• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 2 maart 2013

The Empire 902


How the Bush administration sold the war – and we bought it

We knew WMD intelligence was flawed, but there was a larger failure of officials, media and public to halt the neocon juggernaut
Colin Powell makes his presentation to the UN in February 203, ahead of the Iraq invasion.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell holding up a vial that could be used to hold anthrax, in his presentation to the UN in February 2003, ahead of the Iraq invasion. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/EPA
It has been 10 long years since "Shock and Awe" – the opening bombardment of Baghdad – lit up the skies above the Tigris. A decade later, we know far more about the case the Bush administration made to the world to justify its war of choice to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Books like Hubris by David Corn and Michael Isikoff, and British commission and US Senate reports have catalogued the extent to which intelligence was misused to mislead the public.
Yet, even as the intervening period has brought profound change for theUnited States and its role in the world, have we learned the lessons of that disastrous period? And what were those lessons?
For nearly a year prior to the invasion, President Bush and his administration peppered the airwaves with serious accusations against Saddam Hussein, including claims of aluminum tubes that could be used in centrifuges to enrich uranium, and of Iraqi efforts to purchase uranium yellowcake from Africa. The intelligence supporting the claims was either not believed or was highly disputed by the experts. But that did not stop senior government officials from repeating them incessantly; nor did it prevent the powerful neoconservative ideologues who were the war's most fervent supporters from parroting them with menacingly jingoistic passion.
Who can forget the trademark line, delivered by Condoleezza Rice:
We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.
As a covert CIA operations officer working frantically in the months before the war to find and verify hard intelligence about Iraq's presumed WMD program, Valerie was keenly interested in watching Secretary of State Colin Powell address the United Nations on 6 February 2003. His reputation and service to the United States was stellar, and he was viewed as the lone moderate inside what many others considered to be a hawkish cabinet.
As Valerie watched the speech unfold on TV from CIA headquarters that morning, she experienced what can only be described as "cognitive dissonance". It became clear, as Powell laid out the case for war (with CIA Director George Tenet sitting conspicuously just behind the secretary's right shoulder), that his robust claims about the state of Iraqi WMD simply did not match the intelligence which she had worked on daily for months.
Powell's claim from a discredited defector code-named "Curveball" on Iraq's biological weapons capability was particularly alarming. Valerie knew that "Curveball" had been deemed a "fabricator" by the agency, meaning that none of his intelligence could be believed.
The implications suddenly become obvious: we were watching a kabuki play and the outcome was predetermined. The Bush administration was determined to go to war, however bad the intelligence, and not even Secretary of State Powell was going to stand in the way.
Joe, too, watched Powell's speech, wondering whether the secretary would repeat the statement, first made by President Bush in his state of the union address several days earlier , that "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." At the request of the CIA, Joe had investigated that claim in February 2002, as it pertained to Niger and had reported back to the agency that there was no evidence to support the charge. Tellingly, Colin Powell made no mention at the UN of any Iraqi effort to seek uranium, either from Niger or anywhere else in Africa.
Rumors of a Niger-Iraq uranium deal had first surfaced in Rome in 2001, as documents purporting to be related to the sale of 500 metric tonnes of yellowcake (a lightly refined uranium ore) circulated in intelligence circles and among journalists. Those documents were later found to be forgeries, but by the time the charge made its way into the president's speech, it had already been largely discounted by both the State Department and the CIA. The agency's director told the White House three times not to use the claim because the CIA believed it to be false.
The now infamous 16 words made it into the state of the union speech only by agreement between the White House and the CIA to attribute the charge to the British government, which had published such a claim in its "White Paper" on Iraq, in September 2002. Unfortunately, as then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw testified to the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee in June 2003, the British claim had been based on separate intelligence from the forged documents, and that the British had not shared their intelligence with the US government.
In sum, we are left to believe that a significant part of President Bush's case for war was based on intelligence that neither he nor his intelligence officials had even seen. The declassification of several documents in recent years, and a US Senate investigation report published in 2008 conclude that there was far closer collusion between the Bush and Blair administrations than the Straw testimony suggests. Yet, the British government to this day continues to stand behind its "separate intelligence" – which it has yet to make public.
The Powell address to the UN and the Niger-Iraq saga are but two examples of the efforts of the Bush administration to manipulate intelligence to support its political objectives and the lengths to which it went to secure support for its war. As former White House press secretary Scott McClellan put it:
"Bush and his White House were engaging in a carefully orchestrated campaign to shape and manipulate sources of public approval to our advantage."
That it was so successful is an indictment of a corrupt administration. But it is also emblematic of the failure of the checks and balances that are the hallmark of our democracy. As Obama appointees John Kerry and Chuck Hagel can attest, the US Congress was ineffective, to say the least, in the exercise of its oversight responsibilities. (The same applies to the UK Parliament.) The Washington press corps was dilatory in its investigative reporting – valuing access and cozy relationships with senior officials above the search for truth; ultimately, the media served as lapdogs rather than watchdogs.
And the public, still reeling from 911 and whipped up by the fear-mongering since, instinctively trusted its leaders. Given the full force and power of the administration's efforts to sell the war, it is no wonder that nearly 60% of Americans were in favor of the invasion in the early part of 2003.
Not surprisingly, that figure has flipped, with nearly 60% of Americans now saying that the Iraq war was a mistake; more than 70% of the British public agree. We owe it to ourselves and to our partners in the "coalition of the willing" to confront the fact that, when it mattered a decade ago, our Congress, our press, and we as citizens were not vigilant enough in holding our government to account for its statements and actions.
We did not do nearly enough to prevent this tragedy perpetrated on Iraq, on the world, and on ourselves.

