[News] The NYT and the School of Assassins
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Aug 17 13:13:12 EDT 2012
Weekend Edition August 17-19, 2012
School Out? Not Yet
The NYT and the School of Assassins
by JOAN ROELOFS
Saturday, August 11, /The New York Times/ printed a front page article
about the nun, Sister Megan Rice, age 82, who committed civil
disobedience at the Oak Ridge Tennessee nuclear reservation in a protest
against nuclear weapons. The article also informs us that she had been
arrested in 1998 protesting at the School of the Americas in Fort
Benning, Georgia. /The Times/ then notes that some of the trainees from
that school "went on to commit human rights abuses." You might think of
denials of same-sex partner medical benefits, or censorship of soldiers'
mail; in fact, the abuses were (and still are) assassination, torture,
and military overthrow of elected governments.
/The Times/ then states: "The school has since been closed." This is
not the case at all. The name has been changed to Western Hemisphere
Institute for Security Cooperation, with the same curriculum.
The SOA, aka WHISC, is probably the best known locale of foreign
military training, because of the vigil and civil disobedience organized
every November by the School of the Americas Watch organization. Some
mainstream news sources note this event; /The New York Times/ usually
ignores it. Perhaps that is why they think the school is closed; if it
is not in the /NYT/, it can't possibly exist.
SOA graduates include the murderers of Jesuit priests, the lay
missionary and 3 nuns, Archbishop Romero, and the El Mazote massacre of
900 civilians in El Salvador; and many other victims. SOA training
manuals advocate torture. The recent overthrow of Honduras government
was the work of graduates of SOA. Other alumni are 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.
Ecuador, Costa Rica, Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela have withdrawn
participation in SOA.
"Multicultural" education doesn't stop with the SOA. More than 200
institutions in the US train foreign military personnel, and US military
sponsored training occurs all over the world, in our overseas
institutions and in situ. The 571 page State Department Report on
Foreign Military Training for 2010 indicates that approximately 67,100
students from 159 countries participated.
"Education" is offered through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program,
and activities funded through Defense and State Departments. All
armament sales are accompanied by training. The State Department
International Military Education and Training (IMET) is a major
offering. The Expanded IMET (E-IMET) program (arising from criticism of
our past trainees' post-graduate projects---assassination, torture,
military takeovers, etc.) is supposed to teach respect for civilian
control of the military, human rights, and belief in the rule of law.
*Among the DOD **programs is Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET).
**US Special Operations Forces (SOF) train "with friendly foreign
forces. . . The primary purpose of JCET is always the training of US SOF
personnel, although incidental training benefits may accrue to the
Programs exist for combating terrorism, counter-narcotics training,
humanitarian demining, and a whole university of military and civilian
subjects. Civilian government leaders of many countries are also
invited and participate in the trainings.
The WHISC brags that it teaches peaceful skills such as public
administration, but the purpose is clear: when the troops take over a
country they have to know how to do it. Perhaps the DOD has learned
from the experience of Lawrence of Arabia: his men captured Damascus,
but didn't have any public administration skills, so lost it.
Each branch of the military has its own network of schools, the military
academies have exchange programs, there are regional centers, and
civilian institutions have foreign military students. Even military prep
schools can get into the picture; some start at pre-Kindergarten.
Private contractors also perform training.
Some examples of participating institutions among the 200 are the Africa
Center for Strategic Studies (In D.C., Senegal, and Ethiopia); the US
Army JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, NC for Special
Forces training (Green Berets); and the George C. Marshall European
Center for Security Studies (Marshall Center).
Land-grant universities were originally planned to include military
training, and they are today important centers for these programs.
Indonesian special forces---Kopassus---were trained at Norwich
University in Vermont. When this was revealed by a reporter, a scandal
ensued, the reporter was fired from her newspaper, and the program was
shut down. However, the University's president recently announced that
the relationship was resuming.
Among the many countries participating in our military training are
Sweden and Switzerland, sometimes thought to be neutral. They are
affiliated with NATO, in a "Partnership for Peace" status. So also is
Russia, and its troops joined ours in anti-terrorism training this May
in Colorado. Another odd grantee is the tiny Pacific island nation of
Tuvalu, as Lora Lumpe points out in her excellent 2002 Report on
One goal of these programs is to enable foreign military forces to
support combined operations and "interoperability" with US forces.
Military hardware is also advertised and demonstrated, being an
important part of US exports.
The larger picture is positioning the US as a "holding company" for all
the world's militaries. These are also being groomed to penetrate
civilian governments, in some cases by the old fashioned military coup.
More sinister is the influence our past trainees, now heavily
represented in foreign defense ministries, exert on the temporary
elected governments in countries considered democracies---especially
those considered the most democratic, such as Sweden and Denmark.
Currently fashionable "networking" is indeed a potent technique of US
/*Joan Roelofs* is Professor Emerita of Political Science, Keene State
College, New Hampshire. She is the translator of Victor Considerant's
Principles of Socialism
Press, 2006), and author of Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of
Press, 2003) and Greening Cities
and Littlefield, 1996). Web site: www.joanroelofs.wordpress.com
joan.roelofs at myfairpoint.net <mailto:joan.roelofs at myfairpoint.net> /
/An article related to this one, concerning the NATO empire, is "The
Bananazation of Europe." Spinwatch (September 24, 2007). Available by
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the News