We Won the Vote in Congress!Pentagon Forced to Release Information to SOA Watch - On to the Senate!
Thanks to your efforts and hard work in defense of human rights, the culture of secrecy and lack of accountability surrounding Defense Department policies suffered a severe blow today when the U.S. House of Representatives approved the McGovern-Sestak-Bishop (GA) amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2009. The amendment forces the public release of names, rank, country of origin, courses and dates of attendance of WHINSEC's graduates and instructors to the public.
The amendment was approved with a 220 to 189 vote!
This is a major victory for the international human rights community!You spoke up and now we are one step closer to transparency and closing the SOA/WHINSEC!
In recent years, WHINSEC has denied information that in the past has been vital in identifying the perpetrators of massacres, targeted assassinations, and human rights abuses committed in Latin America. In response to WHINSEC's lack of transparency and its willingness to undermine public attempts of exercising oversight of the institution, human rights advocates and constituents have taken a stand for justice and demanded Congress to hold WHINSEC accountable.
The access to information regarding students and instructors attending WHINSEC will allow human rights organizations to continue to monitor the school and identify those graduates and instructors who have violated human rights or taken part in criminal activities in their home countries.
Information is power, and the more information we have, the closer we are to closing the SOA/WHINSEC once and for all!
We Won the House, Now Comes the Senate.
The approval of this amendment will now lead us to face a new challenge to insure that WHINSEC also be held accountable by the U.S. Senate, in the coming weeks we will continue to keep you updated so we can work together towards another victory.
- Please consider making a contribution to SOA Watch to support our legislative campaign in the U.S. Senate.
- Visit the SOA Watch website for more information and keep your eyes open for an upcoming mass email with an analysis of the vote and what will be our next steps in the campaign.