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Research Last Updated: Jul 26, 2018 - 9:49:20 AM


US Promoted Close Ties to Indonesian Military as Suharto’s Rule Came to an End in Spring 1998
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Jul 25, 2018 - 2:06:34 PM

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Clinton Administration Saw Army’s Role as Key to Stability;Clinton Pressed for Acceptance of IMF Package That Helped Spur Suharto’s Fall

Washington, D.C., July 24, 2018 – The Clinton administration sought to preserve close ties to the Indonesian Armed Forces as President Suharto’s rule came to an end in May 1998, even as the Army carried out significant human rights abuses, according to recently declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive based at The George Washington University.   US officials were aware of the military’s involvement in kidnappings and disappearances of student activists going on at the time but saw preservation of the Army’s role as central to political stability in the country, the records show.

The United States was actively engaged in Indonesian affairs in Spring 1998.  Officials monitored the growing military opposition to Suharto, including noting the view of his own son-in-law, Prabowo, that Suharto needed to step down.  Clinton also pressed Indonesia on its economy, specifically urging acceptance of an IMF structural adjustment package that actually worsened the political crisis and helped bring about Suharto’s ouster.

The newly released documents add to the significant declassified record on U.S.-Indonesia relations, which includes important materials the National Security Archive has posted on topics such as Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor and regime human rights abuses dating to the mid-1960s.

* * *

Twenty Years after Suharto’s Downfall

By Brad Simpson

Twenty years after the 1997-1998 Asian Financial Crisis and the May,1998 resignation of former Indonesian dictator Suharto, the National Security Archive released formerly classified documents detailingUS policy toward Indonesia during the Asian Financial Crisis, the Clinton Administration’s response to growing student protests against Suharto, its awareness of the involvement of Suharto and Indonesian military personnel in a wave of student abductions, and its commitment to preserving its relationship with the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) in the wake of Suharto’s ouster.

Indonesian President Suharto came to power in 1966 following an alleged coup attempt by the September 30th Movement on September 30, 1965 which he blamed on the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). Following the September 30th Movement, the Indonesian Army and its paramilitary allies launched a campaign of annihilation against the PKI and its affiliated organizations, killing up to 500,000 alleged PKI supporters between October 1965 and March 1966, imprisoning up to a million more, and eventually ousting Indonesian President Sukarno and replacing him with General Suharto, who ruled Indonesia for the next 32 years before he himself was overthrown in May 1998.

In the summer of 1997 the collapse of the Thai currency (the baht) produced a regional financial crisis that severely impacted Indonesia, which saw its currency (the rupiah) plunge in value and its economy severely contract, with devastating consequences for Indonesia’s population. The financial crisis highlighted the vulnerability of the Indonesian economy and the widespread corruption which had enriched Suharto, his family, and associated supporters. In response the International Monetary Fund, with US backing, pressed Indonesia to adopt a structural adjustment package as a condition for receiving $43 billion in loans to prop up the economy, worsening the impact of the financial crisis on the country’s poor.

The economic crisis emboldened critics of the Suharto regime, including moderate Muslims, opposition politicians such as Megawati Sukarnoputri, and a growing student movement, which in April and May, 1998 launched large-scale protests. On May 12, 1998, Indonesian soldiers opened fire on unarmed demonstrators at Trisakti University who were demanding Suharto step down, killing six. The killings sparked even larger protests and riots, as well as the defection of key military supporters, which on May 20 forced Suharto’s resignation and replacement by Vice-President BJ Habibie. The Clinton Administration maintained support for Suharto until virtually the end, and continued to view the Indonesian armed forces as the guarantors of stability.

In the aftermath of Suharto’s resignation, human rights groups began demanding accountability for the Trisakti killings, the kidnapping of student activists, and other military abuses. Suharto’s ouster, moreover, emboldened independence activists in Aceh and West Papua, as well as the resistance to Indonesia’s illegal occupation of East Timor.

