Clapper: Shutdown Makes it Easier for Foes to Recruit US Spies

Thursday, 03 Oct 2013 03:01 PM

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The government shutdown gives our enemies a better chance to attract U.S. spies, says James Clapper, director of National Intelligence.

The financial blow that government intelligence workers are absorbing from the shutdown and the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester gives them incentive to turn on their country for money, Clapper said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, The Hill reports.

"This is a dreamland for a foreign intelligence service to recruit, particularly as our employees, already ... [subjected] to furloughs driven by sequestration, are gonna have even greater financial challenges," he said.

"I've been in the intelligence business for about 50 years. I've never seen anything like this."

About 70 percent of civilian intelligence workers have been furloughed by the government closure, Clapper said.

The shutdown means the intelligence community can't guarantee the country's security, Clapper said. "I think this, on top of the sequestration cuts that we've already taken ... seriously damages our ability to protect the safety and security of this nation and its citizens."

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Dianne Feinstein: Government Shutdown Increases Terrorist Threat

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