Official: Furlough damages U.S. security

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called the shutdown a "dreamland" for foreign intelligence services

By Chris Strohm

Published October 2, 2013 6:26PM (EDT)

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. intelligence agencies furloughed about 70 percent of their workers, creating an “extremely damaging” situation that will get worse if the government shutdown continues, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told lawmakers.

“This seriously damages our ability to protect the safety and security of this nation and its citizens,” Clapper told the Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing today when asked how the shutdown is affecting intelligence operations.

The U.S. government shutdown entered its second day today after Congress couldn’t agree on funding of agencies’ 2014 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. As many as 800,000 federal workers were sent home yesterday without pay.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Clapper said. “This is not just a Beltway issue. This affects our global capability to support the military, to support diplomacy and to support our policies.”

Clapper called the shutdown a “dreamland” for foreign intelligence services to ramp up their recruitment efforts. “From my standpoint, this is extremely damaging, and it will increase so as this shutdown drags on,” he said.

--Editors: Allan Holmes, Elizabeth Wasserman

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at

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