A Black Hole For Billions

A peeved Gregg Easterbrook explores one of the most opaque federal agencies:

Never heard of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency? You’re not alone. A fair guess is that nine of 10 Washington pundits and political insiders don’t know the NGA exists, while perhaps one in 100 can describe its function. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has 16,000 employees nearly as many as Google  and a “black” budget thought to be at least $5 billion per year. The NGA is building a new headquarters complex with the stunning price of $1.8 billion, nearly the cost of the Freedom Tower rising in Manhattan. That new headquarters, near Fort Belvoir, Virginia, will be the third-largest structure in the Washington area, nearly rivaling the Pentagon in size.

...what the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency does for the most is part classified. About all the agency will say is that it supplies “geospatial intelligence support for global world events” and “can create highly accurate terrain visualization,” phrases that don’t explain much.

But "don't cut defense spending"!