cj#803> re: coverups

1998-07-21

Richard Moore

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Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998
From: Jeff Jewell <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#801> CNN: RETRACTION or SELL OUT? (fwd)

On objective analysis, it would be difficult to believe that the CNN
retraction was anything other than acquiescence to withering pressure.
The reasons to believe this are: (1) it was no surprise to CNN execs
that this was an explosive story that directly challenged the integrity
of the state; (2) the story was in development for many months -- and I
believe it was under executive/legal review for at least a few weeks
before the courageous decision to go public.

The only part that seems surprising -- especially in light of the Gary
Webb precedent -- is that CNN and the staff involved were apparently
surprised at the magnitude of the counter offensive by the pack of
media/legal attack dogs that were quickly dispatched to defend the image
of the corporate/military state.  It seems unlikely that CNN and staff
were actually that naive -- but probably overestimated the integrity and
support at the upper end of their hierarchy.

About the only thing that could prevent this kind of situation would be
if the public at large came to see such a thing as systemic state abuse
of power -- and corporate media complicity in cover ups as required.
Under this circumstance, the higher interest of the state would be to
defend the image of the media -- rather than the image of the military
-- and a few lower level soldiers would be scapegoated in an expose that
would prove once again the integrity of the media, the military and the
corporate state system [and the glory of Big Brother]!

Nonetheless, this case sadly remains unproven -- as the state claims --
although there is plenty of reason to doubt that they have told the
truth, and to suspect a cover up.

--------------------------------
Dear Jeff,

As I wrote last 30 March in "Police State Conspiracy Indictment", I think
this business of "case remains unproven" to be a cul-de-sac...
                               ---
    2.3  There is a scientific way to analyze suspected conspiracy
    scenarios -- what I call the "Sherlock-Holmes" method.

    Conspiracy theorists frequently pursue, to the detriment of their
    intended purpose, a particular investigative cul de sac.  To wit,
    they see their task as "proving" that a given conspiracy did in fact
    occur.  Success in such an endeavor is in most cases nearly
    impossible.  Whether it be the JFK coup d'etat, the TWA 800
    shootdown, or the Oklahoma bombing, the ability of elites to conceal
    the basic facts of the case makes rigorous proof of conspiracy very
    difficult to establish.

    In fact there is a much more fruitful investigative method, one that
    is far easier to pursue, and one that can be applied to scenarios
    where little or no direct evidence is at hand.  This I call the
    "Sherlock" method.

    This method involves enumerating the plausible scenarios which might
    explain a given Incident, and then assigning probabilities to the
    various scenarios based on the available evidence.  No claim is made
    under this method that "Scenario X _is_ what happened"; instead, one
    makes the claim that "Scenario X is the _most likely_ explanation
    given the available facts."
                               ---

Along these lines, there was that great scene in Oliver Stone's "JFK" when
"Colonel X" (Donald Sutherland) suggested that our hero concentrate less on
the conspiracy details and more on the "why" of the case.

As regards the CNN story...  the pattern I've noticed is a "gradually
revealing", over years, of more and more of the deception and brutal
tactics used by the US military and intelligence services.  The idea seems
to be to get people to gradually accept "as normal or necessary" pratices
which would _never have been tolerated for most of the time I've been
alive.  For example, following Desert Storm, I saw an article on page 2 of
a major newspaper describing how thousands of Iraqi troops had been buried
alive by bulldozers in an act of "innovative warfare".  Such a thing would
not have been admitted in the Korean or Vietnam wars.

Below is another such "revealing", this time regarding Indonesia.  It seems
to me the reason for the "retraction" regarding the CNN story above is
simply that the public reaction was more negative than had been estimated.


