Clapper:  Sequestration disastrous for intelligence programs
DNI James Clapper speaking at the Geoint Symposium in Orlando, Florida
October 10th, 2012
11:16 AM ET

Clapper: Sequestration disastrous for intelligence programs

By Pam Benson

Looming across-the-board cuts to the intelligence community budget will be devastating if Congress fails to act according to the nation's top intelligence officer.

"If sequestration is allowed to happen, it will be disastrous for intelligence," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a group of intelligence officers and contractors gathered at a conference in Orland on Tuesday.

Clapper said every major intelligence program is "in jeopardy of being wounded" because the budget deal Congress passed last year does not allow the intelligence community any flexibility to prioritize needs.

"The current arrangement pre supposes that everything we do in intelligence is of equal import and we all know that's not the case,' Clapper said.

The cuts would be approximately 10% and would impact programs as well as personnel.

Letitia Long, the Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency referred to the upcoming cuts as a "salami slice" leaving the intelligence community with no ability to manage risk. "There's no flexibility to say I want to take all of it one area and therefore stop doing what my lowest priority might be," Long said.

Clapper said the nation is facing the most diverse set of threats he has seen in his nearly 50 year career and called on Congress to "avert this train wreck" when it returns to Washington for a lame duck session after the November elections.

The cuts are scheduled to go into affect in January 2013 if no deal is reached.

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Filed under: Congress • Intelligence • James Clapper • NGA • Sequestration
soundoff (27 Responses)
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    October 16, 2012 at 5:16 am | Reply
  8. NNN

    I bet they wish they hadn't wasted all those trillions over the years now...

    October 11, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  9. Steve

    Glad someone is finally slashing these bloated jerks budget.

    October 11, 2012 at 3:38 am | Reply
    • May Fiat

      The IC and the people that work in those jobs are not bloated jerks and niether is Clapper. He is a hard working man, you are severly misinformed and your comments provide no value.

      October 11, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
  10. George Patton

    Hopefully, sequestration may finally curb the put up jobs by the C.I.A. There have only been far too many of them already, like the 1960 U-2 Incident, the overthrow and subsequent murder of both Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu in 1963 in South Vietnam and the infamous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba just to name three!!! This will be great indeed!

    October 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • May Fiat

      Anyone that thinks sequestration is a "good thing" is a fool. The IC is a large community of very hard working individuals, doing everything they can to keep the world safer. The jobs in the IC are an entire community that is holding up the economy in many states right now – cut those and you will see a decline in our nation and economic stability like never imagined. Gutting defense and the IC is not the answer, I am appalled at the amount of people that are so misinformed about our county, security and the economy. There needs to be infrastructure to keep an economy going, the govt, the defense and IC jobs are the current economic foundation. People better wake up – cause its going to get a heck of a lot worse real soon if these cuts occur – and it will take a long time to recover. Got off the political tyranical train and get back to basics. Without people working, people dont earn, people dont buy, and manufacturing, farming and production ceases – somebody has to work – right now its the govt, defense and the IC providing the jobs – we have to keep this going until we recover economically and get the free market rolling again. I pray for this country, our leaders, and our people to have wisdom.

      October 11, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply
      • George Patton

        Good grief May Fiat, you sound like another misinformed Tea Partier. You seem to ignore the terrible amount of damage done by the C.I.A. around the world. Moreover, if we fail to cut the "defense" budget, the C.I.A. budget and foreign aid this country's ecnomy will one day collapse as other countries will no longer finance our growing deficit. We need to take this country back from the M.I.C.(military-ndustrial-complex)!!!

        October 11, 2012 at 10:54 am |
      • NNN

        You're the one who needs to wake up. That so-called IC dependent economy is a false economy being propped up by exponentially mounting debt, money the government no longer has in other words. It crashed the USSR and it will crash this country. This is what people are waking up to now, the condition is becoming critical. This country won't be worth defending with 50% unemployment, a disintegrated infrastructure, no opportunity, and a third world living standard. You want all that just to support the privileged few in the employ of the government?

        October 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  11. QinPhx

    The American public has no idea what "sequestration" is ... people better pay attention as the impact of cutting 10% across the board will be devastating to high tech smart weapon programs that permit our military to have fewer boots on the ground in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Our congress should be held accountable for not doing their job and finding a way to move to resolution the budget. Shame on them.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      Good grief QinPhx, you sound like another hillbillie Tea Partier from the South. Evidently, you're not aware of all the damage that the C.I.A. did around the world since the 1950's and all the untold suffering and misery brought on by this activity. People need to wise up to this and fast, too!!!

      October 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
      • Steve

        Amen, I think the CIA has contributed more to catastrophe than it has prevented.

        October 11, 2012 at 3:39 am |
      • May Fiat

        Mr. Patton – color me misinformed and T if you like but I believe that preferring work to unemployment and being able to feed my family is just plain smart. To quote pieces of an over used line – "I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide.... would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way...Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think...

        I'll end it there because the misinformed are the ones that dont see the forest for the trees like youreself sir.

        October 11, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
      • May Fiat

        Oh by the way George – this isnt about the CIA only – the IC is all agencies.

        October 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • NNN

      Apparently you're the one in the dark about sequestration. Sequestration is a reduction in projected growth and not a cut to any existing budget, and it is phased in over a decade. All the false publicity promulgated by the bureaucrats speaks to their greed and uninhibited willingness to deceive the American public.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:05 am | Reply
      • mayfiat

        Think what you prefer, but I am certain that those of us in the IC know a bit more than you.

        October 12, 2012 at 9:13 am |
      • NNN

        The facts are that your IC was so far off the mark about Iraq it was pathetic. There were no WMDs whatsoever, there was no serious attempt to build a nuclear weapon, there were no huge stockpiles of (American made) chem-bio weapons. There were HUGE depots of conventional weapons and explosives that you let fall into the hands of the insurgency because your IC felt there was no urgency to secure them. There was a complete breakdown in civil authority because your IC felt there was no urgency to keep the army, police, and civil bureaucracy intact. It is clear that your claim to profound inside knowledge of intelligence information has no credibility, with operations like yours, who needs enemies.

        October 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  12. saeed

    what is needed is force nuke usa and britain and drop 10 nukes on ireland dublin ad belfast also.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
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      Warning, Warning.....Towel Head Alert!!!!!

      October 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • cheng Mein ping

      The Chinese have developed an antidote to the "Stink Bomb"threats from hindus. Billions of american skunks on steroids that will be let loose in India to neutralize the stench.Though I am not sure it will be strong enough. MORAL of story is no need for nukes anymore.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply

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