Dystopia 14: Body of Evidence

However muted its present appearance may be, sexual dominion remains nevertheless as perhaps the most pervasive ideology of our culture and provides its most fundamental concept of power.


Body of Evidence

One eye of the moon peeked over the horizon and gazed at Jack speculatively as he lay on his bedroll.  The reflected light from its face was slowly chewing up Jack’s view of the stars and only the brightest survived its onslaught.  Jack, too, was in a speculative mood this evening.  He still camped on the edge of Jaguar Village; almost in the surrounding mountains. He had made a small pup tent out of the tarp thatCallum had given him and some other spare material he had scavenged.  Though the tent was warm on the cold nights of Spring, he resisted the confined space and slept outside whenever the weather allowed.  Weeks had marched by since he had kissed Laissi and the Summer had grown hot and dry.  The nights had been warm enough for Jack to sleep on top of his bedroll outside the pup tent where he could watch his beloved stars as he drifted off to sleep.

Sleep alluded him tonight, however.  His mind was showing him images again.

Laissi’s face flashed before him.  This was a fairly regular image in his camp at night, even if its physical counterpart was completely absent.  For the first two days after the kiss, Laissi avoided him completely.  Walking the other way when he came in from the fields and their paths happened to cross.  Being absent at dinner.  Not being outsideCeci’s hut in the early evening as she had always been before.  On the third day he was leaning over his row of beets weeding with a hoe when he felt eyes on his back. He stepped across the row and pretended to pick at a particularly pernicious weed so he could glimpse in back of him with his peripheral vision. There she stood; staring at his back. He continued to look down at the row he was hoeing, but now with a new found grin across his lips.

The  next week Laissi acted as if nothing had changed.  She resumed his lessons in Guarani. She was amicable and answered his questions but took care not to be alone with him. They gardened, cooked, and cleaned as they always had.  The Jaguars had irrigated their parched fields with their secret water sparingly and the fruit trees begrudgingly yielded small but sweet fruit. This they relished fresh while they canned or dried what they could not consume immediately. At night they played dice games and gambled. They told stories and they made wine out of some of the fruit and beer out of some of the grain. In all, Jack was content. He had quickly developed a fondness for these people who he had once thought of as his enemies. They had a sense of themselves. They had a community. Jack was slowly beginning to think of himself as a Jaguar.  He would have been willing to pretend with Laissi that nothing had changed.

But things had changed.  Jack was not sent to do any more tasks in the shadow of the women.  There were wry smiles from Ceci on occasion and the men of the village tried to teach him their gambling game; without much success.

She had changed too.  When she thought he was not looking she would stare at his back. Jack never looked up to meet her eyes on these occasions.  He would only smile to himself and continue what he was doing. He was old enough to know there was nothing that he could do to rush a woman’s decision. The fact that she did not have a heart to heart with him about how she felt or shun him completely meant that she would most likely decide in his favor if he left her alone. So he played along and was amiable and good humored right back to her but limited himself to that and did not make any further advances toward her.

Laissi’s image faded into the dice game as he tried in vain to figure out what he had seen and what rules governed the winning and losing. It was during this contemplation that Jack heard a rustle in the brush about 12 feet from where he lay. Camping so far from the main group did have its disadvantages. Occasionally large and rather desperate predators would try to pick off an isolated human. Jack had hunted the mountains around his camp for an appropriate size stick to use as a club which he now kept next to him as he slept. Old habits died hard and some habits were more useful than others.

Without moving he let his eyes glide to the spot where the sound had been made.  He tried to estimate the size of his intruder. He listened intently and watched. The brush trembled again but near the top of the bush and now only 7 feet from him. What ever was out there was on the larger side of the animal kingdom. Not a rat, a mouse or a snake but something bigger.  That was not good news.  Predators were the only larger animals in this area.  Jack rolled onto his side and brought his legs up to his stomach, preparing to spring. Silently he reached for the club.  The brush rustled again now only 4 feet away and Jackleapt up hefting the club over his head.  He readied himself for a fight and to cry out for help at the same time.

The cry stopped in his throat. Before him was not the crouching shape of a predator, but the lanky outline of a woman. In the half moon light he could barely see the familiar curve in her face but there was no mistake. Laissi was staring, wide eyed, at the club held high over Jack’s head. He followed her eyes, having forgotten the club entirely.  Jack chuckled at himself and quickly tossed the weapon back to its place near his bedroll. She looked at him for a second and then seemed to have thought better of her visit and turned to go.

