From Institute for Public Accuracy
980 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
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Investigative reporter Allan Nairn recently broke a story of
assassinations by the Indonesian military: "According to senior
Indonesian officials and police and details from government files, the
U.S.-backed Indonesian armed forces (TNI), now due for fresh American
aid, assassinated a series of civilian activists during 2009. The
killings were part of a secret government program, authorized from
Jakarta, and were coordinated in part by an active-duty, U.S.-trained
general in the special forces unit called Kopassus who has just
acknowledged on the record that his TNI men had a role in the killings.
"The news comes as President Barack Obama is reportedly due to
announce that he is reversing longstanding U.S. policy -- imposed by
Congress in response to grassroots pressure -- of restricting categories
of U.S. assistance to TNI, a force that, during its years of U.S.
training, has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians." See in The
Nation magazine: "Washington's Indonesian Bully Boys"
Following these revelations, the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday reported
that the Indonesian military is considering legal action against Nairn.
On Wednesday, Nairn reports he was on METRO TV, an Indonesian news
channel, and was censored a few minutes after the interview began.
Obama was scheduled to be in Indonesia this week, but delayed his
trip. In a recent interview with RCTI, an Indonesian TV network, Obama
remarked that there were human rights abuses "in the past" but that with
the "advent of democracy," the Indonesian military has been "focusing on
external security issues."
Nairn responded this morning: "These assassinations that I'm just
reporting happened while Obama was president. While he was presiding
over the training of, according to the Indonesian defense ministry,
thousands of Indonesian military people. While he was shipping weapons
and equipment to the Indonesian military. ...
"Secondly, when he refers to external security issues that the
Indonesian armed forces are focusing on, I would challenge the president
to name one. There is absolutely no external security threat to
Indonesia. Singapore is not about to invade. Australia is not about to
invade. What the Indonesian armed forces are focusing on is what they've
always focused on: the internal repression of the population. And now
it's most intensive in the eastern part of the country, in Papua, which
is under de facto occupation. But also, they were doing these -- they've
been doing these political assassinations in Aceh. So what Obama says is
just false." See Democracy Now story
Nairn has also questioned the authenticity of Indonesian democracy
under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a U.S. military-trained former
general. Said Nairn: "The army vetted all the candidates, as did the
oligarchs." See this Democracy Now story as well.