Job Openings for Spies and Interrogators

Friday, August 27, 2010
(graphic: Tickle the Wire)

The Obama administration has been criticized by those on the left for its continuation of many Bush-era policies on terrorism. But one area where it differs from the previous administration is in its recruiting of spies and interrogators.

As it did under George W. Bush, the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) runs a secretive operation while going after terrorist threats around the world. But under Obama, JSOC has gone public with its job openings. On the employment website, USAJobs, JSOC posted notices for “intelligence specialist” and “future operations specialist,” among others, although some have since been taken down.
The notice for intelligence specialist warns applicants that the position “may be required to deploy, on very short notice, to potentially high threat, hostile OCONUS [Outside the Continental United States] environments and to undergo specific training and immunization requirements as appropriate for OCONUS deployments. Anthrax vaccination will be required. Incumbent may be required to perform duties under austere and potentially hazardous conditions during exercises and real-world crisis deployments.”
JSOC’s openness with locating candidates for special access programs (SAPs) and other secretive work has surprised some in the military. “Under the Bush administration, we certainly were not advertising at USAJobs for these types of positions,” one military source told Jeremy Scahill at The Nation. “It blows my mind to see ‘help wanted’ ads for SAPs and special reconnaissance programs.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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