“No wait!”  Jack cleared the remaining space between them in 3 long strides. He grabbed her wrist and pulled her around to face him. She gave him minimal resistance, but made no effort to come nearer.  She fixed him with her usual cool stare.  She said nothing and his usual charm and wit failed him.  He could think of absolutely nothing to say to her.

He was closer to her now than he had been in the weeks since he had kissed her. She smelled of coriander, peppers and the mix of canning spices they used. At any other time those smells would have made his mouth water but now food was the farthest thing from his mind. He breathed her in. Warm. Spicy. He wished suddenly that he had paid closer attention to his own hygiene, as he doubted that he smelled that delicious.

For a long moment neither moved or spoke. Jack did not care if they ever spoke. He was lost in the sight, smell and feel of her. Once again his free hand began to move as though it had a will of its own. It came up to her cheek and his fingertips lightly touched her face.  They drifted down the line of her jaw. Her face was softer and smoother than the other women he had been this close too. And she smelled so good.

His heart was thudding in his chest.  He could not think.  Could not speak.   He forgot to breath and lost her aroma just as his mind became fixated with the texture of her skin. All he could do was act.

She still stood as still as a statue. His fingers had reached the place where the jaw gives way to neck and he could feel the silky texture of her hair at his fingertips.  His hand abandoned its tentative caress and entwined itself greedily in her jet black hair at the nape of her neck. He used this hand to draw her to him. He dropped her wrist and instead coiled his arm around her waist. He had rediscovered how to breath but now it was way too fast…too urgent. Still she gave nothing back to him. She did not resist and did not come to him. She only stared at him wide eyed, like a frightened animal.  Not saying no but not saying yes either.  She was maddening.

Jack could not take this indecision any longer. He brought his face close the hers. Her aroma filled his senses and drove out any last restraint he had. His lips touched hers gently at first. Now he was close enough to feel her heart beating in syncopation with his and instead of the gentle kiss he had intended he pushed his lips hard against hers. He lost all sense of the world aside from that one sensation of his lips on hers, of her breath against his cheek, of her intoxicating smell.

When he drew his mouth away from hers again, he let his cheek rest against hers. It was then that he discovered that her hands were now entwined in his own hair. Odd. He did not remember how they got there. Her body was now pressed tightly against his. He did not remember when that had happened either.  She sighed in his ear and he kissed her again on the nape of the neck.  Then he turned and led her to his bedroll under the stars and the grinning moon.


Jack woke as he always did, as the the faintest light of dawn streaking gray across the sky.   At first he thought the memory of the  night before and the warmth next to him were remnants of an all too common dream he had been having.   But the warmth of another next to him became more substantial instead of fading as sleep receded.  The smile was on his face before he opened his eyes.  Laissi lay curled with her back next to him, her dark hair fanned across his sleeping roll.  He rolled to his side and began to stroke the silk texture of her hair.

He stared at her for a moment, fascinated by her exotic beauty. He had been an exuberant lover last night but the pent up frustrations of the last few weeks had subsided, somewhat.  Now he longed for something more leisurely.  He wanted time to explore her. He brought himself up on his elbow and examined her face as she slept. His movement roused her slightly and she rolled from her side to her back. She drew her arm out of the blanket that covered them both and lay it above her head exposing her shoulder.  Jack gazed at her shoulder and his grin turned mischievous.

He slowly raised his hand off of the cover and  grasped a fold of the blanket that crossed her abdomen.  Gently, he pulled the blanket south.  Her right breast sprang free from the blanket.

The smile fell away from Jack’s lips.  He was no stranger to the variations of the female form but this was outside what he had seen before.  There was a rough fan of marks that encircled the lower edge of her nipple and distorted herareola .  The light was growing stronger and he could see that the fan was made up of multiple pair of marks which formed matched triangles.  Jack released the blanket and brought his hand up to lightly touch one of the marks.  It was hard and smooth.  A scar.  A burn?  What he had mistaken for maddeningly erect nipples last night were actually permanently misshapen scar at the bottom of the nipple.  He thought of the brands he had seen on the Fort’s scant livestock.  He thought briefly ofPaje and the marks on his body and face.  Was this some sort of rite of passage?  A decoration?  A mark of ownership?  Something their people did?

