REPORT ON THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS
MARCH 6, 1997
U.S. Policy in Central America: 1980-1991:
When the Reagan Administration came into office in 1981, one of its top priorities was ending the guerrilla war in El Salvador. A second priority was to aid the contra guerrilla war against the Sandanistas in Nicaragua. Honduras, a small country located between El Salvador and Nicaragua, became the U.S. base for American efforts in Central America, and will be the focus for this section of the Report.
In 1980, Colonel Gustavo Alvarez became the head of the police in Honduras. According to a top U.S. official who was in Honduras at the time, who declined to be named, the pattern of human rights abuses was in full swing by February of 1981. In a meeting with Col. Alvarez in 1981, this official was told that U.S. insistence on legality and human rights would not succeed, and that the Argentine model of eliminating subversives should be followed.
In 1982, Alvarez was promoted to general and named commander of the army. That same year Battalion 316, a secret army intelligence unit in Honduras trained and supported by the CIA, came into existence. Battalion 316 became notorious for committing human rights abuses.
Atrocities committed by Honduran death squads were reported by James LeMoyne, former El Salvador bureau chief for The New York Times, on June 5, 1988. In his article, LeMoyne told the story of Florencio Caballero, a self-confessed interrogator in a Honduran army death squad. Caballero says he was trained in Texas by the Central Intelligence Agency.
According to Caballero, who sought exile in Canada, he and 24 others were taken to Texas between 1979 and 1980 to be trained by the army and the CIA. Caballero says that, in Texas, the Americans taught
"interrogation in order to end physical torture in Honduras. They taught us psychological methods - to study the fears and weaknesses of a prisoner. Make him stand up, don't let him sleep, keep him naked and isolation, put rats and cockroaches in his cell, give him bad food, serve him dead animals, throw cold water on him, change the temperature." 3
Caballero told LeMoyne that the Americans had trained him not to murder and physically torture people.4 Caballero claimed the interrogations had started out okay, i.e. they just involved psychological "coercion", but somehow everything had gone all wrong, and they began to physically torture and murder people.5 Caballero told LeMoyne that he tortured and murdered about 120 Hondurans and other Latin Americans. And he told LeMoyne about secret jails, murder, and CIA involvement in Honduras.6
Between 1980 and 1984, the Honduran army, with American support, uncovered and then systematically wiped out much of the small Honduran guerrilla movement.7 At that time, no civil justice system existed in Honduras; there were no trial courts or lawyers to defend the accused.
Caballero told LeMoyne about the torture of 24 year old Ines Murillo in 1983, which LeMoyne was able to confirm. Murillo was a prisoner in a secret army jail in Honduras, and Caballero interrogated her and watched her get tortured. For 80 days, Murillo was beaten, electrically shocked, burned, starved, exposed, threatened, stripped naked, and sexually molested. To keep her from sleeping, her captors poured water on her head every ten minutes.
According to Caballero, an American C.I.A. agent sometimes visited the secret jail where he worked, and where Murillo was being tortured. The agent was given edited interrogation reports on the prisoners there. Caballero did not know how much the Americans knew about the physical torture that was taking place.8
Murillo confirmed that during the months that she was in a secret jail, an American official periodically visited her. He was never present when she was tortured. However, Murillo "does not believe the CIA could fail to know what was going on." 9
While in jail, Mr. Caballero and other interrogators gave her raw dead birds and rats for dinner, threw freezing water on her naked body every half hour for extended periods of time and made her stand for hours without sleep and without being allowed to urinate.
Murillo survived her torture experience, mostly due to the intervention of her father, who formerly served in the Honduran military. Her father bribed a soldier to tell him where his daughter was being held. The soldier also revealed the name and phone number of the purported C.I.A. operative. After Murillo's father threatened to publish this information, his daughter was released into a regular jail in Honduras. 13 months later, she was allowed to go into exile.
One American official who spoke with LeMoyne told him that "the CIA knew what was going on, and the Ambassador [John D. Negroponte] complained sometimes. But most of the time they'd look the other way."10 Ambassador Jack R. Binns, who was stationed in Honduras before Negroponte, expressed the same sentiments.
Ambassador Binns made the point that torture practices in Latin America were used long before Battalion 316 came into existence. However, he also stressed that the United States was complicit in Battalion 316 activities, and complicit in training the individuals who made up Battalion 316, because the United States ignored the human rights violations that were taking place in Honduras. Ambassador Binns felt strongly that USSOUTHCOM should be closed down.11
Ambassador Binns tried to bring the situation to the attention of the Department of State in Washington, D.C. According to Binns, he reported human rights violations to State, and was "begging for them to take some action."12 Not only was State not receptive, but they told Binns to stop reporting human rights violations through regular channels. He was told to use back channels, and take great care that information was not leaked to Congress. Otherwise, he was told, it would be difficult to get Congressional approval for security and economic assistance to Honduras. 13
This attitude undoubtedly sent the message that human rights abuses would not be punished by the United States. It was the same attitude that contributed to the development of training manuals that taught torture, execution and murder in Latin America in the 1980s.
Development of the Training Manuals
Some follow-up actions were recommended when the different training manuals, outlined below, came to light. Apparently, however, there was little or no follow-up on those recommendations.14 Furthermore, in all instances, no one was held accountable for the fact that the United States was teaching training techniques which violated U.S. army policy. To this day, it appears that the United States is unwilling establish accountability for the development of these manuals, or the fact that the manuals were in use at the U.S. Army School of the Americas (USARSA).
1983 Interrogation Manual
In 1983, a manual known as the 1983 CIA Interrogation Manual was put together with material from notes from the Honduran training course, lesson plans used in the course, and the 1963 KUBARK manual.15 The 1983 manual, officially titled the "Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual," first surfaced at a classified Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on June 16, 1988. This hearing was prompted by allegations by James LeMoyne in his 1988 New York Times article, "Testifying to Torture," that the United States had taught Honduran military officers who used torture.
This manual was declassified on January 24, 1997. It gave detailed information on training methods used against suspected subversives in Latin America in the 1980s. The methods used by Battalion 316 in Honduras, and the methods taught in the interrogation manual, were strikingly similar.16
The CIA confirmed at a hearing before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee in 1988 that it provided intelligence and counterintelligence training to Honduran military groups. At the hearing, Richard Stolz, Deputy Director for Operations at the CIA, testified that from February 8 to March 13, 1983, the CIA trained Caballero, Maro Turo Regalatta, and other Hondurans in interrogations.
According to Stolz, the courses included practical exercises with actual prisoners, and the presence of a CIA instructor during interrogation. The course's lesson plans or programs of instruction were based on the instructor's personal experience in the U.S. army, on army field manuals (FM) - especially FM 30-15, and on personal experience.17
Stolz also testified that the course emphasized the value of humane treatment and perceptive psychological approaches to questioning. He claimed that physical abuse or other degrading treatment was rejected not only because it was wrong, but because it has historically proven to be ineffective.18
Under questioning, however, Stolz acknowledged that the agency taught the Hondurans that in dealing with prisoners they should deny them sleep, make them stand up, keep them isolated. In terms of teaching to change the room temperature, or, as stated in the manual, to "manipulate the subject's environment, to create unpleasant or intolerable situations," Stolz asserts that "that's not impossible." He denied all other allegations raised by LeMoyne in his 1988 New York Times article. When asked if there were any corrective actions dealing with the person responsible for the manuals, Stolz responded, "Not to my knowledge."
The most graphic part of the Interrogation Manual is the section discussing "coercive techniques." This section recommends arresting suspects early in the morning by surprise, blindfolding them, and stripping them naked. Suspects should be held incommunicado and deprived of any kind of normal routine in eating and sleeping. Interrogation rooms should be windowless, soundproof, dark and without toilets.
