Although it took a lot of effort, it has been possible to collect quite a bit of information on organizations as the Pilgrims Society, the 1001 Club, Le Cercle the American Security Council, the AFIO, OSS Society and other very influential but low profile - or outright secretive - private groups. However, as soon as the official government bureaucracy enters the picture, getting information (luckily) becomes infinitely more difficult to find - and in most cases: impossible. Security is much tighter. Outsiders simply can't get to the story, while insiders cannot speak out due to national security laws. In the most sensitive military projects insiders intending to make unauthorized disclosures can find themselves in jail for life or risk assassination, certainly if these individuals are looking to contact enemy governments. All this is many times less likely to happen with people speaking out about civilian groups.
The majority of members in top-level supranational discussion groups as Bilderberg and the Trilateral Commission only seem to have a limited idea of what is going on in black programs of the military, certainly when it involves a foreign government. The secretary of defense and some of his assistants know, a few members of Congress are supposed to know, the heads of various private military contractors know, national security veterans on the Defense Policy Board, Defense Science Board and a number of other top-level civilian advisory groups also seem to have a good idea of what is going, and one assumes that incoming presidents are fully informed of these projects whenever they desire to know the full military and technological capabilities at their disposal.
But what if they aren't? What if, for example, a sitting conservative Republican president and secretary of defense decide to conspire with certain private Pentagon contractors to keep a number of projects hidden from an incoming liberal Democrat president and his administration? Is that possible? One hopes not. One thinks Congress or someone in the know would speak up. However, as ISGP's Superclass Index demonstrates, old boy networks in most key government positions are the norm. Even the idea that everything will be fine as long as the president is kept informed is very questionable based on the fact that no one becomes president who has not beforehand been vetted by liberal or conservative factions within the superclass, whether they are a tier 1 official candidate or a tier 2 or tier 3 controlled opposition asset. Trump, Bernie Sanders, Ralph Nader, Ross Perot and all his Reform Party boys (including Trump in 2000 and Nader in 2004) fall in the latter category. Nothing is independent. It all appears to be screenplay with actors who take their roles very seriously. And if their role is to be kept out of the loop, they'll most likely play that role throughout life.
To begin this new effort of looking into of the type of programs going on within the official bureaucracy of the military and its private contractors, let's take a look at the official classification system of the United States.
In the U.S. there are only three basic types of classification: Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. That's it. But this doesn't matter, as the true power of the classification system is the famous "need to know" policy. Just because someone has a Top Secret clearance doesn't mean this person can gain access to all the different Top Secret documents of the intelligence agencies. Examples of all these different agencies would be the FBI, CIA, DIA, NSA, ONI, NRO, INSCOM, and AFOSI.
However, this three-tiered classification system is not enough to protect some of the more sensitive information. Therefore additional levels of compartmentalization have been created. After a very intensive background check, someone with a Top Secret clearance might obtain an additional Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) clearance, under which information is buried that needs to be restricted to even fewer individuals. This TS-SCI clearance has been introduced mainly to stop high ranking officers from looking into Top Secret files they don't have any business with.
But even the TS-SCI clearance doesn't provide the secrecy needed for some of the most sensitive projects. This is the reason why Special Access Programs (SAP) have been invented. In these cases only a predetermined group of authorized personnel have access to the project and additional security measures can be taken to keep outsiders away. Different congressional committees are informed about these SAPs, but very little time is reserved for questions and little to nothing is put on paper. Why? Because congress doesn't have the necessary security for storage of highly sensitive data.
Most SAPs start out as Unacknowledged Special Access Programs (USAP), better known as black projects. The F-117A Nighthawk and the B-2 Spirit are examples of projects that started out as Unacknowledged SAPs. A DOD manual describes a USAP as follows:
"Unacknowledged SAPs require a significantly greater degree of protection than acknowledged SAPs... A SAP with protective controls that ensures the existence of the Program is not acknowledged, affirmed, or made known to any person not authorized for such information. All aspects (e.g., technical, operational, logistical, etc.) are handled in an unacknowledged manner." 
If questioned about a particular USAP, the persons involved are under orders to deny such a program exists. They are not allowed to react with a "no comment", because that would immediately fuel suspicions that something is being hidden and is likely to cause further inquiries. Officers not accessed for a USAP, even superior ones, are to be given the same response. The more sensitive the program, the more protection the commanding officer can demand. He could even subject his personnel to regular lie detector tests to see whether or not a person has compromised the project. According to a 1997 Senate investigation:
"Additional security requirements to protect these special access programs can range from mere upgrades of the collateral system’s requirements (such as rosters specifying who is to have access to the information) to entire facilities being equipped with added physical security measures or elaborate and expensive cover, concealment, deception, and operational security plans." 
There are two versions of the Unacknowledged Special Access Programs. The first one is the regular USAP. These regular USAPs are reported in the same manner as their acknowledged versions. In closed sessions, the House National Security Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the defense subcommittees of the House and Senate Appropriations committees can receive certain basic information about them. The secretary of defense, however, can decide to 'waive' particularly sensitive USAPs. These are unofficially referred to as deep black programs. According to Jane's in January 2000:
"Among black programs, further distinction is made for "waived" programs, considered to be so sensitive that they are exempt from standard reporting requirements to the Congress. The chairperson, ranking member, and, on occasion, other members and staff of relevant Congressional committees are notified only orally of the existence of these programs." 
This leads to the conclusion that only very few people are aware of these waived Unacknowledged Special Access Programs. Congress certainly doesn't get the information it needs to speak out against newly established waived USAPs and nowhere gets one the impression that their opinion is actually appreciated. You could also ask yourself if Congress is told the truth about many of the most sensitive Special Access Projects or if their successors are informed about previously activated (waived) USAPs. Even with regular SAPs Congress is ignored at times. Jane's again:
"Last summer, the House Defense Appropriations Committee complained that "the air force acquisition community continues to ignore and violate a wide range of appropriations practices and acquisition rules". One of the alleged infractions was the launch of an SAP without Congressional notification." 
