Is the DNI competent?

Intel chief suggests US spies might defect over budget impasse

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper seems to think so.

Taking the warnings about the impact of the partial government shutdown to new levels, Clapper suggested Wednesday during a Senate hearing that cash-strapped spies might be tempted to switch national loyalties.

"This is a dreamland for foreign intelligence services to recruit," Clapper said, citing the "financial challenges" facing intelligence employees from both the current stand-off and furloughs driven by the sequester. He said roughly 70 percent of civilians doing intelligence work have been furloughed. 

"The danger here of course (is) that this will accumulate over time. The damage will be insidious. So each day that goes by, the jeopardy increases," he said.


So, basically James Clapper is insulting every intelligence employee, asset and I assume IC government worker out there.  Does he really think our intelligence people are that motivated by money or that hard up?  Yes, assets are money driven but they don’t just run to the other side and say hey, the US isn’t paying well enough can I help you? 

In an attempt to play up the pain of a Government partial, kind, sort of, shutdown once again this administration has succeeded in pointing the doubt inward.

Remember this is the guy who during the congressional hearings on Benghazi said,"I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying ‘no.  Yahoo/NBC

If it’s truly this easy to lose national intelligence assets or employees we are in deep trouble and probably in need of some serious intelligence community investigations.  Starting at the DNI’s officer perhaps.


4 thoughts on “Is the DNI competent?

  1. JB, I share the concern about intelligence assets. Intelligence assets are different from employees of the government or covert services.

    I think the government shut-down is very dangerous to US national security, to GIs engaged in military operations abroad, to military preparedness (many GIs no longer have access to free online foreign language and foreign culture classes . . . which is a very serious problem), and intelligence.

    The Congress and the President need to behave responsibly and pass a budget, or at least continuing resolution. BTW, the blame should be shared by both houses of congress and the executive branch.

  2. Anan, I agree there is plenty of blame to go around. I don’t trust either party at all.

    There would be a fear of assets leaving if we went an extended period with no money for espionage and intelligence collection but not a few days. The money doesn’t work like that. Assets don’t get paid daily and money is money in place for such things. Can this affect daily operations in AFG or other hot spots? Yes if the administration want’s that to happen. This is pure theater at this point and it makes Clapper look like a political lackey.

    But let’s face it the Senate hasn’t presented a budget in years. The President can at least say he sent a budget to Congress. It didn’t go anywhere but there was something to work with. The house continues to send budgets to the Senate which the Senate will not take up, they will not pass their own and go into committee for a final budget. This hasn’t been happening and we have gone through the same BS every year for way to long now.

    What can you do though? With so many American depending on the Government nobody wants to say stop. Nobody wants the gravy train to end. Senators and Congressman continue to set up their districts in order to make it nearly impossible to remove them once in power.

    The Shutdown hurts though. It makes the US look like a bunch of children to the rest of the world. I believe our status and respect has plummeted in the last few years.

    It does however point out the many redundant and wasteful programs we have that seem to go unnoticed when they aren’t funded.

    The sequestration was supposed to doom us. It didn’t. This won’t either but it’s not good none the less.

  3. Government shutdowns are far worse than sequestration. A lot of businesses are screaming because the State Department is unable to issue visas and passports. Embassies being shut all over the world hurts America in many ways, including activities the US does to promote American business internationally.

    Plus the US misses payment deadlines, causing the government to break contracts, pay late payment fees, and not receive services.

    In reality this means that a billion dollars gets us 500 miles of road rather than 700 miles of road. Similarly military systems get much more expensive. Procurement becomes much less efficient.

    There is no way these negative affects can be avoided by the administration if the government is shut.

    In Afghanistan, literacy and other training for the ANSF is being disrupted. Which is a godsend to the Taliban, Al Qaeda and their friends. The training the ANSF needs most is enabler training, pilot training, maintenance/logistics training, and senior NCO/officer training. In many cases these types of training will start being ramped up this year and next year (the edge of the spear was focused on more up to now.)

    Imagine the waste right now. All these government workers are furloughed with deferred pay. Later on they will almost certainly receive back pay for work not rendered. Extraordinarily wasteful.

    You are right to blame the senate.

  4. Don’t get me wrong, the shutdown is bad. Period,

    I am in fact not working right now due to a contract that expired on 30 Sep and we are waiting to see if the new contract is awarded. I feel it personally. But I also know we cannot continue the way things have been going. Over-hyping an issue will only push it further from the publics minds as they ignore everything coming out of Washington.

    “Plus the US misses payment deadlines, causing the government to break contracts, pay late payment fees, and not receive services.”

    I have heard of no contracts being broken at this time. That will come with the debt ceiling debate/debacle in a few weeks. This isn’t a complete shutdown and from what I’ve read our bills will continue to be paid. New contracts may be on hold however.

    I understand you concern regarding AFG training. I really have no comment on that. It may be affected. It may hurt. I don’t have an answer to that problem as this administration has checked out on that issue years ago.

    You are right these Washington games always cost us more.

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