In the wake of the government shutdown, government agencies have been required to furlough their employees – including the nation’s intelligence, counter-terror and security agencies. The need for funding may be the cause of the shut down, but that is no reason to shut down the nation’s first lines of defense.
Initially, “only those employees working on imminent threats were on the job” but as the shutdown persisted, agencies like the CIA, were allowed to recall employees back to work in the event of a potential danger to the nation.
The fact that these employees were furloughed at all is astounding – while the National Parks may be beautiful and heavily trafficked, the shut down on them does not directly impact national security, as the furlough of the majority of our intelligence workers does.
In the wake of security incidents like the shooting at the Capitol, the Navy Yard and – although in the past – 9/11, it is a wonder that the government thought that shutting down our intelligence services was a good idea.
CIA Director John Brennan acknowledged this very present and increased danger in a statement which read, “Each day that goes by, jeopardy increases. This is a dreamland for foreign intelligence services to recruit.”
With our intelligence services, arguably the strongest and largest in the world, effectively shut down, there is a large possibility that we could be attacked without seeing it coming or miss crucial information being passed around the world stage.
This vast reduction in the work force (an estimated 70 percent of intelligence workers have been furloughed) has left a massive, gaping hole in our nation’s defenses and has left the directors of our intelligence programs with projects no one is working on.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper noted that the intelligence community is very important given its direct involvement with the President.
Each morning the President receives an intelligence report and briefing in order to more functionally respond to national issues and foreign policy problems.
The government shut down in its entirety is an idiotic cry for help from our nation’s legislators.
It’s just a shame that this cry had to be coupled with a crippling of our national defenses and subsequent weakening of the President’s strategy in foreign relations.
The intelligence agencies should never have been shut down, they are vital to the nation’s daily activity and protect us from ruin – all employees should be actively reinstated and allowed to start where they left off – terrorist threats are no walk in the park.