Did US intel services furlough 72% of their civilian workforce?

posted at 2:01 pm on October 2, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

So says James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, but Senator Charles Grassley couldn’t quite believe it this morning.  Clapper called the government shutdown a “dreamland” for terrorists looking to exploit holes in American national security, but Grassley wondered whether this might just mean that the agencies employ too many people in the first place:

“This is a dreamland for foreign intelligence services to recruit,” Clapper said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Clapper also said the budget stalemate was having a serious impact on U.S. intelligence agencies’ ability to guard against threats to national security.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “From my view, I think this—on top of sequestration…seriously damages out ability to protect the security and safety of this nation and its citizens….This is not just a beltway issue. This affect our global capability.”

The ranking Republican on the panel, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, said he was puzzled by reports that 72% of intelligence agency civilian workers have been furloughed as non-essential.

“The intelligence community either needs better lawyers who can make big changes to the workforce or are you over-employing in those areas?” he asked.  “It can’t be that 70% of the intelligence community is being furloughed and we’re still able to meet our national security responsibilities.”

Grassley’s skepticism isn’t just a knee-jerk reaction.  Clapper has misled the Senate on intelligence activities in the past, and so has NSA director Keith Alexander, who corroborated Clapper’s testimony afterward.  Their credibility on Capitol Hill is already exceedingly low, which points up the problem of keeping both in their positions after their earlier testimony got exposed as false. Who’s going to trust them on staffing and legal issues in the future?

Besides, the federal government can by law continue to fund “essential” services, especially those needed for national security.  If the current administration can’t figure out how to classify national-security operations in the intelligence agencies as “essential” while sending out the National Park Service to build Barry-cades around the World War II Memorial on the Mall, that speaks a lot more to the “dreamland” created by executive incompetence than a food fight over the budget.

Meanwhile, Valerie Plame has some harsh words for Clapper and Alexander and the NSA’s surveillance program, which probably continues unabated:

Also, McClatchy reminds us that Clapper’s friends continue their deep probe into Clapper:

After a public backlash to government spying, President Barack Obama called for an independent group to review the vast surveillance programs that allow the collections of phone and email records.

Now, weeks before the group’s first report is due, some lawmakers, technology organizations and civil liberties groups are concerned that the panel’s members are too close to the Obama administration and its mission too vague to provide a thorough scrubbing of the National Security Agency technologies that have guided intelligence gathering since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Maybe that’s a dreamland for Clapper.

Update: Gabriel Malor has more on the essential/non-essential distinction at AoSHQ.


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NO, obama lied about it.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:03 PM

So says James Clapper……

Intelligence vacuum.

RovesChins on October 2, 2013 at 2:03 PM

So now we know the percentage of the intel organizations used to spy on average Americans, Tea Party types, and Republicans: 72%!

No Truce With Kings on October 2, 2013 at 2:04 PM

I’m sure the ‘Clap” is still being spread..

ToddPA on October 2, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Roger Hedgecock read a memo yesterday, from 0bama…from the day before the Sequestration started…to agency heads, ordering them to make everything as obnoxious as possible for the peasants, while protecting the phoney baloney bureaucrat jobs, with specific instructions of how to ‘make it hurt’ (likely from jarett).
No doubt the same sort of thing was ordered this time.

Another thing is that the House Bill funding the military, also funded civilian contractors. However, after signing, the Punk in Chief said “Just the military. Furlough the civilians”…so that they could whine to the media about how they would lose their homes etc…

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:05 PM

So now we know the percentage of the intel organizations used to spy on average Americans, Tea Party types, and Republicans: 72%!

No Truce With Kings on October 2, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Ahem – that’s the percentage dedicated to foreign intelligence.

Steve Eggleston on October 2, 2013 at 2:06 PM

So now there are only 2,800 people actively listening into our phone conversations and reading our emails instead of 10,000?

MobileVideoEngineer on October 2, 2013 at 2:07 PM

WTF…. withhout the NSA who the Fcuk is gonna read my comments

Bwahahahahaha

roflmmfao

donabernathy on October 2, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Oh noes, the NSA will only be able to read every other email and listen to every third phone call.

HumpBot Salvation on October 2, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Ahem – that’s the percentage dedicated to foreign intelligence.