Without being able to find any official sources, in addition there exists online speculation about Unacknowledged Special Access Projects being hidden in private corporations and/or behind seemingly legitimate deep black programs. So basically you're looking at USAPs within SAPs or USAPs. Or, alternately, one or more USAP subprojects with an existing SAP or USAP. If the secretary of defense or other covert operations are really worried about members of congress or other branches or groups within government of figuring out or exposing their program, it makes sense that they would start working this way. However, there exists no evidence for these programs. Then again, that's exactly the idea.
Below a chart can be found of all secrecy levels described in this article:
|Additional levels of Compartmentalization||
A USAP hidden behind another SAP or USAP, combined with the protection the private industry enjoys.
Existence is unconfirmed, but entirely possible. Would be illegal, because all checks and balances are gone. Of course, if the argument is that senior government posts might be infiltrated by the Russians, Chinese or other foreign power, probably anything is allowed.
Waived Unacknowledged Special Access Programs / deep black programs
Existence only orally mentioned to a few key congressional members. Besides "need to know" it appears that it depends on the personal relationship between government officials and business leaders to what extent they are told about these programs - including the president.
Unacknowledged Special Access Programs / black programs
Congressional committees should still be notified on paper, but violations have been reported.
|(Acknowledged) Special Access Programs|
Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS-SCI)
|Basic secrecy levels||Top Secret||NATO Cosmic Top Secret|
|Public or semi-public||For Official Use Only||NATO Restricted|
A good start to get a sense if the U.S. government is properly managing its SAPs, USAPs, waived USAPs and maybe even its USAPs within USAPs, would be to take a look at its bookkeeping. As it turns out, especially for the Pentagon this is the biggest disaster ever. From 1998 to 2002 each year between $1 trillion and $3.4 trillion was reported unaccounted for. An oversight has been created below. Click on the source to read the original news report.
|1998||$3.4 trillion||Washington Times|
|2000||$1.1 trillion||GAO of Congress / Insight Magazine|
|2001||$2.3 trillion||CBS quoting Rumsfeld|
|2002||$1+ trillion||San Francisco Chronicle; CBS|
Yes, we're really talking trillions - not billions. In 2001 Insight Magazine put these numbers best in perspective when it wrote.
|"Consider that if Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the Bush team at the Pentagon had that $1.1 trillion today, it could buy 244 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers at a cost of $4.5 billion each, 19,298 F/A18-E/F Super Hornet Fighters at a cost of $57 million each or 343,750 Bradley fighting vehicles at a total cost of $3.2 billion. Furthermore, using a reasonable estimate of $3 billion, the $1.1 trillion that is unaccounted for could pay for the construction of 367 brand-new Pentagon buildings, or seven Pentagons per state." |
On average the Pentagon couldn't account for about 25% of its annual budget. This is a problem that has existed for decades. Remember that in 1985 the President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management, better known as the Packard Commission, was set up after the Pentagon was found to have paid $435 for a hammer, $600 for a toilet seat and $7,000 for a coffee pot. Already in that period, billions were getting lost in the Pentagon bureaucracy. 
Beginning in 1996, the first year the Pentagon was forced to audit its books, renewed criticism on DOD spending began to arise. This only increased when the War on Terror began, Afghanistan and Iraq were invaded, and the Pentagon received major budget increases despite continuing to report these scandalous trillion dollar gaps in its books.
Part of the pressure also came from the new online conspiracy community. Guests of the scammy million dollar radio show Coast to Coast AM network of national security scrolls had also picked up on these deficits, (falsely) claiming that hundreds of billions of missing dollars most likely were diverted to secret space programs. We're talking about unfortunate individuals as Steven Greer, Catherine Austin Fitts, Michael Salla, Richard Dolan and others. Starting around 2005, the 9/11 "Truth" community falsely began to claim that the Pentagon impact was carried out to hide the Department of Defense's financial misconduct. Catherine Austin Fitts, as a director of the secretive 911truth.org umbrella group may well have played a key role in the surfacing of this theory, which doesn't hold water at all. Why? Because only the offices of the Naval Operations Center and accounting/budget offices of the National Guard and Army Reserve were destroyed. That's only a small part of the entire Pentagon budget. Also, the problem has existed before and since 9/11. In March 2005 congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, a favorite among 9/11 "truthers", famously confronted Donald Rumsfeld and new Pentagon comptroller Tina Jona about these deficits. 
McKinney's fringe congressional ally, the chemtrail-promoting Dennis Kucinich, another huge favorite of the Alex Jones and 9/11 "Truth" crowd, also criticized the trillion dollar gaps, explaining to "liberal CIA" outfit National Public Radio:
|"As the ranking Democrat on a subcommittee which has jurisdiction over national defense, an oversight subcommittee, I know the kind of waste that goes on in the military. I know, for example, that the Department of Defense cannot reconcile $1 trillion in accounts. I know that they can't keep track of the cost of various contracts that go to the private sector." |
President Bush, secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld and Pentagon comptroller Dov Zakheim all promised to integrate the apparently hundreds of different budgetary systems within the Pentagon.  But right from the beginning left-wing media outlets as The Guardian voiced suspicions that these individuals had no interest in fixing the budgetary problems, because private sector contractors as Lockheed, Northrop and General Dynamics these men and other government officials were linked to represent an important aspect of the problem. 
It really doesn't seem to matter how big cost overruns are within the defense industry - Pentagon nexus. Nobody ever goes to jail. Cost overruns actually are a very long-standing problem, going back further than the 1985 President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management and the $600 toilet seats it investigated.
Already in the mid 1970s the Pentagon's cost overruns were estimated at a whopping $355 billion. At the time it was reported that "overruns for Pentagon weapons have become such a routine item of military budgeting that many frustrated critics have turned [away] to other problems." The well known Admiral Hyman Rickover was "calling for for extreme measures against military contractors", claiming that "contractors deliberately spend more than estimated and then file overrun claims that also include enough for profit." Litton Industries, Lockheed and Boeing were all mentioned as examples of defense contractors running programs with major cost overruns, respectively 42%, 31% and 823%. Tellingly, it was found out that 95 top officials of secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld had taken illegal "gratuities" from defense contractors. An overlapping problem here was that "individuals with high level jobs in the defense industry ... love to take decision making posts at the Pentagon, and wind up buying equipment from their former employers." 
