Subject: War of Intel Stars in Indonesia election

[many familiar names from East Timor - John/ETAN]

also Wiranto Talk At Forum Protested; Wiranto Defends Human Rights Record

The Jakarta Post

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Star-studded intel war underlines election

The three presidential hopefuls have kicked off their campaigns with heavy contributions from retired top brass from the intelligence community. The involvement of former top commanders has resulted in a clandestine war of strategies since before the legislative elections on April 9. The Jakarta Post' s Rendi A. Witular takes a look at the figures moving the pawns on the chessboard of the political arena, and the campaign strategies being applied on the ground. Here are the stories.

The ancient Chinese military philosopher Sun Tzu once said that victory in a battle was decided not on the battlefield, but in the preparation.

Ingrained with this teaching ever since their first years as cadets, presidential hopeful Gen. (ret) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and rival vice presidential hopefuls Gen. (ret) Wiranto and Lt. Gen. (ret) Prabowo Subianto have called on a host of retired military top brass as their trusted advisers to put Sun Tzu's doctrine to work in securing the presidency.

As the incumbent, President Yudhoyono has the upper hand in applying his intelligence strategy long before the election, apparent in his Democratic Party's almost threefold surge in votes as it swept the April polls.

Dubbed a "silent operation" by his inner circle, Yudhoyono`s strategy includes not only mapping out and identifying potential sources of votes, but also the strengths and weaknesses of his rivals, according to a Democratic Party legislator.

"It's obvious we've employed retired military generals for intelligence gathering. We've been working [on the legislative and presidential elections] since long before voting day," says Democratic Party spokesman Max Sopacua, who has been with Yudhoyono since the 2004 elections.

"We're applying Sun Tzu's philosophy; winning a war is not decided in battle, but in how it is prepared."

In 2005, Yudhoyono, who spent most of his military career in the territorial ranks, began assembling his retired military peers with intelligence background to design a strategy for a victory in 2009.

Among them, according to his election team, are Maj. Gen. (ret) Achdari, deputy chief of the Indonesian Military's (TNI) intelligence agency (Bais) in 1994; Maj. Gen. (ret) Sardan Marbun, director of the TNI's intelligence center between 1999-2000; and Maj. Gen. (ret) Soeprapto, a former assistant personnel to the Army chief of staff between 2000 to 2001.

Besides buffing Yudhoyono's image, their job also includes recruiting high-profile figures and compiling information on potential threats from political rivals.

The Golkar Party, chaired by rival candidate Jusuf Kalla, once accused Yudhoyono's inner circle of masterminding internal rifts, through intelligence-style operations, in Golkar, the National Mandate Party (PAN), the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the United Development Party (PPP).

Presidential spokesman and Democratic Party executive Andi Mallarangeng has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Analysts say Yudhoyono's squad of former spooks may have met their match in the lineup picked by Prabowo, the running mate of presidential candidate Megawati Soekarnoputri.

Gen. (ret.) Hendropriyono, former head of the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) between 2001 and 2004, Maj. Gen (ret) Theo Syafei, former Udayana military commander between 1993 and 1994, and Maj. Gen. (ret) Muchdi Purwopranjono, former TNI Special Forces (Kopassus) commander in 1998, are lending their considerable talents to the Megawati-Prabowo team.

Prabowo, himself a legendary Kopassus commander between 1995 and 1998, is spearheading the campaign team by drawing up its tactics and on-the-ground execution.

"The experiences of the retired generals in the race are shaping the style of the campaign," says ProPatria Institute military analyst Hari Prihatono.

"For instance, Megawati and Prabowo tend to apply lethal, sudden attacks because of the strong Kopassus influence there."

Other examples include the raising of "neoliberalism" and "pro-foreigner" allegations against the team of Yudhoyono and Boediono, the US-educated former central bank governor.

"Yudhoyono's team prefers a more drawn-out territorial strategy, in which they lay the groundwork in peace time and before any war erupts," Hari says.

"The team works mostly in a defensive mode, as stability and control are their utmost priorities."

The third team in the equation, that of Kalla and his running mate Wiranto, tend to be less aggressive than the Megawati-Prabowo ticket, Hari says, perhaps because of Wiranto's character being shaped within the Army's strategic reserves, or Kostrad.

But analysts believe the military nuances in the Kalla-Wiranto ticket are less pronounced that in the two other tickets due to Kalla's astuteness in engineering political ploys.