Steve Eggleston on October 2, 2013 at 2:06 PM

I concur. The average americans intelligence is in fact foreign to them.

nobar on October 2, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Ed, don’t forget that Clapper is in charge of investigating the nsa.

There was an HA link on it yesterday. The foxes are in charge of the hens.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Don’t worry, they’ll still be monitoring all public school teachers blogs for any independent thinking, or non-sense like that…

patman77 on October 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM

New lies from Clapper should not surprise anyone.

Clapper should have been removed from office after his previous lies to congress were uncovered.

Freddy on October 2, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Are we sure it isn’t 57%? Or 205%?

NotCoach on October 2, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Clapper, Brennan and Hagel likely converted to Islam by now, or so it seems anyway. I don’t trust either for nothin’.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Clapper s/b in prison for lying to congress.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:20 PM

So 72% of the staff is non-essential?

If so, why do we need them?

ajacksonian on October 2, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Are we sure it isn’t 57%? Or 205%?

NotCoach on October 2, 2013 at 2:19 PM

It’s ElevEnTYHUnDR@D!!!11!@~@$

Steve Eggleston on October 2, 2013 at 2:23 PM

So, I guess Reggie is not the only one to whom 0bama says

“And make it HURT!!!!!”

LegendHasIt on October 2, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Another thing is that the House Bill funding the military, also funded civilian contractors. However, after signing, the Punk in Chief said “Just the military. Furlough the civilians”…so that they could whine to the media about how they would lose their homes etc…

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Did it fund contractors or civilians? There’s a big difference. Some of the contractors are still at work because their contract was already funded through a certain date. And the active duty are basically working for nothing at the moment. The civilians have all been sent home, though. (None of them in the area I work in are “essential”.)

GWB on October 2, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Another thing is that the House Bill funding the military, also funded civilian contractors. However, after signing, the Punk in Chief said “Just the military. Furlough the civilians”…so that they could whine to the media about how they would lose their homes etc…

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Any links to this? Heck even WND doesn’t have anything on this.

Johnnyreb on October 2, 2013 at 2:30 PM

GWB on October 2, 2013 at 2:28 PM

I’m not in charge of it, and don’t care.

I don’t care if the gov’t ever opens up again.

It’s very obvious how nonessential and thuggish most are.

Out. Enough is enough. They hurt the hand which feeds and sustains their lavish life-styles, and then they mope and threaten the very same hand.

To Hell with all of them!

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Awesome! Close down the fascist NSA! Close down the IRS too, please!

Please, House Republicans, don’t pass any bills to fund the IRS or NSA, ever again! Terminate their funding entirely. This should be the new normal. If we can stop the NSA, IRS and Obamacare America will be primed to experience a new wave of freedom and prosperity. Now all we have to do is bring down the crooked federal reserve banks and a some of the other worst cronies and we’re well on our way.

FloatingRock on October 2, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Johnnyreb on October 2, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Radio show of yesterday.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:32 PM

FloatingRock on October 2, 2013 at 2:31 PM

+ 200 million

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:33 PM

This phony baloney government shutdown is turning into an American Renaissance.

FloatingRock on October 2, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Feds spend $100K for outhouse…

… Army Awards $2,163 Contract for ‘Massage Chair’…

IRS collecting money, not sending refunds during shutdown…

BLINK: Reid offers to talk tax reform if GOP ends federal shutdown…

Just 6.6% of EPA employees deemed ‘essential’…

9 out of 10 IRS workers sent home…

But 1,350,000 still on the job…

NPS Orders Closure of Park that Receives No Federal Funding…

Why I love the Drudge headlines. The entire world sees the Mugabe US of Zimbabwe.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Radio show of yesterday.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I am not buying it. Someone would have a copy of the memo by now and I have not seen squat about it.

Johnnyreb on October 2, 2013 at 2:35 PM

This phony baloney government shutdown is turning into an American Renaissance.

FloatingRock on October 2, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Glorious time for the WWII vets to see their capital, then die peacefully.

Glorious time to witness it all.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:36 PM

This looks like a self resolving issue from here.

dogsoldier on October 2, 2013 at 2:36 PM

I am not buying it. Someone would have a copy of the memo by now and I have not seen squat about it.

