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in Bahasa Indonesian: ETAN Menolak Adm. Blair sebagai Kepala Intelijen Nasional

ETAN Opposes Adm. Blair as Director of National Intelligence

Contact: John M. Miller, +1-718-596-7668, 917-690-4391

December 5 - "President-elect Barack Obama's rumored selection of Admiral Dennis C. Blair for Director of National Intelligence is unacceptable," the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) said today.

"During his years as Pacific Commander, Blair actively worked to reinstate military assistance and deepen ties to Indonesia's military despite its ongoing human rights violations in East Timor and consistent record of impunity," said John M. Miller, National Coordinator of ETAN.

"His actions demonstrate the failure of engagement to temper the Indonesian military’s behavior and his actions helped to reinforce impunity for senior Indonesian officials that continues to this day," added Miller. "He undermined the Clinton administration's belated efforts to support human rights and self-determination in the Indonesian-occupied territory and opposed congressional efforts to limit assistance.”


It is unfathomable that Obama would consider appointing someone to such a prominent position who has shown so little concern for human rights in the past.

“It is unfathomable that Obama would consider appointing someone to such a prominent position who has shown so little concern for human rights in the past. Can we expect someone who has sought to undermine efforts to link human rights to military assistance to be a champion of reform? We don't think this is the kind of change people are expecting," said Miller.

In April 1999, just days after  Indonesian security forces and their militias carried out a brutal churchyard massacre, Adm. Blair delivered a message of 'business-as-usual' to Indonesian General Wiranto, then Commander of the Indonesian armed forces. Following East Timor's pro-independence vote,  Blair sought the quickest possible restoration of military assistance, despite Indonesia's highly destructive exit.


As Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command from February 1999 to May 2002 Blair was the highest ranking U.S. military official in the region during the final period of violence in East Timor, as Indonesian security forces and their militias killed, looted, and destroyed the country's infrastructure.


In April 1999, Blair met in Jakarta with General Wiranto, then the Defense Minister and the commander of Indonesian forces, just days after dozens of refugees in a Catholic church in the town of Liquica, East Timor were hacked to death by machetes by militia members backed by the military  (including Kopassus) and Brimob troops.

Instead of pressuring Wiranto to shut down the militias, Blair promised new military assistance, which the military "took as a green light to proceed with the militia operation," according to Allan Nairn, writing in the Nation magazine.

Nairn reported that a classified cable summarizing the meeting said that Admiral Blair "told the armed forces chief that he looks forward to the time when [the army will] resume its proper role as a leader in the region. He invited General Wiranto to come to Hawaii as his guest in conjunction with the next round of bilateral defense discussions in the July-August '99 time frame. He said Pacific command is prepared to support a subject matter expert exchange for doctrinal development. He expects that approval will be granted to send a small team to provide technical assistance to police and...selected TNI personnel on crowd control measures." Nairn writes that the last offer was "quite significant, because it would be the first new US training program for the Indonesian military since 1992."

Blair was fully aware of what was going on in East Timor at the time: "From a windowless concrete building near Blair's Pacific Command headquarters, seven intelligence analysts at the 'Joint Intelligence Center,' the world's largest military intelligence center, had tracked the movements of Indonesian and militia forces since May 1998," according to the Washington Post.

In the bloody aftermath of East Timor's independence vote, "Blair and other U.S. military officials took a forgiving view of the violence surrounding the referendum in East Timor. Given the country's history, they argued, it could have been worse. 'What they did was absolutely remarkable,' said one top Pentagon general," reported the Washington Post’s Dana Priest

Blair has acknowledged that U.S.-trained Indonesian military officers were among those allegedly involved in crimes against humanity in East Timor. "But at no point, Blair acknowledges, did he or his subordinates reach out to the Indonesian contacts trained through IMET or JCET to try to stop the brewing crisis," wrote Priest. "It is fairly rare that the personal relations made through an IMET [U.S.-funded military program] course can come into play in resolving a future crisis," he told her.

In April 2000, over the objections of U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Robert S. Gelbard, members of Congress and State Department officials, Blair made the first high-level visit to Indonesia since all military assistance was cut off in the aftermath of the 1999 independence referendum in East Timor.

Despite Blair's repeated overtures and forgiving attitude to Indonesia's military elite, they were of no help in his post-military role as chair of the Indonesia Commission at the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). In 2002, Blair headed a delegation of observers who intended to visit West Papua. The government refused to let them in, with the Foreign Minister declaring that "there is no need for them to come to Papua."