"Kalla doesn't need military-style strategies to win the election. He is by nature a smart guy. Wiranto is on board to help deal with voters in Java," says businessman Sofjan Wanandi, part of the inner circle of Kalla's campaign team.

Political analyst Maswadi Rauf of the University of Indonesia says Kalla is catching up fast, jacking up his low popularity through the use of more concrete actions, comical speeches and punchy comments for the media to devour.

"If the other candidates don't adapt to Kalla's style, they risk losing a lot," Maswadi says.

"And I guess Kalla's strategy isn't engineered by former military top brass."

Maswadi stresses the "star war" between former officers is necessary to nurture democracy, as long as active TNI officers do not join the fray.

"The good thing is these former generals are spread across several parties. It would be perilous if all of them backed just one party," he says.

"They can also prevent each other from recruiting active TNI and police officers."

Despite the glistening show-within-a-show, the TNI and the police are unlikely to improve in terms of structure and welfare.

"In their time, these former generals failed to make the TNI a more professional institution," Hari says.

"Whatever they're playing at now, the TNI will remain in a poor state regardless of the pledges they made to fix it."

- Additional reporting by Erwida Maulia and Alfian

Key players in the SBY-Boediono team <br>

Lt. Gen. (ret) Tiopan Bernhard Silalahi. The most senior member of Yudhoyono's advisory team. Planning assistant to the Army's chief of staff (1986) and former minister for state administrative reform (1993-1998). Role: Strategic adviser. <br>

Maj. Gen. (ret) Achdari. Deputy chief of the TNI's intelligence agency (Bais) in 1994. Role: Gathering information on rivals, identifying potential problems, mapping out political condition, drawing up action plans. <br>

Gen. (ret) Djoko Suyanto. TNI commander (2006 and 2007). Role: Leading Echo Team to mobilize regional support through military territorial technique.<br>

Maj. Gen. (ret) Yahya Sacawiria. Assistant deputy for social politics to the TNI chief of staff (1998). Role: Campaign team strategist and field commander, ensuring all strategies are well implemented. <br>

Maj. Gen. (ret) Sardan Marbun. Director for TNI's intelligence center (1999-2000). Role: Strategist and propaganda chief. Also gathers information about negative cases involving rivals. Not on the official list of campaign team members registered with the KPU. <br>

Maj. Gen. (ret) Soeprapto. Assistant to the Army chief of staff (2000 to 2001) and currently independent commissioner for publicly listed PT Indosat, the nation's second-largest telecommunications company. Role: Leading Sekoci Team to pool support from noted figures, including businessmen and religious leaders. The team has been around since 2004.

Maj. Gen. (ret) Abi Kusno. Assistant for logistics to the TNI commander (2006-2008). Role: Logistics coordinator, pooling donations and assistance from various parties. <br>

Lt. Gen. (ret) Sudi Silalahi. Cabinet secretary. Role: Strategic planning adviser. Also tasked with raising support from activists and religious leaders. Not on the official list of campaign team members. <br>

Purnomo Yusgiantoro. Energy and mineral resources minister. Role: Adviser and donor. Not on the official list of campaign team members, denies any involvement in the campaign. <br>

Key players in the Kalla-Wiranto team <br>

Aksa Mahmud. Kalla's brother-in-law, chairman of the Bosowa business group. Role: Strategic planning adviser, financier and lobbyist. <br>

Alwi Hamu. Kalla's longtime friend. Role: Strategic planning adviser and lobbyist to garner regional support. <br>

Erwin Aksa. Kalla's nephew, son of Aksa Mahmud. Role: Financier and recruiter of potential businessmen. <br>

Solihin Kalla. Kalla's son. Role: Financier and head of treasury division for the campaign team. <br>

Suhaeli Kalla. Kalla's younger brother. Role: Head of logistics for the campaign team. <br>

Sofjan Wanandi. Businessman. Role: Strategic planning adviser. <br>

Gen. (ret) Facrul Razi. Deputy TNI commander (2000-2001) and current Hanura executive. Role: Intelligence gathering. <br>

Lt. Gen. (ret) Sumarsono. Golkar secretary-general. Role: Party coordinator and strategic planner. <br>

Fahmi Idris. Industry Minister. Role: Campaign team head. <br>

Lt. Gen. (ret) Suaidy Marasabessy. East Timor war veteran and current Hanura executive. Role: Strategic planner. <br>