No.  Such ceremonial marking was done with care and reverence.  These marks were chaotic and overlaid each other.  They went off in odd angles.  No this was not some sort of decoration.

Then his mind showed him the image of her back.  For a moment he could neither move or think.  Jack’s jaw clenched and his hand moved back to the blanket over her body. He clenched it into a fist and fought to get himself under control. Cautiously, so as not to wake her, he drew the blanket off her other breast. There, too, were the same marks.

She stirred and he froze. He suddenly did not want her to wake.  His desire for her momentarily distracted by this new piece of information and the flood of emotion that threatened him.

Jack pulled the cover back over her and slid down next to her.

How had this happened to her? What kind of monsters were these people that had controlled his life for so long? Who ever did this wanted more than just plain punishment. They did not want to make an example of her in front of others as he had imagined when he saw her back. These things Jack had seen before. He could understand scars left for that purpose.

The scars on her breasts were something different.  They were meant to run much deeper. These were personal. Whoever had done this wanted something from her. Something she had been unwilling to give. Information? What information could she have that was worth this sort of scar? A scar so deeply destructive?  Favors? Anyone who had the power to make those scars had the power to take…

Jack’s mind froze on that one thought.  The worst scars may not be physical a small voice inside him whispered.  Unwelcome and unbidden images filled his mind.  He suddenly knew that the scars marking her body were not her most significant. His jaw muscles tensed and for a moment he was sure he would be sick.  He could not lay still any longer. He slithered out from under the blanket and stood looking down at her.  His stomach cooled but his muscles in his jaws and his hands did not.  His breath was coming in angry snorts.

“Bastards.” he breathed.  More images flooded his mind and he shuddered. He hunted for his pants.

He stood for a moment after putting on his pants and looked down at her again.  He was unsure what to do next.  Finally he decided that he had to walk.  He had to let the violence in his soul run through his muscles into the ground.  He turned and stalked into the desert on stiff legs with clenched fists.

At the bottom of the small rise where he had placed his tent, he turned and looked up at her again. She lay there undisturbed.  So exposed.  So vulnerable.  Oddly he felt strange about leaving her there unprotected. He knew, of course, that this was unreasonable. There was no one out here who would harm her. They were among friends.  But still.  Defenseless.  He found himself turning back toward her.

He stood for a third time staring down at her. Too restless to stay and too protective to go.  He stood helplessly clenching and unclenching his hands and breathing like a bull about to charge.

Finally he contented himself with burning off the excess anger by stalking around the campsite within site of the bedroll until the unwelcome images faded into the softer images of last night.

When Laissi’s eyes began to flutter open, Jack was sitting next to the bedroll, still deep in contemplation but under his own control.  Her dark eyes met his and he felt something inside uncoil.  He favored her with a strained smile.  She clutched the blanket to her chest and sat up. He handed her a freshly steeped cup of tea he had cooked over his lamp.  She took the cup but then entwined her fingers in his with her free hand.  That was all it took to banish the last of the unwelcome images and warm his lips to a more genuine smile.

He thought about asking her about the scars.  Not today.  Today was their first day as a couple.  But maybe later.  Much later he decided.

The Concepts Behind the Fiction:  Sex, Drugs, and Torture

1.  The Nature of Torture

Major General Taguba, who retired in January 2007 who supports the President’s decision not to release the photographs, today said, “These pictures show torture, rape and every indecency.”–Huffington Post

That photos show women raped by male American soldiers depicted as “interrogation” has shocked millions.  Veterans Today

Rapes of both sexes are shown in the photographs – male on female, male on male.

There are an estimated 2,000 pictures. One shows a female prisoner being forced stripped to expose her breasts. Others have cattle prods, trenchers, wire and phosphorescent tubes put in body parts.–Huffington Post

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Congress last year, after viewing a large cache of unreleased images, “I mean, I looked at them last night, and they’re hard to believe.” They show acts “that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane,” he added.–After Downing Street

You don’t have to dig very hard or for very long to get to the most disturbing nature of torture.  Sex is almost always used as a weapon.  In fact it calls into question the desires and the nature of the torturer.  What kind of person is good at torture?

