As the political gridlock that has resulted in unexpected furloughs for approximately 800,000 American federal employees grinds on, here is an interesting memo from our pals at the NSA:
Despite the fact that there are exemptions to the involuntary furloughs that include activities that are related to national security and the protection of property, apparently, thousands of staff members at the NSA are not considered "essential" since their duties are not "excepted".
Interestingly, in the letter it states that "If you believe that this action is taken as a reprisal for whistleblowing, you may file a complaint with either the MSPB (Merit Systems Protection Board) or the Office of Special Counsel...."
Even during a Washington-wide shutdown, the NSA is concerned about offending the whistleblowers in its midst. That's touching, isn't it?
In a statement to the media, Shawn Turner, director of public affairs for National Intelligence states that:
"The immediate and significant reduction in employees on the job means that we will assume greater risk and our ability to support emerging intelligence requirements will be curtailed.
The fraction of Intelligence Community employees who remain on the job will be stretched to the limit and forced to focus only on the most critical security needs."
So much for Fortress America.