SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Despite reassuring rhetoric from both sides of the political aisle in Congress, which has grown from a fissure to a continental divide, the government shutdown now entering its second week has halted more than so-called nonessential services. Intelligence officials have expressed concerns about national security with 70 percent of NSA employees furloughed. "The damage will be insidious," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned the Senate Judiciary Committee. "Each day that goes by, the jeopardy increases." The situation, however, appears to have taken a turn for the ironic with telecommunications and Internet service providers reporting dramatic increases in subscribers making phone calls, sending emails and posting on social networks.
Congress has yet to define a clear path for ending the standoff, leading Clapper to describe the shutdown as an "imminent threat."
"I'm truly at a loss to explain what the hell the American people are doing right now," an exasperated Clapper told reporters during a press conference Monday. "They know the majority of our email scrubbers and phone screeners have been furloughed. People know we are not listening to their calls or scrutinizing their online communications. And yet, NSA partners such as Verizon are reporting huge spikes in subscriber activity. How can the public not recognize the threat? Their unmonitored communications are fertilizing a breeding ground for terrorists and spies."
For reasons inexplicable to Clapper, Americans have become more comfortable sharing personal information and engaging in interpersonal correspondence knowing that NSA monitors are not protecting them by reviewing these communications.
"Without realizing it, every person in the country is becoming an Edward Snowden, and we have to do something about it," he said.
Clapper promised that until Congress resolves its issues and allows his employees back to work, he will personally surveil as many random phone calls and emails as possible. He also ordered the remaining 30 percent of his NSA workforce to occupy street corners, malls, coffee houses and other places where people congregate to question individuals about their activities and document the results manually.
"You would think the people of this nation would appreciate a large, brotherly watchman having their backs," Clapper said, confused and dejected. "I suppose that's why it's up to us to save them from themselves."
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