Sunday, August 14, 2005

Mad Max on the Peace Corps “Military Option”

Three years ago, Congress authorised a recruitment programme for the military which offers recruits the option to fulfill their post-active duty reserve obligations by serving in the Peace Corps. The military has just begun to promote the programme – hmm, I wonder why – and the first batch of recruits enlisted under the programme will be eligible to apply to Peace Corps in 2007.

Sargent Shriver, the first director of the Peace Corps, asked JFK to keep Peace Corps independent, and JFK agreed not to put Peace Corps under the control of the Agency for International Development. Later, Peace Corps fought to uphold the rules which maintained its reputation of independence and neutrality, i.e. barring intelligence officers from joining Peace Corps and prohibiting former volunteers from working for intelligence agencies.

The primary reason for keeping Peace Corps beyond suspicion of any military or intelligence involvement is the safety of current volunteers. A volunteer suspected of being CIA would be in danger almost anywhere Peace Corps operates, likewise a volunteer known to have served in the military. Keep in mind that Peace Corps continues to operate in Muslim countries.

A related concern is the integrity of Peace Corps. “Leave the Peace Corps alone. Let us have one bright star of foreign involvement that has nothing to do with killing people” – John Coyne, returned Peace Corps volunteer, Ethiopia, 1960s.

Chris Matthews (returned Peace Corps volunteer, Swaziland, 1960s) talked to Mark Schneider, a former Peace Corps Director (1999-2001) and Frank Gaffney from the Center for Security Policy on Hardball. The conversation went from the Peace Corps “Military Option” to CIA involvement: all three agreed that there are no CIA recruits amongst Peace Corps volunteers.

On that note, Max, returned Peace Corps volunteer, Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic, 1992-1994, has a revelation for you. I know for a fact that the CIA actively recruits amongst people who are about to depart on their Peace Corps service. The CIA did not contact me (they are not that stupid) but they did try to recruit at least one of my fellow volunteers. My friend refused their offer, which came with a cash incentive, but I am certain that there are Peace Corps volunteers who take them up on it.

So now it is out in the open: there are CIA informants in the Peace Corps and there will soon be military reservists. The integrity of the Peace Corps has been destroyed. Well done, motherfuckers.

Thanks for the computer time, DD.


Anonymous A-Hole said...

The CIA has eagerly recruited from the Peace Corps for decades.

Peace Corps recruits are seen to be ideal Agency candidates because of their language skills, their familiarity with the cultures in which they volunteered, and their general intelligence (the Peace Corps draws educated, ambitious people).

I don't think it's anything new. In fact, many people immediately suspect non-returning Peace Corps volunteers to automatically be working for the Agency.

The CIA's success in recruiting agents from the Peace Corps keeps them coming back.

What's always surprised me is that so many Peace Corps volunteers are willing to go along with it.

For every volunteer that declines or isn't interested, it seems, another actively accepts.

So long as the Agency has so much success recruiting volunteers, I doubt they'll start looking elsewhere.

But, I tend to agree, the reputation does nothing good for current volunteers and probably jeopardizes at least a few in the more sensitive areas (like the Muslim countries you noted).

The distinction between the military/intelligence communities and the Peace Corps should be more readily protected.

I'm not so sure that recruiting so aggressively helps the Peace Corps, America's reputation (not, apparently, that it could be any worse), or, even, in the long run, the CIA.

In other words, though it should, I'm not sure anything will change.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing in the constitution authorizing Peace Corps.
For all it's good intentions and laudible goals and ideals, the government doesn't have the power to take money from me and give to the Peace Corp.
If you want to keep the integrity of an organization, keep it private and privately funded.

Max said...

Anon, I appreciate your comment. I think it would be better if Peace Corps were privately funded. Aside from the reasons you have given, the fact is that no one trusts Peace Corps anymore because it is government funded and we have a corrupt government.

beamis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
beamis said...

Government is corrupt by its very nature. When you start out with the premise that Big Brother is entitled to a sizeable portion of your assests, through a tax code (in most languages called theft), you are dealing with nothing more than an old-fashioned shakedown.

The presumption is that nearly 50% or more of your productive capacity is to be handed over to your overseers at the federal, state, county and municipal level for your own good. In fact life itself would not be possible without all of these mandarins guiding us through our life journey.

Starting from that pedestal of criminality, is it any wonder that everything coming afterwards is a form of corruption? When power is gained involuntarily, at the point of a gun barrel, there is never any form of accoutability about how it is used.