Maj Gen Taguba’s internal inquiry into the abuse at Abu Ghraib, included sworn    statements by 13 detainees, which, he said in the report, he found “credible    based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by    other witnesses.”


Among the graphic statements, which were later released under US freedom of    information laws, is that of Kasim Mehaddi Hilas in which he says: “I saw    [name of a translator] ******* a kid, his age would be about 15 to 18 years.    The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets.    Then when I heard screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn’t    covered and I saw [name] who was wearing the military uniform, putting his    **** in the little kid’s ***…. and the female soldier was taking pictures.”


The translator was an American Egyptian who is now the subject of a civil    court case in the US.


Three detainees, including the alleged victim, refer to the use of a    phosphorescent tube in the sexual abuse and another to the use of wire,    while the victim also refers to part of a policeman’s “stick” all of which    were apparently photographed. The Telegraph

We have imprisoned women and children and tortured them. How can torturing a child possibly make us safer?

Admin Ordered to Free Gitmo Prisoner

The Obama administration has been ordered to free a young Afghan prisoner one day after saying it would allow his release. On Thursday, District Judge Ellen Huvelle ruled the imprisonment of Mohamed Jawad is illegal, calling it “a horrible, long, tortured history.” Jawad was as young as twelve at the time of his capture seven years ago in Afghanistan and was tortured into confessing to throwing a grenade at a US soldier. He’s expected to be sent back to Afghanistan next month.–Democracy Now!

Since it invaded Iraq in 2003, the U.S. has detained thousands of juveniles—some of whom were tortured and sexually abused, according to published reports. Figures of the number of children behind bars vary. Some estimates put the number as high as 6,000.

While the criminal abuse of male prisoners at Abu Ghraib is well known, child and women prisoners held there have also been tortured and raped, according to Neil Mackay of Glasgow´s “Sunday Herald.”…


Iraqi lawyer Sahar Yasiri, representing the Federation of Prisoners and Political Prisoners, said in a published interview there are more than 400,000 detainees in Iraq being held in 36 prisons and camps and that 95 percent of the 10,000 women among them have been raped. Children, he said, “suffer from torture, rape, (and) starvation” and do not know why they have been arrested. He added the children have been victims of “random” arrests “not based on any legal text.”…


Iraqi TV reporter, Suhaib Badr-Addin al-Baz, arrested while making a documentary and thrown into Abu Ghraib for 74 days, told Mackay he saw “hundreds” of children there. Al-Baz said he heard one 12-year-old girl crying, “They have undressed me. They have poured water over me.” He said he heard her whimpering daily…


Al-Baz also told of a 15-year-old boy “who was soaked repeatedly with hoses until he collapsed.” Amnesty International said ex-detainees reported boys as young as 10 are held at Abu Ghraib.

German TV reporter Thomas Reutter of “Report Mainz” quoted U.S. Army Sgt. Samuel Provance that interrogation specialists “poured water” over one 16-year-old Iraqi boy, drove him throughout a cold night, “smeared him with mud” and then showed him to his father, who was also in custody. Apparently, one tactic employed by the Bush regime is to elicit confessions from adults by dragging their abused children in front of them…


And reporter Hersh told the American Civil Liberties Union convention he has seen videotapes of Iraqi boys that were sodomized, “and the worst part is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking.”–American Chronicle

These people has mothers, fathers, brothers, wives, husbands.  How would your feelings toward this subject change if the person in question was not a terrorist with a different religion and brown skin but a family member?  A lover?

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female    prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male    detainee.

Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with    objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube…


Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly    removed to expose her breasts. –The Telegraph (UK)


Even our native born citizens are not spared from this atrocity.


FRANK LINDH, John Walker Lindh’s Father: He was already wounded. He had a bullet wound in his thigh, and he had shrapnel wounds in his legs. He was dehydrated. He suffered hyperthermia. He was very close to death in that media interview there.

And instead of being treated humanely-it’s a difficult subject for us, but Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld-this is a document that came out in the discovery in John’s case-ordered, “Take the gloves off.” Juan referred to this. This was his order, direct order from the Secretary of Defense. And from that point forward, they severely abused John to the point that I would say constitutes torture. He was stripped naked in the winter. His bullet wound was left untreated. They put painful restraints, plastic restraints, around his wrists and his ankles, and he was tied to a gurney and placed naked in a metal-unheated metal shipping container in the desert and left there for two days and two nights shivering. His wounds were left- Democracy Now!