 

DOCUMENTS

 

Document 01
Telegram 160543 from Secretary of State to US embassy Jakarta, "Proposed Travel of Assistant Secretary Roth," Confidential
1997-08-26
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This is an outline of Assistant Secretary Roth's travel plans in September 1997, accompanied by Special Assistant Jim Foster. Roth hopes to have intensive discussions on Cambodia in all posts except Seoul. While in Jakarta, Roth wants to meet with longtime CSIS friends and colleagues (Jusaf Wanandi and Clara Juwono), ideally in conjunction with a social event.

 

Document 02
Telegram 006622 From US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "Assistant Secretary Roth's Meeting with Indonesian Special Forces Commander Prabowo ,"Secret
1997-11-10
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This telegram recounts a conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Stanley Roth and Indonesian Special Forces Commander (and Suharto son-in-law) Prabowo. In it, Prabowo thanks Roth for the $3 billion US contribution to the IMF stabilization package for Indonesia. Referring to Suharto, Prabowo states "the President does not always understand world concerns and pressures" and suggests "It would be better if Suharto stepped down in March 1998" and that "the Suharto era will soon end."

 

Document 03
White House, Memorandum of Conversation, "Meeting with ASEAN Leaders (U),"Secret
1997-11-24
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
On November 24, 1997, leaders from the US and Indonesia - including Clinton and Suharto - met in Vancouver at an ASEAN summit. They discussed climate change, the IMF crisis, and human rights. Suharto thanked Clinton for providing assistance with putting out wildfires in Indonesia. Suharto explained how the IMF crisis impacted Indonesia. Clinton stressed that the US had a deep strategic role and interest in Indonesia as well as the Southeast Asian region. Clinton stated that he and Suharto had differences on human rights, East Timor, and the imprisoned labor leader Mochtar Pakpahan.

 

Document 04
White House, Memorandum of Conversation, "Telephone Conversation with Suharto, President of the Republic of Indonesia," Confidential
1998-01-08
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
President Clinton called Suharto to discuss the financial situation in Indonesia, stressing that he valued Suharto's friendship and "just" wanted to talk personally. Clinton urged Suharto to support economic reforms and to keep interest rates high until stabilization of the rupiah. Clinton committed the services of Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers to consult on Suharto's economic team. Clinton stated that he would release a statement that day stressing the importance of the US-Indonesian relationship and pledging support for Suharto throughout the crisis.

 

Document 05
State Department cable, "Suharto-Clinton Phone Call," Confidential
1998-01-09
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
Minister for Industry and Trade Tunky Ariwibowo called Ambassador Roy on January 9 to provide feedback on Suharto's call with Clinton in advance of visits. Prior to calling Roy, Ariwibowo spoke with Suharto. Suharto was reportedly impressed with Clinton; Clinton provided insights on how the international market viewed the Indonesian situation. Suharto tasked Ariwibowo to coordinate IMF-related structural and economic reforms. Ariwibowo mentioned that on January 8 there was panic buying of rice and oil. At Suharto's request, the ministers followed with a TV and press interview to ease the situation on January 9.

 

Document 06
White House, Memorandum of Conversation, "Telecon with Suharto, President of Indonesia (C)," Confidential
1998-01-15
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
Transcript of the telephone conversation between Suharto and President Clinton. Suharto outlined his plans for the IMF agreement along with a detailed explanation of how it would be implemented. Suharto stated that there would be an immediate revision of the state budget and then a commitment to reforming the central and private banking system. Clinton stated that the US would continue to be involved and that he would release a statement about the call occurring and being encouraged by the plan.

 

Document 07
White House, Memorandum of Conversation, "Telcon with Indonesian President Soeharto ," Confidential
1998-02-13
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
Clinton called Suharto to express concerns about the financial situation in Indonesia. Clinton was very concerned about Suharto's plans to establish a currency board, stressing that this could cause a run on Indonesia's currency, severely depleting its reserves. Clinton stated that it would be better to focus on strengthening the banking system, resolving private sector debt, and continuing implementation of IMF reforms. Suharto discussed steps he was taking but stressed that there was no alternative to the currency board. Clinton stated that he would consult the G-7 nations and IMF to discuss alternatives.

