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The School Of Assassins
Author: BobR    Date: 11/16/2007 12:58:23

With the WarOnTerra™ (cleverly disguised as the Occupation of Iraq) dominating the news cycles for the last several years, it's always discussed in an olde western movie framework. The United States is always the one wearing the white hats, trying to save the damsel of freedom tied to the railroad tracks of terrorism. It seems we always paint ourselves as the good guys, and deride "them" as the ones who torture, who kill innocents and - worst of all - train their people to engage in these despicable acts.

Flying under the radar, though is a little known reality. We train terrorists. We train assassins. We do the same thing. It's commonly known as the School of the Americas, although the name was changed in 2001 to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in a failed attempt to convince detractors that the SOA had been closed. We are not so easily fooled.

Started in Panama in 1946, and moved to the U.S. at some point after 1984, the school "has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics..." (per SOAW). The graduates then go on to use their newly developed skills and knowledge to terrorize the occupants of their own countries.

Also from the SOWA site:
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.

Even though the school is little known in the U.S., it was even less known before 1989. However, on Nov 16, 1989, graduates of the school massacred 6 Jesuits in El Salvador. This action inspired a priest to protest the school and he has returned every year on the anniversary of the action. Over the years, the protest has grown larger. This weekend marks the anniversary; this weekend is the protest. It is attended by people from all areas of the country, a large number of them from religious organizations.

I attended the protest last year, and it was an amazing experience. Sadly I will be out of town this weekend, but may be able to catch the end of it on the way home. Check out the SOWA website, read the articles, and get inspired. We cannot hope to eliminate torture and terrorism in other countries when we teach it in our own backyard.

Not in our name. Not on our soil.


96 comments (Latest Comment: 11/17/2007 00:47:32 by velveeta jones)
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Comment by BobR on 11/16/2007 13:04:28
Morning folks... :coffee:



I hope y'all have a great Friday and a great weekend. I (and the little lady) will be on the road or otherwise incommunicando all weekend, so I hope some of you can carry our slack...

Comment by velveeta jones on 11/16/2007 13:12:43
Darn, missing ya'll already!



Great post BobR. I am amazed at how little the "main stream" America people know of the SOA! They need to be informed. btw, I loved when they changed the name.....added the word "security" in the title. D'OH.

Comment by Raine on 11/16/2007 13:24:00
LEt me make myself clear... I am not little , I am not a lady, I love my wife.... Good morning everyone! we will be toughing base via lap tops and wireless internets when we can. And yes. thanks BobR for talking about this very important subject. It becomes even more relevant when Eric prince (the CEO of Blackwater) has addmitted to *contracting Chilean guear workers for security in Iraq.... Yeah the pinochet type of gueards... HEYA :cheese:!!!

Comment by TriSec on 11/16/2007 13:24:57
Morning, comrades!



4F is not on auto-pilot...your Loyal TriSec is here in the left-hand seat.





Comment by velveeta jones on 11/16/2007 13:34:01
Hey Raine, Good morning! Where ya'll going? Or, is it a big secret? Vegas? teehee......

Comment by TriSec on 11/16/2007 13:51:32
Well, we're having a mountain of system problems today. Going to be a whale of a Friday.





Comment by Grumpymann on 11/16/2007 14:07:33
Just got a NEW GPS last night!

And I have to take it back today....

No bluetooth...... No sale.

Comment by Grumpymann on 11/16/2007 14:12:41
Quote by velveeta jones: Hey Raine, Good morning! Where ya'll going? Or, is it a big secret? Vegas? teehee......


DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

marriage SUCKS!

(though I love my wife! She is the best! She is the sun the moon and the stars. The very air I breath. The reason I rise in the morning. Her very name is my souls whisper for the word joy)

Comment by TriSec on 11/16/2007 14:17:18
What? You mean Keith started from humble beginnings and rose to the top of his profession by hard work and long hours?



He didn't just waltz into the studio and get a show????



shock, horror....



Comment by starling310 on 11/16/2007 14:18:17
Goooooooooood morning Campers! And, Happy Friday.





Starting listening to the Naomi Klein Shock Doctrine Audiobook.





INtense.

Comment by Grumpymann on 11/16/2007 14:21:57
Quote by starling310: Goooooooooood morning Campers! And, Happy Friday.





Starting listening to the Naomi Klein Shock Doctrine Audiobook.





INtense.


What is it about?

Comment by livingonli on 11/16/2007 14:26:28
Good morning all.



It looks like it's up to us to keep the party going and for me today is my Monday.

Comment by starling310 on 11/16/2007 14:29:00
Quote by Grumpymann:
Quote by starling310: Goooooooooood morning Campers! And, Happy Friday.





Starting listening to the Naomi Klein Shock Doctrine Audiobook.



INtense.


What is it about?






In a nutshell, it's about Milton Friedman and culture of Capitalism that he created, which profits from disasters or "Shocks" such as Katrina and 9-11.

