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Related Categories: International | Anti-War
Thirty Years After the Indonesian Invasion of East Timor Will the U.S. Be Held Accountable
by Democracy Now (reposted)
Wednesday Dec 7th, 2005 7:29 AM
Thirty years ago today, on December 7 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor. Over 200,000 East Timorese lost their lives in one of the worst genocides of the 20th century. A recently-completed East Timorese commission of inquiry into human rights abuses during the occupation makes use of extensive documents that show the US government knew in advance of the invasion and worked behind the scenes to hide it from public scrutiny. The East Timorese government has asked parliament to withhold the report. We speak East Timor's ambassador to the UN and the US, and a professor at the National Security Archive.
Thirty years ago today, on December 7 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor. This began a brutal occupation that lasted almost a quarter of a century and led to the deaths of over 200,000 people. Even the C.I.A. has described it as one of the worst mass-murders of the 20th century.

Indonesia invaded East Timor almost entirely with U.S-made weapons and equipment. Newly released documents by the National Security Archive show the U.S government knew this and explicitly approved of the invasion. The formerly classified documents show how multiple U.S administrations concealed information on the invasion in order to continue selling weapons to Indonesia.

The documents show US officials were aware of the invasion plans nearly a year in advance. They reveal that in 1977 the Carter Administration blocked declassification of a cable transcribing President Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger's meeting with Suharto on December 6, 1975 in which they explicitly approved of the invasion.

The National Security Archive handed over the documents to an East Timorese commission of inquiry into human rights abuses that occurred between 1975 and 1999. Last week East Timor President Xanana Gusmao gave the commission's report to the Timorese Parliament but wanted it withheld from the public. Opposition politicians and human rights activists have called for the documents to be made public.

* Massacre: The Story of East Timor, documentary produced by Amy Goodman and Alan Nairn.
* Jose Luis Guterres, East Timorese ambassador to the United Nations and United States.
* Brad Simpson, assistant professor of history at the University of Maryland and a research assistant at the National Security Archive.

- Link to declassified U.S. documents
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB174/index.htm

LISTEN ONLINE:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/12/07/1519244
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