Greater Arbitrary Power Behind the "School of the Assassins"

December 12, 2011

On November 19, more than five thousand people turned out for a demonstration to demand the closing of the U.S. Department of Defense WHINSEC (also known as the School of the Americas) at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia.

The demonstration was staged to protest U.S. militarization and intervention in Latin America and the fact that the school is used by the U.S. government as a training ground for foreign military officers. Labeled by many as the "School of the Assassins," the school has produced thousands of officers subsequently linked with assassinations, "death squads," drug-trafficking, and human rights abuses in Latin America. For example, the school taught and trained the "Contra" mercenary soldiers of Nicaragua in tactics which included assassination, kidnapping and murder, and terrorist bombings. Other SOA/WHINSEC graduates include the notorious fascist Roberto D'Aubuisson of El Salvador, as well as Manuel Noriega of Panama.

Military "training" institutions like the SOA/WHINSEC and others like it are used to further U.S. imperialism's program of economic and military domination of other countries. During the last half century, U.S. imperialism has waged hundreds of counter-revolutionary wars and military interventions – in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Nicaragua, Panama, Haiti, Colombia, Cuba, etc. In addition to its own troops, it has used foreign officers to help prop up the most reactionary and fascist regimes in the region. The legacy of such intervention has been to leave behind a huge trail of blood throughout the region.

Despite sustained public outcry, the U.S. government has shown that it is hell-bent on refusing the demands of the people. Indeed, the government is usurping still more arbitrary power of the President and executive branch in order to conduct its aggressive foreign policy behind the backs of the American people. In 2010, Obama signed into law a bill which authorizes the U.S. Secretary of Defense to deny any request for release of information about the SOA/WHINSEC if he, "determines it to be in the national interest." Since 2005 the U.S. Department of Defense has refused all requests for information about the SOA/WHINSEC curriculum, names of graduates, or any of its operations.

The fact is that such lawless, police-state tactics are part and parcel of the U.S. government's war program. Using the veil of "national security," the government, and the executive branch in particular, more and more conduct foreign policy behind the backs of the American people and in violation of accepted norms and international laws pertaining to relations between states. This foreign policy is dictated by the interests of the U.S. multi-national corporations who are willing to commit any crime in order to keep various countries "safe" for their investments and exploitation.

But this lawlessness shows the great weakness of the government and its fear of the growing anti-war struggles. The capitalists and their government know that they cannot win the political allegiance of the people; they are suppressing people's rights because they know that their program cannot stand the light of day and that the people will keep coming forward to oppose them. The Workers Party calls on people everywhere to speak out against the lawlessness of the government and its over-all conduct of foreign policy. The veil of secrecy must be lifted and all governmental affairs conducted in the open and according to the will of the people. The people must fight to insure that the government pursues a democratic foreign policy which renounces all interference and intervention in the affairs of other countries and recognizes the sovereign equality of all nations and peoples.