So, you know how the US government all shut down because US Congress failed to come up with a budget to pay the employees? Well, the members of the special committee set up to investigate the intelligence community just threw in the towel too. But they weren't even getting paid in the first place.
In what appears to be an odd act of solidarity, the five-member Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies has effectively shut itself down. The group last met on Tuesday, albeit without former CIA director Mike Morell, who said he just couldn't participate. "I simply thought that it was inappropriate for our group to continue working while the vast majority of the men and women of the intelligence community are being forced to remain off the job," Morell told Politico. "While the work we're doing is important, it is no more important than -- and quite frankly a lot less important -- than a lot of the work being left undone by the government shutdown, both in the intelligence community and outside the intelligence community." He added, "How could this be more important than kids starting cancer trials at NIH?"
That's a damn good point, former CIA director Mike Morell. And don't forget about all of the scientific research and space exploration that's not getting done either. However, our dejected spy friends are lucky, because they'll be some of the first employees who get to go back to work thanks to the Pay Our Military Act, which is designed to keep the pay cheques flowing to defence workers. Though, as I mentioned, the Review Group's lack of action has little to do with money. They're all volunteers.
What a government. The bean counters get in a fight, then nobody gets paid, and then even the people that aren't getting paid don't want to work anymore. I guess we're doomed to wait a bit longer for all that "reform of the intelligence community" the president was talking about a few weeks ago. Maybe next year! [Politico]