'Deskundigen' 122



When tariffs and food and fuel subsidies are eliminated under an IMF diktat, small farmers and the landless know they have been declared expendable. They join the 750 million people already under-employed, and unemployed. The World Resources Institute says the toll of globalization reached 13-18 million child deaths every year; or 12 million children under the age of five, according tot the UN Development Report. ‘If 100 million have been killed in the formal wars of the twentieth century,’ wrote Michael McKinley, ‘why are they to be privileged in comprehension over the annual [death] toll of children from (IMF imposed) structural adjustment programmes since 1982?’ He quoted Lester C. Thurow’s view that ‘the tragedy afflicting humanity [was] neither metaphor, nor simile, of war, but war itself.’
John Pilger. The New Rulers of the World. 2002

Uit dat Amerika komen op een gegeven moment pakjes groen-witte poeder waaruit een huisvrouw een pan soep kan toveren: California heet het spul. California fluisteren we, California… Amerika!
Geert Mak. Reizen zonder John. Op zoek naar Amerika. 2012

Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage – torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians – which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side… The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity of not even hearing about them.
George Orwell. Notes on Nationalism. 1945

Altijd al was Amerika een ‘geheime liefde’ […] Wij, Europeanen, hoorden die klanken vanuit de verte. Voor ons, kinderen in de provincie, was Amerika een droomland, met een losse levensstijl waarvan een enkele keer een flard over de oceaan kwam zeilen… Wij kopen van ons zakgeld platte pakjes kauwgom, mooi ingepakt, met een los plaatje van een filmster – die sparen we --, en alles ruikt vreemd en rozig: Amerika!
Geert Mak. Reizen zonder John. Op zoek naar Amerika. 2012

De vraag is nu waarom een bestseller-auteur als Geert Mak, wiens opinie hogelijk gewaardeerd wordt door de mainstream, zichzelf als uitgangspunt heeft genomen voor zijn zoektocht naar ‘Amerika!’ Immers, iemand die stelt ‘op zoek naar Amerika’ te zijn, kan onmogelijk het land recht doen vanuit de eigen historische ervaring, die vanzelfsprekend uiterst beperkt is.  Er mogen dan wel in de jaren vijftig allerlei ‘klanken vanuit de verte… over de oceaan’ zijn komen ‘zeilen,’  zoals ‘pakjes California soep, kaugum, en Donald Duck’ die in de Nederlandse polder grote opwinding veroorzaakten, maar zoals Mak zelf stelt: in de provincie was men ‘niets gewend,’ en dus ‘door het dolle heen. Amerika!’ Bovendien kwam uit ‘dit zoevende, lichtblauwe decennium’ ook hele andere dingen ‘over de ocean zeilen,’ niet ‘rozig’ of ‘lichtblauw,’ maar pikzwart. Laat ik slechts twee voorbeelden geven die beide illustrerend zijn voor hetgeen Mak verzwijgt, omdat ze niet in zijn gekleurde uitgangspunt passen. Allereerst de door de VS gefinancierde staatsgreep in 1953 in het toen democratische Iran. Een ‘regime-change,’ georganiseerd door de Amerikaanse functionaris Kermit Roosevelt, kleinzoon van president Theodore Roosevelt, die in Iran met CIA-geld de Iraanse onderwereld overhaalde om de pro-Mossadeqh bevolking met geweld te terroriseren. Kermit Roosevelt nam daarvoor contact op met twee van zijn Iraanse geheime dienstmensen. De Amerikaanse oud-correspondent van de New York Times, professor Stephen Kinzer, schreef daarover in All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror:

