I would like Salvador option to become a well-documented presentation of what was apparently a conscious decision to implement the "Salvador Option" in Iraq. Essentially, this is the architecture of an internecine conflict that may well in retrospect be seen as causing the descent into civil war.
I guess the US government may even consider this desirable, and is pursuing factionalization because at present, El Salvador in the aftermath of civil war has become a right-wing country that can be counted on by the US as an ally, including sending personnel to Iraq.
Because of the human rights issues surrounding arming and training death squads and the provocation of factional attacks, there is plenty of official denial about the implementation of the Salvador option, and one can only occasionally find candid discussion about the strategy. Hopefully enough of the policy debate has been aired so that the above picture can be documented (or disproven).
How the death squads function was briefly exposed when the US military recovered a youth from an Interior Ministry prison. In the process of doing so, they found evidence of torture, and disbanded the prison. A description of this incident would illuminate the Salvador Option.
The US government is playing with fire in the sense that arming Shiite militias means arming people that are as hostile to US military forces in Iraq as they are to Sunnis. This must make for remarkably complicated strategy and tactics. If the strategy cannot be managed, there will be plenty of finger-pointing, and if this happens we will learn a lot more about how the decisions to puruse the strategy were made.
Perhaps, when US officials repeatedly say that Iraq has not yet descended into civil war, despite recurring factional violence, what they mean is that the Salvador Option remains manageable and functional as a tool for controlling the insurgency (?). --Brian Hill
Hugh, I would like to integrate the Cheney quote into the "Planning and Rationale" section. The quote adds a different dimension to the "Salvador Option." I guess one can view the Salvador option as the decision to hold elections under occupation. Its a matter of terminology, but I associate the Salvador option as the decision to employ the militias as part of anti-insurgency. Do these two different dimensions of the term mean the same to you? --Brian Hill
- this stub is not something in my current field of vision, and i am generally too scattershot to begin with. I hadn't planned to do anything here, other than watch it, possibly critique it, and drop some data. Feel free to do what you will with any info i may drop here. i was going to drop the quote on this talk-side, but i wasn't sure of your familiarity with wikispeaki, so i put into your face. any future data dumping will probably be here, or on your pesonal talk page.
- i noticed this stub's creation about a week and a half ago, while browsing the RSS feed which lists recent edits. i try to view that feed at least once a day, often several times a day, since RSS is one of the methods i use to scan the news datastreams. i noticed this article's creation, because of its title, and because i was/am unfamiliar with you as a S/W editor, which although not exactly 'fair', causes me to scrutinize product more than i would a recognizable editor's.
- Another reason for notice is that the Cheney quote from the '04 VP debate literally caused a chill down my spine when i heard him say it. I was busy when i browsed this stub, so just quickly bookmarked the url, but didn't bother to put it in my S/W bookmark folder, and proceeded to forget about it, until i was cleaning up the bookmark file yesterday morning, and ran into it. I expected cheney to get hammered by the press for what he'd said, but there was hardly a whimper, other than a Counterpunch piece, as i recall. At the time, i pulled some other data in re: Latin America during the reagancomedy, and used it as a political posting in emails, and possibly a board or too. I should have the data, but there is a very good chance that it is sitting in one of three data_blobs that are the remants of email archives, which i stupidly forgot to burn onto a cd before i had to reload win2k on my previous box 3 times in one month, and even though i remembered after the first reload, the data was sucked up using a recovery program from a reformatted partition. it is fairly extant, since i am almost fanatical with disc defragmentation, but it's just 3 huge ascii files with a light sprinkling of non-significant artifacts around sector edges, and i've never gotten around to reparsing it into an easily manipulated format. this stuff would not be relevant to current events, but may have an odd data point or two for background. Other than that, i seem to remember a bit of data about US Gov coercion in the El Salvador and Nicaraguan elections of '03 or '04, in which ominous rumblings from within US embassies whispered less humanitarian aid was forthcoming to countries which has the audacity to democratically choose a politician which the Bush Administration did not apporve of. there should probably be mention of this hypocrisy from the Great Revisionary Equivocators within The Administration of Mediocrity, evidenced in their Reveries for World Wide Democratic Processes, when compared to their Real-Politik actions and words. What was done just before Irag elections to Fallujah, and then Tel Afer, might be something which could be worked into this stub. an odd methodology in manipulating democratic process-razing a city and causing its base citizenry to flee. I can point to a decent Tel Afer data dump, if you have a need, some in Turkey claimed it was a way to give the Kurds more representation that their population ratios would cause, at th eexpense of the Turkemen. let me know if you andt t look at it.