It appears little has changed over the years and may even have gotten worse, certainly when George W. Bush, once again flanked by a certain secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld, initiated the War on Terror in 2001. In the post-9/11 world these defense contractors received huge contracts, with the Pentagon conveniently still not properly keeping track how much money they handed out. Dick Cheney's KBR Halliburton and Erik Prince's Blackwater Group, an admitted CIA front, are probably the most notorious examples from the Bush era of questionable defense contractor use, but many other companies benefited from the War on Terror.
How about the NSA having the in house-developed ThinThread spy program ready to go for just $3 million in 2001, but replacing it with the $3 billion Trailblazer boondoggle? Trailblazer offered little to nothing more, and even eliminated constitutional privacy rights, which ThinThread did not. Much of it appears to have been a ploy by NSA director General Michael Hayden - a superclass member - and other top executives to keep defense contractors as SAIC, Boeing and IBM happy. And where did these top NSA executives end up with? Exactly, at top defense contractors they earlier handed all kinds of contracts to. 
Or how about Lockheed developing a special ammunition round for the Navy's new Zumwalt stealth destroyer class that went from an estimated "less than $50,000 each" to an incredible $800,000 a piece? That's a 1,700% increase. It left the Navy with a $4 billion ship with no guns to fire as it simply would be too costly to do so. 
There are plenty of other examples of significant cost overruns. Take the new $13 billion U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford supercarrier, the first of its kind. It's an amazing and eventually necessary piece of equipment, but by the time it is fully operational about three years late and probably about 33% over the initially projected costs. It even prompted Senator John McCain, a notorious war hawk and absolute top superclass member, to proclaim:
|"The Ford-class program is a case study in why our acquisition system must be reformed – unrealistic business cases, poor cost estimates, new systems rushed to production, concurrent design and construction, and problems testing systems to demonstrate promised capability.
"After more than $2.3 billion in cost overruns have increased its cost to nearly $13 billion, the taxpayers deserve to know when CVN-78 will actually be delivered, how much developmental risk remains in the program, if cost overruns will continue, and who is being held accountable." 
When we move over to the Air Force we see a similar pattern. The F-22 stealth fighter initially was supposed to replace the entire aging F-15 fleet. Over the course of a decade, development costs doubled from $13 to $26 billion and (real) unit costs from $149 million each to $412 million.  The number of produced F-22s went from a desired 750 with production beginning in 1994 to about 190 when production was shut down in 2012. This left the Air Force to rely on the old F-15 and F-16 for "air superiority". This is apart from a number of major technical shortcomings that weren't/aren't solved until the 2016-2021 period. 
Then there's the F-35, the so-called "successor" to the F-22. The initial estimated development and production cost of the F-35 in 2001? $233 billion for an estimated 2,500 planes. Cost by 2015? $379 billion, a 62% increase. Instead of having the first F-35 combat ready by 2010, that became 2016. Instead of having 1,013 F-35s combat ready by 2016, Lockheed only managed to deliver 179.  Then there have been - once again - the countless technical issues, some of which won't be solved until the 2020s. Others may never be solved, as the idea that the F-35 can replace the A-10 as a Close Air Support (for infantry) plane is just a fantasy. It's too expensive, too fast, doesn't have nearly enough rounds for that (with the gun not firing until 2019 anyway), appears to be missing all kinds of crucial up-to-date systems for CAS missions, which also appear to be too expensive to upgrade.  Oh, and ejecting from the aircraft at this point will probably kill or paralyze you:
|"Pilots under 136 pounds aren't allowed to fly any F-35 variant. Pilots under 165 pounds have a 1-in-4 chance of death and 100 percent chance of serious neck injury upon ejecting, according to the testing office." |
I actually happen to be sucker for ambitious projects and consider the creation of the U.S.S. Gerald Ford class carriers and stealth airplanes as the B-2, B-21/B-3, F-22 and F-35 to be the equivalent of producing some of the most beautiful art around. However, the F-35 in particular appears to be too high-tech (and therefore expensive and delayed) for America's good and too much a one-size-fits-all, with too many corporate and political interests attached to it. Also, you've gotta pay attention to your wallet, part of which involves making sure you're not being ripped off.
It must be said, not all of these cost overruns appear to be due to the same reason. The most problematic version of all would be blatant corruption by scrapping cheap programs that work and replace them with giant boondoggles just for corporate profit. That's treason and parasitism and should result in lengthy prison sentences. A less severe version would be the scenario painted by Admiral Hyman Rickover in the mid 1970s, namely that defense corporations have a tendency to initially underprice programs and then compensate later on by disproportionally raising the price. It really depends on how large the profit margins are, and to what extent nepotism takes place between bureaucrats and defense corporation executives, to determine whether or not a crime has been committed.
We also have to take general lobbying and blackmail into account here, both nationally and internationally. I personally remember how the F-35 program already was extremely controversial in early 2002 - one year after receiving the go-ahead from the American government - at the time of the Dutch elections. Candidate Pim Fortuyn, who would have won the elections if he hadn't been assassinated a week before by a "liberal CIA"-backed environmental activist, for the longest time campaigned against Dutch participation in the program. Bizarrely, a certain Matt Herben managed to weasel his way into Fortuyn's party, amidst accusations of blackmail against Fortuyn, and became the dominant player after Fortuyn was killed. Herben used to work for the Dutch Ministry of Defense, was a rabid air force enthusiast, knew the chiefs of the air force very well, and had been pushing his party members relentlessly to vote in favor of the F-35 program. On top of that, he refused any contact with representatives of the Eurofighter or Dassault Rafale - two extremely capable jet fighters much better than the classic F-15s, F-16s and F-18s  - no matter how hard they tried. Needless to say, there were widespread suspicions that Herben was a plant of the security services sent into Fortuyn's party to insure it voted in favor of the F-35.  After Fortuyn's death, the entire party indeed voted in favor of the F-35, just before, predictably, disintegrating amidst infighting.