The reason was clear: West Papua has become the new focus of Indonesian military and militia brutality. The military's mission is to violently suppress West Papua's simmering independence movement, its sympathizers, and terrorize ordinary citizens - and outside observers are not welcome. Though Blair's dream of renewed military engagement with Indonesia has been realized under the Bush administration, the Indonesian military's human rights violations continue, as does impunity for its senior officers.

General Wiranto was indicted in February 2003 by a UN-backed court in East Timor for his command role in the 1999 violence.  The attack on the Liquica church is among the crimes against humanity cited in the indictment. He is currently a leading candidate for President of Indonesia in elections to take place next year.

ETAN was formed in 1991. The U.S.-based organization advocates for democracy, justice and human rights for Timor-Leste and Indonesia. ETAN was a major participant in the International Federation for East Timor's (IFET) observer mission for the 1999 referendum. For more information see ETAN's web site:


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ETAN Menolak Adm. Blair sebagai Kepala Intelijen Nasional

Kontak: John M. Miller, +1-718-596-7668, 917-690-4391

5 Desember - "Kabar bahwa Presiden-terpilih Obama menunjuk Admiral Dennis C. Blair sebagai Kepala Intelijen Nasional tidak bisa diterima," kata East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) hari ini.

"Selama masa jabatannya sebagai Komandan Wilayah Pasifik, Blair aktif menjalin kembali dan memperkuat hubungan dengan militer Indonesia di balik pelanggaran HAM yang sementara berlangsung di Timor Timur dan catatan impunitas terhadap mereka," kata John M. Miller, Koordinator Nasional ETAN.

"Tindakannya menunjukkan kegagalan menghalangi tindakan militer Indonesia dan mendorong impunitas terhadap pejabat senior militer Indonesia yang berlangsung hingga hari ini," tambah Miller. "Dia merusak usaha pemerintahan Clinton mendukung penegakan HAM dan penentuan-diri di wilayah yang diduduki Indonesia dan menentang usaha kongres membatasi bantuan.”


 “Sungguh mengecewakan bahwa Obama mempertimbangkan untuk menunjuk seseorang menduduki posisi sepenting itu pada seseorang yang telah menunjukkan kekurangpeduliannya terhadap HAM di masa lalu.

“Sungguh mengecewakan bahwa Obama mempertimbangkan untuk menunjuk seseorang menduduki posisi sepenting itu pada seseorang yang telah menunjukkan kekurangpeduliannya terhadap HAM di masa lalu. Bisakah kita mengharapkan seseorang yang telah menghambat usaha menghubungkan HAM dengan bantuan militer menjadi penegak reformasi? Kami pikir bukan orang seperti ini yang diharapkan publik," said Miller.

Pada bulan April 1999, hanya beberapa hari setelah pihak keamanan Indonesia dan para milisinya melakukan pembantaian brutal di halaman gereja, Adm. Blair menyampaikan pesan “bisnis-seperti-biasa” kepada Jenderal Wiranto, Panglima ABRI saat itu. Setelah kemenangan pro-kemerdekaan di Timor Timur, Blair segera kembali merestorasi bantuan militer, meski keluarnya militer Indonesia telah menimbulkan kerusakan parah.

Latar Belakang

Sebagai Kepala Komando AS Pasifik dari Februari 1999 hingga Mei 2002, Blair adalah pejabat militer AS tertinggi di wilayah ini selama periode akhir kekerasan di Timor Timur, ketika tentara Indonesia dan milisianya membunuh, menjarah, dan merusak infrastruktur bangsa tersebut.

Pada bulan April 1999, Blair bertemu dengan Jenderal Wiranto di Jakarta, Menteri Pertahanan dan Panglima ABRI, hanya beberapa hari setelah puluhan pengungsi di sebuah gereja Katolik di kota Liquica, Timor Timur diparangi hingga mati oleh anggota milisia yang didukung oleh militer (termasuk Kopassus) dan pasukan Brimob.

Alih-alih mendesak Wiranto menghentikan para milisia, Blair menjanjikan bantuan militer baru, yang dipandang militer sebagai “lampu hijau melanjutkan operasi milisia," menurut Allan Nairn, dalam tulisannya di majalah Nation.

Nairn melaporkan bahwa sebuah kawat rahasia yang meringkas isi pertemuan itu menyebutkan bahwa Admiral Blair "memberitahu Panglima ABRI bahwa ia mengharapkan masa ketika (ABRI akan) menjalankan peran pentingnya sebagai pemimpin di wilayah ini. Dia mengundang Jenderal Wiranto untuk datang ke Hawai sebagai tamunya sehubungan dengan putaran lanjutan pembicaraan pertahanan bilateral pada bulan Juli – Agustus 1999. Ia mengatakan komando Pasifik siap mendukung pertukaran ahli untuk pengembangan kebijakan. Ia menunggu persetujuan mengirim tim kecil untuk memberikan bantuan teknis kepada polisi dan personil TNI terpilih tentang teknik pengendalian massa." Nairn menulis bahwa tawaran terakhir “sangat signifikan”, karena ini akan menjadi program pelatihan baru pertama AS terhadap militer Indobesia sejak 1992."

Blair jelas-jelas tahu tentang apa yang tengah berlangsung di Timor Timur pada waktu itu: "Dari sebuah bangunan tanpa jendela di dekat markas Komando Pasifik yang dikomandani Blair, tujuh analis intelijen di 'Pusat Intelijen gabungan,' pusat intelijen militer terbesar di dunia, telah mengawasi pergerakan militer dan milisia Indonesia sejak Mei 1998," menurut laporan Washington Post.

Setelah pemilihan Timor Timur yang bersimbah darah memenangkan pro-kemerdekaan, "Blair dan pejabat militer AS lainnya mengambil sikap memaafkan terhadap kekerasan yang terjadi seputar referendum di Timor Timur. Jika dilihat dari sejarah negeri ini, kata mereka, keadaan bisa lebih buruk. ‘Apa yang mereka lakukan sungguh luar biasa,' kata seorang jenderal petinggi Pentagon," seperti dilaporkan Dana Priest dari Washington Post. 

Blair mengakui bahwa pejabat militer Indonesia didikan AS termasuk di antara mereka yang dituduh terlibat dalam kejahatan kemanusiaan di Timor Timur. "Tetapi, Blair mengakui, ia dan bawahannya tidak pernah berusaha menghubungi kontaknya di Indonesia yang dilatih melalui IMET atau JCET untuk menghentikan krisis yang sedang mendidih," kata Priest. "Sangat kecil kemungkinan hubungan personal yang dijalin melalui program IMET [program pendidikan militer yang didanai AS] bisa digunakan untuk mengatasi krisis di masa depan," kata Blair pada Priest.

Pada bulan April 2000, meski ditentang oleh Duta Besar AS untuk Indonesia Robert S. Gelbard, para anggota Kongres dan pejabat Departemen Dalam Negeri, Blair melakukan kunjungan kelas tinggi pertama ke Indonesia sejak semua bantuan militer dihentikan sebagai dampak referendum kemerdekaan 1999 di Timor Timur.

Namun pendekatan dan sikap memaafkan dari Blair terhadap elit militer Indonesia, tidak membantunya dalam peran pasca-militernya sebagai ketua Komisi Indonesia dalam Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Pada tahun 2002, Blair memimpin sebuah delegasi pengamat yang bermaksud berkunjung ke Papua Barat. Pemerintah menolak membiarkan mereka masuk, di mana Menteri Luar Negeri menyatakan “tidak ada perlunya bagi mereka untuk datang ke Papua."

Tujuannya jelas: Papua Barat telah menjadi sasaran baru brutalitas militer Indonesia dan milisianya. Misi militer adalah menekan, dengan kekerasan, gerakan kemerdekaan yang kian memanas, para pendukungnya, dan menteror warga awam – dan pengamat dari luar tidak dibolehkan masuk. Meski mimpi Blair untuk memperbaharui hubungan militer dengan Indonesia telah terwujud di bawah pemerintahan Bush, pelanggaran HAM oleh militer Indonesia terus berlanjut, begitu pula impunitas bagi para pejabat tingginya.

General Wiranto didakwa dalam sebuah pengadilan yang didukung oleh PBB di Timor Timur pada
Februari 2003 atas peran komandonya dalam kekerasan di tahun 1999.  Serangan atas gereja Liquica adalah salah satu kejahatan kemanusiaan yang disebutkan dalam dakwaan. Sekarang ia adalah salah satu calon presiden terkemuka untuk pemilihan umum yang akan berlangsung tahun depan.


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