Why I blog the way I do

Originally published 10/25/06:

This is letter that I have written another blogger that briefly explains in part why I blog the way I do, or why I believe the way I do.  It’s pretty incomplete, but I think you will get the idea.

Tyler,

1) That you claim a) Americans are sponsoring terrorism”

That’s exactly the point.  We have never been afraid of using terrorism as a tool.  We sponsored the Contras in Nicaragua who carried out numerous terrorists attacks against schools, hospitals etc.  We sponsored Jose Posada Carriles, the worst terrorist in the hemisphere and have shielded him from extradition to face the penalty of his crime of blowing up a passenger airliner in the 1970’s (this at the same time that Bush was saying that whoever is harboring the terrorists are the same as the terrorists).

We have supported terrorists acts against Cuba since the early 60’s.  We supported terrorist acts against Iraq during the 90’s as one of their first interim leaders (I have forgotten his name) was sent in there by the CIA to set off bombs and has reputedly bombed a school bus.  We supported various sorts of terrorist activities in Latin America thru the so-called “School of the Americas” where 2/3 of the graduates have gone on to be implicated in human rights abuses (murders, rapes etc.) in nations where a left wing opposition exists. 

We have all been taught from the time that we were little that our great nation is good, and we are taught from kindergarten to be patriotic.  The attitude you show is ingrained in us from our very beginnings, so I don’t fault you for it.  It takes a little thinking outside the box to see what is actually going on here.  Once you start to see it, the evidence is overwhelming in proving the point that the US is not all about liberty and justice for all.

You use faulty logic to prove your main point making all you say suspect.”

Let me give you some logic that you should be able to see as being trustworthy then.  Since the beginning we have been involved in deterring democracy around the world and upholding terrible dictators that do massive damage to their population.  Why?  Because those dictators that rule with an iron fist make their nation a good investment for foreign corporations since the people of the country, who are being hurt by the presence of the greedy corporation, are suppressed and are helpless against the power of their own government which fails to protect them.  Guatemala is a great example where the United Fruit Co. in the 50’s did not want to pay taxes due to the democratically elected government down there.  They lobbied the US government to overthrow Guatemala’s government and the CIA did exactly that, and a dictatorship was instituted.  That government did not make UF pay it’s due taxes and brutally oppressed the people, killing something like 70,000 of it’s own people over the next few decades. 

We took away the wildly popular Mossadegh in Iran in the 1950’s in favor of the terrible Shah of Iran, which led to the revolution, the hostage crisis of 1979 and the situation we are in today. 

We supported one of the most brutal dictators the world has seen in Suharto in Indonesia, who killed 500,000 to 1 million of his own people in 1965 alone, mostly unarmed, landless peasants, and we provided him with the names of 5000 suspected communists, all of whom were executed.  Later, in 1975, Pres. Ford gave Suharto the green light to invade East Timor.  The next 2 decades saw 200,000 people killed in East Timor as the US supported Suharto with massive weapons sales and military training. 

We overthrew Allende of Chile in the 1970’s, another democratically elected leader, and supported the terrible Pinochet, and thousands died and thousands more were “disappeared.” 

We were involved in the coup which overthrew the democratically elected government of Brazil in 1965. 

We were in support of the overthrow of Aristide both times, again, a hugely popular leader, in which the aftermath of the coups saw thousands killed by the gangs which overthrew him. 

We are currently involved in trying to unseat Chavez of Venezuela, a man who has been consistenly elected in huge landslides in fair voting.  We at least had prior knowledge of the coup in 2002 and have consistently given financial support to coup members since then who have not been imprisoned in spite of their involvement in the coup.

We invaded Iraq and deposed the terrible Saddam, but we supported him thru his worst atrocities and even provided equipment and satellite imagery so that he could gas the kurds and the Iranians with his weapons of mass destruction.  We are now involved in at least a third of the 601,000 violent deaths that have occurred there.  Innocent people or collateral damage.  61% of Iraqis support attacks on US troops.  Does that show their gratitude for the blessings of the great fortune we have provided them of “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”

There’s much more I could go into, but I hope that you can begin to see that the assumptions we are taught from the time we are little, that the US is morally good etc. are part of the propaganda campaign of the secret combinations (that are only secret because we have been trained not to see them) that exist among us.  Gotta run.  Take care.

