|By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, July 14, 2001 - 10:51 am: Edit Post|
Testimony of Senator Coverdell:
The committee should put the Peace Corps aside. It should not be used for intelligence.
It is dangerous for volunteers to be in the context of the CIA. The former CIA was not allowed to use them.
I was director of the Peace Corps during the Bush administration. We entered Eastern Europe. Solidarity asked, Are the volunteers CIA?
It would raise doubts across the entire Corps. It would put the volunteers at risk. We lost a volunteer in Bolivia because they said he was DEA. We need to ratify an exemption for the safety of the Corps. It should be a separate facility.
By letter dated April 2, 1984 the permanent ineligibility of volunteers to join the CIA is established. They are ineligible to join any other intelligence agency for ten years after the end of their service. This can be greater than ten years, if the general counsel so determines.
Senator Specter said that Mr. Deutch was in favor of the exception from the blanket ban if:
1. It could save the lives of hostages
2. There was a terrorist threat
Senator Coverdell said there could be no exceptions because it would undermine the whole thing. Given the large size of the existing intelligence community, exceptions were not necessary.
Senator Specter asked whether the prohibition worked to protect the volunteers.
Senator Coverdell replied that it did. Their safety has been a concern since the inception of the Peace Corps. They are without assets. If you violate their exemption from intelligence involvement at any one point, you have done it across the board.
Read the full stestimony here:
Coverdell Testimony on The CIA's use of journalists, clergy, and Peace Corps