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Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by LadyEagle, Oct 2, 2004.
Posting an article accusing the Army of teaching torture, when the government denies this, without evidence is disinformation at best. None of the articles point to any specifics. Which Latin American governments? When did these alleged abuses occur? What methods of torture are Americans teaching? If there was torture going on before this training, are you accusing Americans of teaching "new and improved" methods of torture? It is loathsome and dishonest to make such accusations, either outright or by implication in posting an article. I'm sorry, I don't like using such words in posts but using worn-out accusations by the Left is just poor argument.
Since the government denies this, it must not be true is what you're telling me. Sorry. I don't trust my government's denials. I no longer trust my corrupt government.
The information is all out there on the web about human rights abuses connected with the School of the Americas. We shouldn't have all these people in our country learning our military tactics anyway, true or not. What was it kicked out of Panama and relocated to the US and operating at taxpayer's expense for - could it be GREED?
Speaking of "disinformation," I've seen some government officials - elected and appointed - who have given the American people quite a lot of "disinformation" in recent years. To me - that's quite loathsome and dishonest.
Oh, and here:
I suppose wikipedia is a left-wing outfit, too.
I read the Operation Condor link. It's about an operation in the 1970's. If your point is against U.S. operations 30 years ago, perhaps you should have posted in the History forum instead.
What was it kicked out of Panama and relocated to the US and operating at taxpayer's expense for - could it be GREED?
Why not answer your own question? Do you know why it was closed in Panama? It was closed under the terms of the Panama Canal treaties.
What your blind accusation does is ignore the greater likelihood that if graduates went back to their countries and used torture, etc., they did so in spite of, and not because of, training they received. What your post does is to dishonor American soldiers teaching such courses by implying that they would act so reprehensibly.
I don't deny that nasty characters left SOA and did awful things, but it shameful to imply that they learned those things at an Army school. To take the word of the loony Left who hate America is a mistake.
History is just the point though - history is not a collection of disjointed facts but a flow of events each of which lead to the next events. Ignoring causes and effects as "history" is a misunderstanding of history. History has taught us that governments cannot be trusted - as a matter of fact, our founders began America on that premise and urged us to always keep a distrusting eye on our government for this reason.
I agree, but it's one thing to not trust government blindly and another to make a disjointed accusation by implication. Is simply the pot calling the government kettle black.
It is not disjointed. What we sow with School of the Americas will come back to bite us in time. Our activity in Afghanistan many years ago came back to bite us recently. When we meddle in things we have no business meddling in, it is not only unconstitutional, it does not serve the best interests of the electorate. Stratiotes has tapped in to the reason I made the post. Apparently you aren't as objective in your political views.
For the record, I never take the word of the looney left on face value. But I never take the word of the ridiculous right on face value, either. Neither can be trusted. Some are imposters. (aka known as wolves in wool)
You still have yet to detail exactly what it was we sowed. Did American soldiers teach torture? Or that there was anything in the course that made it more likely that these students would use torture. Or that they weren't already torturing before the course.
And exactly how is the school/course unconstitutional?
OK, Stratiotes made the general historical point that we should not blindly trust government. Big news there. You still haven't provided any information or evidence that American soldiers are still teaching whatever it was you think they were teaching before. I say "whatever", again, because you haven't answered the question as to that substance.
No, I never claimed to be objective. The five o'clock news is supposed to be objective. I come into debate with a set of political presuppositions as you or anyone else intelligent does. Objective facts help us form, test and refine those presuppositions. Fact is still what the OP and your subsequent offerings is short of.
Archbishop Oscar Romero was gunned down in cold blood by School of the Americas graduates because he stood up for the powerless against the powerful. In further SOA news. During the Reaganadministration 4 Ursuline nuns were ravaged and mutilated and thrown into a ditch for the crime of teaching children to read.
LadyEagle isn't completely wrong here.
I figured the link I posted above from Geo. Wash. U. was self explanatory -
Jim Lehrer from PBS transcript - discussion re: SOA
I'm sorry, I missed the GW link. Am reading it now.
I apologize for saying,
Fact is still what...your subsequent offerings is short of.
While there are some items in the GW post/links that are troubling, I do note so far that it recommends against physical torture. The list of items of disadvantages of working with the host/in-country liaison is the liaison's dependence on torture. This was the original, even, before the alteration. I admit that some of the practices are troubling, but the worst of them involve psychological tactics. I don't think that they cross the lines of the Geneva Convention relating to treatment of prisoners of war, which includes:
One thing that does trouble me some is that physical pain is decried not principally due to moral objections, though this is mentioned, but concerns of efficacy and embarrassment. The other side of that is that it is a training manual, which is designed by nature, for what works. Still, though...