The Manual does advise that torture techniques can backfire, and that the threat of pain is often more effective than the pain itself. It notes that "while [the CIA] does not stress the use of coercive techniques, [they] do want to make you aware of them and the proper way to use them." It states that "illegal detention" and "coercive techniques"19 always require prior headquarters approval.20 It justifies the use of coercive techniques for those subjects "who have been trained or who have developed the ability to resist non-coercive techniques.21
The Manual then goes on to recommend psychological techniques to break an individual's will to resist. The techniques include: prolonged constraint; prolonged exertion; extremes of heat, cold, or moisture; deprivation of food or sleep; disrupting routines; solitary confinement; threats of pain; deprivation of sensory stimuli; hypnosis; and use of drugs or placebos.
The U.S. military made a superficial attempt between 1984 and 1985 to correct the inappropriate material contained in the 1983 Interrogation Manual, primarily because of the strong public reaction following the disclosure of the Contra Training Manual, discussed below, which was made public in October, 1994. A page advising against using coercive techniques and discouraging torture was inserted into the Interrogation Manual.
In addition, handwritten notes and changes were written haphazardly throughout the text. For example, "Deprivation of sensory stimuli induces stress and anxiety. The more complete the deprivation, the more rapidly and deeply the subject is affected" was altered to read: "Extreme deprivation of sensory stimuli induces unbearable stress and anxiety and is a form of torture. Its use constitutes a serious impropriety and violates policy."22 Despite the handwritten changes, it is still quite easy to read the original text, which was simply crossed out.
Both the alterations and the new instructions that appeared in the manual in 1985 indicate that the torture methods taught in the earlier version contradicted U.S. army policy. Senator Cranston made this exact point in the 1988 Select Intelligence Hearing, when he pointed out that the wording in the 1983 manual instructed the reader to "use coercive methods."23
The Contra Training Manual
A CIA document instructing Nicaraguan rebels in the techniques of political assassination and guerrilla warfare was leaked to the House Intelligence Committee in October, 1984. The manual, "Psychological Operations in Guerilla Warfare," instructs how to organize a guerrilla movement and lead it to power by winning popular support and using violence.
The manual was compiled in late 1983 by John Kirkpatrick, a CIA adviser to the Contra rebels. The 90-page document recommends the hiring of professional criminals to carry out "selective jobs," creating a "martyr" by arranging a violent demonstration that leads to the death of a rebel supporter, and coercing Nicaraguans into carrying out assignments against their will.
The document also states that unpopular government officials can be "neutralized" with the "selective use of violence." These terms are not defined in the text. And according to President Reagan, being "neutralized" simply means being fired from one's position. According to almost everyone else, however, it means something entirely different.
When the Contra Manual was publicly released in October 1984, there was a general outcry over the contents of the document. The House Intelligence Committee held hearings on its disclosure, and high level officials spoke out strongly against the document, and called for the resignation of William Casey, then-Director of the CIA. The ultimate outcome, however, was nothing dramatic or decisive. A few American officials got a slap on the wrist.
In 1988, the CIA clearly stated U.S. policy for training intelligence and counterintelligence to foreign militaries. According to the CIA:
The policy is not to participate directly in nor to encourage interrogation which results in the use of force, mental or physical torture, demeaning indignities or exposure to inhumane treatment of any kind as an aid to interrogation. The policy is to actively discourage the use of these methods during interrogations. Personnel should play a positive role in influencing foreign liaison to respect human rights. 24
Thus at least twice during the 1980s, training materials used by the U.S. army in Latin America came under intense scrutiny.25 As a result of that scrutiny, the Pentagon issued a policy brief which stated that the U.S. would not participate in interrogation techniques that violated U.S. policy, and would actively discourage the use of those methods. It also stated that U.S. personnel should play a positive role in promoting human rights.26
Despite this scrutiny, and previous policy statements,27 a series of training manuals were produced in 1987 which contained objectionable material. These manuals were then used to train MTT's in Latin America, and foreign military personnel in classrooms at USARSA. The fact that the USARSA manuals came into existence indicates that army controls or review procedures established as a result the disclosure of the 1983 Interrogation Manual and the 1984 Contra manual must have been either inadequate or nonexistent.
