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Shutdown jeopardizes national security, intelligence official warns

Oct. 2, 2013 at 1:52 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- The government shutdown jeopardizes national security, James Clapper, President Barack Obama's principal intelligence officer, told a Senate hearing Wednesday.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on an unrelated matter, Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence and top adviser to the president, the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security, said the shutdown "seriously damages our ability to protect the safety and security of the nation," noting the U.S. intelligence community has furloughed 70 percent of its employees.

He called the shutdown, now in its second day, "a dreamland for foreign intelligence service, to recruit ... employees, many of whom are subject to furloughs driven by sequestration, are going to have ... even greater financial challenges."

Clapper's comments underscored the risk that intelligence and law enforcement officers may fall into personal debt, and paying off debt is a key sales point foreign governments offer potential spies, ABC News said.

He added adjustments to the current intelligence workforce will be made according to "what we see as the potential imminent threats to life and property. Each day [of the shutdown] that goes by, the jeopardy increases."

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