Johnnyreb on October 2, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Who cares? Find it yourself. Get a hold of the show.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Somehow, I feel safer…

HiJack on October 2, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Btw, Johnnyreb, the trolls claimed the same on the WWII thread, and then the momoes showed up later.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:37 PM

So now we know the percentage of the intel organizations used to spy on average Americans, Tea Party types, and Republicans: 72%!

No Truce With Kings on October 2, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Ahem – that’s the percentage dedicated to foreign intelligence.

Steve Eggleston on October 2, 2013 at 2:06 PM

I would guess those furloughed are the ones watching AQ, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc – non-essential in the view of this regime – given that the regime is in fact providing them with “weapons of war” in Libya and Syria.
I’m sure Barky considers the people monitoring the NRA, TEA Partiers and conservative web sites to be “essential”.

dentarthurdent on October 2, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Btw, Johnnyreb, the trolls claimed the same on the WWII thread, and then the momoes showed up later.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Sorry no troll bait for me. I will give it the 24 hour rule.

Johnnyreb on October 2, 2013 at 2:40 PM

NSA director admits agency collects data from social networks…

Acknowledges number of terror plots foiled by snooping misleading…

Drudge

———
Johnnyreb, no, not you, I meant to say that the lib trolls did negate…then the memos appeared. Take it easy. It will sort itself out.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:42 PM

LOL we need billions of dollars that we’re unaccountable for in order to protect you. Sounds like another racket I know.

Ya know they’d have a lot more money and need a lot less people if they used more of it on constitutional spying and less unconstitutional spying.

Just a though.

Oxymoron on October 2, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Johnnyreb, no, not you, I meant to say that the lib trolls did negate…then the memos appeared. Take it easy. It will sort itself out.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:42 PM

OK, that’s why the 24 hour rule was invented.

Johnnyreb on October 2, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Another thing is that the House Bill funding the military, also funded civilian contractors. However, after signing, the Punk in Chief said “Just the military. Furlough the civilians”…so that they could whine to the media about how they would lose their homes etc…

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Did it fund contractors or civilians? There’s a big difference. Some of the contractors are still at work because their contract was already funded through a certain date. And the active duty are basically working for nothing at the moment. The civilians have all been sent home, though. (None of them in the area I work in are “essential”.)

GWB on October 2, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Depends. First as GWB noted “Civilian” is distinct from “contractor”. Civilians are Govt employees and all the non-essentials have been sent home, however, it is likely they will get back pay for the hours missed. If not, their unions have already prepped their lawsuits to snatch it back.

Contractors, on the other hand, work or don’t work depending on type of ontract. For example, T&M (Time & material), unless they are deemed mission essential would be sent home. Because basically, the contract only pays for the hours worked/materials expended. A shutdown means no work, hence no hours to bill. These guys will get screwed, because while civilians will get back pay due to politics, the T&M contracts most likely won’t becaue they didn’t work x hours.

Those under cost-plus or firm-fixed-price would likely continue working because in the former, they are contractually bound to provide 40 hrs/week (unless there’s a clause stating that they would only work at govt convenience). So the folks will show up to work and get paid and if the Govt stops them from working or an Act of God, they would still get paid. A recent example would be at Ft Carson, where people still got paid even tho they couldn’t get to work due to Colorado floods. With the latter, the Govt already committed to a firm price and would pay it even if no one worked. the room for manuever here is if the contract holder agrees to refund part of the money – not happening unless a large sum was invoved, ie more than 1 or 2 months shutdown, but the govt would have to know that in advance to start negotiating.

AH_C on October 2, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Why Not?
They haven’t been very effective lately, have they.
We made do with just GI’s manning the headsets for years, we can do again.
You really have to wonder what this government does when it shutters e-Verify (and electronic, net-based service not requiring an operator), puts guards and barriers up at Memorials it doesn’t staff normally, and posts signs along bike paths (etc) that the path is closed due to the shutdown.
Do they really want the voters to realize how many of them are absolutely superfluous?
Here’s a hint DC Drones:
In a real world, if your name’s not on the Snow List, you wouldn’t have a job!