All of this is extremely reminiscent of the Lockheed bribery scandal of the late 1970s that cost Prince Bernhard his Bilderberg chairmanship and reached as far as Japan, where Lockheed managed to hire CIA asset, Black Dragon Society terrorist and Yakuza leader Yoshio Kodama as its chief lobbyist. The scandal, along with the parallel accusations against other defense corporations (Northrop and Grumman), also knew a number of curious deaths and assassination attempts, including one on Kodama.
All this begs the question how much has changed. Apparently nothing, except that Lockheed now has international governments working on its behalf, doesn't need to bribe anyone anymore, and can basically get away with anything. So, even if, let's say, defense corporations are underpricing projects to bring in contracts, it appears political leaders are fully aware of this, are cooperating in these schemes and putting pressure on foreign governments on behalf of these defense contractors. While performance and price play crucial, it has been said more than once that politics in a major third pillar in international arms sales.  Maybe no project signifies that better than the F-35, about which skepticism and outright false statements about its capabilities have existed since the very beginning.
Discussing the exact ins and outs of defense corporation corruption and influence on governments is not really the purpose of this article - it's more about bringing key issues to general awareness - but it is a no-brainer that these cost overruns (and extreme lobbying practices) need to be investigated and curbed. If Lockheed would have been able to deliver the F-22 and F-35 according to its initial promises, or at least close to it, the United States would today - anno 2017 - have a fleet of about 500 F-22s and 1,300 F-35s of all classes instead of 190 and 190 or so while paying $200 billion more for it. It is crucial that steps need to be taken to prevent these kinds of issues in the future.
At $600 billion annually, the United States has the biggest defense budget on the planet, but we have to know how much of this is wasted by inefficiency, incompetence and corruption, especially because the United States has a national debt that exceeds an incredible $20 trillion. If you can save $50 or even $100 billion every year from the defense budget by managing it very efficiently and bring down the national debt, in the long run that might well be the difference between economic prosperity or the economic destruction of the United States. Also, what if China, with its vastly larger population, matches the defense budget of the United States one day. And what if it can do so while preventing inefficiency, incompetence and corruption? Then maybe even a $500 billion budget would be larger than the $600 today of the United States. Who really knows?
Clearly the Pentagon being able to fully account for its spending is a major step in the right direction. For the rest one would think the media is able to keep an eye on the influence of defense corporations. Although, it appears the War on Terror, how exactly we got involved in it (9/11) and what its ultimate (real) purpose is, has always been beyond reproach. Nobody really asks the important questions. And it appears the same is happening with regard to the so-called military-industrial complex that is thriving because of it.
As expected, a full 10 years after the Pentagon accounting issues came to light, new research revealed the problems remained the same, and may even have worsened due to the so-called implemented "improvements" of the Bush administration. Despite that, it seems change was slowly being implemented during the Obama administration, with pressure from Congress and various defense secretaries mounting.  Senator John McCain, a notorious war hawk and absolute top superclass member, has repeatedly stated he wants to clean up budget overruns.  So has Donald Trump, who in rather clear language stated that Defense Department bureaucrats "should never be allowed to go to work for these companies. You know, they make a deal like that and two or three years later, you see them working for these companies that made the deal. They should have a lifetime restriction."  Who knows, maybe things will change, to a degree... eventually, because, let's face it, what McCain and Trump are saying, has been said since at least the 1970s.
One of the things that a lot of people may find worrying is that effective USAPs for military weapons development don't even seem to exist. These days anyone with an internet connection can see and read anything about the latest military technologies in development. A lot of people are fascinated by it, so a lot of them are keeping their eyes and ears out while big money is to be made in the form of advertizing revenue for news sites and documentary programs for television. Advanced new military concepts are also portrayed in movies and videogames. Literally within a few hours one can learn everything about exoskeletons, high-tech swimming gear for special forces, drones, lasers, railguns, stealth, the theory behind stealth-defeating quantum radars, the intricacies of past and present carrier designs - you name it. We also know that the first new military stealth plane after the F-35, hopefully introduced in the mid to late 2020s, is going to be the B-21/B-3 bomber. We also know why: the B-2 is not stealth enough anymore against low-frequency radars.
Work on quantum stealth "radars" is a particularly interesting example of the state of "black programs". Back in 2011 a group of American scientists reported a breakthrough in this area to the press. It appears from that moment on research into the subject went "black"; secret research at Lockheed and DARPA was set up, but no details were reported. It wasn't until November 2016 when China all of a sudden claimed to have carried out a successful stealth radar test based on this very same quantum principle. Vain as the communists are, China made no mention of the 2011 U.S. discovery, but clearly paid a lot of attention to the article about it. To illustrate, the 2011 report on the quantum stealth radar breakthrough is comparable to China, Russia and every other adversary of the United States looking for a ship that is located at an unknown location somewhere in the world, and then telling them they should all be looking east of Madagascar. It made research a whole lot easier to focus.
So, is this the state of Special Access Programs and Unacknowledged Special Access Programs of the United States in the 21st century? Programs that just about anybody can guess because of super-extensive defense development reporting? It appears so, at least when it comes to weapons development.
Possibly the situation has always been this way. The hype around America's black programs first emerged in the early 1980s amidst Roswell UFO crash retrieval disinformation, later followed by the first evidence of revolutionary stealth planes as the F-117 and B-2. Even the controversy around the Pentagon's "missing" trillions - which we just debunked - has been hijacked by Coast to Coast AM-featured UFO and conspiracy disinformers as being evidence of secret space programs. Little to nothing of this is true. The most advanced spacecraft Lockheed is working on, in coordination with NASA and Airbus, appears to be Orion, which is meant to allow humans to explore Mars and asteroids.The facts is that the white world of technology development is simply too large for the black world to compete with. We can all figure out the handful of companies producing the latest CPUs, GPUs, batteries, jet engines and heat resistant composites as hafnium carbide. Black programs have to make use of these existing "off the shelf" technologies. They can tweak them or incorporate them in some truly cutting edge military designs - which would be their area of expertise - but to develop them into a whole new generation of high technology is going to be next to impossible. How are a few dozen or even a few hundred Lockheed employees going to develop a CPU 10 times faster than what Intel or AMD is working on? Or how are they going to develop a nuclear fusion engine while countless billions of the white world have never been able to bring nuclear fusion efficiency above 65% at this point? That's right. They can't. The only way to have something truly unique is to carry out highly unique research in a black program or to suppress a scientific breakthrough in the white world from the very start. The latter is almost impossible, or at the very least very hard, and the former only entails a very specific piece of technology; everything else is still based on existing technology.
