World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

SOA/WHISC Evades Accountability

SOA/WHISC Evades Accountability


School of the Americas Watch
www.soaw.org/newsroom

for immediate release June 3, 2002

Contact: Matthew Smucker 202.903.7257

SOA/WHISC Evades Accountability

As “Board of Visitors” Meets, School Is Engaging in Public Relations, Not Genuine Policy Change

“We can¹t expect this terrorist training camp to reform itself: after all, it refuses even to acknowledge that it has a past, let alone to learn from it.” - The Guardian, UK

Columbus, GA ­ The Board of Visitors (BOV) for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC) is scheduled to hold its first meeting June 3-4. The Institute‹formerly known as the School of the Americas, and popularly known as the School of Assassins‹has heralded the BOV as an “independent oversight” mechanism. The board is mostly comprised of military officials, and reports solely to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

“This school wants to distract people with a public relations smokescreen of accountability,” said Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, a professor at St. Thomas University and author of School of Assassins. “The first step toward justice and true accountability is to close the school. Then a truth commission will need to be installed to explore the full scope of SOA atrocities, and following that we¹ll need to talk about reparations for the thousands of victims in Latin America.”

The SOA/WHISC is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers. Its graduates are consistently involved in human rights abuses and atrocities. In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution. In 2000 Congress authorized the WHISC to replace the SOA. The renaming was widely viewed as the Pentagon¹s attempt to diffuse public criticism and to disassociate the school from its dubious reputation at a time when SOA opponents were poised to win a senate vote on legislation that would have dismantled the school.

“The renaming maneuver has failed to fool the public,” said Nelson-Pallmeyer.

The campaign to close the school continues to grow since the renaming. A broad movement of human rights groups, people of faith, students, veterans and others maintain that the underlying purpose of the school remains the same: to control the economic and political systems of Latin America by aiding and influencing Latin American militaries.

New legislation to close the school (HR1810) was introduced in the House of Representatives last year. Opponents of the SOA/WHISC are preparing for large-scale demonstrations for November 15-17, at Ft. Benning, GA, home of the school. Forty-three people are scheduled for trial in federal court July 8, facing six months for nonviolent civil disobedience at last November¹s demonstration, where 10,000 people gathered at the gates to Ft. Benning.

SOA Watch works to stand in solidarity with people of Latin America, to change oppressive US foreign policy, and to close the SOA/WHISC.

# # #


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>

ALSO:

putin, trump scalpGordon Campbell: On The White House Romance With Russia

Tough on Europe over trade, at the G-7. Tough on Europe over defence, at NATO. And utterly smitten as usual by Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On This Week’s NATO Debacle

For someone routinely cast as a clown presiding over an administration in chaos, Donald Trump has been very consistent about his agenda, and remarkably successful in achieving it, in the short term at least. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Law Society: Rule Of Law Threatened In Nauru

“The recently enacted Administration of Justice Act 2018 is another clear sign of the deterioration of civil rights in Nauru,” the Law Society’s Rule of Law Committee convenor Austin Forbes QC says. More>>

ALSO:

'Fixing' Family Separation: Executive Order Imprisons Families Indefinitely

Amnesty: President Trump signed an executive order today mandating for children to stay with their parents in detention while their asylum claims are processed. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC