Expected Obama Administration Backing for Indonesian State Terror - by Stephen Lendman
Indonesia's National Armed Forces (TNI), especially its thuggish Kopassus Special Forces Command, has a long, sordid human rights record, including political killings and massacres of hundreds of thousands of civilians in East Timor, Aceh, Papua, and elsewhere in the country.
In response to the November 12, 1991 Santa Cruz cemetery massacre of over 270 demonstrators in Dili, East Timor's capital, Congress restricted Indonesia's TNI from receiving International Military Education and Training (IMET). It brings foreign military officers to America for what's taught at the infamous School of the Americas (SOA, renamed WHINSEC ) - namely, the latest ways to kill, maim, torture, oppress, exterminate poor and indigenous people, overthrown democratically elected governments, suppress popular resistance movements, assassinate targeted leaders, and work cooperatively with Washington to solidify hard-right rule, intolerant of democratic rights, social justice, and progressive change.
The 1976 Arms Export Control Act requires US military hardware sales use only for defense or to maintain internal security.
In addition, the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act prohibits aiding governments that engage:
"in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, including torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, and the security of person, unless such assistance will directly benefit the needy people in such country."
The Leahy Law in the 2001 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act (Sec. 8092 of PL 106-259) states:
"None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to support any training program involving a unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of Defense has received credible information from the Department of State that a member of such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights, unless all necessary corrective steps have been taken."
The 2001 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act prohibits funding foreign security forces that commit gross human rights violations unless its government "is taking effective measures to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice."
In its final 2005 report, East Timor's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation called on nations to make Indonesian military aid:
"totally conditional on progress towards full democratization, the subordination of the military to the rule of law and civilian government, and strict adherence with international human rights, including respect for the right of self-determination."
In September 1999, Pentagon - Indonesian military ties were severed over TNI and its militia proxies' response to East Timorese independence, committing massacres and atrocities, UNAMET (the UN East Timor Mission) stating:
"The evidence for a direct link between the militia and the military is beyond dispute and has been overwhelmingly documented by UNAMET over the last four months. But the scale and thoroughness of the destruction of East Timor in the past week has demonstrated a new level of open participation of the military in the implementation of what was previously a more veiled operation."
UNAMET warned that "the worst may be yet to come....It cannot be ruled out that these are the first stages of a genocidal campaign to stamp out the East Timorese problem by force," skills the TNI and its Kopassas killers honed since Indonesia's 1945 independence.
In 2005 (despite TNI's unbroken record of human rights atrocities), the US State Department removed congressional restrictions on aiding Indonesia militarily, stating:
"it is in the national security interests of the United States to waive conditionality pertaining to Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and defense exports to Indonesia."