In short, most, if not all, of America's USAPs aren't nearly as interesting as people believe them to be. For the vast majority of cases, if not all, projects are based on well known white world technology.
Sure, I'd love to think there's a nuclear-powered, vector thrusted jet out there that can reach all the way into space. However, the funds to produce any working concept model for this most likely would immediately be diverted to more immediately important projects, such as the B-21/B-3 or the F-35. And looking at how much trouble Lockheed has been having with its $400 billion F-35 development program, including the planes' engines until as late as 2016, and one can't even begin to imagine how a small army of company engineers would be able to finish a larger, nuclear-powered, vector thrusted version - and that in total secret. Let's face it, neither the Pentagon's "missing" trillions claim nor "rumors" of black project space programs are credible.
The fact that black programs revolve around known white world technology combined with a free western media that reveals just about every detail on upcoming military technology there is to know, comes with the problem that it is rather easy for countries "competing" with the West to copy the technology or develop counter-measures against it at a very early stage. That is, if these countries have the financial and technical means to do so. Russia, with it's meager 150 million inhabitants and limited economy mainly focused on oil, gas and arms exports, has the technical ability, but not really the financial means. China is the much bigger threat in this regard.
For more than a decade now, and in rather shocking fashion, China has blatantly been producing knock offs of America's Arleigh Burke class destroyers, the U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ship, the F-22, the F-35, technologies as lasers and railguns, and even the earlier-mentioned quantum stealth radars. It's a very smart tactic. It saves China giant amounts of R&D costs. It also allows China to slowly learn from the master, catch up, and if all goes well, surpass it. If they're really lucky, the United States will continue to overextend itself in military spending in similar manner as the Soviet Union did, prompting it to drastically cut its defense spending in the future for several decades.
The fact is, it doesn't matter how many black military development programs the United States has: it most likely is not going to win from China in the long run. The U.S. only has 320 million citizens, so as long as access to natural resources will not be an issue for China, it will overtake the U.S. economy as the largest in the world. And with that China will be able to outspent the United States several times over in military spending, research & development, black programs, political influence, covert operations and everything else.
On top of that, China maintains a large, tightly-knit and highly-educated population in America. Chinese are being educated by the thousands at MIT, Stanford and Caltech. Some take their knowledge back to China to help copy Russian and American military hardware. Many others remain in the United States where they can be loyal citizens, but just as well be used for industrial spying. Put a lot of foreigners in key black programs and leaks to the homeland are going to ensue. That's just a simple fact of life, whether it involves Jews, Chinese, or Arabs. With the Chinese, successful industrial spying, for example, happened with the F-35 program.
So, what is more important than efficiently running your country's black programs? That would be to have the biggest economy on the planet by a wide margin, so that no other country has the financial ability to reproduce domestically-produced high technology that came at a very high cost. The United States can't do this alone. Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Japan, South Korea and the European Union will all have to chip in. And even then China might be able to compete, not to mention India in the long run. Together these countries contain almost three billion citizens, more than twice of the West. And not just that, due to extremely low birth rates in the West, there's been a massive influx here from the most religiously extremist, crime-ridden regions of the world - and certainly in case of Africa: the lowest genetic IQs on the planet.
So yes, political, economic and military integration, increasing the native birth rate, and a moderately imperialist agenda of the West are all much more crucial in staying on top of the world than the effective managing of black programs.
It might be important to note that USAPs, or (deep) black programs, not always have to involve the development of new cutting edge technology. Back in 2004, for example, Seymour Hersh reported on a USAP that was set up to circumvent national and international humanitarian laws:
"Rice and Rumsfeld know what many others involved in the prisoner discussions did not -- that sometime in late 2001 or early 2002, the President had signed a top-secret finding, as required by law, authorizing the Defense Department to set up a specially recruited clandestine team of Special Forces operatives and others who would defy diplomatic niceties and international law and snatch -- or assassinate, if necessary -- identified 'high-value' Al Qaeda operatives anywhere in the world. Equally secret interrogation centers would be set up in allied countries where harsh treatments were meted out, unconstrained by legal limits of public disclosure. The program was hidden inside the Defense Department as an 'unacknowledged' special-access program, or SAP, whose operational details were known only to a few in the Pentagon, the CIA and the White House." 
Since this 2004 exposé, the world has learned a lot about the CIA's extraordinary rendition programs to torture terrorist suspects, about JSOC drones and assassination teams, the role Blackwater USA in it, and how the Bush administration secretly set it all up. 
It's an interesting detail to have that these programs too began as unacknowledged special access programs.
So, are Unacknowledged Special Access Programs out of control in the United States? Good question. The term "Special Access Program", let alone "Unacknowledged Special Access Program", is only very seldom mentioned in the media. For example, these terms have not been mentioned at all in relation to the NSA spy revelations in recent years of William Binney and Edward Snowden, even though one would expect that many of the NSA spy programs as PRISM, Stellar Wind, Boundless Informant and JTRIG fell into this category. The term "Special Access Program" did recently surface with regard to the Hillary Clinton email scandals. As Obama's secretary of state, Clinton, against protocol, maintained a private mailbox full of information on all kinds of Special Access Programs. No details on these programs have been provided.
Up until the Clinton email affair in 2015, it appears that the U.S. government has been quite capable of shielding the whole concept of Special Access Programs from the public. The mainstream media have never been too particularly interested in delving into the subject matter, most likely for fear of being perceived as "anti-patriotic", while the fringe network of Coast to Coast AM guests have been clogging up the internet with bogus information on these programs as involving crashed alien vehicles and secret space programs.
