(AA) The School of the Americas

esperanto (lingvoj@lds.co.uk)
Sat, 16 Nov 96 00:03:45 PST


FREEDOM
18TH NOV 1996

Some people on a-infos-d have asked for more on this bunch. The
following article first
appeared out here a short while ago and we are publishing it here in
the UK today...

_________________________________________________________________

COUNTERINSURGENCY, STATE TERROR AND THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS
_________________________________________________________________

By Tom Burghardt
Editor, Antifa Info-Bulletin

(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The U.S. Army School of the Americas
(SOA) has long enjoyed a reputation as a military training
institution responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses
in the Western Hemisphere. Since its creation in 1946, some
60,000 Latin American military officers have graduated from the
school, variously known as the "School of Assassins" and the
"School of Coups."

Courses in counterinsurgency strategies and tactics,
psychological operations, torture and assassination have long
been SOA's stock in trade. It came as no surprise to human
rights activists when the Pentagon released a report on September
20, 1996, confirming these allegations. However, the Pentagon's
initial findings were made in 1992 and remained a closely-guarded
secret for more than four years.

The Pentagon's spokesman, Capt. Michael Doubleday, admitted
that between 1982-1991, SOA had used seven U.S. Army Spanish
language intelligence training manuals advocating secret
executions, torture, selective assassination, blackmail and
extortion against dissidents and their families.

Doubleday also claimed that the Bush administration moved
swiftly to revise the training manuals when it was discovered in
1992 that some aspects of the course curriculum constituted "a
serious violation of the policies that were in place in the
United States at that time." Doubleday added, "This is ancient
history."

But for the victims of U.S. imperialist counterinsurgency
doctrine instituted by death squad states throughout the
hemisphere, these revelations are as fresh as today's headlines.
Though the Pentagon claims to have destroyed the manuals, except
for one copy each "retained in the files of the Army Intelligence
School at Fort Huachuca, Arizona," the legacy of a carefully-
organized strategy of terror is the norm, not the exception.

-----

GUATEMALA: One of the school's most infamous graduates is a
former President, Gen. Jose Efrain Rios Montt. Rios Montt, a
"born again" killer with ties to the authoritarian, Eureka,
California-based Gospel Outreach/Verbo Church, presided over the
creation of a Guatemalan version of the CIA's "Phoenix Program."
During "Plan Victoria 82," and an accessory program, "Fusiles y
Frijoles" ("guns and beans"), entire Mayan highland villages were
wiped off the map and the survivors of these massacres were
herded into "strategic hamlets." The intellectual origins for
Rios Montt's program was a 1970s counterinsurgency document
called "U.S. Program of Pacification and Eradication of
Communism." By July 1982, an estimated 3-10,000 civilians had
been murdered. Rios Montt is the current President of the
Guatemalan Congress.

HONDURAS: The Honduran military in close association with
the CIA station in Tegucigalpa, created Battalion 3-16, a
notorious death squad. SOA graduate, General Gustavo Alvarez
Martinez, a CIA Honduran military "asset" stated: "Everything
you do to destroy a Marxist regime is moral." Alvarez Martinez
and his associates ran Battalion 3-16 and created a number of
torture centers. The death squad brigade operated closely with
the CIA and the Nicaraguan contras. By 1984, more than 200
Honduran labor leaders, student activists and opposition
politicians had been "disappeared."

EL SALVADOR: Roberto D'Aubuisson was the SOA graduate and
ARENA party founder who was the organizer of infamous death
squads with names such as the Secret Anticommunist Army (ESA) and
La Mano Blanco (white hand). ESA coordinated its work with an
earlier death squad called ORDEN, founded in 1968, and with the
presidential security service, ANSESAL. D'Aubuisson and his
associates worked closely throughout the region with the CIA and
the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), a neo-fascist outfit
founded by the Taiwan government, the Unification Movement of
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and the Latin American Anti-Communist
Confederation (CAL). The 1980 CAL conference held in Buenos
Aires, codified and began to implement the Chilean plan known as
"Operation Condor," a world-wide program of political
assassination to "liquidate" the Latin American left. North
American members of WACL included retired U.S. Gen. John
Singlaub. During the Vietnam war, Singlaub headed the Special
Operation Group-Military Assistance Command, which carried out
the "Phoenix Program." D'Aubuisson attended the CAL conference
as did the neo-Nazi terrorist, Stefano Delle Chiaie, the
architect of the 1980 Bologna railway station bombing which
killed 85 people and Klaus Barbie, the Nazi war criminal and CIA
"asset" who directed "special operations" during the 1980
Bolivian "cocaine coup." D'Aubuisson was the organizer of the
assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Romero. Other Salvadoran
SOA graduates organized the El Mozote massacre and the 1989
murder of 6 Jesuit priests in San Salvador.

