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Today, Wednesday, and tomorrow, Thursday,
please contact your Representative in Washington, DC - and ask your friends to do this -
Phone: 202.224.3121

We’d like to see
YES votes on the McGovern(MA)-Sestak(PA)-Bishop(GA) Amendment to HR 5658
(the Defense Authorization Bill) from the Northern California  Reps.
The amendment would make public the names of the students and instructors at WHINSEC
so that their past and future human rights records could be tracked.

More details available at www.soaw.org and in the email below

Prepared by School of the Americas Watch West.
National SOAW website:
San Francisco website:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Call Congress Now! - Vote on the SOA/WHINSEC This Week

PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY!

SOA Watch has received confirmation that Congress will vote on an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2009 that would require that the School of the Americas/WHINSEC release the names, ranks, country of origin, courses and dates attended of students and instructors at the institute. The amendment will be offered by Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA), Representative Joe Sestak (D-PA) and Representative Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and we expect the vote to happen on Thursday, May 22.

For the past few years, despite the WHINSEC PR machine proclaiming an open and transparent school, the WHINSEC has been unwilling to provide information about the students and instructors. Freedom of Information Act requests for FY 2005, 2006 and 2007 have all been denied, proof of WHINSEC's unwillingness to submit to oversight from the public whose tax-payer dollars help fund the school.

Access to information regarding SOA/WHINSEC graduates of previous years has been a valuable asset to human rights organizations who have been able to identify Latin American military officers and police that have committed human rights abuses or engaged in criminal activity in their home countries after attending the school as instructors or students. SOA Watch supports the release of this important information at all U.S. military training facilities in the spirit of openness, transparency, and the public's "right to know".

It is crucial for the success of this amendment that you contact your Representative TODAY and TOMORROW!

SEND AN EMAIL AND FAX TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE NOW!
(Be sure to click the "Send a Fax" box to have the fax sent)

CALL YOU REPRESENTATIVE!

WEDNESDAY, May 21 - THURSDAY, May 22:
202-224-3121
(Congressional Switchboard Number)

Once your call is forwarded to the office of your Representative, ask to speak with the foreign affairs legislative assistant. Here is a suggested message for you to convey:

"Hello,
My name is ________, and as your constituent, I urge you to vote YES on the McGovern-Sestak-Bishop (GA) amendment to the National Defense Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 2009. The amendment would release the names, country of origin, rank and dates of attendance at WHINSEC for graduates and instructors. This amendment is supported by Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Congressman Ike Skelton.

As you may know the School of the Americas, renamed WHINSEC, has a notorious history linked to serious crimes and human rights abuses throughout Latin America. In the past few years under WHINSEC, known human rights abusers have attended the school and WHINSEC instructors have been arrested in Colombia for returning home and aiding the drug cartels. None of this information would be known if the basic information about enrollment at WHINSEC were not disclosed. This information is vital to the work of Congress and human rights organizations who seek protection of human rights and promoting transparency, however all FOIA requests for this information are now being denied.

What is WHINSEC hiding?! Voting YES on the McGovern-Sestak-Bishop (GA) amendment is a vote FOR human rights and FOR transparency. I urge your boss to vote YES!!!"

SEND AN EMAIL AND FAX TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE NOW!

For more information, visit the SOA Watch website and the Legislative Action Index.

Make a Donation

For SOA Watch to become a movement that has the power to make real change and to close the SOA/WHINSEC once and for all, the organization needs your financial support. Every dollar is needed. Please take a moment now to make a donation. Thank you!

Local SOA Watch Groups

New DVD: On The Line

On the Line is an inside look at the people behind one of the largest nonviolent movements in America today: the movement to close the School of the Americas/WHINSEC. In a world where politics, passion, and Constitutional rights collide, protesters discuss their activism, the dark side of U.S. foreign policy, and the challenges of protesting since 9/11. (55 min.) - Click here to order it now for only $20 incl. shipping and handling

Our mailing address is:
SOA Watch, PO Box 4566, Washington, D.C. 20017, USA

Our telephone:
(202) 234 3440

Donate to Support the Campaign to Shut Down the SOA/WHINSEC  

SOAW West CONTACTS
SOAWW - East Bay:  Robert Nixon, 510.533.3120, robertnixon@mindspring.com
SOAWW - Contra Costa: Natalie Russell, 925.934.0759, russell1626@juno.com  
SOAWW - San Jose: William O'Connell, 408.288.5570, wocdoc@sbcglobal.net
     also:    San Jose: Larry Lauro, 408.537.9288, Bellarmine College Prep, llauro@bcp.org
SOAWW - San Francisco: Dolores Perez Priem, 415.387.2287, doloresmp@aol.com
SOAWW - Santa Rosa: Alice Waco, 707.545.1798, awaco@sbcglobal.net
SOAWW - Los Angeles: Margaret Johnson, 323.267.8789, margaret.ann.johnson@hotmail.com

Originally posted to jim d on Wed May 21, 2008 at 03:47 PM PDT.

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