In other words, nothing much can be concluded about these programs. Do any of the USAPs, especially highly questionable ones, never make it to the public? Most likely, but we don't know that answer for certain. I'd say, it doesn't even really matter that much at this point. SAPs and USAPs should continue to exist. It's much more important to make sure that the Pentagon is able to properly balance its books, so that the only questions that remain revolve around officially allocated black budgets of the Pentagon and CIA. All the apparent waste, inefficiency and corruption going on at the Pentagon - much apparently linked to defense contractors - only weaken the United States. It's quite stupid to allow it to go on. Then again, the Pentagon is very Republican and very conservative by nature, so it's hard to expect much cooperation from its bureaucracy. What's really needed is strong, honest president, or maybe just a secretary of defense with similar character.
In other words, maybe we need to stay away from protesting the concept of SAPs and USAPs and instead focus on the Pentagon cleaning up its books and severing the ties between the Department of Defense bureaucracy and the boards of major defense contractors. Ultimately we should be focusing on building a transparent, stable society with economies so large that no undemocratic country in the world will be able to compete with us militarily - and thus threaten our existence.
|||April 1, 1999, Washington Times, '$3,400,000,000,000 Of Taxpayers' Money Is Missing' [link]|
|||January 5, 2000, Jane's Defense Weekly, 'In Search of the Pentagon's Billion Dollar Hidden Budgets' [link]|
|||November 6, 2000, Insight Magazine, 'Why Is $59 Billion Missing From HUD?' [link]|
|||June 25, 2001, Insight Magazine, 'THE CABINET - Inside HUD's Financial Fiasco' [link]|
|||September 3, 2001, Insight Magazine, 'Rumsfeld Inherits Financial Mess' [link]|
|||September 28, 2001, Insight Magazine, 'Wasted Riches' [link]|
|||January 29, 2002, CBS News, 'The War on Waste - Defense Department Cannot Account For 25% Of Funds — $2.3 Trillion' [link]|
|||April 29, 2002, Insight Magazine, 'Government Fails Fiscal Fitness Test' [link]|
|||May 18, 2003, San Francisco Chronicle, 'Military waste under fire - $1 trillion missing -- Bush plan targets Pentagon accounting' [link]|
|||May 19, 2003, CBS, 'Pentagon Fights For (Its) Freedom' [link]|
|||May 22, 2003, The Guardian, 'So much for the peace dividend: Pentagon is winning the battle for a $400bn budget' [link]|
|||June 28, 2003, NPR's Morning Edition, Congressman Dennis Kucinich mentions the missing trillions: "As the ranking Democrat on a subcommittee which has jurisdiction over national defense, an oversight subcommittee, I know the kind of waste that goes on in the military. I know, for example, that the Department of Defense cannot reconcile $1 trillion in accounts. I know that they can't keep track of the cost of various contracts that go to the private sector."|
|||April 6, 2004, USA Today, 'NASA costs can't be verified, GAO report says' [link]|
|||March 2005, Senate Armed Services Committee, FY 2006 Defense Dept. Budget (congresswoman Cynthia McKinney asks some hard questions) [link]|
dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/522022msup1_0295/cp3.pdf (accessed: May 28, 2005) (Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), 'National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual Supplement' (part of a (badly) scanned DOD manual)): "5220.22-M-SUP-1 ... g. Procedures for unacknowledged SAP security. An unacknowledged SAP will require additional security training and briefings, beyond that required in the baseline. Additional requirements will be specified in the Contract Security Classification Specification and will address steps necessary to protect sensitive relationships, locations, and activities. ... 3102. Unacknowledged Special Access Programs (SAP). Unacknowledged SAPs require a significantly greater degree of protection than acknowledged SAPs. Special emphasis should be placed on: a. why the SAP is unacknowledged; b. Classification of the SAP; c. Approved communications system; d. Approved transmission systems; e. Visit procedures; f. Specific program guidance. ... Unacknowledged Special Access Program. A SAP with protective controls that ensures the existence of the Program is not acknowledged, affirmed, or made known to any person not authorized for such information. All aspects (e.g., technical, operational, logistical, etc.) are handled in an unacknowledged manner."
1997, Senate Document 105-2, 'Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy' [link]
January 5, 2000, Jane's Defense Weekly, 'In Search of the Pentagon's Billion Dollar Hidden Budgets' [link]
September 28, 2001, Insight Magazine, 'Wasted Riches' [link]
|||1990, David S. Meyer, 'A Winter of Discontent: The Nuclear Freeze and American Politics', p. 57: "Mini-scandals broke out when it was revealed that the Pentagon had paid $600 for a toilet seat, $400 for a hammer, and $7,000 for a coffee pot designed to continue operating even if the plane that carried it was destroyed. ... Even while in office, Stockman noted that there was "a swamp of $10 to $20 to $30 billion worth of waste" in the military budget."|
|||March 2005, Senate Armed Services Committee, FY 2006 Defense Dept. Budget (congresswoman Cynthia McKinney asks some hard questions) [link]|
|||June 28, 2003, NPR's Morning Edition, Congressman Dennis Kucinich interview.|
|||*) January 29, 2002, CBS News, 'The War on Waste - Defense Department Cannot Account For 25% Of Funds — $2.3 Trillion' [link]: "On Sept. 10, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared war. Not on foreign terrorists, "the adversary's closer to home. It's the Pentagon bureaucracy," he said. He said money wasted by the military poses a serious threat. "In fact, it could be said it's a matter of life and death," he said. Rumsfeld promised change but the next day – Sept. 11-- the world changed and in the rush to fund the war on terrorism, the war on waste seems to have been forgotten."
*) February 20, 2002, Armed Forces Press Service, 'Zakheim Seeks to Corral, Reconcile 'Lost' Spending': "That money didn't fall down a hole, but is simply waiting to be accounted for, Zakheim said in a Feb. 14 interview with the AMerican Forces Information Service. Complicating matters, he said, is that DoD has 674 different computerized accounting, logistics and personnel systems. Most of the 674 systems "don't talk to one another unless somebody 'translates'," he remarked. ... DoD financial experts, Zakheim said, are making good progress reconciling the department's "lost" expenditures, trimming them from a prior estimated total of #2.3 trillion to $700 billion. And, he added, the amount continues to drop. "We're getting it down and we are redesigning our systems so we'll go down from 600-odd systems to maybe 50," he explained."
