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Sukarno years

Suharto years



US relations


1965 Gestapu

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1945 - 1967






Sukarno Years - US Relations

President Sukarno



Editor aims at compiling a true record of his presidency
His political aspirations and ambitions have often been
distorted and blackened to suit Western interpretations.

He fought Western domination but in the end tragically succumbed to their political pressures, intrigues and
machinations as well as biased Western media reporting






The Sukarno years




1961 President Sukarno and President Kennedy

















Sukarno's relations with the United States can be summarized as the story of
The Good -The Bad and - The Ugly".

Relations were Good as long as Sukarno cooperated with the US.

Relations were Bad when he showed an independent stance and did not want to become a US lackey.

Relations became Ugly in the 1960s when the US and its allies decided it was time to replace him with someone more cooperative and achieved this in the years 1965-1967.

In summary it is the story of "Sukarno - "How the West has won".






Diplomatic Relations
Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1949.

Diplomatic relations were established on December 28, 1949,
when U.S. Ambassador H. Merle Cochran presented his credentials to President Sukarno. Ambassador Cochran had previously been the U.S. representative to the United Nations Commission for Indonesia.


Embassy of the United States - Jakarta






"Indonesia - How the West has won" would be an appropriate title
for this intriguing and treacherous development of events in the Sukarno years.
CIA plots and cover-ups
UK secret black propaganda and MI6 covert actions

to discredit and de-throne President Sukarno.
Covert operations, high-level intrigue after intrigue aimed at removing Sukarno,
a thorn in their eyes because of his stand for neutralism.

It reads like a story.
However, we are not talking fiction but deplorable facts.
Numerous books and media articles are available on the subject.




A History of
official US policy toward Indonesia

US policy towards Indonesia in the vital years 1961-1965,
a period which defined the cold war power balance in Southeast Asia.







 The US is intricately involved in the birth and development of the Republic of Indonesia.
It was instrumental in convincing the Dutch to recognize Indonesia's independence (1949).
Later it played a decisive role in the Dutch release of West-Irian to Indonesia (1962).
It played a questionable role in the downfall of Sukarno and his replacement by Suharto,
a staunch Western supporter who facilitated/opened thus far restricted opportunities to the US and its allies.

This support was, of course, politically motivated.
The US needed Indonesia because of its strategic importance, its strategic location at the crossroads of the Indian and Pacific Ocean, its importance as a bulwark against communism during the cold war, its valuable oil, minerals and natural resources.

As long as Indonesia played by the rules, i.e. sided with the US, there were no problems. When Sukarno developed an independent stance, promoted a deep sense of nationalism over western imperialism, preferred guided democracy over western democracy, became a forefighter of non-alignment, the
CIA started plotting attempts in the 1950's to dethrone Sukarno as described in this website's selection of reports and articles.
This ultimately led to his downfall after the socalled
1965 Gestapu affair and his replacement by General Suharto, a staunch
US supporter.





Sudden death of Sukarno's 3 Navy commanders



Unexplained death of Lt Gen KKO Hartono

The sudden death of an Indonesian officer, a respected military leader, dedicated to country, military discipline
and family.

Was it suicide or was it murder?


Three leading Navy officers of the Sukarno government died sudden deaths after Sukarno fell into disgrace and Suharto took over.

Were they victims of a conspiracy related to Indonesia's strategic waterways?



Sukarno held control over its passage and was herein
supported by his Maritime commanders Martadinata,
Muljadi and Hartono.

The US wanted to control Indonesian strategic waterways connecting the Indian and Pacific Ocean and did not have
the free passage they wanted.

Indonesian Navy circles believe there was an
international conspiracy to have the Maritime
commanders eliminated after Sukarno's removal from power
to a.o. obtain this control over Indonesian waterways and
also diminish the country's recognized maritime power.'

When Suharto took over Vital maritime passage between
the Pacific and the Indian Ocean had been secured by the
US for both military and commercial purposes.




Strategic Importance

In the 1950's the basic premise for any approach to Indonesia and strategy was the strategic importance of the Indonesian-controlled areas. The population was at the time the world’s fifth largest, and the location forced all major trade routes between the Far East and points west to pass through or near Indonesian territory. The wealth of natural resources was enormous, and included critical raw materials like oil, tin and rubber.

The US made a thorough new evaluation of Indonesia’s strategic importance, and concluded that its potential resources, size, and strategic critical location made keeping Indonesia outside Soviet influence vital to US national security.
In the administration’s eyes, the Soviet policy promoted conflict and could easily make Indonesia economically and militarily dependent on Moscow.

The loss of Indonesia would also outflank American efforts
to contain communism in South Vietnam.


Admiral Felt

Strategic Importance

The most dramatic assessment came from the Commander in Chief of the Pacific (CINCPAC), Admiral Harry Felt during a 1962 Senate hearing.