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11 Responses to “Why I blog the way I do”


  1. 1 Lee A. Rials September 7, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Your entire thesis is shot down when you expose your ignorance by the comment on the School of the Americas. Just so you know, I am the public affairs officer for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation which replaced the school when President Clinton signed into law the FY 01 Defense Authorization Bill.

    The problem with your comment is this: Despite all the ridiculous rhetoric out there, not one individual has ever been shown to have used what he learned at the school to commit a crime–not even one! To say so without any evidence is a moral libel of the people who worked there.

    I can’t help you look at the school, but you are welcome to come any time to examine the institute, sit in classes, talk with students and faculty, and review our instructional materials. We are completely open to visitors; today a doctoral candidate from Emory University is coming down for some research.

    Don’t let your ideology blind you to the truth, and when you can do your own research and see for yourself, do so.

    Sincerely,
    Lee A. Rials

  2. 2 musician September 7, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    The greed of gain has no time or limit to its capaciousness. Its one object is to produce and consume. It has pity neither for beautiful nature nor for living human beings. It is ruthlessly ready without a moment’s hesitation to crush beauty and life out of them, molding them into money. ~
    Rabindranath Tagore
    greed Quotes

  3. 3 theradicalmormon September 7, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Lee,
    I stand by my statement here. In 1996 the Pentagon released seven training manuals prepared by the U.S. military and used between 1987 and 1991 in Latin America and at the U.S. Army School of the Americas. The manuals contain instructions in motivation by fear, bounties for enemy dead, false imprisonment, torture, execution, and kidnapping a target’s family members.

    When they were released I was able to view excerpts online and saw portions where instructions said that it was better to throw someone off of a bridge than a building top as it was cleaner when assassinating someone etc.

    For more information on this see:

    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/SOA/SOA_TortureManuals.html

    The Washington Post released this article on the subject:

    http://www.soaw.org/newswire_detail.php?id=851

    In 1997 we have this:

    “These manuals taught tactics that come right out of a Soviet gulag and have no place in civilized society.” Rep. Kennedy introduced a bill in early February in the House of Representatives that would close the SOA (HR 611).”

    http://www.soaw.org/article.php?id=269

    I don’t know what sort of alternate universe you live in Lee, but it’s bountifully obvious that the School of America’s was a major, dirty arm of our imperial ambitions in Latin America for a long time.

  4. 4 Lee A. Rials September 10, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Friend,

    “Bountifully obvious” is a strange comment from one who has not looked beyond those news reports to see if there is any evidence that those manuals were actually used at the school, if anyone saw them, but more importantly, did anyone act on such instructions. I say there is exactly zero evidence of that. To strain to the point of saying that because someone spent 4-6 weeks at the school and later committed a crime because of that attendance is beyond ludicrous. Can you ascribe any of your own behaviors or values to any secular course you took, no matter the subject? Simply saying that someone attended the school and later committed a crime is not proof of anything. And, as I said, you can come see exactly what the institute does now, any day and without any prior coordination. Just because reality may be the polar opposite of what you have been told doesn’t make it less real. This is not a matter of faith or belief, but of a real place you can judge on its merits.

  5. 5 theradicalmormon September 10, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    Lee,
    Look at the manuals. These were SOA training manuals that were used at the SOA during the 80’s to teach barbaric torture techniques etc. to SOA attendees. There is no question that the manuals were used at the school. I find it disingenuous of you to suggest that there is doubt that the manuals were actually used at the school. I quote for you the beginning of the Washington Post article that broke the story of the training manuals back in 1996:

    “U.S. Army intelligence manuals used to train Latin American military officers at an Army school from 1982 to 1991 advocated executions, torture, blackmail and other forms of coercion against insurgents, Pentagon documents released yesterday show.”

    “Used in courses at the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas, the manual says that to recruit and control informants, counterintelligence agents could use fear, payment of bounties for enemy dead, beatings, false imprisonment, executions and the use of truth serum, according to a secret Defense Department summary of the manuals compiled during a 1992 investigation of the instructional material and also released yesterday.”

    http://www.soaw.org/newswire_detail.php?id=851

    Payment of bounties for enemy dead?!? Executions? All of these techniques used at the SOA from 1982-91.