I'm also troubled that the first part I read, the 20-plus page excerpt, mentioned working within local laws and customs, and that Geneva Convention and such international/moral norms was not discussed.
I would also add that the section re arrest, while it talks about disorienting the subject by carrying it out in the early morning, it also very pointedly says "The arresting party should only use sufficient force to effect the arrest. No violence!" While pointing the way for the rest of us to objectivity, you might try it yourself.
Have so far read: CIA, Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual - 1983
Part I (pp. 1-67) and "The Coercive Counterintelligence Interrogation of Resistant Sources," (pp 82-104). I've also not yet read the PBS link.
Mioque's citation of a couple of outrages by SOA graduates is (1) misleading if meant to imply that we taught such, and (2) doubly misleading if he/she acknowledges that we did not. LE, I've yet to read an acknowledgement by you that there is no evidence that we taught this.
From the PBS link that could explain it:
Now be prepared for a shocker....my entire gripe is not what is or isn't taught at the school - my gripe is that it is taught to people from certain foreign countries. That's the "beef" as they say. Kinda like the same beef I have with flight school training to people from certain foreign countries. Or technology sharing. There are just some things that prudence would dictate should not be shared with certain outsiders, IMO, let alone with tax dollars paying the tab.
All of the above still doesn't change the fact that I don't trust our government to always tell the American taxpayers the truth, either.
We're agreed on both of those, but we can't always be certain who will turn out to be an enemy. We can't shy away from tactical alliances for a strategic objective. Training the mujaheddin (sp?) to fight Soviet invaders in Afghanistan certainly accomplished a worthy objective. Obviously we paid a price: (a) did it lead to the Taliban taking power (on the flip side, was that a realistic threat at the time based on the information available?)? and (b) we would up training our future enemies. Where this risk is present, we should obviously determine the nature of such a future threat and whether it is worthwhile to take that risk, and balance that with perhaps limiting what we teach.
Also, it is easy with hindsight to say what should not have been done. Prediction doesn't have near the clarity of hindsight, though. Honduras's military obviously had a history of human rights abuses. Do we therefore balance a concern to not aid such abuses with the need to counter Cuban-backed insurgents? Jeane Kirkpatrick was right in Dictatorships and Double Standards that the choices presented aren't always clear. What is clear is that Marxist-Leninist governments on our doorstep were far more troublesome for our own national security than native thugs. We should also consider that our record in the case of El Salvador was pretty good in helping that country transition toward a democratic system.
The point I made about Leftist arguments, too, is quite real. Liberation theology in Latin America and in the United States had a very real alliance, through naivete or blindness, with Communist insurgents in Central America, and its adherents often tried to obstruct, and contributed to disinformation against the Reagan Administration's efforts to get rid of the Sandinistas.
I would also caution that automatically questioning the U.S. government's motives around the world in particular actions puts you at the mercy of disinformation efforts of America's enemies. If you care less about that (and I don't think you do, but I hope you'll confirm) than in making sure that you will always doubt the government's position. And when I say America's enemies, I don't necessarily mean the government's enemies. China is America's enemy but it was Clinton's friend and Bush's "competitor".
By the way an interesting point of view I found in this website.
[ October 03, 2004, 11:04 PM: Message edited by: fromtheright ]
"Mioque's citation of a couple of outrages by SOA graduates is (1) misleading if meant to imply that we taught such, and (2) doubly misleading if he/she acknowledges that we did not."
She and I'm certain killing of clergy 101 wasn't officially on the curriculum, but ruthlessness towards all opposition (wether that opposition was violent or not, deliberate or accidental) was strongly encouraged unofficially.
"Liberation theology in Latin America and in the United States had a very real alliance, through naivete or blindness, with Communist insurgents in Central America."
And that makes raping&murdering nuns at random a perfectly acceptable counterstrategy.
Yeah, sort of like setting Hussein up in Iraq, and turning Iran over to the muslims. I long for a government that works in the interest of America. Sadly, most voters don't want that.
fromtheright sent this to me in a PM and wished me to cut & paste it in this forum - here it is, ftr:
LE, can you find a link for the thread started by InHim2002 in 2003 about the SOA, please? It would be interesting and germaine to this discussion, I believe. It was entitled "When will the USA stop training and funding terrorists and was opened September 14th, 2003
Yours in Christ
Thank you kindly for posting the note. I wanted to get a perspective from an Army "boot on the ground".