Surya Paloh. Golkar advisory board head and media tycoon. Role: Public relations adviser. <br>

Key players in the Megawati-Prabowo team <br>

Taufiq Kiemas. Businessman and Megawati Soekarnoputri's husband. Role: Strategic planner and external lobbyist. <br>

Hashim Djojohadikusumo. Businessman and younger brother of Prabowo Subianto. Role: Financier, strategic planner and logistics provider. <br>

Moerdiono. Former state secretary in the Soeharto administration. Role: Strategic planner. <br>

Maj. Gen. (ret) Theo Syafei. Udayana military commander (1993-1994). Role: Campaign team head. Also a strategic planner and intelligence gatherer. <br>

Gen. (ret) Hendropriyono. Former head of the National Intelligence Agency (2001-2004). Role: Strategic planner and intelligence gatherer. <br>

Pramono Anung. PDI-P secretary-general. Role: External relations. Also a prominent lobbyist for the party. <br>

Fadli Zon. Gerindra secretary-general. Role: External relations, public relations, image-building and lobbying. <br>

Lt. Gen. (ret) M. Yasin. Former deputy to Yudhoyono as coordinating minister for security (2001-2004). Spearheaded Yudhoyono's 2004 presidential election campaign, where he mobilized support from retired high-ranking military brass and their supporters. Jumped ship after the April 2009 legislative elections to side with Megawati and Prabowo. <br>

Tjahyo Kumolo. Chairman of the PDI-P at the House of Representatives. Role: Mobilize support at the provincial level and from prominent figures. <br>

Maj. Gen. (ret) Muchdi Purwopranjono. Former TNI Special Forces (Kopassus) commander in 1998 and current Gerindra deputy chairman. Role: Prabowo confidant and adviser.

--

The Jakarta Globe June 11, 2009

Wiranto Talk At Forum Protested

by Farouk Arnaz & Markus Sihaloho

Hundreds of human rights activists and victims on Wednesday rallied outside the headquarters of a well-known rights organization to protest against vice presidential candidate Wiranto, who was delivering a speech there.

The retired general and former head of the Armed Forces, who is the running mate of Vice President Jusuf Kalla for Golkar, was invited by the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) to discuss his human rights agenda.

I cannot agree with the fact that [Wiranto] was invited here, to our place where we promote human rights," said Ruyati Darwin, the mother of one of the victims of the May 1998 riots, which took place when Wiranto was military chief.

The rally was organized by several human rights organizations, including Kontras, Imparsial, the Setara Institute, Human Rights Working Group, Jakarta's Legal Aid Institute and the Solidarity Network for Victims and Their Families (JSKK).

We will not say anything to him," said Suciwati, the widow of slain human rights activist Munir. "It is just absurd that we talk about how to promote human rights with a human rights violator."

In a response to the criticism, YBLHI's chairman, Patra M. Zen, said that the organization would remain neutral. "We should hear from others if we, ourselves, want to be heard," Patra said, adding that the meeting did not affect his support for efforts to take human rights violators, including Wiranto, to court.

A UN panel probing the bloodshed surrounding East Timor's 1999 independence vote has implicated Wiranto, but he has never stood trial.

--------------------

The Jakarta Post [web site]

June 10, 2009

Wiranto Defends Human Rights Record

Vice presidential candidate Wiranto, who has been linked to various atrocities involving the military, braved Wedensday a forum organized by the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) to assess his human rights record.

Most people still consider me a perpetrator of human rights violations, but I have to accept it as a consequence of my past duties," he told a public discussion to hear his platforms on human rights and human security.

Wiranto was accused of crimes against humanity during the May 1998 riots and after an independence vote in East Timor in 1999 due to his job as the Indonesian Military chief at that time. He has never prosecuted for the cases.

It's not that I'm untouchable. I followed all the process but I was neither a suspect nor defendant in the past human rights cases," he said.

During the discussion, dozens of family members of the May riot victims and human rights activist were protesting outside the YLBHI building. They unfurled posters and shouted "Bring Wiranto to trial".

There's a growing concern that if I was elected the vice president, settlement of past human rights violations would be disrupted. But, I support the spirit of human rights violations settlement," said Wiranto, the running mate for presidential candidate Jusuf Kalla. (fmb)


Back to June Menu
May
World Leaders Contact List
Main Postings Menu