What amount of stolen assests was the CIA offering you as a signing bonus?

Max said...

Beamis, after I posted my comment I knew that either you or DD would come forward with the premise that "government is corrupt by its very nature." I agree. I can no longer even see how anyone can believe otherwise, unless one accepts naïveté as a valid excuse.

As for a signing bonus, the CIA never contacted me; it was my friend they called, and I no longer remember what they offered him.

beamis said...

Your ability to see this obvious fact makes you special indeed.

Skeeter said...

The proper functions of a government fall into three broad categories, the police – to protect men from criminals, the armed services - to protect men from foreign invaders, The law courts – to settle disputes among men according to objective laws.
..but was is essential here is the principle that the purpose of law and of government is the protection of individual rights.
Today this principle is forgotten, ignored and evaded. The result is the present state of the world, with mankind’s retrogression to the lawlessness of absolute tyranny, to the primitive savagery of rule by brute force.
In unthinking protest against this trend, some people are raising the question of whether government as such is evil by nature and whether anarchy is the ideal social system. Anarchy, as a political concept, is a naïve floating abstraction: for all the reasons discussed above, a society without an organized government would be at the mercy of the first criminal who came along and who would precipitate into the chaos of gang warfare. But the possibility of human immorality is not the only objection to anarchy: even a society who’s every member were fully rational and faultlessly moral, could not function in a state of anarchy. It is the need of objective laws and of an arbiter for honest disagreements among men that necessitates the establishment of government.

In mankind’s history, the understanding of the governments proper function is a very recent achievement: it is only two hundred * years old and it dates from the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution.

*article was written in the late 60’s early 70’s

Ayn Rand
Excerpted Appendix: The Nature of Government
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

Devastatin' Dave said...


Rothbard would disagree with Rand and so would I. As he put it(paraphrasing)- something as important as protection of rihts should not be left to a government monopoly on force any more than some other service.

All 3 functions listed by Rand as the proper function of government can be(or have been)provided by the private sector as proved by Rothbard, Hoppe and others.

Rand wrote: for all the reasons discussed above, a society without an organized government would be at the mercy of the first criminal who came along and who would precipitate into the chaos of gang warfare. My response to that would be, "you mean like the "gang warfare" perpetrated by governments that were responsible for some 200 million deaths in the 20th century?! I'll take my chances with anarchists, thank you.

Skeeter said...

The private entities you say have provided for the proper functions of government, pray tell what were they and where did they exist? As far as your assertion that they "can" exist is, I believe as Rand does, naive in it's conception.

I disagree with Rothbard. It seems like a chicken and egg analogy. You don't trust a government (made up of people), but you'd trust people? That's why you have a propely set-up government to function, as Rand says " an automaton, soley on objective rules of law.

Devastatin' Dave said...

Why do you think you can't have objective laws without governments? Maritime law developed privately.

Law enforcement - private security firms(that already exist, by the way), self-defense

Defense - same as above

Courts - private arbitration firms(that already exist, by the way)

I never said I "trusted" people, I said I'd take my chances with them. I'll ask you the same question, you don't trust ordinary citizens, but you'll trust politicians with a gigantic arsenal and a monopoly on the use of force. To be honest, Rand is the naive one to put her trust in politicians.

Skeeter said...

Terrific example, maritime law consists of the rules and principles- derived from custom, judicial decisions, legislative enactments and international treaties-that govern the legal relationships arising from the transportation of passengers and cargoes on the high seas and other navigable waters. The principal parties affected by the law of admiralty are the crew, the shipowner, the cargo owner, the charterer and the marine insurer.

So what? Should we all live on the high seas now, in some farsical aquatic example of Waterworld? I knew you were a Kevin Costner fan.

And what else did you get in this great example of yours? That's right, pirates. Black Beard, Long John Silver, Dread Pirate Roberts...all perfect examples of gang rule or rule by brute force in an anarchical society.

Private security forces? So the poor can't afford for security so they're screwed, is that what you're advocating? Mind you these security forces existed under a government and operated under laws set forth by governments. And who sets the laws under which this security force can operate. The person who pays for them. Again it boils down to brute force wins.

private arbitration firms? what are they arbitrating? It can't be disagreements in laws, because a government sets those up, so I guess it's whoevers got the biggest cock (I'd win everytime, sniff).

