Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted that furloughing “nearly three-quarters of the workers at the government’s intelligence agencies” due to the shutdown “put the United States at greater risk of terror attacks.”
According to McClathcyDC, “lawmakers, former intelligence officials and national security experts say they were shocked that the administration furloughed the bulk of federal workers at 16 intelligence agencies, many of them tasked with the most important job in government: safeguarding lives.”
Former CIA Director Leon Panetta said a justification for the furloughs was “difficult for [him] to understand.” He added: “People that are involved in our intelligence are critical. You can’t possibly put 70 percent on furlough and not harm national security.”
Under pointed criticism that the administration purposely furloughed those whose absence served to “dramatize” the shutdown, White House spokesman Jay Carney claimed, “The president is, of course, taking every step necessary… to ensure the security of the American people.”
Carney added, “There are consequences to [a] shutdown, and they extend far beyond closures of parks and memorials or other things that we’ve heard a lot about.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.