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The partial government shutdown has reportedly opened the door for foreign governments to recruit more spies in the United States.
According to ABC News, about 70 percent of the U.S. intelligence community has been furloughed. As the bank accounts of those on furlough begin to empty, they could be tempted to accept money from foreign powers in exchange for information.
[Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper made this dire warning: “This is a dreamland for foreign intelligence services to recruit, particularly as employees — already many of whom are subject to furloughs driven by sequestration — are going to have … even greater financial challenges.”
Clapper said those on furlough were given counseling to prevent them from going into debt. The U.S. does not allow those with serious debt levels to be given certain security clearances.
Other officials said the furloughs were forcing U.S. intelligence to prioritize terrorism threats and disregard all but the most obvious.
“We can’t cover all of [the threats], so what we’re doing is we’re taking the most significant counterterrorism and other threats that we see … [and] that’s the priority,” NSA director Keith Alexander told lawmakers.
A Senate Republican said the intelligence industry should consider its employment numbers, as a 70 percent furlough rate is high.
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