Another Drew on October 2, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Was Clapper “scratching” his head with his middle finger while answering Grassley’s questions?

freedomfirst on October 2, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Little known fact, contractors are not being ‘furloughed’ in may cases, just civil servants. So while 72% of the civil servants may be off, most the of people can still be working and protecting the nation.

Of course this is a painfully obvious exaggerartion!

Shutdown Theater – B movie style.

AJStrata on October 2, 2013 at 3:12 PM

having a serious impact on U.S. intelligence agencies’ ability to guard against threats to national security.

Roger and True That. (That there is ‘intelligence-speak’)

They couldn’t even keep those violent old wheelchair-wielding white men out of the WW-II memorial.

Tsar of Earth on October 2, 2013 at 3:24 PM

By the way, I heard that Tom Clancy passed away last night. He was 66. Now, that patriot undoubtedly knew more about national intelligence than Clapper.

freedomfirst on October 2, 2013 at 3:29 PM

By the way, I heard that Tom Clancy passed away last night. He was 66. Now, that patriot undoubtedly knew more about national intelligence than Clapper.

freedomfirst on October 2, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Not to speak ill of the dead but Clancy was an arrogant liberal blowhard. At the peak of his success he made the comment that it was worthless getting to know anybody who was worth less than a million bucks. He was a good writer but hardly a patriot.

Happy Nomad on October 2, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Wait – why the hell is Clapper still employed? He lies to Congress and keeps his position? Now he testifies again – and we’re supposed to believe him? Is this administration that stupid?/

Hill60 on October 2, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Wait – why the hell is Clapper still employed? He lies to Congress and keeps his position? Now he testifies again – and we’re supposed to believe him? Is this administration that stupid?/

Hill60 on October 2, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Yes and yes.

Myron Falwell on October 2, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Does anyone still believe a word Clapper says..?

d1carter on October 2, 2013 at 4:34 PM

BS Clapper, sheesh, you and Brennan, seems like you are performing a counterintelligence op against the American people.

jake49 on October 2, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Depends. First as GWB noted “Civilian” is distinct from “contractor”. Civilians are Govt employees and all the non-essentials have been sent home, however, it is likely they will get back pay for the hours missed. If not, their unions have already prepped their lawsuits to snatch it back.

Contractors, on the other hand, work or don’t work depending on type of ontract. For example, T&M (Time & material), unless they are deemed mission essential would be sent home. Because basically, the contract only pays for the hours worked/materials expended. A shutdown means no work, hence no hours to bill. These guys will get screwed, because while civilians will get back pay due to politics, the T&M contracts most likely won’t becaue they didn’t work x hours.

Those under cost-plus or firm-fixed-price would likely continue working because in the former, they are contractually bound to provide 40 hrs/week (unless there’s a clause stating that they would only work at govt convenience). So the folks will show up to work and get paid and if the Govt stops them from working or an Act of God, they would still get paid. A recent example would be at Ft Carson, where people still got paid even tho they couldn’t get to work due to Colorado floods. With the latter, the Govt already committed to a firm price and would pay it even if no one worked. the room for manuever here is if the contract holder agrees to refund part of the money – not happening unless a large sum was invoved, ie more than 1 or 2 months shutdown, but the govt would have to know that in advance to start negotiating.

AH_C on October 2, 2013 at 2:54 PM

As a contractor on a firm fixed price contract, I can tell you that just because it is FFP, doesn’t mean that we get to keep working. If we were not on the exempt list then we are sent home and not allowed to bill the contract – which means we don’t get paid. Even though, the price has been agreed to (and in the case of my contract, paid in full through to the first of the year). Even when you are on a FFP contract the contractors still must bill the contract for hours worked. With a Gov’t shutdown we are not allowed by law to bill it unless we are on the exempt list (essential personnel). So the vast majority of us are at home without pay. Yes, you read that right… We’re already paid for, but we don’t get to work it because we can’t bill that contract. Some of us have good companies that are having us work under overhead on other projects, but most aren’t so fortunate.

Passed on October 3, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Did US intel services furlough 72% of their civilian workforce?

If I wanted to know, the last person I’d ask would be the known liar, James Clapper.

RJL on October 3, 2013 at 6:33 PM