Timor Truth Commission report uses declassified U.S. documents to
reveal support for Indonesian invasion and occupation of East Timor
from 1975 until U.N. sponsored vote in 1999
Security Archive provides more than 1000 documents to East Timor
Truth Commission after Bush Administration refuses cooperation
assuming you're really going to keep your mouth shut on this subject?"
Timorese youth being tortured and killed by member of the
Indonesian military (Released by Mr. Jose Ramos-Horta in 1996)
- National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger to his staff in October
1975 in response to reports that Indonesia had begun its attack on
Washington, D.C., November 28, 2005 - Today, East Timorese
President Xanana Gusmão transmits to Parliament the final
report of East Timor's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation
(CAVR) on human rights violations committed in East Timor between
1974 and 1999, and the National Security Archive is making
available to the public some of the more than 1,000
formerly classified U.S. documents that it provided to assist the
work of the CAVR.
According to the CAVR, the timing of the release to the public
of either the 2,500 page report or its executive summary will now
be determined by East Timor's Parliament. The National Security
Archive's Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project is releasing
these U.S. documents in the hopes of encouraging the speediest possible
release and widest possible dissemination of the CAVR's findings,
which are strongly critical of the role of the international community
in supporting Indonesia's invasion and occupation of East Timor.
Today is also the 30th anniversary of East Timor's (Timor-Leste)
November 28, 1975 declaration of independence.
"We expect the final report of the CAVR to demonstrate, as
these documents do, that Indonesia's invasion and occupation of
East Timor and the resulting crimes against humanity occurred in
an international context in which the support of powerful nations,
especially the United States, was indispensable," said Brad
Simpson, assistant professor of history at University of Maryland,
Baltimore County and Director of the National Security Archive's
Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project. "These documents
also point to the need for genuine international accountability
for East Timor's suffering, especially as Indonesia embarks on its
own truth commission process."
The documents included in this briefing book were declassified
in response to Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the
Archive's Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project, after
the Bush Administration refused a CAVR request for U.S. documents.
The project aims to assist efforts to document and seek accountability
for more than three decades of human rights abuses committed during
the rule of Indonesian President Suharto (1965-1998).
Among the revelations in these formerly secret documents:
- U.S. officials adopted a "policy of silence" and
sought to suppress news and discussion of East Timor, though they
knew of Indonesian plans to invade nearly a year in advance
- The Ford Administration knew that Indonesia had invaded East
Timor almost entirely using U.S. equipment, knew the use of this
equipment was illegal and discussed circumventing any possible
Congressional ban on military aid to Indonesia
- In 1977, Carter Administration officials blocked declassification
of the explosive cable transcribing President Ford and Secretary
of State Kissinger's December 6, 1975 meeting with Indonesian
President Suharto in which they explicitly approved of Indonesia's
invasion of East Timor.
- Through the 1980s, U.S. officials continued to receive - and
deny or dismiss - credible reports of Indonesian massacres of
- In 1993, the U.S. Ambassador in Jakarta concluded that the Suharto
regime's effort to integrate East Timor into Indonesia had failed,
and that "the repressive and pervasive Indonesian military
presence is the main obstacle to the government's goal of integration."
- In September 1999 the CIA reported on Indonesian military and
militia violence following East Timor's vote for independence
as a form of terrorism, reporting that "the military has
supported or worked alongside the militias."
to the documents