With the basis that the Indonesian archipelago sat squarely
on the major trade routes between the United States,
Northern Pacific and the Near East,

Admiral Felt argued that "whoever controlled the archipelago,
controlled the entrance to the Indian Ocean from the Pacific



Admiral Prueher

Strategic Location
Admiral Joseph Prueher, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, said this
before a U.S. Senate hearing in May 1998: “In addition to having a geo-strategic location along the Malacca Straits—through which about 400 ships a week pass
to go up to north Asia—[Indonesia] is the linchpin of…the Southeast Asian nations.”


The United States and Sukarno
(an excerpt)

 In the mid 1960s, the importance of Indonesia to the United States required little explanation. Its strategic significance leaped off the map: the sprawling arcipelago bestrode the sea lanes connecting the Indian Ocean and the Pacific; it outflanked Vietnam; it threatened havoc on the secuirty of the Philippines and the American bases there. Economically the country's clout rested on a wealth of natural resources, although no one could say just how abundant they migh tbe, American oil companies had bet some half-billion dollars on Indonesia's future.

Politcally Sukarno had early claimed stature among Third World neutralists by hosting the seminal Bandung conference of 1955; nearly a decade later he remained a heavyweight in the nonaligned movement.

Quoted from The Journal of American Historty, Vol. 76, No.3 (Dec. 1989) p789.



Marine (KKO) Commander General Hartono,
Navy Chief Admiral Martadinata and
his successor Admiral Muljadi.

Sudden deaths of 3 Navy & Marine commanders

The quest to control Indonesian waterways, to overrule and eliminate Sukarno's "Wawasan Nusantara" concept is
rumored to be related to the sudden deaths of 3 high ranking ALRI (Indonesian Navy) commanders supporting this
maritime concept.

The Navy Command supported the Wawasan Nusantara Concept. After Sukarno's removal the then Navy leadership is rumored to have been considered a continued obstacle to the western efforts to control strategic Indonesian sea lanes.

(Wawasan Nusantara - Indonesian doctrine of the political and security unity of archipelagic land and sea space)
This subject has never been thoroughly researched.

When Suharto took over Vital maritime passage between
the Pacific and the Indian Ocean had been secured by the
US for both military and commercial purposes.



Declassified State Department documents
reveal the US interest in removal of
Hartono and Muljadi from their influential maritime positions.


Indonesian waterways

After Suharto replaced Sukarno trade routes thru Indonesian waterways were opened, the 7th Fleet had undisputed use of thoroughfares thru Indonesian waterways from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
Vital maritime passage between the Pacific and the Indian Ocean had been secured for both military and commercial purposes.




Wawasan Nusantara ( Archipelagic Concept)

Indonesia has a well documented history for claiming to be an archipelagic nation. Indonesia’s word for ‘fatherland’ - ‘tanah air’, means ‘the land and the water’. Historically, Indonesia has always regarded the seas within its archipelago as internal waters and has resented historical colonial powers transiting through its waters without regard to its sovereignty.

In 1957, during a particularly volatile period, Indonesia announced the policy of ‘Wawasan Nusantara’ (Unity / Archipelagic Outlook) to provide a symbol of unity. On December 13, 1957, the Indonesian Government issued a declaration on the territorial waters of the Republic, stating that al the waters surrounding and between the islands in the territory came within indonesia's sovereignty.

The Djuanda Declaration was ratified by Legislative/Assembly with the enactment of Act No.4 regarding Indonesian Waters on February 18, 1960. The bill expanded Indonesia's overall territory by about 2.5-fold, from 2,027,087 sq km to 5,193,250 sq km. This domestic legislation declared Indonesia an archipelagic state and prescribed baselines around all Indonesia’s islands and enclosed all waters within the island chains. Indonesia claimed a territorial sea of 12 nautical miles and claimed all waters within its designated baselines as ‘internal waters’. It demanded that all international vessels transit its designated internal waters under the regime of ‘innocent passage’. This declaration was met with almost universal international condemnation. The declaration was ignored by maritime states and Indonesia did not choose to enforce it.

On 28 July 1962 the Act on Innocent Passage was enacted. The Act deals with navigational conduct and establishes the operational criteria by which to determine the "innocent" character of maritime passge through its waters. It also contains regulations which must be obliged by foreign ships intending innocent passage. Under the July 1962 Regulation No. 8 that defined the 12 mile limit of the territorial sea, foreign warships and other noncommercial vessels must give notice before entering the territorial sea. This requirement is not recognized by the US, which conducted operational assertions in 1992, 1993, 2000-3.

West Malaysia and East Malaysia are separated by the South China Sea, which is dotted by two small groups of Indonesian islands, namely the Anambas and Natuna islands. The archipelagic boundary as claimed by Indonesia would enclose both those groups of small islands within the Indonesian archipelago. The effect of that claim would result in the sudden severance of the free access and all forms of communications which Malaysia had always enjoyed through the high seas between the two parts of its territory. Consequently, it would be deprived of links that were vital to the maintenance of its geographical, economic and political unity as a sovereign and integral nation State. The situation of Malaysia was unique in that respect.

As an Archipelagic State, Indonesia has the right to designate Sea Lanes for "continuous and expeditious" passage of foreign shipping through its waters and the adjacent Territorial Sea. At the same time the State has an obligation to accurately chart such Sea Lanes and to facilitate safe navigation by publishing appropriate and correct navigational charts.



