Thursday, November 17, 2005

We Do Teach Torture

I think I am pretty well informed, maybe no Attaturk, but I've got a general idea about what is happening in the world. I was not well informed about this subject, and I am sure a lot of people also don't know about the School of Americas sponsored by our government. We train torturers and hit squads, and even insurgents!

The US Army School of Americas (SOA), based in Fort Benning, Georgia, trains Latin American security personnel in combat, counter-insurgency, and counter-narcotics. SOA graduates are responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America. In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution. Among the SOA's nearly 60,000 graduates are notorious dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador, and Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia. Lower-level SOA graduates have participated in human rights abuses that include the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the El Mozote Massacre of 900 civilians.

I'll bet you didn't know that this weekend there are some protests scheduled to shut down the school. Just so you know. Pass it on.

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