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.