USARSA Training Manuals
Just a few years after the Contra Manual was made public, the 470th MIBDE at USSOUTHCOM, in Panama, retrieved from USARSA in 1987 a series of documents that included training material which taught murder, extortion and torture. These training materials were distributed in Latin America and at USARSA, despite the CIA statement on U.S. army policy cited above. The history of the USARSA training manuals begins with Project X.
Project X, part of the U.S. Army's Foreign Intelligence Assistance Program, was the basis for the training materials taught at the U.S. Army School of the Americas in the 1980s. The program was developed from 1965-66 by the Office of the Assistant of Staff for Intelligence to assist select foreign countries in organizing and developing military intelligence operations.
Project X, one of the types of foreign assistance available through the Foreign Intelligence Assistance Program, provided U.S. Army Intelligence Publications and Training Materials. It was developed and executed by the U.S. Army Intelligence School, Fort Holabird, Maryland. Virtually no official documentation of the origin or scope of the project exists today.28
During the mid-1970s, after moving to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School (USAICS) began exporting, on request, Project X materials to U.S. military agencies participating in the U.S. advisory-training effort in friendly countries. In addition, instructors at USAICS used Project X material as reference material in preparing lesson plans for the Foreign Officer Course.
Sometime between 1975 and 1981, USAICS transferred control of all Project X materials to the Reserve Affairs Office. In 1983, responsibility for Project X was transferred to the Nonresident Training Branch, Unit Training Division, Directorate of Training and Doctrine. In 1990, responsibility was transferred to the Individual and Collective Training Division.
Training Materials from U.S. Army School of the Americas:
In 1982, the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (OACSI) tasked USAICS to provide unclassified lesson plans to the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. USAICS formed a working group to satisfy this requirement. The working group decided to use Project X materials because they previously had been cleared for foreign disclosure.
The working group asked the OACSI whether Project X material was still releasable to foreign students. The OACSI replied that USAICS could release all unclassified Project X material to the School of the Americas after reviewing it to ensure that it was current. The material was reviewed and released for use at the School of the Americas. All Project X material was in English.
Lt. Col. Victor Tise was a young captain in a military course at USAICS. In late February, 1982, he was assigned to update the all-source intelligence course for the U.S. Army School of the Americas, Fort Gulick, Panama Canal Zone. Tise worked with Captain John Zindar, who was also at Fort Huachuca.
It was the understanding of both of these men that President Carter had stopped intelligence training in Latin America because of the escalating reports of human rights abuses. Carter was reportedly concerned that the training and the abuses were linked. It was also their understanding that it was a top priority for President Reagan to reinstate intelligence training in Latin America immediately.29
Tise and Zindar had until the end of September to design and implement intelligence training at SOA,30 and to update Project X material for use at USARSA.31 They were supervised at Fort Huachuca by Major Richard L. Montgomery, and given a proposed Program of Instruction from SOA that outlined the courses that Tise and Zindar were to develop.
According to Tise, the Project X material was approved by Major Montgomery, and also by J.W. Taylor, Department of Human Intelligence, Fort Huachuca. The materials also had to be cleared by "Washington," and were sent through the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for clearance (DCSOPS). Tise recalls that the material came back from Washington approved but unchanged.32
Tise stated that he did not notice that there was inappropriate training material contained in the Project X documents. Tise also noted that although all of the Project X material was unclassified, much of it came word-for-word from FM 30-18, a classified field manual on intelligence tactics.33 Zindar, on the other hand, does recall the inappropriate material, and says that most of it dated back to the Vietnam era, and needed major revisions.34 Both Tise and Zindar worked on revising the material so that it could be taught at SOA.