These two agents had excellent relations with Tehran's street gangs, and Roosevelt told them he now wished to use those gangs to set off riots around the city. To his dismay, they replied that they could no longer help him because the risk of arrest had become too great. This was a potentially fatal blow to Roosevelt's new plan. He responded in the best tradition of secret agents. First he offered the two agents $50,000 to continue working with him. They remained unmoved. Then he added the second part of his deal: if the men refused, he would kill them. That changed their minds. They left the embassy compound with a briefcase full of cash and a renewed willingness to help. That week, a plaque of violence descended on Tehran. Gangs of thugs ran wildly through the streets, breaking shop windows, firing guns into mosques, beating passersby, and shouting 'Long Live Mossadeqh and Communism!'  Other thugs, claiming alliance to the self-exciled shah attacked the first ones. Leaders of both factions were actually working for Roosevelt... 

De rest is geschiedenis, Mossadeqh werd gevangen genomen, de shah in het zadel geholpen, de oppositie gemarteld en democratie vernietigd. Met steun van het Westen kon het regime van de shah tot 1979 ongestoord doorgaan met martelen en moorden. Voor de Amerikaanse autoriteiten werd de 1953-staatsgreep een schoolvoorbeeld van hoe hun belangen het best verdedigd konden worden. Bijna overal konden Washington marionetten aan de macht helpen middels omkoping en desnoods geweld. Wikipedia meldt dit over Kermit Roosevelt:

By the early 1950s, Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. was a senior officer in the CIA's Middle Eastern division.[citation needed] At that time, there was a political crisis centered in Iran that commanded the focused attention of British and American intelligence outfits. In 1951, the Iranian parliament, under the leadership of the nationalist movement of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, voted unanimously to nationalize the oil industry. This shut out the immensely profitable Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), which was a pillar of Britain's economy and political clout. A month after that vote, Mossadegh was elected prime minister of Iran.[6]

In response to nationalization, Britain placed an embargo on Iranian oil exports, which worsened the already fragile economy. Neither the AIOC nor Mossadegh was open to compromise in this period, with Britain insisting on a restoration of the AIOC and Mossadegh willing only to negotiate the terms of its compensation for lost assets. U.S. President Harry S. Truman ruled out joining Britain in a coup against Mossadegh, and Britain felt unable to act without American cooperation,[citation needed] particularly since Mossadegh had shut down their embassy in 1952. Truman's successor, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, was persuaded by anti-communist arguments that there was potential for Iran's CommunistTudeh Party to capitalize on political instability and assume power, aligning Iran and its immense oil resources with the Soviet bloc. Coup plans which had stalled under Truman were revived by an eager intelligence corps, with powerful aid from the brothers John Foster Dulles (Secretary of State) and Allen Welsh Dulles (Director of Central Intelligence), after Eisenhower's inauguration in 1953.

According to Roosevelt, he slipped across the border under his CIA cover as ‘James Lockridge’ on June 19, 1953. He was put up in the capital, Tehran, in a place rented by British intelligence…

Under Roosevelt's direction, the CIA and British intelligence funded and led a campaign of black propaganda and bribery leading to a coup d'etat to overthrow Mossadegh with the help of military forces loyal to the Shah in Operation Ajax. The plot hinged on orders signed by the Shah to dismiss Mossadegh as prime minister and replace him with General Fazlollah Zahedi, a choice agreed on by the British and Americans.

Despite the high-level coordination and planning, the coup faltered initially and the Shah fled Iran. After a brief exile in Italy, however, the Shah was brought back again, this time through a second coup which was successful.

