The government shutdown has “furloughed,” or placed on unpaid leave, up to 400,000 government contractors, thousands of whom work in the government’s military intelligence and espionage programs.
In his plea to Congress that national security had been compromised, NSA Chief Keith Alexander said, “We have over 960 Ph.D.s, over 4,000 computer scientists, over a thousand mathematicians. They are furloughed. Our nation needs people like this.”
Obviously the plea is about restoring these people to their posts in order to resume operations as normal. On the other hand, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper points out another vulnerability that comes from laying off intel analysts.
Siobhan Gorman of the WSJ reports Clapper pointed to the economic hardships and told Congress,”this is a dreamland for foreign intelligence services to recruit. So we’re spending our time setting up counseling services for employees to help them manage their finances.”
Hey, even NSA analysts have to pay bills. Clapper and Alexander are concerned that if Washington can’t, someone else will step in.
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