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SOA was conceived with the noble intent of bringing peace to the Western Hemisphere. It hasn't worked out quite that way. Some progress has been made. But why is there still so much violence out there? Drug markets in the US and elsewhere are for sure at the root. But why are the drug cartels so powerful and the governments involved so weak in dealing with them. And why are certain governments themselves subject to coups and coup attempts? The answers to those questions remain elsewhere.

  • Where are terrorists trained anyway??
  • Madrasas in Pakistan?
  • Al Qa’ida camps?
  • Hostile states out to dominate the world by terror?
  • All the above?
  • YES.
  • What about Fort Benning, Georgia?

Few of us among the American public would reply: YES. And they too would be right, unfortunately.

Along with peace keepers, Fort Benning, Ga. hosts the School of the Americas. It not only trains peace keepers and freedom fighters but also trains those who later become terrorists and despots, but not by intentions of the facility which were/are pure enough--at least we want to so believe. Surprised? We were. Why were we left in the dark by the major media? It took a watchdog blog with a web site to expose this matter to a wider audience that eventually found us. In effect, the school as it now operates, is just one more brick in the wall of empire. Does the fact this feature has not been widely noted by the media add up to aiding and abetting by the media? Either way the school seems to be endorsing the old adage: “Let’s you and him fight.” As for the media, it has a constitutional right to free speech, just as we do. So there are two sides to that coin too. And both of them are influenced by their advertisers. And that feature alone is enough to deter expenses that do not create advertising revenue. Is the human trait for self preservation and survival acting here in a small society? We think it is likely. Consider the following:

The October 2012 issue of Jackrabbit News explains by example:

Venezuela, April 2002: “Two SOA-trained generals led an attempted coup against the democratically elected president.”

Honduras, 28 June 2009: “Four of the six military officials implicated in the coup were trained at the SOA.”

Columbia: “Over 10,000 troops have been trained in Columbia. They are involved in the regions’s worst human rights violations. Columbi death squads have targeted labor unions and union members.”

Mexico: “SOA graduates are found on both sides of the drug war. Eighteen top-ranking officials involved in human rightd abuses studied at the SOA.”

To be sure, every coin has two sides as the Mexico case illustrates. But does the good outweigh the bad? Who knows? Can anyone?

This case has a parallel in the history of the Cold War where the US trained the Taliban to our deepest regret ever since. Only the details are different. The root problem is the same in each case. We were and still are unable to predict how a student, or even an organization, will use his/their training.

No one can be infallible in judging character. But psychometric testing combined with a person’s history, can dramatically reduce the error rate. While many people shy away from anything psychological, psychometric testing has nevertheless shown its prowess. One example we are familiar with to some degree is the success the US has had in selecting personnel for the final assembly of A-bombs. In that case, an entire battery of tests was given before selecting hirees. Their names and all places of work were deleted from the data base we know of. The defector rate was, to our knowledge a net zero. Not so for the SOA.

Of course there is a very huge gap between Fort Benning and A-bomb assembly. But the evidence is nevertheless clear. Tighter admission requirements that employ efficient psychometric testing protocols would tip the scales in favor of the good guys SOA trains. That we haven't already implemented such a protocol is likely because the army brass behave like molasses when it comes to change. The new field manual Gen. Petraeus rewrote is just one case in point. It came very late in the arts of warfare. Military colleges and training centers have been even slower to adapt.

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