.Revelations that the American intelligence community has been severely hit by the U.S. government shutdown could pose a real threat to the security of the United States. Al Jazeera reported on Oct. 2, 2013, "70% of intelligence staff out in government shutdown." Most Americans appear to agree this is a very critical problem at this time in spite of controversy about internal spying by the U.S. government.
U.S. intelligence officials told Congress on Wednesday that the government shutdown is damaging the intelligence community's ability to guard against threats. Although they are keeping counterterrorism staff on duty, they are worried about staff morale.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that about 70 percent of the intelligence workforce, which includes staff from the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency, has been furloughed. Clapper commented at the hearing on the controversial spy programs, "I've been in the intelligence business for about 50 years. I've never seen anything like this."
The BBC has reported, "U.S. spy chief: Shutdown damaging." According to Clapper morale has been devastated in the U.S. intelligence community. With foreign intelligence agencies probably moving aggressively to take advantage of the weakened situation of the United States at this moment, clearly President Obama should be persuaded to address this problem immediately.