Hot Potato: Food for Thought
Where Did All the Money Go?
The Secret Services
1997 July 16

The maintenance of a large secret service is one of the greatest threats to a democracy. These organizations consume steadily more resources and are barely accountable to anyone. Their motives and actions are hazy at best. Even Congress does not know how much money is being spent by such organizations as the NSA and the CIA.

It appears that the CIA has ingeniously financed many of its clandestine activities with funds raised by secret and illegal means similar to those that came to light in the Iran-Contra affair. There is evidence that the CIA was heavily involved in drug smuggling during the Vietnam war.

Despite the huge expenditures of these organizations, the US has been caught completely unprepared by such events as the fall of the Shah of Iran and the start of the Persian Gulf War. The US "security" services need to be reined in by Congress, which has a responsibility to closely monitor their actions and see that they operate within the law. A great deal of money could be saved in the process, and America would improve its standing with the rest of the world.

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