    Now, you say that just because these people graduate from the SOA and then commit a crime, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the SOA instructions received have a connection to the crime. Well, when 2/3 of the graduates of the SOA are implicated in horrible human rights abuses, after learning torture and execution techniques at the SOA, I think that there is a pretty good pattern there that would prove to most sane thinking people that there is a connection.

    As for what WHINSEC teaches now I know not. Of course you are under a lot more scrutiny and oversight now since the revelations of 1996. I’m sure WHINSEC is more on the up and up currently, and I might be convinced to take your word for it. However, you cannot convince me that it is ludicrous to suggest that historically, the SOA has a connection to human rights crimes in Latin America after all of the evidence available has been reviewed.

  6. 6 Lee Rials October 23, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    I have been out a lot this year, taking care of a very ill wife, who is thankfully recovering now, but I have to respond one last time to the most egregious of your errors. There has not even been 2/3 of ONE PER CENT of the students who attended SOA accused of crimes of any sort. Again, you rely on uninformed sources that cannot support their allegations with any evidence. Just go ahead and name one person who used what he learned at the school to commit a crime–if you do, you will be the first.

  7. 7 theradicalmormon October 23, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Lee,
    I am very sorry to hear about your wife. May her recovery be complete.

    On the subject of criminal graduates from the SOA, I think that the record is fairly clear, and it shows that the SOA taught torture and human rights violations. Therefore, if a graduate of SOA used torture or human rights abuses akin to those taught at the SOA, it is not too much of a stretch of the imagination to show a connection. I repeat for you a paragraph above that you may not have noticed:

    “Used in courses at the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas, the manual says that to recruit and control informants, counterintelligence agents could use fear, payment of bounties for enemy dead, beatings, false imprisonment, executions and the use of truth serum, according to a secret Defense Department summary of the manuals compiled during a 1992 investigation of the instructional material and also released yesterday.”

    This is rather indefensible isn’t it?

  8. 8 Lee Rials November 3, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks for your concern for my family, and I must say my own belief in the goodness of people has been confirmed–every person who knows of our difficulties have been concerned and offered prayers and other kindnesses.

    What is indefensible about the assertions above is that they all come from one newspaper article that was somewhat inaccurate. I haven’t read them (haven’t even seen them), so can only look at the reports of people who were actually at the school at the time. They tell me that four of the seven manuals were brought to the school by a Soldier who came to be an instructor from the unit that wrote the manuals in the first place. Without authority, he added those to the supplemental reading list of the courses he taught. During the time they were here, 48 students could have used them. Of those 48, not one has been accused of any human rights violation. So I go back to the overall assertion–and don’t use your imagination; find some facts if you want to refute me–that not one person has ever been found who used what he learned at the school to commit a crime.

    Just to see the absurdity of making such a connection, pull up the so-called ‘graduate database’ on the SOAW web site, and look up someone like Leopoldo Galtieri. You will find that he took ONE Engineer Operations course of about 12 weeks in 1949, when he was a 23-year-old lieutenant. Or how about his fellow junta member, Roberto Viola, who was never a student, but did escort some junior people to a short course in 1972?

    This entire ‘movement’ is a great fraud perpetrated on people who are concerned about peace, justice and human rights, wasting their time and effort on a false issue. Even if you could show one example of the school’s wrongdoing (which you can’t), the institute that replaced it has not had one charge placed against its instruction, and that instruction is overseen by a federal committee known as the Board of Visitors. The BoV includes members of Congress, priests, preachers, lawyers, and diplomats, all of whom have affirmed in public reports you can find at the ‘.gov’ site that the institute is fulfilling its Congressionally-mandated mission, and doing it with excellence.

    The beauty of this is you can see it for yourself. Come down, spend a few days, get to know who we are and what we do.

  9. 9 theradicalmormon November 4, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Lee,

    “So I go back to the overall assertion–and don’t use your imagination; find some facts if you want to refute me–that not one person has ever been found who used what he learned at the school to commit a crime.”

    This is based on what you heard from someone, and you provide me no source to confirm this? The torture and assassination manuals were only seen by 48 of your tamer graduates? Sorry, but word of mouth will not work. I’ll need some confirmation there.