She interviews Gail Castner, who was subject to shock therapy in the 50's. It's pretty chilling what Dr. Cameron believed; you could erase people's minds and rebuild them to meet your needs.



Comment by TriSec on 11/16/2007 14:30:49
Oh, and I asked the other day from out of the blue...



Does anybody here speak Esperanto?





Comment by livingonli on 11/16/2007 14:30:58
Since the polls shows Edwards does best against any Republican candidate, let Fox Noise shoot her down and give us the candidate wo can really crush them in '08.

Comment by starling310 on 11/16/2007 14:31:52
Quote by TriSec: Oh, and I asked the other day from out of the blue...



Does anybody here speak Esperanto?







I do not.

But, I do speak Desperado if that helps.



Comment by livingonli on 11/16/2007 14:33:09
I don't even speak Pig Latin.

Comment by Grumpymann on 11/16/2007 14:35:58
Quote by TriSec: Oh, and I asked the other day from out of the blue...



Does anybody here speak Esperanto?





Sorry

I'm not

Polish.



From what

I know most people who do are Polish. Well more people from Poland speak it than any other country.

Comment by starling310 on 11/16/2007 14:36:01
Charisma won't save the Middle Class.





Comment by livingonli on 11/16/2007 14:40:46
Oliver North, if you want to talk terrorism, what about the Contras and their role in drug trafficking which according to your diaries you knew about?

Comment by starling310 on 11/16/2007 14:44:06
Alright Ladies. Ladies. If you're gonna argue, get naked first.

Comment by Grumpymann on 11/16/2007 14:45:25


Comment by Grumpymann on 11/16/2007 14:46:09
Quote by starling310: Alright Ladies. Ladies. If you're gonna argue, get naked first.




Comment by livingonli on 11/16/2007 14:47:13
What about Jello mud wrestling?

Comment by starling310 on 11/16/2007 14:49:31
"Do you want to bunk with me?"

Comment by livingonli on 11/16/2007 14:51:51
Quote by starling310: "Do you want to bunk with me?"


I believe it is funk.

Comment by starling310 on 11/16/2007 14:52:26
CHRIS!



Ugh...



I am so sick of this attitude that Hillary is a foregone conclusion.

She only is if we allow it!



Comment by starling310 on 11/16/2007 14:53:32
The Clapping and Heckling was the best part of the debate!

Comment by starling310 on 11/16/2007 14:55:11
I did say that last night; can't we just have all of them?



Comment by wickedpam on 11/16/2007 14:56:34
Morning! :hug:

Comment by Grumpymann on 11/16/2007 14:58:03
Quote by wickedpam: Morning! :hug:


hello

Comment by starling310 on 11/16/2007 14:59:08
Hey Mala.



How's the froat and sinus?

Comment by livingonli on 11/16/2007 15:00:06
Morning Mala. How are you feeling today?

Comment by wickedpam on 11/16/2007 15:04:13
Grump!







Feeling much better - not swallow glass any longer and everything else is clearing up too

Comment by wickedpam on 11/16/2007 15:11:28
Okay the one with Dr Evil is funny :lol:

Comment by wickedpam on 11/16/2007 15:15:34
Canada make stellar Ice Wines! Jackson Triggs

Comment by wickedpam on 11/16/2007 15:29:41
What was that bumper?

Comment by livingonli on 11/16/2007 15:36:23
Mmmm...cheese.

Comment by TriSec on 11/16/2007 15:44:53
Hey folks here for I don't know how long we've been having system problems all morning so maybe 4F is on autopilot don't crash it now.



:peace:



Comment by Mondobubba on 11/16/2007 15:48:31
federal reserve whack job. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

Comment by starling310 on 11/16/2007 15:48:45
A stick up the butt Ron Paul supporter. Great.



Comment by Mondobubba on 11/16/2007 15:49:12
You, sir are an idiot

Comment by starling310 on 11/16/2007 15:49:23
Doesn't Ron Paul also want to do away with things like Libraries and Fire Departments?



Comment by Mondobubba on 11/16/2007 15:49:55
Morning :hug:

Comment by livingonli on 11/16/2007 15:51:13
Quote by starling310: Doesn't Ron Paul also want to do away with things like Libraries and Fire Departments?



I think so. They are big on privatizing everything. But Ron Paul also has the associations with the militia movement and other far right fringies.

Comment by starling310 on 11/16/2007 15:51:35
Hello Sir Mondo. :hug:

Comment by livingonli on 11/16/2007 15:52:19
The same conversation on Ron Paul is going on over at AAP too.

Comment by wickedpam on 11/16/2007 15:52:33
Hey Mondo!

Comment by Mondobubba on 11/16/2007 15:59:45
-gloating- Tri, I have an autographed copy of The House Trane Built

Comment by Mondobubba on 11/16/2007 16:03:16
Quote by wickedpam: Hey Mondo!




Mala! Hiya! :hug: