To the editor:
Your readers should know that every characterization about WHINSEC or the Army’s School of the Americas in Ms. Busse’s Dec. 2 letter is the complete opposite of the truth.
President Bill Clinton and Congress closed the SOA in 2000 and opened the WHINSEC in 2001— similar, not the same. WHINSEC’s faculty and students are from many countries of the Organization of American States; they are military, law enforcement and government civilians of nations led by elected civilian governments, including the U.S. and Canada.
No United Nations Truth Commission report has ever mentioned any of these schools, and you can read the one referred to in the letter online; it’s the 1993 UN Truth Commission Report on the civil war in El Salvador.
In all the history of these schools, not one example of anyone using what he learned in them to commit any crime has ever been found. Not one. Rene Sanabria took a two-month course called Psychological Operations in 1993; what possible relation could that have with drug crimes 15 or so years later?
For anyone who really wants to know who we are and what we do, our doors are open to visitors every workday. Visitors are invited to sit in classes, talk with students and faculty and review our instructional materials. There is no more accessible organization in the Department of Defense.
The WHINSEC campus is at Fort Benning, near Columbus, Ga. Any photo ID will allow access to Fort Benning, and I’ll be happy to give driving directions to our door.