Clearly the administration knows that this is not going to go over well.  Earlier 2000 of these pictures were about to be released when the White House did an about face and declined to release them.

President Barack Obama declared Wednesday he would try to block the court-ordered release of photos that show U.S. troops abusing prisoners.

He said the abrupt reversal of his position came out of concern that the pictures would “further inflame anti-American opinion” and endanger U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan…

“This is not a situation in which the Pentagon has concealed or sought to justify inappropriate action,” Obama said of the photos. “In fact, the most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger.”–MSNBC


Mr Obama seemed to reinforce that view by adding: “I want to emphasise that    these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly    sensational, especially when compared to the painful images that we remember    from Abu Ghraib.” —The Telegraph

In fact we are willing to go to extremes to keep the torture pictures unseen.  Even preventing courts in other countries from releasing their pictures.

AMY GOODMAN: A British court heard evidence last week that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to prevent the disclosure of details regarding the CIA’s role in the alleged torture of former Guantanamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed. Newly revealed British government documents show Clinton warned British officials the Obama administration would end intelligence sharing if it revealed evidence in Mohamed’s case. Mohamed was released from Guantanamo in late February after seven years in US custody. He says he was repeatedly tortured at a secret CIA prison and at Guantanamo.


Well, earlier this year, the leading conservative British parliamentarian, David Davis, came here to the United States to speak with US lawmakers about Mohamed’s case. Davis, a former shadow home secretary and a former member of the British special forces, has been critical of torture and “extraordinary rendition.”


I spoke with Davis about the attempts by the Obama administration to suppress evidence in this case.

    DAVID DAVIS: We have in Britain at the moment a court case underway about torture. It’s one of, we think, fifteen cases of really serious torture. We’re not talking waterboarding here. We’re talking scalpels and beatings and cutting people in unpleasant places. That case is beginning to show complicity in that torture on the part of British intelligence agencies.

    The judges want to release some information to the public, very carefully selected information, not detailed security information, and they have not been able to, because the US administration has written to the court, written to the foreign office and then to the court, saying if they release this sort of information, they’ll cut off intelligence cooperation or reduce intelligence cooperation with the United Kingdom. Now, that’s a serious threat. The judges referred to it as a “threat” eight times in their judgment, and they clearly thought we ought to know what’s been going on, what’s been happening with British intelligence agencies’ involvement in torture. We can’t do it, because the Americans are stopping us…

    I mean, torture-torture is wrong for all sorts of reasons. It’s illegal. It’s immoral. It doesn’t work. It takes away the moral high ground. Most of the guys who fight in our special forces and our agents in our intelligence agencies want to think they’re on the side of right, not the side that tortures people. So it puts them in the wrong, too. It undermines their morale. And finally, it’s a fantastic propaganda working for the other side. I mean, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib have turned out to be the greatest propaganda weapons for al-Qaeda. Torture is another one, and we’ve got to put a stop to it. We’ve got to clean it out and make our decision as to how we’re going to run our war against terror, and we do that by using civilized methods, not barbarian ones…

    AMY GOODMAN: Binyam Mohamed, in an interview that he did, the first prisoner released under President Obama, said that the conditions at Guantanamo got worse under President Obama.

    DAVID DAVIS: Is that right? I’m not really aware of that. I mean, certainly towards the end, he-obviously, there was more pressure. I’m not sure whether that’s a result of the change of administration or whether it’s a result of the behavior of the inmates. I can’t tell you that. I’m not expert on that.

    My concern is what happened before he went to Guantanamo. And, I mean, he went-he was sent to Morocco, and he was tortured-

    AMY GOODMAN: Explain his case.

    DAVID DAVIS: -with scalpels. He had his penis cut with scalpels, other parts of himself cut with scalpels. He was tortured by the Pakistanis. As I said, it’s not just waterboarding we’re talking about here. This is really brutal, almost medieval torture. And it looks to us-it’s very-I mean, there is a criminal case, a secret criminal case, being investigated at the moment in the UK on this. We don’t know what the details are…

    AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean, a secret criminal case?

