Just Say No To New Military Assistance For Indonesia

The Pentagon, with a handful of Congressional allies, is actively working to circumvent the ban on military training for the Indonesian military (TNI) initially put in place in response to the 1999 scorched-earth campaign in East Timor. Even as human rights conditions continue to deteriorate in Indonesia and justice for East Timor remains distant, they are seeking to expand military assistance.

For what is the Bush administration seeking to reward the Indonesian military?

Torture, rape, disappearances, and murder in Aceh, West Papua, and elsewhere in Indonesia; show trials on East Timor in Jakarta; and the revival of political imprisonment by the Megawati administration. (See additional background below.)

Urge Congress to put an end to aggressive Pentagon support for the TNI! Tell Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that a military which terrorizes its own people is not a worthy ally.


Together with others, make these contacts on Wednesday, April 10, or Thursday, April 11 or whenever you can. (sample letters follow).

I. Call, fax, and email your Representative and two Senators.

Tell them to use their voice and vote in Congress: * to prevent the administration from stepping up military assistance for Indonesia. The Indonesian military should not receive a U.S. seal of

approval while it continues to evade accountability for crimes against humanity committed in East Timor and terrorize civilians throughout Indonesia.

* to ensure that the Indonesian military is not trained under the secretive new Regional Defense Counter-terrorism Fellowship Program. This recently passed provision of the Defense Department Appropriations Act clearly circumvents the International Military Education and Training (IMET) restriction for Indonesia and has the potential to create a new “School of the Americas” for Asian militaries.

* to ensure that Congress does not grant the administration’s new request for an additional $16 million to train the Indonesian military and police and “to vet, train, and equip a counter-terrorism unit in Indonesia.”

* to renew restrictions on IMET and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) in the fiscal year 2003 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. Phone calls and faxes are generally more effective than emails. The congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121 (ask for the office of your Senators or Representative), or check http://www.congress.org on the Internet for fax or e-mail information.

II. Call or fax Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Tell him: * The Pentagon must not reward the Indonesian military for torture, rape, disappearances, and murder of civilians throughout Indonesia.

* You oppose Pentagon efforts to gut restrictions on military training for the TNI because they undermine the rule-of-law and human rights protections for East Timor and Indonesia. The Pentagon’s efforts legitimize a security force that destroyed East Timor and has rewarded those responsible with promotions within government and military ranks. Secretary Rumsfeld telephone: 703-692-7100 or try comment line703- 428-0711; fax: 703-697-9080. (If you get bounced to a message system, leave a succinct message and, if you want, call again and ask to talk with a live person.

Please let us know the results of your contacts. Thank you! Your efforts do make a difference!

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