    “Even if you could show one example of the school’s wrongdoing (which you can’t)…”

    I assume you’re saying that utilizing torture and assassination manuals in the SOA’s instruction to it’s students doesn’t count as ‘wrongdoing’? I know a whole lot of people that would disagree with that.

    Lee, you say this: “find some facts if you want to refute me–that not one person has ever been found who used what he learned at the school to commit a crime.” However, I am not the one on trial here. It is the SOA that should show me that SOA teachings have not influenced SOA graduates implicated in human rights abuses or other crimes. If I ran a school where I taught people to torture and murder, and then that’s exactly what they went out and did… I assume I’d be put out of business pretty fast. As you may have seen in another post I put up recently, there is a rather famous story of a minister that was tortured in Brazil in the 70s by a man who told him he was a graduate of SOA.

    The purpose of the SOA and other military training in Latin America by the USA is to promote US foreign policy in Latin America. Our policy down there has not been one of promoting democracy and preventing human rights abuses as we like to assert. We have been actively engaged in deterring democracy in Latin America for decades. We support coups against popularly elected leaders who are not obedient to the USA. We support oppression of political opponents of the USA, or political opponents of our puppets in Latin America. We have huge amounts of blood on our hands. If you have any doubts about this I’d invite you to read Noam Chomsky’s “Deterring Democracy” or “Necessary Illusions” or John Perkins’ “Confessions of an Economic Hitman.”

    Apparently the SOA has taught counterinsurgency and alerts its students to union leaders, socialist groups etc. as the enemy. SOA is just a small part of our policy of protecting US empire south of the border… a policy that I fight actively against (with good reason).

    What has WHINSEC become with the BoV? and it’s new human rights courses etc? I have no doubt that there are changes. It may be completely different than what it used to be. However, there are still unresolved issues such as the recent graduation of Salvadoran Colonel Francisco del Cid Diaz after he reportedly was responsible for a massacre in his home country. There is also the issue of the SOA’s refusal to comply with FOI requests to publicize their list of graduates in 2005 etc. All of that aside though, our military cooperation with corrupt governments is a relic of the past and is not part of what I envision as being good for America’s future.

    Thank you for your invitation. However, I live on the west coast and have no opportunity to vist in the near future.

  10. 10 theradicalmormon November 4, 2007 at 8:09 am

    Lee,

    This article states the following about the manuals:

    “The paper trail begins with the mysterious “Project X.” Like the Army manuals, the Project X materials “suggested militaries infiltrate and suppress even democratic political dissident movements and hunt down opponents in every segment of society in the name of fighting Communism,” according to the Washington Post.
    At least some of these teaching materials were pulled from circulation by the Carter administration, which was concerned they would contribute to human rights abuses in Latin America. In 1982, the Reagan administration asked the SOA to rush out a new counterintelligence course for Latin American militaries. The instructor asked to develop the course, Capt. Vic Tise, turned to Project X materials, stored at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and updated them into lesson plans.
    In 1987, the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade took the SOA lesson plans and turned them into textbooks: Handling of Sources, Guerrillas and Communist Ideology, Counterintelligence, Revolutionary War, Terrorism and the Urban Guerrilla, Interrogation, Combat Intelligence, and Analysis 1. These manuals were then used by US trainers in Latin America and distributed to Latin American intelligence schools in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Peru. They came full circle back to the SOA in 1989 when they were reintroduced as reading materials in military intelligence courses attended by students from Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. The US government estimates that as many as 1,000 copies may have been distributed at the SOA and throughout Latin America.”

    1000 copies is quite a bit more than your sources claimed when you heard of only 48 SOA students who don’t have a criminal record.

  11. 11 theradicalmormon November 4, 2007 at 8:13 am

    Lee,

    I was also interested to see that Luis Posada Carriles is a graduate of the SOA. He is the biggest terrorist in the western hemisphere having blown an airliner out of the sky in the 70s, killing 73 people. It is fitting that the US has refused to extradite him to stand trial for his murders, instead freeing him to Miami with his partner in crime Orlando Bosch (pardoned by Bush I many years ago). That the US government doesn’t care about crimes committed by SOA graduates in Latin America, and even condones those crimes is well exemplified by Posada Carriles’ case.


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