President elect Obama's choice of Admiral Dennis Blair for a top intelligence position is under attack from leading human right's activists. Blair's role in the violence instigated by the Indonesian government against East Timor is the focus of a new article by Bradley Simpson and a special report on Democracy Now featuring noted activist journalist Allan Nairn http://www.democracynow.org/
President elect Obama’s appointment of Admiral Dennis Blair is drawing strong reaction from human right’s activists. In an article entitled, The Bloody Career of Admiral Blair, Bradley Simpson details Admiral Blair’s role in the atrocities committed by Indonesian forces against the Timorese when he served as US Commander in Chief of the Pacific (CINCPAC) from February 1999 to May 2000. According to Simpson, Blair "ran interference for the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) as they and their militia proxies committed crimes against humanity on an awesome scale".
Simpson charges that Blair blamed the violence on a few bad apples at a time when it was well known in the intelligence community that the "Indonesian military had colluded with pro-Jakarta militia forces in events preceding the attack and were present in some numbers at the time of the killings." Previous top secret documents recently recovered by the freedom of information act give credence to this claim.
In 1999, President Clinton severed military aid to the Jakarta government after a world wide outcry against the Indonesian instigated terror in East Timor. Human right’s activists had sought such an embargo of military aid since 1992 but these restrictions were short lived thanks in part to the efforts of Admiral Blair, who successfully lobbied for their resumption in 2002. Blair's appointment underscores the low emphasis that the Obama team is placing on human right’s issues and is another reminder that those who want real change can not afford to take a back seat during the upcoming confirmation proceedings.