In his book All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East TerrorThe New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer reported that the CIA ordered Roosevelt to leave Iran. Roosevelt ignored the order and, instead organized a second coup, this one successful. The deposed Mossadegh was arrested, given a show trial, and placed in solitary confinement for three years in military prison, followed by house arrest for life. Zahedi was installed to succeed prime minister Mossadegh.
After that coup, Kinzer reported that the Shah said to Roosevelt, "I owe my throne to God, my people, my army—and to you." […]

In 2003, William Blum, in Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II criticized Roosevelt for providing no evidence when he ‘argu[ed] that Mossadegh had to be removed to prevent a communist takeover’ of Iran.  Blum noted that while Roosevelt kept repeating how Mossadegh was a danger due to his seizure of the oil industry and his other Socialist reforms as well as his cooperation with the Tudeh Party, Mossadegh's role was much more nuanced. This view was shared by many in the Intelligence community, although most notably the head of the CIA station in Iran resigned rather than participate in the coup.
 

Een jaar later pleegde de VS opnieuw een staatsgreep waarbij de democratie om zeep werd geholpen. Ditmaal dichter bij huis. In 1954 werd met behulp van tenminste twintig miljoen dollar aan Amerikaans belastinggeld de democratisch gekozen president Jacobo Arbenz van Guatemala verdreven. De door een grote meerderheid gekozen Arbenz, die zijn ‘onderontwikkeld land met een overwegend feodale economie’ wilde veranderen in een ‘moderne kapitalistische staat,’ maakte daarbij een fundamentele fout: hij legde beslag op een braakliggend stuk land dat in handen was United Fruit Company, een concern met schatrijke aandeelhouders als de Rockefeller-familie en waarvan

John Foster Dulles and the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, had been legal council for the United Fruit Company for decades and John Foster Dulles was also a major shareholder in UFC.  And at the time John Foster Dulles was also the Secretary of State under President Dwight D Eisenhower.  Dulles’s grandfather had also been Secretary’s of State in the time of President Ben Harrison. Allen W Dulles the brother of John Foster Dulles was also a major shareholder of the company and whiled away his empty hours being the Director of the CIA. General Robert Carter, head of the National Security Council was a former Chairman of the Board of United Fruit. Thomas G Corcorran, everyone’s “Mr Fixit” – an appalling man whose biography would be a true adventure story- and who was often accused of corrupt behaviour back home, worked for the CIA was a paid consultant for United Fruit.'

Terwijl deze United Fruit-kongsi van rijke Amerikaanse beleidsbepalers via een PR-campagne Arbenz lieten afschilderen als een willig gereedschap van ‘de internationale Communistische samenzwering,’ organiseerden Rockefeller’s persoonlijke vrienden, de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken John Foster Dulles en zijn broer Allen Dulles, hoofd van de CIA, een reeks gewelddadige sabotageprogramma’s, waarbij het openbare leven in Guatemala werd ontwricht. Tenslotte hielp Washington een stroman, generaal Castillo Armas, aan de macht, wat het begin was van een serie bloeddorstige regimes die de afgelopen halve eeuw meer dan honderdduizend Guatemalteken hebben laten vermoorden. Aan de andere kant van de Stille Oceaan verschafte de CIA in 1965  het door de VS getrainde en gesteunde Indonesische leger lijsten met namen van hervormingsgezinde Indonesiërs die moesten worden vermoord. Volgens diplomatieke documenten was dit het begin van de geplande en succesvolle militaire machtsovername. In een paar weken tijd werden naar schatting tussen de 500.000 en 1 miljoen mensen op een vaak gruwelijke wijze gedood. Tien jaar later viel het leger van het Soeharto-regime Oost-Timor binnen, een voormalige Portugese kolonie met aanzienlijke olie-reserves. Bij het daaropvolgende verzet tegen de bezetter werd eenkwart tot eenderde van de Oost-Timorezen met Amerikaanse wapens uitgeroeid, gerekend naar het aantal inwoners de grootste genocide sinds de holocaust tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog.

Geen woord hierover in Geert Mak’s boek. Hoewel ook deze ‘flard over de oceaan kwam zeilen,’ is het logisch dat deze pikzwarte werkelijkheid de pro-Amerika polder niet bereikte. De westerse media wisten ook toen wat wel en niet relevant was. California Soep kan wel, maar een kritische beschouwing van de buitenlandse politiek van het land waaruit Donald Duck kwam aangezeild, was en is nog steeds in de mainstream onacceptabel zodra dit in een bredere historische en politieke context wordt geplaatst.  De oorzaken van de Amerikaanse terreur worden dan ook niet kritisch  geanalyseerd in Geert Mak’s boek en niet in een bredere historische context geplaatst. Dit is mede verklaarbaar als we beseffen hoe waar Orwell’s diagnose was toen hij schreef dat   

Events which it is felt ought not to have happened are left unmentioned and ultimately denied... Some nationalists are not far from schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest which have no connection with the physical world.