 

Document 08
Telegram 062622 from State Department to US Embassy Jakarta, "A/S Roth's April 6 Meeting with Ambassador Dorodjatun," Confidential
1998-04-07
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archives
At an April 6 meeting, Assistant Secretary Roth and Indonesian Ambassador Dorodjatun discussed the IMF agreement, EXIM bank, and human rights concerns. Roth told Doradjatun that he hoped there would be a new Indonesia-IMF agreement. Doradjatun stated that EXIM bank would soon announce steps on trade credits, but restructuring would take time. Roth and A/S Kreczko expressed concerns over the forcible repatriation and mistreatment of Acehnese refugees. Human rights issues such as detentions, disappearances, and banning on-campus demonstrations were also mentioned.

 

Document 09
Telegram 002228 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "Staffdels Visit with Pro-Reform Activists," Confidential
1998-04-17
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
Members from two congressional staff delegations met with senior opposition figures on April 13. Discussion topics included the planned IMF package, political reform, increasing disappearances, US-Indonesian relations, and student activism. Discussants agreed that the IMF package would benefit Suharto in the short-term, but may challenge his power in the long-term. Reform advocates are organizing a watchdog committee to monitor IMF plan implementation, arguing that political reform must accompany economic reform. Increasing disappearances were believed to be the work of General Prabawo. Discussants questioned the long-term resolve of student protesters. Megawati stressed that the US should not attempt to determine Indonesia's next leader.

 

Document 10
Telegram 002579 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "Who Is Behind Recent Disappearances?," Confidential
1998-05-07
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This document details a conversation between the Embassy Political Officer and a "leader of a mass student organization" who told the political officer ()Poloff "that he was informed by a Kopassus source (Indonesia's military special force) that the disappearances were carried out by 'Group 4' of Kopassus, under the command of Chairawan. His source (who happens to be not part of group 4) said there are CONFLICTS AMONG KOPASSUS DIVISIONS, that that Group 4 is still under the effective control of Prabowo. Disappearances were ordered by Prabowo who was following an order from President Soeharto."

 

Document 11
Telegram 003524 from US Embassy Tokyo to State Department, “Suharto ‘Out by Year End,’” Confidential
1998-05-08
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This cable reports that the military is split on how to deal with demonstrators and how committed they should be to Suharto. If larger groups of non-students (housewives and unemployed men in particular) joined the demonstrations, it might represent a critical mass that pushes Suharto to order a violent military clampdown. Commander in Chief Wiranto told student demonstrators not to take their protests to the street while also assuring them that the armed forces were not hostile.

 

Document 12
Telegram 002672 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "Indonesia Situation Report (5/13)," Confidential
1998-05-13
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This cable describes the killing of six students shot by security forces on the campus of Trisakti University on May 12. Protesters, not necessarily students, burned down a gas station and several vehicles. The violence prompted President Suharto to cut short his visit to Cairo and return to Jakarta on May 14. In honor of the six students killed, thousands participated in a peaceful rally on the campus. By late afternoon, the center of Jakarta's Jalan Sudirman Business District was paralyzed by clashes between police and masses of people who emerged from office building and adjoining neighborhoods.

 

Document 13
Telegram 002675 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "Political Reform - Lots of Government Talk, Will There Be Action?," Confidential
1998-05-13
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This cable describes the growing calls for political reform in the wake of the Trisakti killings. As student protesters and opposition figures become bolder and increasingly focus on the need for immediate transition, discussion of the more limited, yet critical, agenda of political reform has persisted, even in government circles. In the past two weeks, the President, the Speaker of the House, and the Defense Minister have raised the possibility of political reform. After the May 12 shootings at Trisakti University, government officials believed that student protesters would not accept moderate political reforms. Public statements from government leaders indicate that reforms will not come quickly and will not satisfy student demonstrators, especially after the May 12 shooting.

