Monday, November 30, 2009

School of Americas: Fort Brenning, GA

"If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocents, they have become outlaws and murderers themselves. And they will take that lonely path at their own peril." -GW Bush, 2001

Interestingly, while the United States was taking this stance to fight against the "axis of evil" in the middle east under the justification of being opposed to all who harbor terrorists, it was training terrorists of its own-- inside the United States, at taxpayer expense.

The School of Americas
is a military training school founded in 1946 in Panama by the US and relocated to Fort Benning, GA in 1984. It specializes in training military skills, typically used for subversive actions against governments. Those who attend the school can be trained in counterinsurgency, military intelligence, interrogation techniques, torture, sniper fire, infantry and commando tactics, psychological warfare, jungle operations, and so on. Since its inception it has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers.

Many of these soldiers end up committing severe human rights offenses-- military coups against constitutional governments, assassinations, murder, beatings, kidnappings, displacement of the poor, imprisonment of children, and civil liberties abuses. Some of Latin America's most notorious dictators and corrupt government officials, like Peru's Juan Alvarado, Panama's Omar Torrijos, and Ecuador's Guillermo Rodriguez, were also trained by the SOA. Often with US support, many of those trained have caused the overthrowing of democratic governments, which are replaced by corrupt dictatorships and oligarchies that oppress and neglect the impoverished masses.

Fort Brenning doesn't even screen the records of the soldiers who go there and as a result, people who are known to have committed war crimes can be stationed there after-the-fact. If that's not training terrorists, harboring terrorists, and committing acts of terror against people and governments, I don't know what is.

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