Response to Charles Smith's Testimony

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Special Reports: March 24, 2004: The House holds Hearings on Safety and Security of Peace Corps Volunteers: March 24, 2004 - PCOL Exclusive: Executive Summary of House International Relations Committee hearings on Safety and Security of Peace Corps Volunteers : Response to Charles Smith's Testimony

By daniel ( - on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 9:36 am: Edit Post

First of all Charles Smith has been there for over eight years now. Now, he is trying through legislation to keep himself on as Inspector General for ten year period. Example: We had this with his friend Chuck Baquet as the deputy director and director, director in transition and whatever else,so he could run peace Corps policy behind the scenes during a period when safety breeches were at a zenith.

The results were unsafe policies which led to volunteers falling victim to violence and many dieing during his tenure. They never changed direction and it was a disaster for all of us. These are the lessons learned. Ok, there have been changes and it has helped. I admit Charles Smith has been helpful in these changes at times. There is no question. But, his time at Peace Corps is also dubious.

He has made policy changes and I applaud him for taking safety out of the hands of medical services. Definitely a step in the right direction.

However, I don't think ,Mr. Smith, you have gone far enough in your analysis of volunteers serving on the ground nor do I think you have been convincing enough with the agency to pair volunteers together for prevention of violence. If your assumption is that it won't work, then how about try it for three years and then look at the trends in violence.

Also, for me Mr. Smith. I have not been able to read the suggestions or recommendations of my case that was reported by your Inspector General report on my case. Your offices investigative report to the director was blocked under National security. However, I will be getting them soon.

You know something Mr. Smith. No matter what the results of that recommendation you have done the wrong thing. You have helped the cover up at Peace Corps in my case and you are probably doing it in other cases too. I will go as far as to say that. "Don't hide behind jurisdiction". You have a responsibility to "volunteers" who are the program.

Mr. Smith, it is not a national security matter, Mr. Smith and you know it. Those individuals who came to my site threatened me with a weapon and harassed me as a Peace Corps Volunteer got away with it and your office helps them terror type individuals get away with it. Instead, you turn on me as a volunteer saying it didn't happen and lie. Why do you lie? Because none of you were there. From my point of view, you are now helping those unscruplous individuals who threatened my safety in service. They are probably doing it to others serving too. There is no prosecution,no accountability and no transparency.

It is the attitude of blame the volunteer.

Now, more and more volunteers who have gone through these tragic type of events and security issues worse than my own, the Peace Corps continues to cover and not help victims of violence especially in your office. That is why we need and Ombudsman, more than that we need lawyers in our cases because there is no precedent for our cases. Instead, we fall to the apathetic you, or the Director or some other staffer who has not experienced a direct threat to their safety. Then people like yourself determine what we experienced. This will change.

In our only conversation, you said in a vindicative manner about my Federal Court filing, "and when you went to court you failed, didn't you". Let me tell you something "mr. Unprofessional". Remember, what I said back to. "The Congress will deal with you". Mr. Smith I see you had to testify here. I don't lie Mr. Smith. You did have to explain yourself and you may have to more and more.

By the way, the last time I filed in court, the judge wrote "it appears you have been wrongfully denied federal employment compensation". That is fifteen years, Mr. Smith. Let me say for my whole family you have not been helpful.

What it really is, Mr. Smith is Omission, Fraud and Abuse. That comes under your office. Your actions will come under scrutiny more and more. Not just in my case. There will be others. There are too many us, you have directly disserved in your so called job.

You may have friends on the committee and they do like you. But, I have friends too. I joined Peace Corps to do good things not to be "jumped and threatened by a bunch or thugs in the bush."

You should start really do your job independently.

Let me give you some advice. Stop looking at volunteers who go through these type of situations as your problem. Get out of the Peace Corps office box and understand our rights need to be respected to as Peace Corps Volunteers.

Daniel Pailes

Let us look at his record since 1997 2000 plus volunteers have been victims of violence. Since 1996, 31 volunteers have been killed, have died or are considered missing. These are the facts.

By Kevin Lee Croft ( - on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 7:44 pm: Edit Post

Daniel Pailes,

I support your testimony 100% and congratulate you heartily for daring to speak out. I was in Benin, West Africa from '92-'94 as a community forester. My service was marred by theft, harassment, and physical violence as daily events. The situation was exacerbated by Peace Corps administrations callous indifference to volunteer safety as well as the fact that we were all being forced to take mefloquine.

My personal opinion, based on first hand experience, is that Peace Corps is deeply corrupt
and in need of purgation followed by major restructuring.

Kevin Lee Croft
RPCV, Benin '92-'94

By Daniel ( - on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 6:53 pm: Edit Post

Thank you Kevin,

I appreciated Mr. Poiriers input about having an individual organization that does not have a tie to Peace Corps. I think that would help in a check of Peace Corps cracks.

I appreciate you for affirming our concerns.

Good Luck, Daniel

By Anonymous ( - on Monday, November 14, 2005 - 4:22 am: Edit Post

How long has Mr. Smith been serving now?

I would say at least ten years now?

Is that safe? Is that right?

How many volunteers who have been wrongfully separated and go to him or assistance and come up with nothing?

His office is not helping against Fraud and abuse. They have perpetuated it at Peace Corps.

The Congress let's it happen. That is why civil rights violations continue to happen to victims of violence in service with safety and health issues.

Corruption is what it is. 31 Volunteers killed died or missing and 2,900 victims of violence and nothing has been done for the families of victims nor the volunteers.

The Congress tries to mute our concerns. And former volunteers who have not gone through safety and health issues try to muffle free speech from former volunteers who have gone through safety and health issues.

These issues are not going away and a class action suit is being filed.

Former volunteer

By Anonymous ( - on Saturday, February 04, 2006 - 1:40 pm: Edit Post

pailes doesnt smoke weed he just rides the whitehorse...barebacked

By Anonymous ( - on Tuesday, October 17, 2006 - 6:31 pm: Edit Post

I was serving on a free-range mink farm in senegal from 95-97. I suffered much violence at the hands of local marauding touraegs and also some rogue minks who strayed from the herd. I filed a complaint with Mr. Smith but have been silenced by threats such as finding mink pelts on my porch with the word "YOU" shaved into that fine ebony hair. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and shudder everytime i see a squirrel as it reminds of the fur riddled horror of being mauled within an inch of my life by a rabid mink. I applaud and support your efforts Daniel

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