Paper Prepared in the Department of State for the National Security Council/1/
Washington, August 4, 1967.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 1 INDON. Secret. A covering memorandum from Deputy Executive Secretary of State John P. Walsh to Bromley Smith indicates that the paper was prepared for the NSC meeting on Indonesia on August 9 and had "the working level concurrence of the Treasury, CIA, DOD, and JCS and was approved by Katzenbach and the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Eugene V. Rostow.

Further Deterioration in Relations with Indonesia
Political (Excerpt)

3. Sukarno has been eliminated as a political force. The "New Order" led by General Suharto is well established in power, and is neutralizing gradually "Old Order" hold-outs in the police, marine corps, and parts of Central and East Java.
Suharto and his associates showed sophistication and a fine sense of timing in managing the transition.



The US apparently welcomed a decision to replace the Navy command as reflected in the March 15, 1967 telegram from Ambassador Marshal Green,
in which he refers to the pending removal of
Navy Minister/Chief of Staff Muljadi and KKO (Marine) commander Hartono

Telegram From the Embassy in Indonesia to the Department of State/1/
Djakarta, March 15, 1967, 1105Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 15 INDON. Secret. Repeated to Bangkok, Canberra, CINCPAC for POLAD, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Medan, Singapore, Surabaya, Tokyo, and Wellington.

4287. Subject: Post-MPRS Political Situation.

Changes in top navy and police leadership is high on agenda. Suharto perhaps hopes that
Navy Minister Muljadi, Marine Commandant Hartono and Police Minister Sutjipto will fall of their own weight once their underlings assess their failure to influence significantly outcome of MPRS session. After cooling off period, Suharto might personally take hand in their ouster and perhaps ask Adam Malik to cough up more Ambassadorial positions.


Editor's Note :
Lt General Hartono was appointed Ambassador for Indonesia in North Korea in February 1969. During a brief visit to Jakarta he was found dead with a gunshot at the back of his head in his home in the night of January 6,1970.
The government declared it a suicide but facts surrounding his death do not support this.

Admiral Muljadi subsequently became Ambassador to the Sovjet Union in 1970.
He died suddenly, reportedly from a heart attack in August 1972.
Admiral Muljadi succeeded Navy Chief Admiral Martadinata who died November 1966
in a helicopter accident in the Puncak area in clear daylight.






United States Policy towards Indonesia in the Truman and Eisenhower Years (review)
1966- Matthew Jones

A brief excerpt of the content:
Journal of Cold War Studies 6.4 (2004) 163-166
Andrew Roadnight, United States Policy towards Indonesia in the Truman and Eisenhower Years.

One of the prime examples of the way successive U.S. administrations managed to alienate many of the new countries emerging from the shadow of colonialism after World War II is provided by the downward trajectory of U.S. relations with Indonesia.
U.S. policymakers were convinced that they had played a key role in securing Indonesian independence from Dutch rule
in 1949, and they wanted to enlist the new state in Western efforts to deter Communist expansion.

They also believed that Indonesia's rich natural resources would play a valuable role in the world capitalist system.
Having failed to grasp the complexities of Indonesian politics that facilitated the growing influence of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), the U.S. government by 1957 had lost patience with the Guided Democracy of President Sukarno.
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials set out to subvert the Indonesian regime through covert action and support for rebellious elements in the Outer Island provinces.

The disastrous collapse of this operation in April-May 1958 led to the adoption of an alternative posture of low-key backing
for anti-Communist groups within the Indonesian Army's officer corps and the provision of modest amounts of military aid.

By the end of Dwight Eisenhower's presidency in early 1961, U.S. policy was floundering.
Washington's credibility was at a low ebb after the abortive intervention of 1957-1958, Sukarno was exasperated by Eisenhower's refusal to accept repeated invitations for a personal visit to Indonesia, the PKI was consolidating its important role in the political process while developing a mass base on Java, and Washington's "neutrality" over the future disposition of the Dutch-controlled territory of West Irian ran afoul of Indonesian nationalist sentiment.
This, in sum, is the sorry tale of estrangement conveyed by Andrew Roadnight in his clear and straightforward analysis of
U.S. relations with Indonesia from 1945 to 1960.

Roadnight has made extensive use of archival sources in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom to present a stern indictment of the shortcomings of U.S. policy throughout this period. He rightly stresses that, before Indonesia became independent, U.S. officials only slowly came to believe that they could rely on nationalist leaders in Jakarta to provide the stability needed to build an acceptable postwar order in East Asia. Washington's persistent bias toward its European allies and priorities was coupled, Roadnight shows, with cultural assumptions and prejudices about Indonesians (often pictured as child-like and naive) that underpinned U.S. attitudes.

By the mid-1950s, the U.S. government was increasingly irritated by Indonesia's adoption of an active course of non-alignment. The situation was made worse by the inability of the United States to use aid as a lever to bring Jakarta into the Western camp. Roadnight marshals convincing evidence that John Foster Dulles was strongly attracted to the idea of a territorial break-up of Indonesia, if this would "save" the Outer Islands from the influence of the PKI on Java. Roadnight is particularly effective at highlighting the U.S. economic stake in Indonesia, as Washington tried to restructure the postwar world economy to suit its interests and needs.







