New York Governor candidate offers solution to the School of the Americas/WHINSEC torture training camp:

Malachy McCourt is standing for the office of Governor of New York. McCourt, a noted author and activist, will focus his campaign on applying the strategies of peace and non-violence to state and national concerns.

With the vote in Congress on Friday, June 9th, which failed to close down the School of the Americas, McCourt offered his own thoughts on the school and what should be done about it. McCourt states, “The first thing that should be done is that the American flag should be taken away from flying over that place. It is absolutely disgraceful that a school for torture and assassination should be protected and covered by the flag of the country that is the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

The School of the Americas is a military training facility for Latin American security personnel. When the activist community nicknamed the school “The School of the Assassins”, the government chose not to shut it down, but to change the name to “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation” (WHINSEC). The school, with the new name, and same shame, is located at Fort Benning, Georgia.

The School of the Americas/WHINSEC was catapulted into the headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution. New information also indicates that WHINSEC has allowed known human rights abusers to instruct and receive training at the school. Argentina and Uruguay are two more countries that have made public announcements they will no longer send students to the school, citing the negative image and history of this institution.

Mr. McCourt is not the only Green Party member concerned with this issue. Green activists such as Bill McNulty have been working for many years to raise awareness about this serious issue. McNulty was one of many people who have been arrested for doing civil disobedience at Fort Benning, in protest of the school and its human rights abuses. Other Green Party candidates, such as New York Senate candidate Howie Hawkins have come out boldly condemning the School of the Americas/WHINSEC.

McCourt states, “A place where students and teachers learn how to torture, pull fingernails, threaten people with dogs, deprive people of sleep, or food, all in the name of democracy is an absolute disgrace. And this place...not alone does it deserve to be closed down, but all those responsible for it should be prosecuted.”

More information about the Malachy McCourt for Governor campaign may be found at www.malachyforgovernor.com. Or, you may hear a message and leave a message at the Malachy for Governor listen line: (646) 213-1870.

Detailed information and updates about the School of the Americas/WHINSEC can be found at: www.soaw.org