Major Ralph Heinrichs was in the Department of Training Development at SOA during the period that these training manuals were being updated and transferred to SOA. Heinrichs confirmed that Project X material was in use at the School prior to 1982.35 According to Heinrichs, Project X material was used at the School until the mid-1970s.36
Heinrichs stated that his boss, Ramon Quijano, and the Commandant of USARSA, Col. Nicholas A. Andreacchio, travelled to Washington, D.C. to get approval to teach the training materials after they were transferred from Fort Huachuca and updated by Tise and Zindar. According to Heinrichs, Quijano and Andreacchio had a disagreement with the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence at the Pentagon, who ultimately approved the Project X materials to be reintroduced into SOA.37 It was Heinrichs' understanding that a few changes in the training material were needed. For example: the SOA should not use the term insurgent, insurgency, or counter insurgency. Rather, they should use the term guerilla.
In addition, some human intelligence terms and agent handling techniques were sanitized. The SOA position was that the materials had been taught for 10 years or longer to thousands of trainees around the world, and did not need to be changed. Ultimately, the Pentagon approved the materials.38
According to Tise, Margarito Cruz, a native Puerto Rican teaching Human Intelligence at SOA in 1982, recognized the materials being taught from the 1970s, when he was also an instructor at SOA. Cruz reportedly recommended revamping some of the materials, after they were approved in DC, and Tise believes that the objectionable wording was removed.39 It is unclear, however, how much of the objectionable material was removed from the training material before the intelligence classes were reinstated at USARSA in the fall of 1982.
Both Zindar and Tise say that they personally did not teach any objectionable materials at USARSA. They could not confirm or deny whether someone else taught these materials. Tise left SOA in November, 1982, and returned from 1986-89. Zindar stayed at SOA until mid-1983. No one was interviewed who taught at the School from 1983-1986. The Pentagon claims that the objectionable materials were not taught at USARSA during this period.
Development of USARSA Training Manuals:
There is broad consensus as to how the existing training manuals were developed. In 1984, the SOA moved to Fort Benning, Georgia. In 1987, the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade (470th MIBDE) of the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), stationed in Panama, asked SOA for help putting together instruction materials for Mobile Training Teams (MTT's) in Latin America.
MTT's were used around the world to bolster the efforts of permanently assigned advisors by conducting specialized intelligence training beyond the capabilities of the local advisory and intelligence personnel. The MTT's can be organized to meet a request for almost any type of intelligence and security training and assistance.
The training materials obtained by the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade included the original training materials with objectionable wording which had been flagged by Cruz in 1982.40 Apparently this material was not subjected to an independent review by the 470th MIBDE or USSOUTHCOM when it was brought into Panama from USARSA.
In 1987 USSOUTHCOM began issuing the training manuals, with the objectionable material, to students and military intelligence schools in Latin America. In 1989, a former member of the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade assumed instructor duties at the USARSA, and used these manuals as student handouts.41 The manuals were issued to students from ten countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.
In March 1991, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) discovered the objectionable materials while planning for Mobile Training Team unit to be sent to Columbia to provide training in counterintelligence and foreign intelligence. DIA requested a copy of the proposed Program of Instruction and training manuals from USARSA. The Spanish language manuals that were to be used were translated into English, and DIA discovered the objectionable material.43
The CIA reviewed the manuals, and noted some policy and classification discrepancies. The documents contained several passages which provided training regarding use of truth serum in interrogation, abduction of adversary family members to influence the adversary, prioritization of adversary personalities for abduction, exile, physical beatings and executions.
