"Some of your bosses have told us that they can't support anything with the name 'School of the Americas' on it. Our proposal addresses this concern. It changes the name."
- Colonel Mark Morgan, Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation
This article asks whether the U.S. is a state sponsor of terrorism. At issue is the operation of a terrorist training facility at Fort Benning, Georgia whose graduates have been involved in the deaths of tens of thousands of [Latin] American civilians. More information on WHINSEC can be found at the official site above and at SOA Watch's website. My take on the campaign to close the school is that the school is being blamed for atrocities that would have happened whether those involved were trained by or in the U.S. or not. Perhaps it would be more effective to seek to establish accountability for human rights violations among the myriad commanders, warlords, and governments in the hemisphere through, I don't know, some sort of International Tribunal? (Like the one the U.S. refuses to support for reasons other than the values embedded in our Constitution...)
Naturally, WHINSEC's charter and curriculum would require more than cosmetic changes in order to support a commitment to human rights - but that commitment, rather than more pressure to close any one facility, is what is needed.