"The United States views Indonesia as the cornerstone of regional security in Southeast Asia
and a key trade partner. U.S. interests in the region depend on Indonesia's stability and economic growth"
states the Jakarta Embassy website.

Indonesia's path to peace and prosperity leads only through democracy, the United States believes.

Although establishing lasting democratic institutions in a country as large and diverse as Indonesia may entail many initial struggles, it is the best way to ensure that government makes its decisions based on the interests of the people, not just the interests of the leaders.
The United States considers Indonesia a valued friend in Asia and supports its efforts to recover its national balance. Indonesia's success will enhance security and economic recovery in the entire Southeast Asian region. The United States strongly supports Indonesia's political reforms and pledges its cooperation and assistance as the process of change continues so that the world's fourth largest nation can make permanent its status as the largest democracy in



Indonesia Strategic Importance

The US made a thorough new evaluation of Indonesia’s strategic importance, and concluded
that its potential resources, size, and strategic critical location made keeping Indonesia
outside Soviet influence vital to US national security.



Indonesia, master card in Washington’s hand

After the second world war, Indonesia had a prominent place in US efforts to construct an international
political and economic order. Planning was careful and sophisticated; each region was assigned its proper
role. The "main function" of Southeast Asia was to provide resources and raw materials to the industrial societies. Indonesia was the richest prize. In 1948 the influential planner George Kennan described "the problem of Indonesia" as "the most crucial issue of the moment in our struggle with the Kremlin" - that is,
the struggle against independent nationalism, whatever the Kremlin role might be (in this case, very slight).

Kennan warned that a "communist" Indonesia would be an "infection" that "would sweep westward" through
ll of South Asia. The term "communism" is routinely used to cover any form of independent nationalism,
and it is understood that "infections" spread not by conquest but by example.

"The problem of Indonesia" persisted. In 1958 US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles informed the
National Security Council that Indonesia was one of three major world crises, along with Algeria and the
Middle East. He emphasized that there was no Soviet role in any of these cases, with the "vociferous" agreement of President Eisenhower. The main problem in Indonesia was the Communist party (PKI),
which was winning "widespread support not as a revolutionary party but as an organization defending the interests of the poor within the existing system," developing a "mass base among the peasantry" through
its "vigor in defending the interests of the...poor (2)".

The US embassy in Jakarta reported that it might not be possible to overcome the PKI "by ordinary
democratic means", so that "elimination" by police and military might be undertaken.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff urged that "action must be taken, including overt measures as required, to ensure either the success of the dissidents or the suppression of the pro-communist elements of the Sukarno government."

The "dissidents" were the leaders of a rebellion in the outer islands, the site of most of Indonesia’s oil and
US investments.
US support for the secessionist movement was "by far the largest, and to this day the least known, of the Eisenhower administration’s covert militarized interventions," two leading Southeast Asia specialists conclude in a revealing study (3).
When the rebellion collapsed, after bringing down the last
residue of parliamentary institutions, the US turned to other means to "eliminate" the country’s major political force.

That goal was achieved when Suharto took power in 1965, with Washington’s strong support and assistance. Army-led massacres wiped out the PKI and devastated its mass base in "one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century," comparable to the atrocities of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, the CIA reported, judging "the Indonesian coup" to be "certainly one of the most significant events of the 20th century (4)". Perhaps half a million or more were killed within a few months.


The stated objectives are good, however, the interpretation as regards
establishing lasting democratic institutions"
is open for evaluation.

The US interpretation is that
the lasting democratic institutions
should conform to US standards,
should be subject to US standards.

Any deviation from such US standards are considered unacceptable
and require US actions for reformation with the dedicated assistance of the





The continuous US strife to dominate Indonesia's development,
not hesitating to impose US loyalty standards in an aggressive way,
led President Kennedy to issue the following statement:

"No wonder Sukarno doesn't like us very much.
He has to sit down with people who tried to overthrow him

The Sukarno Presidency was part of the Cold War conflict. US Policy was aimed at protecting their own anti-communist interests in the Cold War. A country like Indonesia, strategically located, considered important for the Western effort to fight communism was designated to be on the US side. Sukarno's neutralism placed him on the wrong side of the US government. US policies were and are still dominated by the principle that you are either pro or anti the US and it is the obligation of the US to bring you to the right side, the US side, no middle way, no neutralism accepted.

The Cold War struggle impacted the early years of independence as western nations did not hesitate to resort to pressure, manipulative and treacherous actions to make Sukarno bow down to their demand that he become a Western ally, side with them, the all-powerful West. His refusal to do so and insistence on neutralism resulted in unabated treacherous western actions, led by the US and the UK to bring him down as president, falsely proclaiming him a communist because of his stand for nationalism and neutralism.

When President Sukarno showed his independent stance in Cold War alliances, the US government started their
CIA covert operations to get rid of the uncooperative Indonesian leader.