Waarbij opgemerkt moet worden dat Mak niet zozeer een ‘nationalist’ is, maar wel degelijk schrijft vanuit een blank, christelijk en westerse perspectief. Ondanks de Amerikaanse en Europese terreur stelt hij zonder enige schroom met grote stelligheid:

Amerika staat er over een halve eeuw beter voor dan Europa… Als je invloed en macht wilt hebben, moet je groots zijn. Dat is iets wat we in Europa van ze kunnen leren.

Volgens de mainstream visie van Geert Mak moest Europa beschermd worden tegen de Sovjet Unie, maar moest de rest van de wereld kennelijk niet beschermd worden tegen de VS. Integendeel, Mak beweert wel dat ‘de Verenigde Staten Europa… tijdens de Koude Oorlog van de Sovjetmacht [verlosten],’ maar vindt het niet relevant genoeg om te melden dat dat niemand de rest van de mensheid kon ‘verlossen’ van de Amerikaanse macht. En de reden dat hij dit verzwijgt is het simpele feit dat in zijn ogen de VS ‘decennialang als ordebewaker en politieagent [fungeerde] – om maar te zwijgen van alle hulp die het uitdeelde. Mak’s context strekt daarbij niet verder dan de eigen ervaringen zoals hij die in het begin van zijn boek ondermeer als volgt omschrijft:

In de provinciestad waar ik opgroei sjouwen we vanaf onze moestuin zelfgeteelde kool, sla en aardappels langs een paar nieuwe fabriekjes over de Marshallweg, genoemd naar een generaal die, zo begrijp ik, al die bedrijfjes schijnt te hebben betaald: Amerika!

En ook al kijkt hij even over de grens dan is dat om te melden dat in 1960 ‘het hoogtepunt van dit zoevende, lichtblauwe decennium’ op ‘de Filipijnen de Japanse regering tevergeefs de laatste twee Japanse soldaten uit het oerwoud [probeerde] te lokken.’ Mak verzuimt daarbij te vermelden hoe ironischj dit feit is, al was het maar omdat de Filipijnen in datzelfde 1960 nog steeds bezet werd door Amerikaanse troepen, die daar al gelegerd waren sinds Amerikaanse mariniers aan het eind van de negentiende eeuw ten koste van honderduizenden Filipino’s een volksopstand met ouderwetse koloniale terreur onderdrukten. Maar deze werkelijkheid wordt verzwegen zoals Orwell terecht opmerkte omdat onze terreur ‘does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side.’  Veel belangrijker in deze voorstelling van zaken is dat de VS ‘nog steeds het anker [zijn] van het hele Atlantische deel van de wereld in de ruimste zin van het woord,’  waarbij Mak als bekende opiniemaker verzwijgt dat dit onder andere in Irak heeft geleid tot Abu Ghraib, en tot alle wreedheden in Afghanistan, van het afsnijden van lichaamsdelen van de ‘vijand’ tot aan het publiekelijk urineren over stoffelijke overschotten van Afghanen. Alle ‘zoevende’ hoogtepunten van de ‘hard’ en  ‘soft power’ van onze grootmacht. Maar deze kleuren en geuren passen niet in het Readers Digest-beeld, waarvoor Mak een ‘geheime liefde’ koestert. Daarin is geen ruimte voor een bredere context zoals die door betrokken Amerikanen achteraf zo diep wordt betreurd.

In a single night we burned to death 100,000 Japanese civilians in Tokyo — men, women and children… Killing 50-90% of the people in 67 Japanese cities and then bombing them with two nuclear bombs is not proportional, in the minds of some people, to the objectives we were trying to achieve… What makes it immoral if you lose but not if you win? … [Lemay], and I’d say I, were behaving as war criminals.
Robert McNamara. The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara. 2003


Een ander illustrerend voorbeeld waarover de mainstream opiniemakers zwijgen als het graf:

Susan Sarandon: In the late afternoon of December 4, 1980, an unmarked grave was found in a field in El Salvador. When it was opened in the presence of the U.S. ambassador, it revealed the bodies of four women: Maryknoll Sisters Mara Clark and Eda Ford, Ursaline Sister Dorothy Kazel, and lay missionary Jean Donovan.
Of the five officers later found responsible for the rape and murder of these women, three were graduates of the United States Army School of the Americas. According to the Pentagon, the mission of the school is to train the armed forces of Latin America, promote military professionalism, foster cooperation among multinational military forces, and to expand the trainees' knowledge of United States customs and traditions.
The School of the Americas originated in 1946 in Panama. Now, it is located on the grounds of Fort Benning, Georgia. The school teaches commando operations, sniper training, how to fire an M-16, and psychological warfare. Since no major declared war between Latin American countries has occurred in decades and the communist threat has vanished, why provide this kind of training?

Representative Joseph Kennedy: If you look at the course ranges that are offered to these inividuals, they in fact are a dedicated way of teaching military leaders in foreign nations how to subvert their local communities.

Susan Sarandon: Since it opened, more than 55,000 military officials from 23 Latin American and Carribean countries have trained at the school. About 2,000 students a year. As facts have emerged about the school and its graduates, it has drawn the attention of a growing number of human rights activists, such as Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois.
Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois: Just down the road here is the School of the Americas. It's a combat school. Most of the courses revolve around what they call ‘counter-insurgency warfare.’ Who are the ‘insurgents?’ We have to ask that question. They are the poor. They are the people in Latin America who call for reform. They are the landless peasants who are hungry. They are health care workers, human rights advocates, labor organizers. They become the insurgents. They are seen as ‘the enemy.’ They are those who become the targets of those who learn their lessons at the School of the Americas…

Susan Sarandon: El Salvador is only part of the school's story. In the entry area of one of its main buildings are photographs of those the school honors, its so-called Hall of Fame. At the top of the list, Hugo Banzer, former dictator of Bolivia, a graduate of the school. Some of the others similarly honored are the former dictators of Honduras, Ecuador, and Argentina. And generals from eight other Latin and Caribbean nations, many cited by human rights groups for involvement in human rights abuses in their own countries.
Among other graduates, Manuel Noriega, former president of Panama, currently in prison in the United States. Four of the five ranking Honduran officers who organized death squads in the 1980s as part of Battalion 316, are graduates. Half of the 250 Columbian officers cited for human rights abuses attended the school. The three highest ranking Peruvian officers convicted in February 1994 of murdering nine university students and a professor were all graduates. Also, the Peruvian army commander who brought out tanks to obstruct initial investigation of the murders.

During the dictatorship of the Somoza family [in Nicaragua], over 4,000 National Guard troops graduated from the school. Many of them later became known as the ‘Contras,’ responsible for the deaths of thousands of Nicaraguan peasants in the 1980s. The general in charge of Argentina's so-called ‘Dirty War’ was a school graduate. During that internal conflict in the late-1970s and early-1980s, an estimated 30,000 people were tortured, disappeared, and murdered.
General Hector Gramajo of Guatemala was the featured speaker at the school's graduation ceremonies in 1991. Human rights groups claim he is the architect of strategies that legalized military atrocities in Guatemala resulting in the death of over 200,000 men, women, and children…

Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois: And what's very important right now I feel is to let out voices be heard. Bishop Romero said it best before he was assassinated by someone who trained at the School of the Americas. He said, ‘We who have a voice, we have to speak for the voiceless.’ I realize that we here in this country have a voice. We can speak without having to worry about being dissappeared or tortured or being picked by [by the police or military]. We can speak, and I just hope that we can speak clearly and boldly on this issue.
Maryknoll World Productions. School of the Americas: School of Assassins 1995


Nog steeds leiden Amerikaanse instructeurs beulen uit andere landen op hoe ze het best tegenstanders kunnen martelen, nu ook in Afghanistan. Donderdag 28 februari 2013 berichtte de International Herald Tribune dat

A group of 17 Afghan police officeers were drugged by their comrades while on duty and then shot and killed in their sleep Wednesday in what appears to be the worst episode in a string of similar attacks, according to Afghan officials…

The policing program has been controversial in many parts of Afghanistan  because of prominent insider attacks, as well as accusations of human rights violence by the police officers…

The officers are vetted and trained by U.S. Speical Operations troops...

Maandag meer over zoevende hoogtepunten die lichtblauwe en roze kleuren veroorzaken.