in its most recent update on the subject." - via Secrecy News

Congressional Research Service reports are not readily made available to the public. But the Federation of American Scientists, which hosts Secrecy News, regularly posts them. Below, find the full report.

Cost of the war on terror

Loading tweets...


At The Center for Investigative Reporting, we believe journalism that moves citizens to action is an essential pillar of democracy. Since 1977, CIR has relentlessly pursued and uncovered injustices that otherwise would be hidden from the public eye. Today, we are upholding this legacy and looking forward, working at the forefront of journalistic innovation to produce important stories that make a difference and engage our audiences across the aisle, coast to coast, and worldwide. What drives our work isn't profit – it's impact. Learn more at