In the summer of 1991, Secretary Cheney was alerted to the existence of the manuals and the objectionable material. An independent inquiry into the documents was conducted, and Congressional Armed Services and Intelligence Committees were informed of the error. According to the Pentagon, copies of the manuals were retrieved. The Inspector General noted in its 1997 review, however, that total retrieval of all of the manuals in circulation was considered doubtful.44
During the first week of August 1991, the Assistant Secretary of Defense notified the Congressional Committees on this matter, and the Assistant to the Secretary for Defense reported the incident to the President's Intelligence Oversight Board.
On August 9, in a secret memo to the Secretary of the Army, U.S. Commander in Chief - Southern Command (USCINCSO) and the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, the Assistant Secretary of Defense announced that it completed a study of one of the manuals in question, "Manejo de Fuentes" (or "Handling of Sources"). The study concluded that the manual advocated methods and activities which contradicted U.S. army policy.
As a result of these findings, a number of offices were tasked to review U.S. training material and training procedures. USCINSCO was responsible for reviewing all intelligence and counterintelligence training material. It was also responsible for recovering the objectionable materials and educating foreign military groups on acceptable U.S. material. USCINSCO also informed military groups that the recovered manuals were not U.S. policy, and that an error was made by including the objectionable material in the manuals.
The Assistant to the Secretary for Defense was responsible for launching a full investigation into the use of the manuals, submitting a report, together with recommendations, to the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary of the Army was tasked to collect all Project X related and training material at USARSA and Fort Huachuca related to the objectionable material, and to put the materials under secret level and wait for instructions for disposal. The ATSD was also tasked with reviewing all intelligence and counterintelligence training material.
On June 28, 1996 the Intelligence Oversight Board issued a Report on the Guatemala Review. In that report, there was a short reference to training materials that were used at USARSA which violated U.S. army policy. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy launched an effort to have the manuals released to the public. On September 20, 1996, the Department of Defense made the manuals public.
1997 Inspector General Report
After Secretary of Defense Cheney was notified in the summer of 1991 of the training manuals in use at USARSA, he directed the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense - Intelligence Oversight (ATSD-IO) to investigate the use of Spanish language intelligence training manuals, which contained materials considered inconsistent with U.S. and Department of Defense policies. The ATSD-IO issued its report on March 10, 1992.
On September 30, 1996, the Deputy Secretary of Defense asked the Inspector General, Department of Defense, to review the 1992 ATSD-IO report to determine whether it was adequate to assess individual responsibility. The Inspector General was also asked to determine whether corrective actions recommended by the March 1992 report were satisfactorily implemented. On February 21, 1997 the Inspector General completed this review and released it to the public.
The Inspector General report has a number of inaccuracies. First, the Report claims that army personnel did not realize that the USARSA manuals violated standard army policy. However, this office has spoken with several individuals who indicated that they raised the issue of the content of the manuals to their superiors, and were still told to teach the training materials.
Second, according to the IG, neither the army element at the USSOUTHCOM nor the faculty at USARSA followed army policy for doctrinal approval of the manuals. Yet before the material was transferred to USARSA, it was approved by at least two different people at Fort Huachuca and in Washington, D.C.,45 and also by the USARSA. Despite numerous phone calls to the Pentagon, former USARSA instructors, and USAICS officials in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, this office was not able to determine what constituted official army policy for doctrinal approval. However, all of the individuals who were interviewed noted that the manuals did appear to be reviewed extensively before they were taught at USARSA.
According to Lt. Col. Tise, the USARSA in Panama fell under the command of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (DCSOPS), which is part of army headquarters at the Pentagon. Tise recalls that the material was sent through DSCOPS by USAICS for clearance and came back approved but unchanged.46
Although Tise does not recall that USARSA fell under the supervision of Training and Doctrine (TRADOC), he claims that the approval it got at Fort Huachuca would have constituted TRADOC approval. Major Heinrichs, at USARSA, recalls that the material was sent by USARSA to Washington, D.C., where it was approved by the Deputy Secretary for Intelligence at the Pentagon.