- oops, waxing hyperbolic along tangential threads again...anyway, maybe i've something to offer at some point hence. and, i perceived the Cheney quote as darkly foreboding. Look at the timeline h eoffered, and what was going on in El Salvador then. There sure were a lot of undocumented Salvadoran live-in housekeepers and nannies in the homes of America's elites back then...
- cheers --hugh_manateee 05:15, 6 May 2006 (EDT)
Not sure if its relevant, but here's an excerpt from the guardian obituary of A.M. Rosenthal.
- In 1981-82 few American reporters realised the extent of secret but crucial US involvement in the war in El Salvador, something the authorities routinely denied. One who knew was New York Times correspondent Raymond Bonner, who in early 1982 exposed the rightist Salvadoran government's massacre of nearly 1,000 men, women and children in the small town of El Mozote. The US insisted it had not happened and pressure mounted on the Times.
- As executive editor, Rosenthal flew to El Salvador to assess the complaints against Bonner. Sympathetic to president Ronald Reagan's rhetoric about the communist threat, Rosenthal began limiting Bonner's coverage and in early 1983 recalled him to the New York business desk. He soon resigned. Today the atrocity at El Mozote is an accepted historical truth, but Bonner's name has faded.
- Christopher Reed, "Abe Rosenthal: Editor who ran 'the most extraordinary leak in the history of governments'", The Guardian, May 12, 2006
--hugh_manateee 05:11, 16 May 2006 (EDT)
NSA Archive Links
CIA, Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual - 1983
This secret manual was compiled from sections of the KUBARK guidelines, and from U.S. Military Intelligence field manuals written in the mid 1960s as part of the Army's Foreign Intelligence Assistance Program codenamed "Project X." The manual was used in numerous Latin American countries as an instructional tool by CIA and Green Beret trainers between 1983 and 1987 and became the subject of executive session Senate Intelligence Committee hearings in 1988 because of human rights abuses committed by CIA-trained Honduran military units. The manual allocates considerable space to the subject of "coercive questioning" and psychological and physical techniques. The original text stated that "we will be discussing two types of techniques, coercive and non-coercive. While we do not stress the use of coercive techniques, we do want to make you aware of them." After Congress began investigating human rights violations by U.S.-trained Honduran intelligence officers, that passage was hand edited to read "while we deplore the use of coercive techniques, we do want to make you aware of them so that you may avoid them." Although the manual advised methods of coercion similar to those used in the Abu Ghraib prison by U.S. forces, it also carried a prescient observation: "The routine use of torture lowers the moral caliber of the organization that uses it and corrupts those that rely on it."
This "report of investigation" was sent to then Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney in March 1992, nine months after the Defense Department began an internal investigation into how seven counterintelligence and interrogation manuals used for years by the Southern Command throughout Latin America had come to contain "objectionable" and prohibited material. Army investigators traced the origins of the instructions on use of beatings, false imprisonment, executions and truth serums back to "Project X"-a program run by the Army Foreign Intelligence unit in the 1960s. The report to Cheney found that the "offensive and objectionable material in the manuals" contradicted the Southern Command's priority of teaching respect for human rights, and therefore "undermines U.S. credibility, and could result in significant embarrassment." Cheney concurred with the recommendations for "corrective action" and recall and destruction of as many of the offending manuals as possible.
This document records a phone conversation with Major Victor Tise, who served in 1982 as a counterintelligence instructor at the School of the Americas. Tise relates the history of the "objectionable material" in the manuals and the training courses at SOA. A decade of training between 1966 and 1976 was suspended after a Congressional panel witnessed the teaching program. The Carter administration then halted the counterintelligence training courses "for fear training would contribute to Human Rights violations in other countries," Tise said, but the program was restored by the Reagan administration in 1982. He then obtained training materials from the archives of the Army's "Project X" program which he described as a "training package to provide counterinsurgency techniques learned in Vietnam to Latin American countries." The course materials he put together, including the manuals that became the subject of the investigations, were sent to Defense Department headquarters "for clearance" in 1982 and "came back approved but UNCHANGED." Although Tise stated he removed parts he believed to be objectionable, hundreds of unaltered manuals were used throughout Latin America over the next nine years.