July 18, 1996: Headlines: Journalism: Intelligence Issues: Peace Corps Directors - Coverdell: CNN: Journalists and Peace Corps tell Senate they want no CIA ties

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Intelligence Issues: July 18, 1996: Headlines: Journalism: Intelligence Issues: Peace Corps Directors - Coverdell: CNN: Journalists and Peace Corps tell Senate they want no CIA ties

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Journalists and Peace Corps tell Senate they want no CIA ties

Journalists and Peace Corps tell Senate they want no CIA ties

Journalists tell Senate they want no CIA ties

But lawmakers may let president make exceptions

July 18, 1996

Web posted at: 12:15 a.m. EDT

From Correspondent Anthony Collings

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Congress is considering legislation that would let the president, and not the CIA director, decide when to make an exception to a rule banning the CIA's use of journalists. Many journalists want to go further than that and remove all exceptions to the ban.

In Lebanon in the 1980s, terrorists held American journalist Terry Anderson hostage for nearly seven years. Anderson, the former chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press, was falsely accused by Islamic militants of being a CIA spy.


Now Anderson warns the Senate Intelligence Committee that other Americans could be at risk if Congress doesn't close a loophole permitting the Central Intelligence Agency's use of journalists.

"It's dangerous and unnecessary," Anderson said. "We need an absolute and public blanket ban on recruiting and use of journalists and clergy by any intelligence agencies, and also the use of journalistic cover."

But the CIA says it might need a journalist's help in extraordinary circumstances.

CIA Director John Deutch

"I can foresee the possibility of a terrorist group attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in a crowded urban area, where both the president and the nation would look to the agency to use all possible means to detect and deter such an event," CIA Director John Deutch said.

Deutch opposes the House measure that would let the president, and not the CIA director, decide when to make an exception.

CNN President Tom Johnson said in a statement: "Under no conditions should journalists be used as a cover for spying." He added: "There is no need for any type of relationship between CNN and the CIA for the purposes of gathering intelligence."

Missionaries also shun CIA

A former State Department official, who is now a columnist, believes the CIA should be able to use reporters.

"American journalists are journalists, but also Americans," said columnist Kenneth Adelman. "I don't see why they should not feel civic duty, especially when lives are in danger."

Missionary groups oppose the loophole that lets the CIA use them. "Such use of missionary agents for covert activities by the CIA would be unethical and immoral," argued Don Argue of the National Association of Evangelicals.

There's also a controversy over whether the CIA should retain its power to use the Peace Corps.

Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Georgia, who was director of the Peace Corps during the Bush administration, urged the committee to ban intelligence recruitment of Peace Corps volunteers.

"It would be, in my judgment, exceedingly dangerous for our volunteers to be included in a context in which they may be representatives of the CIA," Coverdell said.

Several senior senators think the CIA should have the right to recruit outsiders when there's an extraordinary threat.

"I simply don't see why any profession should be completely and permanently excluded from the possibility of working with CIA or DIA," said Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, the senior Democrat on the committee, referring also to the Defense Intelligence Agency.

But some senators share the concerns of journalists and others that any involvement with the CIA undermines their integrity.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, said that as a result of the debate about journalists, "If they weren't tainted before," they will be now.

When this story was posted in October 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers
The Kerry campaign wants the RPCV vote. Read our interview with Dave Magnani, Massachusetts State Senator and Founder of "RPCVs for Kerry," and his answers to our questions about Kerry's plan to triple the size of the Peace Corps, should the next PC Director be an RPCV, and Safety and Security issues. Then read the "RPCVs for Kerry" statement of support and statements by Dr. Robert Pastor, Ambassador Parker Borg, and Paul Oostburg Sanz made at the "RPCVs for Kerry" Press Conference.

RPCV Carl Pope says the key to winning this election is not swaying undecided voters, but persuading those already willing to vote for your candidate to actually go to the polls.

Take our poll and tell us what you are doing to support your candidate.

Finally read our wrap-up of the eight RPCVs in Senate and House races around the country and where the candidates are in their races.

Director Gaddi Vasquez:  The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
PCOL sits down for an extended interview with Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. Read the entire interview from start to finish and we promise you will learn something about the Peace Corps you didn't know before.

Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.
Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention
Governor Schwarzenegger praised the Peace Corps at the Republican National Convention: "We're the America that sends out Peace Corps volunteers to teach village children." Schwarzenegger has previously acknowledged his debt to his father-in-law, Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver, for teaching him "the joy of public service" and Arnold is encouraging volunteerism by creating California Service Corps and tapping his wife, Maria Shriver, to lead it. Leave your comments and who can come up with the best Current Events Funny?
 Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and can you come up with a Political Funny?

Read the stories and leave your comments.

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Story Source: CNN

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Journalism; Intelligence Issues; Peace Corps Directors - Coverdell



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