The PRRI Permesta affair, although supported with US military aid, was a dismail failure .
CIA pilot Alan Pope was shot down and captured by AURI pilot Dewanto.
Robert Kennedy negotiated his release in 1962 in exchange for US support in the New Guinea conflict with the Dutch .

Financial pressure thru witholding of aid drove Sukarno to look for aid elsewhere.

When the Sovjet Union became a source for aid, the US immedialtely started a campaign to brand Sukarno as a communist.
This became their weapon to continue their efforts towards Sukarno's downfall.

They finally succeeded in 1965.




The following January 22, 1965 statement of President Johnson
military aid is a clear reflection of the purpose of US aid
(military or otherwise):

" all U.S. military assistance going to Indonesia is being provided
because it is in
our national interest, not theirs

Military aid, as US President Johnson so bluntly stated : was intended to "serve the interest of the US and not of Indonesia".
That, in summary, is what aid is all about, interests of the donor country prevailing over those of the receiving country, aid
with political and economic strings attached.

This principle has been applied through socalled aid programs, mostly provided with political ties attached, mostly favoring strong (financial) relations with a select power elite to obtain the desired results.

The downfall of Sukarno, a President who did not accept the political restrictions and obligations tied to Western aid.
who in 1964 told the US : "Go to hell with your aid", is a black page in the history of Indonesian-Western relations.




In Sukarno's words:
"I am often asked about my alleged anti-Americanism.
Over the years I have desperately wanted to be America's friend,
but she wouldn't let me.

She repeatedly mistakes foreign aid for friendship."

From "Sukarno-An Autobiography" - by Cindy Adams (page 294)



His political outlook in a capsule:

"To me, both the Declaration Of Independence and the Communist Manifesto
contain underlying truths, but the West doesn't permit a middle road.
They manipulate you so you are no longer able to stay independent.

To President Roosevelts four freedoms I add a fifth: The freedom to be free!
The West keeps threatening: "Do you want to be dominated by the Communists?"
We answer:
"No....but neither do we want to be dominated by you!"

At least Russia and China did not call us names when we smiled sweetly at America.
A nation engaged in surviving must take help from all
sides, accept whatever is useful and throw away the rest.




Go to Hell with Your aid

Shadow Play

The Cold War was at its height in 1965. Lyndon B. Johnson, the President of the United States, was escalating the war in Vietnam, and the countries of South Asia were seen by the administration as a series of dominoes, each standing
precariously next to the other. If one country fell under communist control, they believed, the rest would tumble after it.

"There was nobody in Asia who had the slightest doubt about the Domino Theory," recalls Dr. Walt Rostow, who served as chairman of the Policy Planning Council for the U.S. State Department from 1961 to 1966. "People in Asia knew that the war
in Vietnam was a war for the future of Southeast Asia."

At this time, American policy makers were growing increasingly worried that Indonesia, with the third largest Communist Party
in the world after China and the Soviet Union, was slipping away from the West. "This became much more concrete with [President] Sukarno leaving the UN early in 1965," says Rostow. "He took up with Aidit [the chairman of the Indonesian Communist Party], and he cut his ties with the UN and the U.S. ...
That was the occasion that Lyndon B. Johnson had to make up his mind -- was he going to fight for Southeast Asia or was
he not? He knew that the whole future of democracy in Southeast Asia and the orientation of Southeast Asia was at stake."

"Go to hell with your aid,"
Sukarno told the U.S. Ambassador, who was attending a public rally on March 25, 1964.

One year later, on August 17, 1965, Sukarno gave another speech suggesting that Indonesia should join an anti-imperialist alliance with Beijing and other Asian communist regimes. America's worst fears, it seemed, were being realized.
The Indonesian domino was teetering.



Six weeks later, a coup against President Sukarno's government began with the killing of six senior generals by a group
of army officers on September 30, 1965. The country was in turmoil. General Suharto, quickly taking control of the army,
captured the plotters and accused the Communist Party of attempting to overthrow the government.

These events were closely followed by Marshall Green, the American Ambassador in Jakarta.
His reports back to Washington, recently released as part of a State Department history (FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1964-1968, Volume XXVI), show the role the United States played in events as Suharto moved to destroy
the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).




October 5, 1965

Fm: Marshall Green, U.S. Ambassador, Jakarta
To: State Department, Washington
"What actually happened is still obscure. We can help shape developments to our advantage ... spread the story of the Communist guilt ... treachery and brutality."

November 4, 1965
Fm: Marshall Green, U.S. Ambassador, Jakarta
Fm: State Department, Washington
"The Army is doing a first class job here of moving against the Communists, and by all current indications is the emerging authority in Indonesia."

November 8, 1965
Fm: Marshall Green, U.S. Ambassador, Jakarta
Fm: State Department, Washington
"The Army with the help of Youth Organizations and other anti-Communist elements has continued systematic drive to destroy PKI in northern Sumatra with wholesale killings reported."