It is sad that the following story, and so many others, aren't met with the
same level of public outrage that evidently followed the CNN story.

rkm

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998
To: •••@••.•••
From: •••@••.••• (Jan Slakov)
Subject: CIA admits involvement in killing of Communists in Indonesia

Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998
To: •••@••.•••
From: Snezana Vitorovich <•••@••.•••>
Subject: on Indonesia

Ex-agents say CIA compiled death lists for Indonesians

             After 25 years, Americans speak of their
             role in exterminating Communist Party

           by Kathy Kadane, States News Service, 1990

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government played a significant role in one
of the worst massacres of the century by supplying the names of
thousands of Communist Party leaders to the Indonesian army, which
hunted down the leftists and killed them, former U.S. diplomats say.

   For the first time, U.S. officials acknowledge that in 1965 they
systematically compiled comprehensive lists of Communist operatives,
from top echelons down to village cadres. As many as 5,000 names
were furnished to the Indonesian army, and the Americans later
checked off the names of those who had been killed or captured,
according to the U.S. officials.

   The killings were part of a massive bloodletting that took an
estimated 250,000 lives.

   The purge of the Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) was part of a
U.S. drive to ensure that Communists did not come to power in the
largest country in Southeast Asia, where the United States was
already fighting an undeclared war in Vietnam. Indonesia is the
fifth most-populous country in the world.

   Silent for a quarter-century, former senior U.S. diplomats
and CIA officers described in lengthy interviews how they aided
Indonesian President Suharto, then army leader, in his attack on
the PKI.

   "It really was a big help to the army," said Robert J. Martens,
a former member of the U.S. Embassy's political section who is now
a consultant to the State Department. "They probably killed a lot
of people, and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but
that's not all bad. There's a time when you have to strike hard
at a decisive moment."

   White House and State Department spokesmen declined comment
on the disclosures.

   Although former deputy CIA station chief Joseph Lazarsky and
former diplomat Edward Masters, who was Martens' boss, said CIA
agents contributed in drawing up the death lists, CIA spokesman
Mark Mansfield said, "There is no substance to the allegation that
the CIA was involved in the preparation and/or distribution of
a list that was used to track down and kill PKI members. It is
simply not true."

   Indonesian Embassy spokesman Makarim Wibisono said he had no
personal knowledge of events described by former U.S. officials.
"In terms of fighting the Communists, as far as I'm concerned,
the Indonesian people fought by themselves to eradicate the
Communists," he said.

   Martens, an experienced analyst of communist affairs, headed an
embassy group of State Department and CIA officers that spent two
years compiling the lists. He later delivered them to an army
intermediary.

   People named on the lists were captured in overwhelming numbers,
Martens said, adding, "It's a big part of the reason the PKI has
never come back."

   The PKI was the third-largest Communist Party in the world, with
an estimated 3 million members. Through affiliated organizations
such as labor and youth groups it claimed the loyalties of another
17 million.

   In 1966 the Washington Post published an estimate that 500,000
were killed in the purge and the brief civil war it triggered.
In a 1968 report, the CIA estimated there had been 250,000 deaths,
and called the carnage "one of the worst mass murders of the 20th
century."

                      U.S. Embassy approval

   Approval for the release of the names came from the top U.S.
Embassy officials, including former Ambassador Marshall Green,
deputy chief of mission Jack Lydman and political section chief
Edward Masters, the three acknowledged in interviews.

   Declassified embassy cables and State Department reports from
early October 1965, before the names were turned over, show that
U.S. officials knew Suharto had begun roundups of PKI cadres, and
that the embassy had unconfirmed reports that firing squads were
being formed to kill PKI prisoners.

   Former CIA Director William Colby, in an interview, compared
the embassy's campaign to identify the PKI leadership to the CIA's
Phoenix Program in Vietnam. In 1965, Colby was the director of
the CIA's Far East division and was responsible for directing
U.S. covert strategy in Asia.

   "That's what I set up in the Phoenix Program in Vietnam -- that
I've been kicked around for a lot," he said. "That's exactly what
it was. It was an attempt to identify the structure" of the
Communist Party.

   Phoenix was a joint U.S.-South Vietnamese program set up by
the CIA in December 1967 that aimed at neutralizing members of
the National Liberation Front, the Vietcong political cadres.
It was widely criticized for alleged human rights abuses.

