Fata Morgana (chimerically) wrote,
Fata Morgana

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School of the Americas

Today I looked up more information about School of the Americas, now called the "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation." A few weeks ago we watched part of the video "School of Assassins" in my political and economic development class. The School of the Americas is where foreign militaries, especially in Latin America, send people to learn guerilla, "counter-insurgency," and psychological warfare tactics. Many of its graduates have been involved in or architects of horrible atrocities in their countries, including torture and assassination of human-rights advocates and others whose actions might decrease the country's sympathies to the U.S. and the current balance of power. The school is in Fort Benning, Georgia, and is paid for by the US government (that means our taxes!). Based on atrocities that happened in the eighties that have just recently been released under the Freedom of Information Act after a ten-year protection period, Congress cut funding to the school in 2001 which shut it down, but the school re-opened shortly after that with a new name and minimal changes to its curriculum, and was funded again because the new form of the school isn't proven to be as harmful as the last ... even though the changes were minimal and were definitely not in the direction of human rights. Congress probably won't consider shutting down the school again for another 10 years, when information about the atrocities committed by graduates of this "new" school are made public.

Last week zestyping told me about annual protests over SOA that happen at Fort Benning. Some people trespass and are arrested and jailed for two months. Some do this year after year. However, last year, the jail period was increased to 6 months because of anti-terrorist measures.

It's days like this that I feel like the world is a shitty place and I can't possibly do anything about it that will have any kind of impact. :~(

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