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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101 note) and came into existence Jan. 24, 2003. It is administered under the supervision and direction of the secretary of homeland security, who is charged with developing and coordinating a comprehensive national strategy to strengthen the United States against terrorist threats or attacks. In fulfilling this effort, the secretary advises the president on strengthening U.S. borders, providing for intelligence analysis and infrastructure protection, improving the use of science and technology to counter weapons of mass destruction, and creating a comprehensive response and recovery division. The secretary has the responsibility to oversee management of the National Communications System, those national security and private-sector infrastructures supporting national security and emergency preparedness telecommunications.

Source: Adapted from U.S. government regulations, "U.S. Government Manual", and "An Overview of the U.S. Intelligence Community"
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Top Secret Work
Number of Work Locations

270

Number of Contracting Clients

318

Types of Work (14)  
Types of Work
The Post has divided Top Secret work into ten categories. Companies' work for the government falls under the type(s) shown. For a detailed description of a category, click on the function or type it into one of our searches.
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This project was last updated in September 2010. Data is accurate as of that date.
"Top Secret America" is a project nearly two years in the making that describes the huge national security buildup in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. | Read More »



More than a dozen Washington Post journalists spent two years developing Top Secret America. | See the details »


Video

Top Secret America on Frontline

A short video from PBS’s FRONTLINE on The Post’s two-year investigation. An hour-long documentary film is forthcoming. Watch the trailer »

The reporters

Dana Priest

Investigative reporter Dana Priest has been The Washington Post's intelligence, Pentagon and health-care reporter. She has won numerous awards, including the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for public service for "The Other Walter Reed" and the 2006 Pulitzer for beat reporting for her work on CIA secret prisons and counterterrorism operations overseas. She is author of the 2003 book, "The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace With America's Military, (W.W. Norton).

William M. Arkin

William M. Arkin has been a columnist and reporter with The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com since 1998. He has worked on the subject of government secrecy and national security affairs for more than 30 years. He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen books about the U.S. military and national security.

Project Credits

Stephanie Clark, Ben de la Cruz, Kat Downs, Dan Drinkard, Anne Ferguson-Rohrer, Justin Ferrell, David Finkel, Jennifer Jenkins, Robert Kaiser, Laris Karklis, Jacqueline Kazil, Lauren Keane, Todd Lindeman, Greg Manifold, Jennifer Morehead, Bonnie Jo Mount, Larry Nista, Ryan O’Neil, Sarah Sampsel, Whitney Shefte, Laura Stanton, Julie Tate, Doris Truong, Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso, Michael Williamson, Karen Yourish, Amanda Zamora.

Contact Us

Phone: 202-334-9300
E-mail: topsecretamerica@washpost.com


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