School of the Americas: U.S. Foreign Policy
Posted by Arroyoribera on August 16, 2007
Where does Spokane, Washington fit into the School of the Americas story?
And why include it on a blog dealing with abuses committed by the Spokane Police Department?
Recent revelations in Salon.org, Vanity Fair, the Spokesman-Review, and elsewhere begin to lead us to an answer to that question.
Both Spokane’s SERE/JPRA Program and Spokane psychologists James E. Mitchell and John Bruce Jessen are deeply involved in torture around the world at CIA “black sites” and at US run “detention facilities”–sites and facilities declared “Soviet-style gulags” by Amnesty International and other human rights groups.
We also know that Spokane’s SERE/JPRA Program is known for bringing in foreign nationals for training in resistance training and torture training. So the natural question: How many of the tens of thousands of Latin Americans who have been brought to the U.S. for School of the Americas “counter-insurgency” and other trainings have also received “special” training in Spokane?
The School of the Americas (SOA) is a U.S. Army training school that trains soldiers and military personnel from Latin American countries in subjects like counter-insurgency, military intelligence and counter-narcotics operations. Under Department of Defense jurisdiction, this school is funded by U.S. taxpayer money, all of the training is conducted in Spanish, and most of the classes are taught by Latin American instructors. According to the SOA itself, more than 60,000 members of Latin American militaries have attended the SOA since its inception in 1946.
SOA/ WHINSEC graduates have included some of the worst and most notorious human rights abusers in Latin American history, and for much of the world, the school, under any name, is synonymous with torture and impunity. SOA graduates have led military coups and are responsible for massacres of hundreds of people. Among the SOA’s more than 60,000 alumni 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 Banzar Suarez of Bolivia. SOA graduates were responsible for the Uraba massacre in Colombia, the El Mozote massacre of 900 civilians in El Salvador, the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the massacre of 14-year-old Celina Ramos, her mother Elba Ramos and six Jesuit priests in El Salvador and hundreds of other human rights abuses. Closing the school would send a strong human rights message to Latin America and the world.
Oh, yes. And that last question? Why include a story about the School of Americas and its relationship to SERE/JPRA on a website about police abuses committed by the Spokane Police Department?
Because numerous local law enforcement officials are SERE trained and othewise connected with this dark Spokane underworld of CIA torturers and international enforcers.