Subject: CONG: Rep. Kucinich on IMET

Statement of Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich
U.S. House of Representatives

Extension of Remarks

In Opposition to the Certification of IMET for Indonesia

March 9, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the certification of International Military Education and Training (IMET) for Indonesia by Secretary Rice. Since 2004, Foreign Operations Appropriations legislation has indicated that the Secretary of State must determine if Indonesia is eligible to receive IMET funds. According to the law, what determines eligibility is the cooperation of the Indonesian government and armed forces with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's investigation into the August 31, 2002 murders of two American citizens and one Indonesian citizen in Timika, Indonesia. Last year, then-Deputy Secretary of State Armitage defined "cooperation" in the Freeport killings as seeing the case through to "its exhaustion."

Yet the present Secretary of State has indicated that she has certified IMET for Indonesia, despite the fact that the Indonesian authorities have not "cooperated" by any definition of the term. In July 2004, when U.S. investigators notified Indonesian police that they were willing to return to Indonesia to assist in apprehending the only person thus far indicted by a US grand jury, Anthonius Wamang, it took the Indonesian police well over six months to respond. Furthermore, Indonesian authorities have not indicted or apprehended Wamang or anyone else. For the first six month after the indictment was unsealed in June 2004, Indonesian police did not inform US investigators as to what they were doing in the investigation.

The cooperation or lack thereof of the Indonesian government and armed forces with the FBI investigation is further complicated by the initial Indonesian police report, as well as NGO and media investigations, which pointed to Indonesian military involvement in the attack. Wamang also admitted ties to the notorious Special Forces Kopassus in a video interview broadcast in Australia.

Providing IMET now will remove the key U.S. leverage to assure justice is done in the Timika case, on the eve of the return of the FBI team to Indonesia.

Congress prohibited full IMET for Indonesia for years because of its extremely poor human rights record. Indonesia has yet to fulfill these previous conditions on IMET, and human rights violations, especially in Aceh and West Papua, continue.

Furthermore, there has been no justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in 1999 in East Timor. The few Indonesian trials were a whitewash; not one Indonesian officer has been held accountable. Indonesia refuses to extradite anyone, including senior military officers, indicted in a separate and credible UN-East Timor justice process. On top of that, there are increasing reports of militia infiltration into East Timor from Indonesia.

The Indonesian armed forces TNI are massively corrupt and have direct ties to terrorist groups. The TNI engages in drug running, illegal logging, extortion of U.S. and other domestic and foreign firms, and human trafficking, among others. A number of Islamic jihadist militia that have terrorized and killed thousands within Indonesia collaborate with and are even empowered by the TNI. The TNI operates a shadow government extending from the central government down to the village level. It continues to resist subordination to civilian authority and is a threat to democracy in Indonesia.

While the amount of money for IMET may be small, it has tremendous symbolic value. The Indonesian military will view any restoration of IMET as an endorsement of business as usual, not as a reward for extremely limited reforms.

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