 

Document 14
Defense Intelligence Agency Information Report from Unknown to DIA, "Rules of Engagement," Confidential/Classified
1998-05-13
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This DIA cable discusses the actions of Indonesian armed forces in the Trisakti massacre. It observes that there has been no change in ABRI rules of engagement and that there were "multiple blatant violations at Trisakti University for an extended period of time in situations that were very unprovocative."

 

Document 15
DIA Information report from Jakarta to RUEKJCS/DIA, "Growing feeling that Suharto has to go, and other things," Confidential
1998-05-13
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
A DIA officer notes that "more and more people are beginning to say aloud that Suharto must go," including many former military supporters. Source says that Kopassus and KODAM Jaya forces involved in kidnapping students and bullet fragments recovered from Trisakti prove ABRI soldiers used live ammunition.

 

Document 16
Telegram 002689 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "MGIDO1: Key Former Minister Speaks of Soeharto's Ouster," Confidential
1998-05-14
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
Former Minister of Home Affairs Rudini, an influential retired military leader and regime critic, believed that President Suharto's safety could not be guaranteed once he returned from Cairo (following the May 13 [tk: May 12? ]violence) and that students were planning to march to Parliament on May 14. Rudini divulged that students and academics had approached him to serve as a replacement for Suharto. Rudini said he was ready to assume the role and that he would have student support as well as the backing of major opposition figures. Rudini envisioned himself serving as President until 2002.

 

Document 17
Telegram 002751 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "TFIDO1: Indonesia Situation Report (5/17)," Confidential
1998-05-17
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This cable reports that the death toll in Jakarta rioting climbed to over 500 people with the discovery of remains found in burned out buildings. Over 1,000 people have been arrested by the police in connection with the rioting. Jakarta remained somewhat calm on May 17, but May 15-16 saw rioting in central Java towns. Tensions were high in Medan after three students were reportedly wounded by gunfire. Minister of Defense Wiranto released the preliminary results of the police's investigation of the shooting that killed six students at Trisakti University. The report acknowledges errors were made by security forces. An NGO has demanded investigations of other alleged shootings of student protesters in other cities. Banks will reopen on May 18.

 

Document 18
Telegram 002752 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "TFIDO1: Shifts in Senior Military and Civilian Cabinet Positions," Confidential
1998-05-17
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This cable reports that the Armed Forces met on the morning of May 17 to resolve tensions between the factions led by former Defense Minister/CINC (Commander-in-Chief) Wiranto and Strategic Reserve Commander Prawobo. Two alternatives were proposed: broaden Wiranto's mandate (how was not specified) or choose a new Commander-in-Chief who would be acceptable to both factions. By the afternoon of May 17, local journalists reported that Wiranto had been removed as CINC but would retain his Defense Minister portfolio. The Cabinet reshuffle may be announced tomorrow (May 18). The armed forces and an elite Muslim organization (ICMI) appeared to agree that the President's eldest daughter (Tutut), Minister of Trade Bob Hasan, and retired General Hartono should be removed from their official positions. Reports also indicated three activists were offered spots in the Cabinet but that proposal was shot down.

 

Document 19
Telegram 002776 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "TFIDO1: Indonesia Situation Report (5/17)," Confidential
1998-05-18
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This cable reports that thousands of students gathered at the Parliament in Jakarta on May 18 to press for the president's resignation. The gathering was billed as a precursor to nationwide rallies culminating Wednesday with what students and other forces in opposition to the President claimed would be massive demonstrations The May 18 Jakarta protests appeared to be peaceful. A late report indicated that the Parliament is prepared to formally request the President's resignation, the armed forces however has given no public sign that it will withdraw support for the President. In Unjung Pandang, Indonesia's fourth largest city, expatriates are planning to leave the city before massive protests on May 20. Life in Jakarta is racked with turmoil at the moment. Prices for basic foods have skyrocketed, food availability is spotty in certain areas, there have been bank runs and long lines to make withdrawals, and even though businesses and government offices were open on May 18, many closed early.