CHILE: SOA graduate, Col. Manuel Contreas, was the=7F
organizational director of the Department of National
Intelligence (DINA). During his tenure as security chief under
the death squad regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Contreas
organized "Operation Condor" in association with the Argentinean
intelligence service (SIDE) and presided over the torture,
kidnapping and "disappearance" of tens of thousands of Chilean
leftists. Operatives included fascists and neo-Nazis recruited
from Patria y Libertad (PL). PL operatives and CIA "assets" had
worked to overthrow the reformist government of Salvador Allende
in 1973. In 1976, Contreas gave the order to assassinate the
former Defense Minister of the Allende government, Orlando
Letelier. Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt were blown up in
Washington, D.C. by a car bomb planted by American DINA agent,
Michael Vernon Townley and Cuban counterrevolutionary exiles
grouped in the Cuban Nationalist Movement, a fascist outfit
inspired by Benito Mussolini.

ARGENTINA: SOA graduate, Leopoldo Galtieri, was a principle
leader of the Argentinean death squad state and an architect of
the "dirty war" which decimated the Argentine left during 1976-
1982 period. A close associate, General Guillermo Suarez Mason,
an ideological fascist and member of the secret Masonic
organization, "Propaganda Due" (P-2), known as "Pro Patria" in
Argentina, was the commander of the First Army Corps. Suarez
Mason, acting under orders of SOA graduates and junta leaders,
Gen. Jorge Videla (another member of P-2) and Galtieri, oversaw
the extermination of the Argentine left. Suarez Mason's First
Army Corps ran clandestine detention/torture centers in Buenos
Aires; it has been estimated by human rights organizations that
Suarez Mason was personally responsible for the deaths of some
6,000 of the 30,000 Argentineans murdered during the "dirty war"
to exterminate communism. Suarez Mason is also believed to have
been closely allied with Jose Lopez Rega, the Peron adviser and
ideological Nazi who was the organizer of the infamous Argentine
Anticommunist Alliance (AAA) death squad. After the 1976
military coup, AAA operations were taken over by the military and
AAA "assets" were integrated into the state killing machine, as
in Chile.

HAITI: Principle leaders of the 1991 coup d'etat against
the democratic government of Fr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Col.
Joseph-Michel Francois and Col. Phillipe Biamby, were both SOA
graduates. Michel Francois, the leader of the Haitian Service
Intelligence Nacionale (National Intelligence Service -- SIN),
was a CIA "asset" responsible for some of the worst human rights
abuses against the Haitian people. Under Francois' leadership,
SIN carried out a war against the popular movement and utilized
torture, assassination and "disappearances" as a tactic to smash
Haitian opposition to the coup. Following the regional
"development model," SIN transformed Haiti into a major
transshipment point for cocaine from Colombian drug cartels. A
close ally of Michel Francois, Emmanuel "Toto" Constant, the
leader of FRAPH, was another CIA "asset." Both a political front
for coup leaders and a paramilitary death squad, FRAPH was
organized by Constant with advice from both the U.S. Central
Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). By
the time of the U.S. invasion of Haiti in 1994 to "restore
democracy," more than 3,000 Haitians had been murdered. In the
wake of the 1994 invasion/occupation of Haiti, the U.S. military
carried away more than 160,000 pages of documents seized from
FRAPH and SIN headquarters. The U.S., fearing that the role of
the CIA, DIA and the U.S. Embassy would come to light, has
refused to hand over these documents to the Haitian government.
Constant was released from INS detention and is currently living
somewhere in the United States.

-----

The U.S. Army School of the Americas along with the Central
Intelligence Agency, continue to be the primary ideological and
tactical linch-pins of U.S. counterinsurgency operations
throughout the hemisphere. While the collapse of the Soviet
Union and the restoration of capitalism in Russia and Eastern
Europe presumably ended the Cold War, the machinery of repression
which grew out of Washington's relentless campaign against
socialism remains firmly in place.

With the expansion of insurgent movements in Mexico, and
increased military aid to the Zedillo regime by imperialism,
strategic and tactical counterinsurgency training of the Mexican
Army by the U.S. will almost certainly result in an increase of
human rights violations against Mexican workers and peasants. As
with so-called "anti-drug interdiction" military aid programs to
the repressive Colombian and Peruvian armies, such U.S. offers of
assistance and training will inevitably lead to massive
repression.

The strategic interface among U.S. national security state
policy planning elites, counterinsurgency warfare specialists,
and "off-the-shelf" operations which utilize neo-Nazi "assets"
certainly continue. Regardless of which bourgeois party
exercises power in Washington, the primary role of institutions
such as the School of the Americas, is the repression of popular
movements which threaten U.S. corporate global hegemony.

*****

X-within-URL: http://www.derechos.org/soaw/armydesc.html

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-- from the School of the Americas Watch web page