I don't trust politicians, I trust a limited government. And technically they don't have a monopoly on the use of force, only the initiation of force. I always have the right of self defense, much less needed under a government, properly limited, than mob rule I dare say.

beamis said...

Nothing in world history has ever been more savage or merciless than a government. Mob rule never produced the Holocaust (6 million dead)or the Soviet collectivization of the Ukraine (10 million dead) or Mao's Long March (20 million dead) or his Great Leap Forward (11 million dead), not to mention the deliberately terroristic fire bombings and nuclear incineration of innocent civilian populations by the Americans during WW 2.

We can go back through the ages and find similar gargantuan slaughter intiated by the all powerful and omnipotent state.

I'd take my chances with anarchy any day.

Skeeter please explain the 200 million deaths by government in the 20th century. You skipped over it when DD mentioned it previously and I want to know how you can square that with your notion that we are better off when they hold the keys to absolute power as opposed to your so-called mob rule?

Devastatin' Dave said...

The Vikings had an anarchic society in Iceland from c.950 AD to about 1250 AD. It started to crumble when they began to tax themselves.

The Irish, prior to being overrun by the Brits had a clan-based, anarchic society

The Quakers of colonial Pennsylvania had a church-based, anarchic society.

Skeeter said...


The 200 million deaths DD talks about and every example you give of those governments are and were performed by socialistic constructs either fascist or communist, including our own which is closer to fascist (private ownership of the means of production, government control and distribution). I'm talking about a limited government based on a capitalistic politico-economic system, which is the only system compatible with a free society. So I disagree with you. You basically want to abandon everything and say "every man for himself".
Sorry, I'd rather shoot for the ideals that are written in our constitution and bill of rights rather than cast my lots on mob rule.
Besides you guys always want to take advantage of all the advances in the condition of man that our society, as flawed as it is, has achieved when you speak of this anarchical idea. Even Dave can't come up with a modern day example of an arachical society, he's got to go back to the fucking Vikings for crying out loud.
One of the major advantages of a government is that you can devote your time to the things you want to do, not keep looking over your shoulder for the next attack by the angry mob.
(good segway (sp?))
Vikings, eh? They went around plundering and pillaging everything they could find...great example DD. Beamis does sound sound good to you?...sounds alot different than Nazional Socialism.
The Irish, eh? I think you mean the Celts, I won't pretend to know much about them, but I'll wager they were just as blood thirsty and went by mob rule as well, not to sure.
The Quakers? Jeez-ow Dave (Vance brothers), do I really need to argue about religion being the basis of a government? They fled persecution and England to obtain religious freedom in the new world. Sounds more of an example I'd give for good government than what you'd give. They exist in this society because our government can't touch. One of those things in that document known as the Constitution.

I'm sorry guys, men alot smarter than us figured it out over 200 years ago, we need to get to that. No other way is viable, in my opinion. I guess unless you're a Quaker.

Well, hey maybe talk tomorrow, gotta go now.

See you in the funny papers :)

Max said...

Skeeter, segue.

I'll leave the big boys to argue the rest.

Skeeter said...

Of Course, segue!!
thanx Max :)

Anonymous said...

"Why do you think you can't have objective laws without governments? Maritime law developed privately."

Actually, you can't have objective laws, period. "Objective law" is an oxymoron. Laws come from people's opinions enforced with violence. People's opinions are by definition subjective.

"And who sets the laws under which this security force can operate. The person who pays for them. Again it boils down to brute force wins."

That's already the way it works. The 'government' has the most access to the use of force, because most people will only use force as approved by the 'government'. It's just a fact of life that law is the combined product of the use of force in a society.

"Government" is just a label the organization that has the most access to violence uses, and this is in fact a hypocritical organization. If it's right to use force then it's right to use force. Reserving that right exclusively for yourself is hypocrisy. If an organization wants to use force, say to arrest, try, and detain a murderer, OK. But it shouldn't be a hypocrit and tell others they can't do the same thing. If it wants to apply the same rules it applies to itself as far as ensuring the rights of the accused that's fine to. As long as it treats itself the way it treats others. Hypocrisy is wrong, period even if the organization that is committing hypocrisy calls itself "Government".

I'm actually against capitalism, which seems to be what most anarchists on this board are promoting. I think property rights based on possession and use (no landlords and all businesses are cooperatives) is legitimate and the current conception of property rights is artificially upheld by the state. However, I'd prefer anarchocapitalism to statist capitalism. Even if the law is wrong at least its enforcers aren't being hypocrits.