December 1, 1965
Fm: Marshall Green, U.S. Ambassador, Jakarta
Fm: State Department, Washington
"This is to confirm my earlier concurrence that we provide ... fifty million rupiahs for the activities of the Kap-Gestapu movement. ... This army inspired but civilian staffed action group is still carrying the burden of current repressive efforts targeted against PKI, particularly in central Java. ... The chances of detection or subsequent revelation of our support in this instance are as minimal as any black bag operation can be."

April 15, 1966
Fm: Marshall Green, U.S. Ambassador, Jakarta
Fm: State Department, Washington
"The problem is the impossibility of weighing the countervailing effects of exaggeration ... and the interests of people involved to cover up their crimes.
The truth can never be known. Even the Indonesian government has only a vague idea of the truth.
We frankly do not know whether the real figure is closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000 but we believe it wiser to err on the
side of the lower estimates, especially when questioned by the press.

August 10, 1966
Fm: U.S. Embassy, Jakarta
Fm: State Department, Washington
"A sanitized version of these lists [of PKI leaders] ... has been made available to the Indonesian Government last December ... and is apparently being used by security authorities who seem to lack even the simplest overt information on PKI leadership. Lists of other officials in the PKI affiliates ... were also provided to officials at their request."

These documents show that the U.S. State Department was aware of the scope of the killings, and they reveal
in detail how the U.S. Ambassador encouraged and supported the destruction of the Indonesian Communist Party with both financial backing and intelligence.

No one knows how many people were ultimately killed. Estimates range from half a million to two or even three million. The truth may never be known.

Other results are more tangible. General Suharto completely destroyed the Communist Party in Indonesia and seized control
of the Indonesian government.
On March 27, 1968, he was officially elected President of Indonesia, a position he would maintain with an iron fist for the next
32 years.
Under Suharto's authority, Indonesia quickly made peace with Malaysia and rejoined the United Nations.
And General Suharto's government received generous military support and financial assistance from the United States for the next three decades.

Interview with Walt Rostow by CNN.
Transcript online at the Web site of the National Security Archives for The Cold War, Volume 9, "The Wall."

The State Department documents relating to Indonesia published in FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1964-1968, Volume XXVI, can be seen online at





National Security Archive Seeks Cold War Documents
on Covert Operations


Robert Gates during his confirmation hearings to become DCI, September 16, 1991

"Initiate in the near-term the declassification of specific events, particularly those which are repeatedly the subject of false allegations, such as the 1948 Italian Elections, the 1953 Iranian Coup, 1954 Guatemalan Coup, 1958 Indonesian Coup
and the Cuban Missile Crises in 1962 [and n]otify the public of the availability of the resulting materials."
?Recommendation of the CIA's Task Force on Openness, 1991 (Gates accepted this recommendation in January 1992, promising "a bias toward declassification" of these documents)

"I have also directed review for declassification of significant Cold War covert actions more than 30 years old.
These include the following: activities in support of democracy in France and Italy in the 1940s and 1950s;

support to anti-Sukarno rebels in Indonesia in 1958;

support to Tibetan guerrillas in the 1950s and early 1960s; operations against North Korea during the Korean War; and, operations in Laos in the 1960s. In reviewing these actions for declassification, we are building on the steps my predecessors took in announcing plans to declassify records on the Bay of Pigs operation, the coups against President Arbenz of Guatemala and against Prime Minister Mossadeqh in Iran, and operations in the Dominican Republic and the Congo."

"To remain confident as we face the future we must learn from our past, and that learning must be based on information that is both accurate and as comprehensive as possible. Just as revelations about intelligence required the history of World War II to be rewritten, so too the information we have may require a rewriting of critical events in the Cold War. The events of the last four years have rendered obsolete much of the language of our generation -- the language of containment, of confrontation, of cold war with the Soviet Union -- and with it the need to keep much of this information classified. Scholars and historians have researched and written a great deal on the key events of the Cold War. It is time that we contribute to their work and to our collective understanding of this extraordinary period in history."
DCI R. James Woolsey, testifying before Congress, Sept. 28,1993















PRRI (Sumatra) - Permesta (Sulawesi)

Concerned about Sukarno's political direction and the powerful Indonesian Communist Party (PKI),
President Eisenhower ordered the CIA to foment a coup in 1958



  The coup failed, but its planning linked the CIA and
Pentagon with
Suharto and other Indonesian
military officers who saw an opening to power

PRRI Permesta

In 1957, President Eisenhower, his secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, and the CIA -- unbeknownst to Congress or to the American public -- launched a massive covert military operation in Indonesia.

Its aims were to topple or weaken Indonesia's populist President Sukarno, viewed as too friendly toward Indonesia's Communist Party, and to cripple the Indonesian army. The CIA, run by Allen Dulles, the brother of the secretary of state, funneled financial support and weapons to rebel colonels on the islands outside Java, seat of the government. In the ensuing civil war, thousands of civilians were killed; the Indonesian army put down the rebellion and crushed noncommunist political parties;



January 13, 1959 Pat Landry, leader of the
Padang (Sumatra-Indonesia) advisory team
receives the Intelligence Star for his efforts from
CIA Director Allen Dulles

(Source: "Feet to the Fire" by Conboy & Morrison)

PRRI Permesta

Three weeks before Pope was shot down, President
Dwight D. Eisenhower had emphatically denied charges
that the United States was supporting the rebellion against President Sukarno.
"Our policy," he said at a press conference on April 30, "is one of careful neutrality and proper deportment all the way through so as not to be taking sides where it is none of our business."