Even if the material did not make its way through the entire approval process, according to our sources it was approved by at least two offices at Fort Huachuca and in Washington, D.C., and at least one office at USARSA. Thus it should be possible to establish accountability for reintroducing the materials to USARSA, whether by a deliberate attempt to violate Department of Defense policy or not.47 Regardless, gross negligence certainly was at play.
Third, the IG report states that there was no English language version of the manuals. However, all of the materials used in the manuals originated in English, and were approved in English for use at USARSA before being translated into Spanish. Thus, it is misleading to suggest that the English language training materials approved for use at USARSA are different from the Spanish language materials incorporated into the training manuals.
The IG report released February 21, 1997 does analyze whether corrective actions recommended by the March 1992 report were satisfactorily implemented. The IG report concludes that they were not, that the report had only a minimal impact, and that ultimately it was unsuccessful.48
The IG report summarizes why the 1992 investigation and recommendations were unsuccessful. It states that:
The army and the Defense Intelligence Agency were the only DoD Components that published documents in support of the memorandum; other action addressees had no record of receipt or considered no action was necessary. The [Assistant Secretary for Defense (ASD(C3I)] had no mechanism in place to monitor compliance with the memorandum. As a result, the issue of DoD policy on intelligence and counterintelligence training of non-U.S. persons evaporated and current ASD(C3I) staff members have little or no recollection of the 1992 memorandum. (emphasis added.)49
We know that previous investigations and subsequent follow- ups were also ineffective.
The United States Army School of the Americas - also known as the School of Assassins - has graduated many of Latin America's most notorious foes of democracy and human right violators. In El Salvador, 48 officers cited for human rights violations in a U.N. Truth Commission were trained at the school.
This includes Col. Elena Fuentes, one of the country's most notorious hardline officers. Elena Fuentes was in the room when Salvadoran military leaders gave the order to murder to murder the Jesuit priests in 1989. He was an instructor at the school in 1985 and 1996. In fact, 19 of the 26 officers cited by the U.N. Truth Commission for involvement in the Jesuit murders and coverup were SOA graduates.
And there are countless victims -- individuals who have suffered so much at the hands of those who were taught to torture and murder by elements within our own government.
Archbishop Oscar Romero was gunned down in cold blood by SOA graduates because he stood up for the powerless against the powerful. Four Ursuline nuns were ravaged and mutilated and thrown into a ditch for the crime of teaching children to read. The children of El Mozote were machine gunned by SOA alumni for the sin of living in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Clinton administration has put the promotion of democracy and human rights at the center of U.S. foreign policy. Continued operation of the School of the Americas, given its history and tradition, stands in the way of establishing a new U.S. relationship with Latin America based on strengthening civilian, democratic institutions.
Fifty years ago, the U.S. Army School of the Americas opened its doors in Panama to a class of Latin American and Caribbean military officers to receive training in the art of war.
Half a century later, it is time to shut the School down.
ENDNOTES (these begin with #3 as #1 and #2 are part of the Executive Summary which was released as part of the whole report).
3. Caballero, as quoted by LeMoyne, James, "Testifying to Torture," in The New York Times, June 5, 1988, Section 6, p. 45.
4. Caballero does not include psychological methods under the heading of torture. According to LeMoyne, Caballero did not include psychological "coercion" in the same category as physical torture.
5. Conversation with LeMoyne, March 5, 1997.
6. LeMoyne, James, "Testifying to Torture," The New York Times, June 5, 1988, Section 6, p. 45, Column 1.
11. Conversation with Ambassador Binns, Jan. 27, 1997.
14. The sole fact that the USARSA manuals came into existence in the late 1980's, after the Contra Training Manual was publicly revealed and the Honduran Interrogation Manual was edited, proves this fact.
15. The KUBARK manual was written in 1963 for use by U.S. agents against communist subversion. It was not written for use in training foreign military services.
16. Cohn, Gary et al, "Torture was Taught by CIA; Declassified manual details the methods used in Honduras; Agency denials refuted," The Baltimore Sun, January 27, 1997, p. 1A.
17. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Hearing, June 16, 1988.
19. Human Resources Exploitation Manual - 1983, p. A-2.
20. Ibid., p. B-2.
21. Ibid., p. L-4.
22. Human Resources Exploitation Manual - 1983, p. K-7.
23. Senate Select Committee Hearing, 1988.
24. Senate Select Committee Hearing, 1988.
25. Those materials, discussed previously, include: (1) the "1983 Interrogation Manual"; and (2) the "Psychological Operations in Guerilla Warfare" Manual, also known as the Contra Manual.
26. See page 10 of this report.
27. In December, 1981, President Reagan issued Executive Order 12333, which clarified the authorities, responsibilities, and limitations concerning U.S. intelligence.
28. Department of the Army Memorandum to ATSD-IO, Nov. 4, 1991.
29. Based on conversations with Tise, Zindar.
30. Thus, Tise and Zindar had approximately 6 months to complete a task which, according to Major Ralph Heinrichs at SOA, would ordinarily have taken 12-18 months.
31. Both men remember that when they arrived in Panama, they found some Project X material already there.
32. Conversation between Victor Tise and OASD, August 1, 1991, declassified by OASD on November 22, 1996.
33. Ibid. Tise was unable to explain why the Project X material was unclassified, while training manual FM 30-18 remained classified.
34. Both Tise and Zindar recall that most of the Project X material was not classified, but a portion of it was Top Secret.
35. As Project X documents contained the objectionable material, the fact that the material was in circulation at USARSA prior to 1982 would indicate that the United States was teaching these tactics during the 1960s and 1970s. Heinrichs, Tise and Zindar could not recall if some Project X material was taken from USARSA archives, or if only the Project X materials revised by Tise and Zindar at Fort Huachuca were used.
36. It can be assumed that the materials were put out of circulation in the late 1970's when President Carter called for an end to intelligence training in Latin America.
37. Heinrichs could not recall the nature of the disagreement.
38. Both Tise and Zindar noted there was a great deal of urgency putting together the materials for intelligence training. It was made clear to them that President Reagan wanted it done immediately. Zindar felt that the Army was flexible on restrictions, and that a number of shortcuts were taken.
39. This office was not able to locate Margarito Cruz.
40. According to Tise, objectionable material that was removed by Cruz in 1982 remained in SOA archive files, per SOA policy. Tise believes that material obtained by the 470th MIBDE at USARSA was from current lesson plans as well as archive materials.
41. No one interviewed was able and/or willing to identify the name of this individual.
42. The Pentagon claims that these manuals never existed in English. Although the manuals were assembled with Spanish language material, all of the material used originated in English, and was translated from English into Spanish at USARSA.
43. Point Paper - USSOUTHCOM.
44. Policy and Oversight Report, February 21, 1997, p. 7.
45. It was approved by at least one, and maybe two, offices: DCSOPS and Deputy Secretary for Intelligence.
46. Tise conversation with OASD, August 1, 1991.
47. It is our conclusion that there was no deliberate attempt to violate Department of Defense policies. However, we do believe that there was an unspoken policy coming from the top that the rules could be ignored.
48. Policy and Oversight Report, Feb. 21, 1997, pp. 13-14.
49. Ibid., p. 14.
Information in this report is based on documentation and interviews. Staff conducted interviews with former and/or current military personnel, including those in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Department of the Army, the USSOUTHCOM, the U.S. Army Intelligence School, Fort Holabird, the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School, Fort Huachuca, the U.S. Army School of the Americas, Fort Benning, and the 470th Military Brigade. Former U.S. Ambassadors were interviewed, as were representatives from the National Security Archives, the Military Archives, and the press.
All those who were interviewed and agreed to be identified in this report are identified. All individuals who were identified by a source, and confirmed by a second source, are also identified, even if they were not available or could not be reached for comment. Any individual who asked not to be identified is not named in this report.