*) May 18, 2003, San Francisco Chronicle, 'Military waste under fire - $1 trillion missing -- Bush plan targets Pentagon accounting' [link]
|||May 22, 2003, The Guardian, 'So much for the peace dividend: Pentagon is winning the battle for a $400bn budget' [link]|
|||July 11, 1976, Chicago Tribune, 'Cost overruns costing us plenty'.|
||| *) May 23, 2011 issue, The New Yorker, 'The Secret Sharer Is Thomas Drake an enemy of the state?'.
*) May 12 2015, The Intercept, 'Many of the NSA’s Loudest Defenders Have Financial Ties to NSA Contractors'.
|||November 7, 2016, Popular Mechanics, 'The USS Zumwalt Can't Fire Its Guns Because the Ammo Is Too Expensive At $800,000 a round, the ammunition is simply too expensive for the Navy to afford.'|
|||*) July 21, 2016, Daily News, 'Navy’s most expensive warship ever years behind schedule and still not ready for warfare, memo shows'.
*) July 21, 2016, Daily Mail, 'US Navy's newest $12.9bn supercarrier doesn't work: Most expensive warship ever built 'struggles with jets taking off and landing' according to internal memo as delivery is delayed again'.
|||June 16, 2013, Los Angeles Times, 'F-22 program produces few planes, soaring costs'.|
Apart from development and production costs of the F-22, hourly operating costs of the F-22s that are flying today are extremely high (twice that of an F-16), they serve no purpose against low-tech enemies of the Middle East, and they have been plagued by technical issues. It wasn't until mid 2016, for example, that the F-22 finally was able to carry a modern AIM-9X missile. And it isn't until at least 2020 that the F-22 gets a Helmet Mounted Sight (HMS), a piece of technology that has been the norm around the world since the early 1980s when Russian jets were decimated by western jets who had this technology. Without such sights, F-22 pilots have to manually point the nose of their plane to enemy jets instead of simply looking at it. The F-22 also doesn't have side-looking radars as is common is most modern jets. All of it involved compromises to speed up the jet's development. As the annual Red Flag exercises have revealed, in close combat the Eurofighter Typhoon and undoubtedly the Dassault Rafale (higher rated over the line in tests by various countries) are able to score kills against F-22s. Beyond Visual Range that most likely will be very different, however.
|||April 27, 2016, CNN, 'John McCain: F-35 is 'a scandal and a tragedy''.|
|||*) December 26, 2014, Daily Beast, 'Newest U.S. Stealth Fighter '10 Years Behind' Older Jets; America's $400 billion, top-of-the-line aircraft can’t see the battlefield all that well. Which means it’s actually worse than its predecessors at fighting today’s wars.'
*) December 30, 2014, foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com, 'Is The F-35's Targeting System Really 10 Years Behind Current Systems?'. Confirms the Daily Beast's article about the F-35 hard-to-upgrade, outdated ground targeting systems in particular that make it even more useless in replacing the A-10.
*) December 31, 2014, Daily Beast, 'New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019'. The gun can't fire until 2019 and in any case will carry no more than 220 rounds, only good for one or two quick bursts. So much for the much-touted close air support (for infantry) role, not that it would ever be able to replace the old, cheap, slow-flying, armored and battle-tested A-10 in that regard.
|||February 2, 2016, Defenseone.com, 'The F-35’s Terrifying Bug List'.
|||*) TheAviationist.com is one of the best sources of information on new developments surrounding military airplanes.
*) As for basic information on jet fighter capabilities: 4th generation fighters as the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 are all competitive. The F-15 can climb the highest, is the fastest, has the most arms, and is the best for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) warfare, but is not as agile as the smaller F-16 or F/A-18. The F-16 can climb a little higher than the F/A-18, but is less agile. The F/A-18 is the most agile of all.
The late 4th generation Eurofighter Typhoon generally can’t be beat by these 4th generation aircraft, certainly not above 10,000 feet due to its superior maneuverability.
The late 4th generation Dassault Rafale actually scores higher in international government-conducted tests in offense, defense and ground attack than the Eurofighter and certainly scores higher than the cheaper and smaller Saab Gripen - at least the older model.
However, the Gripen still is seen as very pilot-friendly and capable airplane. Apparently even the version of the early 2000s lays waste to older 4th generation fighters as the F-15 and F-16. It was specifically designed to combat the SU-27 and later series, so almost certainly it takes out these Russian planes as well, with only the more modern SU-35 possibly being competitive.
The 5th generation (generally a category of planes that have full stealth features) F-35 has stealth, but its ability to take out F-16s Within Visual Range (WVR) dogfights is still disputed among pilots. Some say it does this with relative ease. Others say it is almost useless. None of these doubts exist about the European 5th generation planes. However, these planes are not stealth, making them much more vulnerable BVR and to modern S-300 and S-400 SAM systems.
|||*) June 29, 2002, Sidney Morning Herald, 'Fortuyn's successor said to be establishment plant': "The anti-immigration Pim Fortuyn List, which came joint second in last month's Dutch general election after its charismatic leader was shot dead, elected Mat Herben to succeed him.
But former associates of Mr Fortuyn told the leading daily newspaper Volkskrant that Mr Herben, 49, who worked in the press office of the Dutch Defence Ministry for 22 years, blackmailed his way into the party.
More controversially, they said he might have been planted by the establishment to ensure that the party voted for a multi-billion-dollar United States-led plan to build a new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
The new parliament's first action was to commit $US800 million to the F-35 project. All 24 members of the Fortuyn List joined the two other government parties in voting for the project, even though the party and its founder had been opposed to it. ...
The suspicions raised by Mr Fortuyn's associates were supported by Volkskrant publishing extracts from e-mails sent by Mr Herben, before Mr Fortuyn's murder, lobbying the party to change its mind and back the project.
