Sunday, December 12, 2010

Indoleaks Touts Revealing WikiLeaks Documents, But Technical Problems Persist

Jakarta. Indonesia’s own version of WikiLeaks posted more sensitive state documents on its Web site over the weekend, including a conversation between former President Suharto and former US President Gerald Ford about communism and East Timor.

But technology does not appear to be on the side of the recently established, which is still intermittently accessible. A number of newly posted documents were unavailable for download for unclear reasons.

The one document the Jakarta Globe managed to download on Sunday was a declassified description of a discussion between former President Suharto and former US President Gerald Ford, dated July 5, 1975.

In it, Suharto explained Indonesia’s policy on East Timor before its December 1975 invasion.

Suharto said: “Indonesia will not use force against the territory of other countries. With respect to Timor, we support carrying out decolonization through the process of self-determination.”

But Suharto convinced Ford of the importance of integrating East Timor into Indonesia, using the threat of communism as his main argument.

“The problem is that those who want independence are those who are communist-influenced,” he said. “Those wanting Indonesian integration are being subjected to heavy pressure by those who are almost Communists.

“Indonesia doesn’t want to insert itself into Timor self-determination, but the problem is how to manage the self-determination process with a majority wanting unity with Indonesia.”

The two presidents discussed how to continue Indonesia’s role as a buffer against the spread of communism in the 1970s, with Suharto seeking for assistance from the United States.

Suharto suggested “intelligence and territorial operations so we can detect Communist activity when it first arises.”

In response, President Ford suggested a joint commission “to decide what is needed and what we can do to supply those needs.”

One document that could not be opened on Sunday was a report from the US Embassy in Indonesia regarding an attack by Timorese that killed 18 Indonesia military officers at the Dili airport. It was unclear when the attack took place.

Other inaccessible documents included the autopsy reports of the victims of the 1965 alleged coup by the Communist Party and the Supreme Audit Agency’s report on the Lapindo mudflow.

Indoleaks went live on Friday, including in its first batch of documents reports on the investigation into the murder of activist Munir Said Thalib, the disastrous Sidoarjo mudflow and a transcribed conversation between former presidents Suharto and Richard Nixon.

On Munir, a document labeled as an official report dated June 23, 2005, recommended that further investigations be conducted into the roles of former State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief A.M. Hendropriyono and former BIN official Muchdi Purwoprandjono in the activist’s murder. Muchdi was tried and eventually acquitted. Hendropriyono was never tried. 

The government claimed not to be concerned by the Web site.

“We will only monitor this site to find out what kind of information it will release,” communication ministry spokesman Gatot S. Dewa Brata said on Friday.

The government has largely adopted the same stance in regards to WikiLeaks, which is releasing a quarter-million US diplomatic cables, including 3,226 from the US Embassy in Jakarta and US Consulate in Surabaya, spanning from 1990 to 2010.

The government said it would closely monitor the release of the cables and was formulating a contingency plan in the event of a major revelation.

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