 

Document 20
Telegram 002841 [tk] from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "TFIDO1: Reactions to Soeharto Resignation," Confidential
1998-05-21
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This cable reports that politicians, activists, and students quickly moved beyond Suharto's resignation to discuss Habibie's assumption of the office of President and the difficult issues that need to be tackled. Students insisted that protests would continue as some protesters had demanded Habibie's resignation as well. Habibie does not command full support from his party or Parliament, and some democratic activists are formulating plans for bringing about fundamental political change. Mass Islamic organizations and oppositional figures have indicated that they could see Habibie as a transitional figure, but during this transition period real reforms must be undertaken. If Habibie is not open to reforms, then a special session of Parliament could be called to remove him from office.

 

Document 21
Telegram 002831 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "TFIDOI: Situation in Eastern Indonesia May 20," Confidential
1998-05-21
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This report based on information from May 20, the day before Suharto's resignation, indicates student demonstrations continued in Surabaya. They were mostly peaceful but 24 students were injured, 3 seriously. Massive crowds gathered calling for the President to resign. 1,000 laborers demonstrated outside the Office of the Official Labor Union (SPSI).

 

Document 22
Military Intelligence Digest (MID) 141-4A, "Indonesia's military entering the post-Soeharto era"
1998-05-21
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This is a lengthy discussion of splits within the Indonesian armed forces over President BJ Habibie, the process of reform, and differences between TNI Commander General Wiranto and Kopassus Commander Prabowo. It provides a detailed timeline of intra-military discussions in the lead-up to Suharto's resignation.

 

Document 23
Telegram 002950 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "CODEL Smith Meets with Human Rights Commission Vice Chairman Marzuki Darusman," Confidential
1998-05-25
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This cable reports that Darusman met with Congressman Smith and Senior Staffer Joseph Rees and questioned why certain portions of the information surrounding the Trisakti shootings were being kept classified. Marzuki believed that the new government was moving too slowly on releasing political prisoners. Marzuki also expressed concern that there seemed to be a divergence between the police and the military in competing narratives and objectives in the investigation of these shootings/disappearances. Marzuki believed that East Timorese Resistance leader Xanana Gusmao was "a political prisoner, full stop." Additionally, Marzuki announced the launching of a "National Action Plan" on human rights.

 

Document 24
Telegram 002977 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "CODEL Smith Calls on Justice Minister Muladi," Confidential
1998-05-29
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This cable reports that after visiting Cipinang prison, Congressman Smith urges the release of prisoners not based on category but on principles. Smith raised other human rights concerns such as torture, the release of Xanana Gusmao, military repression and military accountability. Minister Muladi responded that the government was actively considering release for many prisoners but that the decision was not his to make. Muladi added that if the military objected to the release of a prisoner the release could not take place. Smith and Muladi conversed further on categorizations and obstacles to prisoner releases.

 

Document 25
Telegram 003079 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "Skepticism About Investigation of Student Killings," Confidential
1998-06-02
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This cable reports that the military will begin a trial of 18 police officers responsible for the shooting deaths of 4 students at Trisakti University on May 12. Critics, including the Human Rights Commission, believe that the perpetrators were army personnel and the police were scapegoated. Evidence produced by US journalists supports the critics. The military court trial will begin on June 6. Forensic evidence shows that victims were likely deliberately targeted, with military deployed from a helicopter to target students.

 

Document26
DIA Commonwealth Assessment, "Indonesian Military looks warily to the future," Secret
1998-06-03
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This document provides continued discussion of Indonesian military thinking in the aftermath of Suharto's ouster; topics include the role of civilian government, demands for reform, human rights, intra-military disputes, and military views on BJ Habibie.

 

Document 27
Telegram 000408 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "A Closer Look at the Indonesian Chinese," Confidential
1998-08-03
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
Twenty-two interviews were conducted in the Sino-Indonesian community to gauge current sentiment toward Indonesian economic and political climate. The first section reports on socio-economic conditions and statistics of the Chinese community in Indonesia. The second section reports on capital flows while the third section explains why the Chinese see this crisis as different from previous anti-Chinese unrest.

