News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinecoldwar-imperialismsoa — Viewing Item

Soa manuals condone abuse { September 21 1996 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

Army manuals appear to condone human rights abuse

Manuals for Latin American forces pulled in 1991
September 21, 1996
Web posted at: 4:05 p.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Manuals used by the U.S. Army's School of the Americas between 1982 and 1991 appeared to condone executions, beatings and other human rights abuses, the Pentagon said in a disclosure that prompted renewed calls for the school's closure.

The Pentagon on Friday disclosed English translations of portions of seven training manuals it said were pulled from use in 1991 by then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. He determined that the language violated U.S. policy. At the time, the Pentagon conducted a review of the training materials and reported the findings to Congress in closed briefings.

"The review found that about two dozen isolated phrases, sentences or short passages, out of 1,100 pages in six of the manuals, were objectionable or dubious," a Pentagon statement said, "(and) appeared to condone practices violating U.S. policy."

The phrases, including references to "eliminating potential rivals" to "obtaining information involuntarily" to the "neutralization" of people, were taken out of context, the statement said.

The School of the Americas was established in Panama in 1946 to train Latin American military and security officers. The school was moved to Ft. Benning in Columbus, Georgia, in 1984.

The program has been criticized by some in Congress as a training ground for human rights abusers, but the Army says less than 1 percent of all graduates have been cited as committing human rights violations.

Other excerpts from the manuals:

"Insurgents can be considered criminal by the legitimate government and are afraid to be brutalized after capture."

"If an individual has been recruited using fear as a weapon, the ... agent must in a position of (sic) maintain the threat."

"The ... agent must offer presents and compensation for information leading to the arrest, capture or death of guerrillas."

"The employee's value could be increased by means of arrests, executions or pacification, taking care not to expose the employee as the information source."

"Threats should not be made unless they can be carried out and the employee realizes that such threats could be carried out."

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, who has fought to deny funding to the school, said the disclosure shows that "taxpayer dollars have been used to train military officers in executions, extortion, beating and other acts of intimidation" and that it "underscores the need to close" the school.

The Pentagon says the School of the Americas has trained some 60,000 officers, cadets, non-commissioned officers, police and civilians from Latin America and the United States since its founding. It says every course includes mandatory human rights training to help foster military professionalism and respect for civilian authority.

Panamanian dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos were among the 10 Latin American presidents who seized power in their countries undemocratically after attending the school.

Correspondent Jamie McIntyre and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

15k protest soa { November 21 2005 }
2004 soa events draw more protesters than ever { December 10 2004 }
41 arrests at soa protest { October 2005 }
Film aerial interview
Fort benning protest thanksgiving 2004
Instructed on torture soa { September 21 1996 }
Martin sheen close soa { November 22 1998 }
Nuns protest soa { June 28 2001 }
Pelosi says close soa { July 2 2002 }
Protest soa nov02
Protesters call soa close { April 3 2000 }
Set backs to close soa { July 30 1999 }
Soa controversy cnn
Soa guardian { October 30 2001 }
Soa manuals condone abuse { September 21 1996 }
Soa nov02 nuns arrested { November 17 2002 }
Terrorist training { October 28 2002 }
Thousands demand closing of fort benning school { November 24 2003 }
Venezuela soa { April 12 2002 }

Files Listed: 19


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple