The Torture Academy

Published on counterpunch.org, by ELIANA MONTEFORTE, June 22, 2007.

Why the School of the Americas is a Black Eye on Democracy – Military of Terror:

2 excerpts: … The military educational facility has been continuously referred to as the “School of Assassins”, since the Panamanian newspaper La Prensa first labeled it as such. It also has been revealed that torture techniques and coup procedures, prepared by Pentagon personnel, had become part of the SOA’s regular curriculum. The school also has been dubbed the “School of Dictators” and the “Nursery of Death Squads,” since rumors first circulated that training manuals promoted interrogation techniques that violated human rights and habeas corpus standards as defined by the U.S. military’s own protocol. Since its founding, SOA graduates have never entirely escaped notoriety for authorizing the raping, torturing and assassination of upwards of tens of thousands of Latin American civilians who had been victimized by death squads under the command of SOA alumni …

… The continuation of White House backing for the SOA and its Fort Benning heir, not only goes against America’s legacy of democracy and civilian control over military forces, but contradicts other U.S. foreign policy initiatives aimed at stressing the peaceful resolution of conflict. It further symbolizes a possibly major political setback to Latin America’s current quest for substantive democracy rather than the faux version which Washington seems to favor with its continued operation of WHINSEC. (full text).

(Eliana Monteforte is a research associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs).

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