McGovern-Lewis Dear Colleague Letter 2011 Print

Following is the text of the letter that Congressman James McGovern and Congressman John Lewis sent to fellow Members of Congress asking them to sign a letter to President Obama urging him to shut down the SOA/WHINSEC.  A total of 69 Members of the House of Reprentatives signed the letter, which was sent to President Obama on August 16, 2011.  For a text of the letter to President Obama, click here.

Click for a complete list of the 69 Representatives who signed the letter to President Obama.


Ask President Obama to Close The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation


Dear Colleague,

We ask you to join us on a letter to President Obama to consider closing the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation/WHINSEC for budget reasons and because it has chosen not to restore public access to the names of its students and faculty.  In 1999, the House voted to shut down the U.S. Army School of the Americas/SOA because of the poor record of its graduates throughout Latin America.  Just days after the SOA closed, the Pentagon opened the WHINSEC in the same locale with most of the same faculty and curriculum as its predecessor.  In 2006, without warning or consultation, the WHINSEC ended the 60-year practice of providing the names of its students and faculty to the public.  Since that time, the House has twice voted to restore public access, a provision that was included in the FY 2010 National Defense Authorization Act – but to no avail.  The Secretary of Defense instead chose to exercise a waiver and continues to refuse public access.

The time has come – especially in these times of hard budget choices – to put an end to the school.  We hope you will join us in this effort.  To sign onto this letter, please contact Cindy Buhl (McGovern) a 5-6101 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Jamila Thompson (Lewis) at 5-3801 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .   The deadline for signature is July 28th.

Sincerely,

James P. McGovern
Member of Congress

John Lewis
Member of Congress