Intelligence Director: Furloughed Federal Workers Could Become Spies, America Not Safe


Director of National Intelligence James Clapper did a little government shutdown fearmongering this week, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that furloughs could give foreign governments the opportunity to recruit Federal employees as spies.

Clapper told lawmakers that it may be easier for enemies to recruit U.S. spies from a pool of Federal employees sitting at home because of furloughs from the government shutdown.

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

“I’ve been in the intelligence business for about 50 years. I’ve never seen anything like this,” Clapper added.

The intelligence officials also said that a lack of income could also make furloughed employees more susceptible to bribes.

According to intelligence officials report that about 70 percent of civilian intelligence employees, including both support staff and intelligence analysts, have been furloughed due to the government shutdown.

Clapper concedes that the intelligence cutbacks make the American public less safe.

“I think this, on top of the sequestration cuts that were already taken… seriously damages our ability to protect the safety and security of this nation and its citizens,” he told lawmakers.

“The danger here, of course, that this [threat] will accumulate over time [and] the damage will be insidious,” he added.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Clapper if the intelligence community could guarantee the security of the United States in the face of the ongoing shutdown. The intelligence chief said no.

“I don’t feel that I can make such a guarantee to the American people,” Clapper told Grassley.

“It would be much more difficult to make such a guarantee as each day of this shutdown goes by,” he added.

Grassley also asked Clapper if the intelligence community may be overstating the impact of the shutdown, saying that there must not be too much danger if 70 percent of the workforce is “non-essential” under the furlough guidelines.

“You either need better lawyers,” Grassley said, speaking of lawyers who determined which employees were not essential, “or need to make changes in your workforce.”

Clapper responded, saying that the agency was abiding by the definition of “non-essential” in the relevant law affecting the shutdown and was only keeping workers “necessary to protect against imminent threat to life and property.”

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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  • Bill

    The stupidity of their stories to sell this unpopular legislation are an insult to our intelligence
    Has our country gotten that dumb to believe them

    • dan

      sigh…quite a few voted for the Light Bringer Insane….
      i’m afraid the stupid is spreading

    • Vis Fac

      Clapper like all liberals believe the country is full of idiots and morons. I am neither an idiot or a moron I am educated and responsible the antithesis of liberal one dimensional idiot-ology.

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est

  • Grumpy

    Using Mr. Crapper logic no gov employee should be able to retire or leave the care of their handlers, maybe that all the ammo was purchased for . What a load of crap.

  • terryk

    This is crazy if a few days without pay forces these people to betray their country they should never have been in positions of trust. This shows either a lack of judgement by the security agencies or a bad excuse to blame the GOP for the democratic government shutdown of the country. It is the Democrats that refuse to negotiate terms with the GOP.

    • squeeze127

      The fear is the truth may start to come out!

    • Vis Fac

      Think of it as what it is; an excuse to lay blame on the GOP Tea Party or anyone but where blame belongs!

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est

  • Rebecca

    Actually I would say that America is SAFER !!! They aren’t afraid of spies they’re afraid of whistleblowers. LET the Federal Employees tell the truth. STAND STRONG AMERICA !!!

    My late husband defended MY FREEDOM and YOUR FREEDOM. Stand strong for all our VETERANS and ACTIVE MEMBERS. God Bless America.

    • squeeze127

      Bingo, someone else sees the charade this POTUS is playing. Are those Benghazi agents laid off? Maybe we’ll finally find out what really happened. This POTUS does not have Americas interest at heart!

    • Vis Fac

      I salute your late husband and ALL veterans ( and a big hug to you)

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est

  • dan

    i thought we were supposed to be afraid of TERRORism….
    the only solution is to take all federal workers (especially the ‘inteligence’community )and throw them in the FEMA Camps….
    where they’ll all be safe im their neat white rooms and get their meds

    • BIGRED1

      Your a smart one…. NOT.

  • Steve E

    At least they won’t be reading my emails now.

  • Paul

    This is the same guy that calls the Muslim brotherhood a secular organization.

  • Ron G

    Is Clapper telling us that federal employee’s are of such low character that they would betray their country? Perhaps Clapper is judging those workers due by what he would do if he were in their situation.

  • Alan

    A pretty ridiculous statemenent by yet another Obama hack. In the end the furloughed workers will really not lose anything. If the type of people working there would sell out the country over this they would do it even if they were not furloughed.

  • hank

    CLAPPER, a real administration “SLUG”.

    • Vis Fac

      Isn’t the clapper supposed to control the lights? No wonder Clapper is always in the dark!!!

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est

  • Wellarmed

    Mr. Clapper deserves a proper trial before a jury of his peers for what appears to be inconsistencies in past and present testimonies. As far as I can tell he is in the upper echelon of the machine that is driving this nation towards the police state.

    One thing is for certain though, and that is if his lips are moving then there are mis- truths that will continue to pour out. Before there was Edward Snowden or Director Binney, there was Frank Church (D) Virginia who warned us back in 75 what the potential for tyranny to take hold as a result of this agency’s formation.

    Personally, I am rather certain that with 2/3s of their staff furloughed they are still a threat to all Americans who wish to uphold liberty. Snowden confirmed my worst fears the other day when he released information that supported my suspicion that the main objective of the NSA is to map (movements, patterns, work histories, education, social circles etc…) individuals which they suspect may be capable and/or willing to resist tyranny when that time comes (MAIN Core).

    Even with the NSA’s massive level of computing power they are still hampered with the reality that they must focus on these individuals entered into MAIN Core in order to accomplish their objectives. I believe that Clappers denial of mass inspection into social networks is simply the tip of the ice burg, and I would posit that the data bases that they have created are far more complex and advanced than I had initially considered.

    One thing is clear in all of this though, and that is the fact that the government does fear and wishes to control the citizenry through the collection of data. It is a far more powerful weapon than bullets, guns, or tanks, and history will have to prove my theory when this scheme finally plays out.

  • ted

    And we are supposed to believe this liar

  • Nadzieja batki

    It appears that this director doesn’t trust his own people in spite of the fact they were chosen and hired because they were like himself otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten their jobs.

  • Vis Fac

    “According to intelligence officials report that about 70 percent of civilian intelligence employees, including both support staff and intelligence analysts, have been furloughed due to the government shutdown.

    Clapper concedes that the intelligence cutbacks make the American public less safe.”
    Yet the NSA has no trouble keeping tabs on Americans there seems to be plenty of money to intrude in everyones life., pay overtime to cops guarding places that were never guarded previously and money to erect barricades.
    Who are you trying to kid? Certainly not the informed maybe the dumbed down and uninformed

    Libertas inaestimabilis res est

  • Dcp5674

    Well Mr. Clapper, I suggest you tell that bozo in the White House, and that nasty rat in the Senate to NEGOTIATE, You bunch of elitist s**theads. You work for us, and you are not omnipotent, just impotent
    Oh, and if all the layoffs are unnecessary, make them permanent!

  • ibn insha

    He might be right. Government employees have less integrity than an average Joe. They get paid almost twice as much as private sector and are still unhappy and think they are doing tax payers a favor.

  • Robert Messmer

    Too bad Senator Grassley was being so polite. He should have asked Clapper if by not being able to guarantee if he meant like the guarantee we had for 9/11? Or maybe the security we had for the Boston Marathon? Both of these occurred before the Democrats shut down the government. But there is a simple solution to solve Mr. Clapper’s fear–give them a 2 week severance and wish them well in their new careers. Then when needed, fully investigate and only hire loyal Americans whose first duty is to protect the citizens and not cover some politician’s ass.