Retired CIA officer says government shutdown won't affect national safety

Karen Lehr

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Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com

Retired CIA officer says government shutdown won't affect national safety

By Karen Lehr. CREATED Oct 4, 2013

Although the government shut down continues today, recently retired covert technical operations officer Robert Koellisch says Americans have no reason to fear for national safety.

Koellisch spent more than 23 years working with the CIA and US Army traveling for operations in more than 30 countries around the world.

He retired less than three weeks ago and wants to assure citizens the government shutdown will not affect US intelligence operations.

“As an intelligence officer, I was employed when the last furlough happened and I was overseas at the time and we continued to work,” Koellisch said. “The people in D.C. would be furloughed because it’s usually the non-essential people.”

People like janitors, secretaries and human resource workers may be affected by government furloughs, but Koellisch says CIA, NSA and FBI agents are still hard at work.

“The intelligence community is still working around the clock. What you’re hearing out of Washington isn’t accurate because they’re trying to make a statement,” Koellisch said. “But intelligence collection, intelligence recruiting, all the things an intelligence officer or an intelligence agency does is still going on.”

Most of Koellisch’s 23 years with the CIA was spent doing undercover covert operations.

“I was on a terrorist tracking team and we captured high value terrorists,” Koellisch said. “It’s interesting, it’s hard. My whole career – most of my career- I was an undercover officer, so just living that lifestyle has been at times challenging.”

While undercover Koellisch was prohibited to contact his family. His four year old son is glad to have him home. His new top mission is to spend time with his four year old son and focus on his job as a dad, which according to his son, is to make him food.