Friday, April 2, 2010

TNI Tacitly Admits Guilt. Man Questioned for Calling Me on Phone. Establishment Jakarta is Afraid. Only the People Don't Tremble.

By Allan Nairn (

On Tuesday, March 23 at 9:59 at night I received a call on one of my cell phones from an Indonesian man I know. Within 24 hours he had been questioned by Indonesian state intelligence. They asked: "Why are you calling Allan? What's your relationship with him?"

For the record, he was calling to exclaim "They're showing your picture on the TV news!" Our relationship is, he's a friendly acquaintance and he had nothing whatsoever to do with my recent report on assassinations by the US-backed Indonesian armed forces (TNI).

Nor did any activist or journalist, including those who, in recent days, have been in touch with or met with me to discuss the ensuing uproar.

I'm putting this in print because, as one public figure said two nights ago, "It can be dangerous to discuss your article in public" -- and, who knows?, maybe even by phone.

After Metro TV pulled me off-air in minutes when I started discussing assassination specifics (see posting of March 24, 2010), one member of the station wrote to me saying of their colleagues: "I don't trust them."

The Indonesian armed forces have already tacitly conceded their guilt since they had a chance to arrest me yesterday, but didn't, even though they've been proclaiming that they want to do so to clear their name in open court.

Before yesterday afternoon they had the technical excuse that they didn't formally know my location, but as of 5:30 or 6pm the nation would have known since I was due for a live TV sit-down.

But Kopassus killed the interview as I was en route to the Jakarta TV One studio. Their commanding General, Lodewijk, backed down not just from confronting me face-to-face verbally, but from the chance to have the cuffs slapped on me for legally "defiling" TNI's "good name" (See posting of March 31, 2010)

When I later asked a TV One executive why they too had pulled the plug, he said it would have been "too risky" for them. He claimed they could face the same felony charge I'm facing.

Tomorrow, Saturday, I'm due for a print interview. One person involved with it has written: "[We]can't wait to make this interview. [We]'ve told [our] editors and they are excited. I'm just hoping no last minute cancelation like TVOne did."

I'm betting there won't be a cancellation. Print is edited and -- in elite outlets -- doesn't reach the rakyat biasa, the regular people, like live TV does.

What I would have said on TV One after stating the murder facts would have been to simply repeat what people say but never hear from the Jakarta presenters:

'Why is it that after murdering, torturing and raping many hundreds of thousands, not a single TNI General is in prison for these crimes? Everyone in Indonesia knows: the judges are afraid, or complicit, as are the politicians and the big press. But the rakyat is not as frightened. You know what poor people call the TNI? They call them "the sadists." The TNI even acknowledged this on their website.' (See posting of November 8, 2007).

I couldn't wait to say those words, then listen for the responses from people sitting, watching from reed-brushed floors like the ones I know.

It's nice to hear your own sentiments echo back from a distant podium, like a TV studio. And it is echoed popular speech that sometimes makes political thunder.

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