 

Document 28
Telegram 004329 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "Human Rights Commission Calls for Review of National Security Doctrine to Deal with Systemic Abuses," Confidential
1998-08-12
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This cable describes the Indonesian Human Rights Commission's (KOMNAS-HAM) efforts to press the incoming Habibie administration to undertake a systematic investigation of recent human rights abuses committed by the Indonesian Armed Forces, not just during the May 1998 protests that drove Suharto from power but also in Aceh, West Papua, and East Timor. A member of the Commission tells US officials that "ABRI abuse of human rights was continuing, notwithstanding public condemnation and ongoing investigation" and that "ABRI credibility was eroding as case after case came to light."

 

Document 29
Telegram 004388 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "Government Releases More Political Prisoners," Confidential
1998-08-19
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This cable reports that the Indonesian government released 27 political prisoners, most of whom were involved in separatist activity and some of whom were affiliated with the PKI. Prominent political prisoners were not among the released. The regime has been criticized for both the gradual release of prisoners and the use of prisoners as hostages to be released strategically in order to gain international good will. There were also reports of a 200-person demonstration led by Megawati Sukarnoputri supporters.

 

Document 30
Telegram 005076 from US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, "Connecting Recent Riots, Kidnappings and Student Killings," Confidential
1998-09-25
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This cable describes the testimony of a member of a government fact-finding team investigating the May 1998 riots and violence before a Parliamentary commission. The witness states that the team has concluded that sexual assaults were connected to the kidnapping and torture of political activists and to the shooting deaths at Trisakti University.

 

Document 31
DIA Combined Information Report, "Preliminary Tests Completed on the Bullets from the Semanggi Riots," Confidential
1998-12-04
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This DIA cable describes open-source reporting from a Kompas article describing preliminary forensic testing of bullets found at the scene of the so-called Semanggi incident of November 13, 1998, in which 17 people were killed by Indonesian police and special forces. The tests revealed that ammunition used in the killings came from US-provided or sold M-16 rifles used by the Indonesian special forces (KOSTRAD). The cable notes that the US provided 28,471 such rifles as grant aid from 1972-1977 and sold more under commercial auspices.

 

Document 32
DIA Combined Information Report, "Accused Kopassus kidnapper trial begins," Confidential
1998-12-21
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This DIA cable describes the start of the trial of 11 low-ranking Kopassus officers accused of participation in student kidnappings in the early months of 1998. According to an unnamed DIA source, "Human rights activists say the 11 are merely scapegoats for the high-ranking officials who ordered the kidnappings," including Lt. Gen. Prabowo.

 

Document 33
DIA Combined Information Report, "Visit with MG Djadja (Suparman), Commander of Jakarta Area Military Command (KODAM)," Confidential
1999-01-08
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
In a lengthy conversation with the defense attaché, Suparman discusses the relationship between KODAM and local police forces, their role in the Semanggi incident, his belief that student activists are acting in an "overly aggressive" manner designed to invite repression and bring down the government, and his observations on the involvement of the military-backed youth militia Pemuda Pancasila in drugs, prostitution, and other illegal activities.


Document 34
DIA Combined Information Report, "Comments (redacted)," Confidential

1999-05-04
Source: Freedom of Information Act Release to the National Security Archive
This is a DIA discussion with Indonesian military officer regarding East Timor military strategy, military attitudes towards BJ Habibie, and "cover-ups during recent military trials." It notes that most senior military leaders are unhappy with Habibie's new East Timor policy because they were not consulted. Regarding recent trials of Kopassus members for Trisakti murders, an individual whose name is excised in the document "Admitted in front of his own staff that high level officer cover-ups were possible in these cases. But, if so, it was for the greater good of the nation" because "if you pursue the more senior people involved, it would be counter-productive to the welfare of the nation."

Source:Ocnus.net 2018

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