    DAVID DAVIS: Well, there are forty-two documents involved in this case, and they were given to the police by our attorney general about a month ago, because she thinks it’s a prima facie criminal case, because torture is an absolute wrong. It’s an absolute crime in the UK, and complicity in it, tolerance of it, using it to get information are all crimes. So we have to make sure that we have not done that, and if we have, we put a stop to it…

    AMY GOODMAN: Information surfacing in Britain that there was a confidential informant in Morocco who knew Binyam Mohamed at the time that the British government was saying they didn’t know where he was, when he was being held there.

    DAVID DAVIS: Yeah.

    AMY GOODMAN: What information do you have about this?

    DAVID DAVIS: Well, there was one person who had said this to a journalist. But worse than that, I mean, we-at one point, a UK intelligence agent said to the court, “We didn’t know where he went after he left Pakistan.” Then, they suddenly found thirteen more documents, and they had to tell the court, “Well, actually, that appears not to be true,” that piece of evidence. So what it looks like is that the agencies have not exactly told the whole truth. And there’s more than just another inmate of the prisons. There seems to be documentary evidence that they actually knew where he was, i.e. in Morocco. And you would send such a man to Morocco, for what reason, other than to use their interrogation techniques, which are not ones that we would use, nor indeed you would use?…

    AMY GOODMAN: What about Guantanamo prisoners being relocated with the closing of Guantanamo? What is your position on Guantanamo prisoners coming, say, to Britain?

    DAVID DAVIS: Well, we’ve taken some back already. And I think it’s very simple: you either put them through the courts and prosecute them, or you do what you need to do if you think somebody’s dangerous but you can’t prove it, which is surveillance and the like. What you don’t do is leave them in limbo forever…

AMY GOODMAN: That is David Davis, a former shadow home secretary in Britain, former member of the British special forces, has been critical of torture and extraordinary rendition. He is a conservative British MP right now. He came earlier this year to the United States to lobby folks in Washington. Last week, a court, a British court, heard evidence that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to prevent the disclosure of details regarding the CIA’s role in the alleged torture of former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Binyam Mohamed, the case that Davis has come to New York and to Washington to speak about.–

Binyam Mohamed: “What remains is, every time you see a rope, then you always go back to the time when you were hung. Now, that doesn’t go away. And nobody has even thought of what kind of torture we go through.”

2.  Torture U.

“Why are we worried about releasing detainees when the jailers are far greater dangers to the American people.  We have set up a training school for serial killers and rapists.  All of them will be returned to America, not as “suspects” but hiding among the military/veteran communities.  These interrogators, posing as soldiers and “civil servants” are more a danger to our families than any terror cell.  Do you want one of them living next door to you?”  Veterans Today

America has a long history of torture that most Americans are completely oblivious to.  The US runs the School of the Americas which is now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC).  Opponents call it the School of the Assassins or Torture U.  This secretive school now resides in Georgia after being kicked out of Panama in 1984.

Initially established in Panama in 1946, it was kicked out of that country in 1984 under the terms of the Panama Canal Treaty. Former Panamanian President, Jorge Illueca, stated that the School of the Americas was the “biggest base for destabilization in Latin America.” The SOA, frequently dubbed the “School of Assassins,” has left a trail of blood and suffering in every country where its graduates have returned.

Over its 59 years, the SOA has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. These graduates have consistently used their skills to wage a war against their own people. Among those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, “disappeared,” massacred, and forced into refugee by those trained at the School of Assassins.–SOA Watch

In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release the training manuals for the SOA.  They show torture as part of the curriculum.


The two CIA manuals, “Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual-1983” and “KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation-July 1963,” were originally obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Baltimore Sun in 1997. The KUBARK manual includes a detailed section on “The Coercive Counterintelligence Interrogation of Resistant Sources,” with concrete assessments on employing “Threats and Fear,” “Pain,” and “Debility.” The language of the 1983 “Exploitation” manual drew heavily on the language of the earlier manual, as well as on Army Intelligence field manuals from the mid 1960s generated by “Project X”-a military effort to create training guides drawn from counterinsurgency experience in Vietnam. Recommendations on prisoner interrogation included the threat of violence and deprivation and noted that no threat should be made unless the questioner “has approval to carry out the threat.” The interrogator “is able to manipulate the subject’s environment,” the 1983 manual states, “to create unpleasant or intolerable situations, to disrupt patterns of time, space, and sensory perception.”  NSA Briefing Book

Once these manuals were divulged there was a campaign to change them and include the human rights information.  But that only occurred after they were divulged to the public.  The fact that torture was endorsed by the school was well known by the top of the government in the US.


