Leaked spy budget's three most revealing parts

Last Updated Aug 29, 2013 8:02 PM EDT

(CBS News) One of America's biggest secrets is how much it spends on intelligence, but the secret is out.

The Washington Post has obtained a copy of the so-called "black budget," leaked by the fugitive former NSA computer specialist Edward Snowden.

It shows the budget tops $52 billion, with the biggest share, more than $14 billion, going to the CIA.

Full Coverage: NSA surveillance exposed

Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden The Guardian

The budget is full of tantalizing facts. For one, there is the irony that the NSA had a budget justification to look at 4,000 intelligence officers who they felt might be the insider threat - in other words, a potential security risk who might leak documents like Snowden did.

Two, the leaked information shows the NSA and CIA were working on a large program together about offensive cyber attacks against U.S. adversaries - something the U.S. public already hears a lot of discussion about with the many cyber attacks and threats against the United States.

And third, and probably most important, the budget reveals the intelligence gaps. In the documents, they list what's missing: The difficulty of targeting certain elements of Russia or China. The so-called "black budget" shows the most difficult nation to penetrate, in terms of both their nuclear program and the politics, was North Korea.

  • John Miller
    John Miller

    John Miller is a senior correspondent for CBS News, with extensive experience in intelligence, law enforcement and journalism, including stints in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the FBI.