The US and US media had denied any involvement in the PRRI Permesta rebellions.
The picture (and subsequent developments) reflect the untrustworthiness of their statements and misrepresentation of actual facts. -Ed.



Kennedy presidency

The best relations with the US existed during
the Kennedy presidency.
Kennedy was able to develop a good personal relationship. Sukarno trusted him and was willing to work with him. Kennedy's death deeply affected Sukarno . It was the start of increasingly deteriorating relations with the US.

"Why did he have to die" , Sukarno deplored
when he heard the tragic news



Ambassador Howard Jones

had played a major role in improving relations between
the two countries.

He had won the friendship and trust of
Sukarno and convinced Kennedy of the
importance of good relations with Sukarno.

After Kennedy's death relations started to deteriorate reaching its culmination with the appointment of Jones's successor Marshal Green July 1965.



Washington DC 1961


Secret Memo July 17, 1964
President Lyndon Johnson:
"Our aid to Indonesia. .
is NOT helping Indonesia militarily.

It is, however, permitting us to maintain some contact with key elements in Indonesia which
are interested in and capable of resisting Communist takeover.

We think this is of vital importance to the entire
Free World."



July 1965

Green's track record includes
"direct experience of the CIA-sponsored replacement
of President Syngman Rhee by the military regime of
Chung Hee Park" when he was a US Foreign Service Officer
in Seoul, South Korea, in 1960
("Ten Years' Military Terror in Indonesia", p243).

Ambassador Marshall Green

The worst relations developed in 1965 during the Marshall Green ambassadorship
Sukarno distrusted Ambassador Marshal Green because
of his alleged CIA background , delaying approval of his ambassadorial appointment for several months.
This distrust was subsequently supported with the documented actions of Green before and after the Gestapu affair, detrimental to Sukarno's position, contributing to his downfall.

Only months before the coup, U.S. Ambassador Marshall Green had arrived in Djakarta, bringing with him the reputation of having masterminded the student overthrow of Syngman Rhee in Korea and sparking rumors that his purpose in Djakarta was to do the same there. Manuals on student organizing in both Korean and English were supplied by the embassy to KAMI’s top leadership soon after the coup




229. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Overall, Green thinks:

--there have been tremendous changes in Indonesia;
--things are going to get better;
--Indonesia is a vitally important "swing" country in Asia;
--the important thing is to consolidate the gains that have been made--to not let things slip backward.



Admiral Felt argued that

"whoever controlled the archipelago,
controlled the entrance to the Indian Ocean
from the Pacific

Strategic Importance
The most dramatic assessment came from the
Commander in Chief of the Pacific (CINCPAC),
Admiral Harry Felt during a 1962 Senate hearing.

With the basis that the Indonesian archipelago sat
squarely on the major trade routes between the
United States, Northern Pacific and the Near East,

Indonesia Strategic Importance
The US made a thorough new evaluation of
Indonesia’s strategic importance, and concluded
that its potential resources, size, and strategic
critical location made keeping Indonesia outside
Soviet influence vital to US national security.



The CIA in Indonesia

CIA's Covert Indonesia Operation in the 1950s Acknowledged by U.S. :

WASHINGTON — In the first official acknowledgment of its kind, the State Department has provided a detailed account of major covert operations launched by the CIA in Indonesia during the 1950s, when it feared growing Communist influence over President Sukarno.

A 600-page documentary history published this month shows that the Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration mounted clandestine intelligence operations to support anti-Communist rebels in Indonesia in what was, in some respects, a forerunner of the Bay of Pigs operations against Cuba.






Marshall Green

Harvey H Bundy


Telegram showing US supporting students against Sukarno



Prior to his ambassadorship in Jakarta Marshal Green was a CIA officer in South Korea
where he allegedly supported the military take-over of President Syngman Rhee.

What's new???


 The CIA, Suharto And Terrorist Culture

During the period 1965-69, and especially during 1965-66, a series of mass murders took place in Indonesia which led to the institution in power of President Suharto and the opening up of the country to Western capitalism. Possibly more than a million people were slaughtered. In the documentary film on globalisation by John Pilger, "The New Rulers of the World" (2001 - screened on TV1, 10/10/01), there are scenes of some of the relatives of the victims of the massacres secretly exhuming the bones of their loved ones. As Pilger notes, evidence has increasingly come to light of the murderous role that the US and British governments performed both in initiating and in helping perpetrate the killings, and in the creation of the long reign of terror that ensued. The full story amounts to a remarkable and chilling record of capitalist genocide, cover-up, and subsequent foundation of a model which was then widely applied elsewhere in the Third World to eliminate the enemies of the West and ensure future profits. To a quite considerable extent, the new rulers of the world built capitalist success on the Indonesian genocide, and the platform it served for globalising Indonesia and the rest of the planet.