In March 1992 Cheney received an investigative report on “Improper Material in Spanish-Language Intelligence Training Manuals.” Classified SECRET, the report noted that five of the seven manuals “contained language and statements in violation of legal, regulatory or policy prohibitions” and recommended they be recalled. The memo is stamped: “SECDEF HAS SEEN.”–NSA Briefing Book

And those torture lessons have been taken to heart by SOA graduates.  They have created some of the worst atrocities in South America.


United Nations Truth Commission Report:


This report on El Salvador cites over 60 Salvadoran officers as committing the worst atrocities during that country’s brutal civil war.


Over 2/3 of those named were alumni of the SOA. For example:


19 of 26 cited for the assassination of 6 Jesuit priests.

10 of 12 cited for the massacre of over 900 at El Mozote.


2 of 3 cited for the assassination of Archbishop Romero.


3 of 5 cited for the murder of 4 U.S. church women.


3 of 3 cited for the murder of union leaders.


“State Terrorism in Colombia”


This Human Rights Watch report is the definitive work on Colombian military officials responsible for violations in that country. Of the 247 cited, 124 were SOA graduates. For example:


3 cited for the Trujillo “chainsaw” massacre of 107 villagers.


9 cited for the Segovia massacre of 43, many were children.


8 cited for the Uraba massacre of 20 striking banana workers.


“US State Dept Report on Human Rights in Colombia”



The 1998 report cites SOA graduates as being responsible for carrying out an illegal raid on a human rights office in 1998, for the 1997 massacre of more than 30 civilians in Mapiripan, as well as many other atrocities. In total, the School has produced at least eleven Latin American dictators. SOA graduates and guest instructors include:


Colonel Pablo Belmar


He was directly implicated in the torture and murder of UN official Carmelo Soria, whose neck was broken while being tortured by Chilean DINA personnel.


Gen. Hugo Banzer Suarez


Banzer was a brutal military dictator who achieved power in Bolivia through a violent coup. He developed the “Banzer Plan” to silence outspoken members of the church; the plan became a blueprint for repression throughout Latin America.


General Rios Montt


Author of the “scorched earth” policy in Guatemala, which resolved in over 625 indigenous villages being completely eliminated. He gained power by orchestrating a bloody coup and led the country during some of itsmost repressive years.


General Hernan Jose


Guzman Rodriguez


He protected and aided the Colombian paramilitary death squad “MAS,” which was responsible for the deaths of at least 149 people. He commanded the soldiers who detained, tortured, gang raped, and executed Yolanda Acevado Carvajal.


General Hector Gramajo


Architect of genocidal policies from 1980-1991 which resulted in the rape, murder, torture and displacement of hundreds of thousands of indigenous people in Guatemala. After US courtsfound him guilty of  numerous war crimes, Gramajo was a guest speakernat an SOA graduation ceremony, as an “honored guest.”–SOA Watch

Think only people from outside the country are victims of this sort of abuse.  You’ve never heard of Project Artichoke or Project Bluebird, then?  During these covert operations the CIA tried to brain wash mildly mentally ill patients with a variety of drugs and electric shock.


In addition, the scope of the project was outlined in a memo dated January 1952 that stated, “Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature, such as self preservation?”

The Deputy Director of the CIA revealed that over thirty universities and institutions were involved in an “extensive testing and experimentation” program which included covert drug tests on unwitting citizens “at all social levels, high and low, native Americans and foreign.” Several of these tests involved the administration of LSD to “unwitting subjects in social situations.” At least one death, that of Dr. Olson, resulted from these activities. The Agency itself acknowledged that these tests made little scientific sense. The agents doing the monitoring were not qualified scientific observers.–Ted Kennedy on the Senate Floor


School of the Americas Watch

More about the graduates of SOA


SOA’s activities in South America by Country

Victim of Project Artichoke

Victim C Testimony before Congress




3.  Cocaine, Nicaragua, Heroin, Afghanistan, and the CIA

“If the people were to ever find out what we have done, we would be chased down the streets and lynched.”