                        "You shoot them"

   "The idea of identifying the local apparatus was designed to --
well, you go out and get them to surrender, or you capture or you
shoot them," Colby said of the Phoenix Program. "I mean, it was a
war, and they were fighting. So it was really aimed at providing
intelligence for operations rather than a big picture of the thing."

   In 1962, when he took over as chief of the CIA's Far East
division, Colby said he discovered the United States did not have
comprehensive lists of PKI activists. Not having the lists "could
have been criticized as a gap in the intelligence system," he said,
adding they were useful for "operation planning" and provided a
picture of how the party was organized. Without such lists, he
said, "you're fighting blind."

   Asked if the CIA had been responsible for sending Martens, a
foreign service officer, to Jakarta in 1963 to compile the lists,
Colby said, "Maybe, I don't know. Maybe we did it. I've forgotten."

   The lists were a detailed who's-who of the leadership of the
party of 3 million members, Martens said. They included names
of provincial, city and other local PKI committee members, and
leaders of the "mass organizations," such as the PKI national
labor federation, women's and youth groups.

                         Better information

   "I know we had a lot more information" about the PKI "than the
Indonesians themselves," Green said. Martens "told me on a number
of occasions that ... the government did not have very good
information on the Communist setup, and he gave me the impression
that this information was superior to anything they had."

   Masters, the embassy's political section chief, said he believed
the army had lists of its own, but they were not as comprehensive
as the American lists. He said he could not remember whether the
decision to release the names had been cleared with Washington.

   The lists were turned over piecemeal, Martens said, beginning at
the top of the communist organization. Martens supplied thousands
of names to an Indonesian emissary over a number of months, he said.
The emissary was an aide to Adam Malik, an Indonesian minister who
was an ally of Suharto in the attack on the Communists.

   Interviewed in Jakarta, the aide, Tirta Kentjana ("Kim") Adhyatman,
confirmed he had met with Martens and received lists of thousands
of names, which he in turn gave to Malik. Malik passed them on to
Suharto's headquarters, he said.

                           "Shooting list"

   Embassy officials carefully recorded the subsequent destruction
of the PKI organization. Using Martens' lists as a guide, they
checked off names of captured and assassinated PKI leaders,
tracking the steady dismantling of the party apparatus, former
U.S. officials said.

   Information about who had been captured and killed came from
Suharto's headquarters, according to Joseph Lazarsky, deputy CIA
station chief in Jakarta in 1965. Suharto's Jakarta headquarters
was the central collection point for military reports from around
the country detailing the capture and killing of PKI leaders,
Lazarsky said.

   "We were getting a good account in Jakarta of who was being
picked up," Lazarsky said. "The army had a 'shooting list' of
about 4,000 or 5,000 people."

   Detention centers were set up to hold those who were not killed
immediately.

   "They didn't have enough goon squads to zap them all, and some
individuals were valuable for interrogation," Lazarsky said. "The
infrastructure was zapped almost immediately. We knew what they
were doing. We knew they would keep a few and save them for the
kangaroo courts, but Suharto and his advisers said, if you keep
them alive, you have to feed them."

   Masters, the chief of the political section, said, "We had these
lists" constructed by Martens, "and we were using them to check off
what was happening to the party, what the effect" of the killings
"was on it."

   Lazarsky said the checkoff work was also carried out at the
CIA's intelligence directorate in Washington.

                       Leadership destroyed

   By the end of January 1966, Lazarsky said, the checked-off names
were so numerous the CIA analysts in Washington concluded the PKI
leadership had been destroyed.

   "No one cared, as long as they were Communists, that they were
being butchered," said Howard Federspiel, who in 1965 was the
Indonesia expert at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence
and Research. "No one was getting very worked up about it."

   Asked about the checkoffs, Colby said, "We came to the conclusion
that with the sort of Draconian way it was carried out, it really
set them" -- the communists -- "back for years."

   Asked if he meant the checkoffs were proof that the PKI leadership
had been caught or killed, he said, "Yeah, yeah, that's right, ...
the leading elements, yeah."

END

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