Thursday, April 19, 2007

Another Chicago Criminal Behind Bars

by Sara Paretsky

Another Chicago criminal--not quite as notorious as Bobby Cruz, but every bit a felon--entered the Metropolitan Correctional Facility on April 17. Don Coleman, co-pastor with his wife of the University Church in Hyde Park, broke the law last fall. He entered the compound in Ft. Benning, Georgia, that houses the WHINSEC/School of the Americas, as part of a protest to urge its closing. WHINSEC (Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) trains people from South and Central America in how to conduct interrogations, use psychological warfare, and other tactics against members of their own countries, such as labor organizers and journalists who expose their governments' actions.

Among WHINSEC's illustrious graduates is Peru's Telmo Hurtado, who organized the murder of 74 women and children in the Andean Highlands. An officer brought the children (ranging in age from 1 to 8 years) together with a group of women and old men in one of the houses in the village. "I ordered the assault group under my charge to open fire, while I threw a hand grenade inside (the house) with the intention of eliminating anyone who might be merely injured. I took the decision to eliminate the injured because there were too many of them," said Hurtado.

Don Coleman is serving 60 days for his act of civil disobedience. If you want to support him and the other 15 felons who were arrested with him, Don asks that you try to help close WHINSEC. You can write your senators and representatives, urging them to support HR 1707, a bill that merely asks for an investigation into WHINSEC. If you want more detail about the trial of Don and his co-defendants, you can read Tina Busch-Nema's blog about the trial.

Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo, WHINSEC. Can we please shut these places down?

Labels: Torture, Military, WHINSEC, Chicago Criminals


Maryann Mercer said...

It amazes me every time I read about yet another place in which Americans do or teach things we usually attribute to the bad guys. Makes me wonder what I still don't know about. And how long before our people become as reprehensible as those we despise for inhumane acts? Maybe not long at all Maybe they're already there. Thanks Sara for the link. I'm contacting the same congressman who just contacted me to find out if I thought he was doing a good job.

Michael Dymmoch said...

"Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo, WHINSEC. Can we please shut these places down?"

Not until we get an electorate well-educated enough to translate political jargon into English, fair enough to eschew double standards, and intelligent enough to understand that where there is no justice, there is violence.