George Bush Sr., cited in the June, 1992 Sarah McClendon Newsletter

So why do we need such control over the people of South America?  Well there is the oil.  And other corporate interests such as Dole Fruit.

These SOA training manuals advocate targeting those who…


support “union organizing or recruiting


distribute “propaganda in favor of the interest of workers


“sympathize with demonstrations or strikes”


make “accusations that the government has failed to meet the basic needs of the people”  



The purpose of the School of the Americas is, and has always been, to control the economic and political systems of Latin America by aiding and influencing Latin American militaries. Countries with the worst human rights record have consistently sent the most soldiers to be trained at the SOA. For example:


Bolivia during the reign of terror of General Banzer; Nicaragua during the Somoza family dictatorship; El Salvador during the period of bloodiest repression;and currently Colombia.–SOA Watch

We are getting to see this in real time.  The recent Honduran Coup was backed by graduates of the SOA.  It seems that the former president raised the minimum wage in this country with a 62% poverty rate which rankled business interests in the country with close ties to the Clintons.

But there is also the CIA and the cocaine industry.

Lets get something straight before I even start this.  I don’t do illicit drugs.  Yes I do know what the #1 cash crop of the State of Jefferson is.  I just don’t care for it myself.  My drugs of choice are caffeine,alot of caffeine, and a rare glass of wine.  Fortunately for me booth are cheap and legal.

In 1973 President Nixon started a war on drugs that cost the American tax payer $101 million a year.  In 2000 we spent $200 million and now have over 1 million people in jail for drug crimes.  Half of the people in our jails are there for nonviolent (drug) crimes.  And drugs are more prevalent and popular than ever.  They are also easier to get and cheaper.  Meanwhile, Holland decriminalized all organic drugs and they have 60% less drug use percapita.  Go figure.

The Regan administration renewed this war when crack cocaine became available.  They ran a news and public education campaign that informed people that crack cocaine was more potent and addictive than its powdered cousin and that it was cheaper to make.  Now if you are an American entrepreneur that is exactly what you are looking for.  An addictive product that is cheap to make.  You know, like tobacco.  Soon Freeway Ricky Ross had single-handedly created a crack epidemic in LA.  Or so the authorities said when he was arrested.

In 1993 Gary Webb connected the Regan administration to the explosion of drugs in LA.  (See link to Dark Alliance in the Further Reading List.)

    “The connections piled up quickly. Contra planes flew north to the    U.S., loaded with cocaine, then returned laden with cash. All under    the protective umbrella of the United States Government. My    informants were perfectly placed: one worked with the Contra pilots    at their base, while another moved easily among the Salvadoran    military officials who protected the resupply operation. They fed me    the names of Contra pilots.  Again and again, those names showed up    in the DEA database as documented drug traffickers.

     “When I pursued the case, my superiors quietly and firmly advised me    to move on to other investigations.”  

                              Former DEA Agent Celerino Castillo                               Powder Burns, 1992

Turns out Ricky’s supplier was a CIA agent.  Apparently Regan really wanted the Contras to run Nicaragua.  So the US supported their rebel efforts by selling arms to Iran.  They also turned a blind eye as the Contras supplemented this income by making cocaine and then shipping it to the US.  Even helping to fly it into the US and finding someone to sell it.  Who was in charge of this operation?  Oliver North.  Yeah that’s right the guy who made an unsuccessful run for Senate and now hosts his own show on Fox News Network.  Think this is nonsense, CIA director Boner admitted that the CIA sold cocaine in the US on 60 Minutes in 1993.

Of course now we have crystal meth which is manufactured in the good ol USA.  No more outsourcing and American crime jobs, right?

Well not so fast.  For years I did not see a single patient on heroin and now this devastating drug is back.  Why?  Well, under Taliban rule Afghanistan grew next to no poppy plants (the plant responsible for heroin).  US forces released all of the drug lords that were jailed by the Taliban when they invaded the country.  They put the brother of the biggest poppy grower in charge of the country.  They opened trade channels with Pakistan to move the drug.

Torture, drugs, oil, and the CIA.  Its South America all over again.

American Drug War full movie

Iran Contra History

Drugs and Iran Contra

Did Coke assassinate labor leaders in Colombia?