It quoted five members of a panel that interviewed Mr Herben in January for membership of Mr Fortuyn's original party, Leefbaar Nederland, saying he had tried to blackmail them into selecting him as a candidate by threatening to publicise information (never substantiated) that Mr Fortuyn was a drug addict.
"We were flabbergasted," a member of the List's board, Broos Schnetz, said on Thursday. "The Netherlands needs to know what kind of person he is, and he's not honest. "
"He is an old Ministry of Defence official and perhaps his job was to infiltrate the operation to get the party to vote for the fighter, something which we were always against. I'd advise him to go to a good lawyer and clear his name, but nothing is happening, and that's strange."
Media sources said it was bizarre that Mr Herben, a proponent of involvement in the fighter project, should join a party whose leader and members disagreed with him.
But, Mr Schnetz said, Mr Fortuyn had so little time to form his new party before the elections that its candidates were not properly vetted. He said Mr Fortuyn told him he did not want anything to do with Mr Herben, but a mix-up led to him becoming the party's spokesman and No6 on the candidates' list."
*) May 28, 2002, Volskrant, 'JSF is bij Herben in goede handen': "Mat Herben, al 22 jaar defensieambtenaar en geestdriftig vliegtuigspotter, schreef ooit een Lekturama-boek over de gevechtsjagers van de Sovjet-luchtmacht. Op de jaarlijkse luchtvaartshows van Le Bourget en Farnborough ontbrak de ambtenaar, die schreef voor het blad Vliegende Hollander van de luchtmacht, nooit. Op Defensie was zijn adoratie voor de luchtmacht voor niemand een geheim. 'Hij stond bekend als een marinehater', zegt kapitein b.d. G. de Jong, zeven jaar lang de baas van Herben op het departement. 'Herben vond dat alles kon worden opgelost door de luchtmacht in te schakelen. Hij kent ook de luchtmachttop zeer goed.'
De ex-ambtenaar is, als leider van de Lijst Pim Fortuyn (LPF), zo machtig dat de belangrijkste aankoop van zijn vroegere baas volledig in zijn handen ligt. ... Omdat CDA en VVD voor deelname zijn, kan LPF nu de knoop doorhakken. ...
Herben (48) wordt nu belaagd door de Franse en Europese concurrenten van de JSF. 'Ik heb hem al zeker 25 keer gebeld om een afspraak te maken, maar het is nog niet gelukt', zegt lobbyist R. Meines van Dassault die in Nederland de Rafale probeert te slijten. 'Ik denk dat hij heel wat andere zaken aan zijn hoofd heeft.' J. van Gennep, die het Eurofighter-consortium bijstaat, is het ook niet gelukt. ...
Vlak voor Fortuyns dood, kwam de Amerikaanse ambassadeur Sobel al op bezoek bij de toenmalige LPF-leider om hem te winnen voor de JSF. Opvallend is dat Fortuyn in de dagen voor de aanslag zijn JSF-standpunt wijzigde. ... .Als LPF-lijsttrekker riep Fortuyn, die inmiddels Herben als woordvoerder naast zich had, dat hij de gok wel wilde wagen. Mits het geld er was en de JSF niet ten koste ging van andere prioriteiten. 'Je onderneemt als je meedoet met de JSF', aldus Fortuyn die zich plotseling positief uitliet over het Nederlandse luchtwapen. Nog geen twee maanden daarvoor had Fortuyn, in zijn boek en verkiezingsprogramma De puinhopen van acht jaar Paars, gepleit voor de afschaffing van de luchtmacht."
|||*) July 16, 2006, International Herald Tribune, 'Rafale, the French fighter, scrambles for export orders': "Colonel François Moussez, a pilot who has flown 150 hours on the Rafale, said that two could do the work of six existing air superiority/defense and air-to-surface attack jets. ... Moussez said that in dogfight exercises, the Rafale had outflown F-15, F-16 and F-18 opponents, and in technical and performance evaluations "we have systematically won against the F-15 and the Eurofighter Typhoon." ...
In competitions to sell combat aircraft, "the principal criterion is political. It has little to do with aircraft performance," Moussez said.
Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with Teal Group in Fairfax, Virginia, also says that politics play a major role in fighter procurement. "Aggressive U.S. foreign policy" was a primary cause of export wins by U.S. military jets, he said during an interview by telephone.
Bob Kemp, director of sales for the [Saab] Gripen, was not so sure. "There is no doubt a political factor," he said during an interview. But "the first thing is, the aircraft must be able to do the job, and the second is financial.""
*) November 13, 2011, Jerusalem Post, 'French push hard to clinching jet deal with UAE': "Theodore Karasik, director of research at the Institute for Near East Gulf Military Analysis ... "All fighter jet sales are political. ..." Karasik said..."
|||November 14, 2013, Reuters, 'Special Report: The Pentagon's doctored ledgers conceal epic waste': "$8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited, has never been accounted for. That sum exceeds the value of China's economic output last year. Congress in 2009 passed a law requiring that the Defense Department be audit-ready by 2017. Then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in 2011 tightened the screws when ordered that the department make a key part of its books audit-ready in 2014. Reuters has found that the Pentagon probably won't meet its deadlines. The main reason is rooted in the Pentagon's continuing reliance on a tangle of thousands of disparate, obsolete, largely incompatible accounting and business management systems. Many of these systems were built in the 1970s... The Pentagon has spent tens of billions of dollars to upgrade to new, more efficient technology in order to become audit-ready. But many of these new systems have failed, either unable to perform all the jobs they were meant to do or scrapped altogether - only adding to the waste they were meant to stop."|
||| *) April 27, 2016, CNN, 'John McCain: F-35 is 'a scandal and a tragedy''.
*) July 21, 2016, Daily News, 'Navy’s most expensive warship ever years behind schedule and still not ready for warfare, memo shows'.
|||December 12, 2016, National Interest, 'Donald Trump Just Went to War on the F-35 Stealth Fighter'|
|||2004, Seymour M. Hersh, 'Chain of Command: The Road From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib', p 16.|
|||November 23, 2009, The Nation, 'The Secret US War in Pakistan': "At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives..."|