 A Western Conspiracy Of Silence

The lack of investigation of the Indonesian genocide has been due to a range of reasons but the central reason has undoubtedly been the huge vested interest of both the Suharto regime and ruling Western forces in leaving the past undisturbed. "Western governments and much of the Western media preferred Suharto and the New Order to the PKI [Indonesian Communist Party] and the Old, and have been in many cases comfortable with the simple statement that some hundreds of thousands of 'Communists' were killed. A close investigation of who was being killed - and why - ran the risk not just of complicating a simple story but of uncovering skeletons in the New Order closet" ("The Indonesian Killings of 1965-1966: Studies from Bali and Java", edited by Robert Cribb, Monash Papers on Southeast Asia, no.21, 1990, pp. 5, 6). Instead: "If anything, the Indonesian killings have been treated as if they fall into an anomalous category of 'accidental' mass death" (ibid, p16).

More specifically, a number of Western organisations - most eminently, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - ran from the start a carefully calculated disinformation campaign to mislead, and confuse any close scrutiny of the massacres. Pretext for the genocide was given by a failed coup on September 30, 1965. The coup affair was apparently a venture by some young, middle-ranking officers to overthrow the existing Army high command. They might have feared the Army's generals were about to stage their own coup to topple President Sukarno, and therefore decided to strike first. Allegations of Communist involvement were quickly made when in actuality the PKI was innocent of this. Media fabrications whipped up fear and hatred towards the Communists and other alleged subversives. Former CIA agent, Ralph McGehee, who visited Aotearoa/NZ in 1986, has revealed how: "To conceal its role in the massacre of those innocent people the CIA, in 1968, concocted a false account of what happened (later published by the Agency as a book, "Indonesia-1965: The Coup that Backfired") . . . At the same time that the Agency wrote the book, it also composed a secret study of what really happened. [One sentence deleted] The Agency was extremely proud of its successful [one word deleted] and recommended it as a model for future operations [one-half sentence deleted]" ("Deadly Deceits: My 25 Years in the CIA", Sheridan Square, 1983, p58). Deletions identified in the text just quoted were enforced by the CIA under McGehee's legal obligations as an ex-agent. McGehee had once had access to the CIA's secret account of the coup and its aftermath and based his report of events on this.

Brave New Wars?
As New World Disorder reigns, President Bush has labelled the US/British war on Afghanistan the first war of the 21st Century, while warning countries from Iraq to North Korea that they could well be next on the US hit list. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, Suharto's New Order, long legitimated by the US until just recently, has ended in ignominy, debacle and disgrace with deep uncertainty for the near future. It has all unravelled to such a degree that the country is now being seen as a huge potential risk to Western prosperity and security with a predominantly Muslim population of some 220 million close to Australasia.

Presently ruled by a precariously stable government, Indonesia is charged with volatile issues ranging from secessionist movements to political legitimacy at the centre. The country could well become another candidate for the US "war on terrorism", at least in the sense of certain targeted groups and areas. Australasian forces have intervened in East Timor for ostensibly humanitarian reasons but how much has Australia (and other Western powers) got an eye on oil and gas resources, let alone other minerals? We should recall here that implicit in the US National Security Council strategy on Indonesia in the 1950s was the possible de facto partition of the country. This is a strategy that the US and other Western states have successfully implemented in Africa and other parts of the Third World.

Free trade and investment are core elements of the globalisation cultural package that the US and the rest of the West want to roll over the Third World, now meeting especial resistance in regions with large Muslim populations. It was surely salutary that Indonesia was a country which, even on official projections, was deemed one of the least likely to benefit from the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) Uruguay Round that closed in the mid-1990s. As GATT changed into the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the conflicts that are generating the terrorist wars of the early 21st Century only increased in tension. Just one of the many contradictions inherent in all of this is that between US national security and its commitment to free trade and open markets (suitably defined and manipulated), and thus the export of military technology worldwide, enabling other countries to strengthen their capacity to eventually challenge the US more effectively ("Virtual War", p210).

American intervention in Indonesia has demonstrated the pitfalls of economic and military policies toward the Third World that threaten to haunt us all for the foreseeable future unless those who care can rally sufficient support in the years ahead. Terrorism threatens to be employed continually in a truly vicious cycle. Breaking this cycle will take concerted commitment
see the latest Covert Action Quarterly, 71, Winter 2001 for some relevant articles.




 LBJ and Indonesia

As others have noted, foreign policy changed rapidly after Kennedy's death. Donald Gibson says in his book Battling Wall Street, "In foreign policy the changes came quickly, and they were dramatic." Gibson outlines five short term changes and several long term changes that went into effect after Kennedy's death. One of the short term changes was the instant reversal of the Indonesian aid package Kennedy had already approved. Hilsman makes this point as well:

One of the first pieces of paper to come across President Johnson's desk was the presidential determination ... by which the President had to certify that continuing even economic aid [to Indonesia] was essential to the national interest. Since everyone down the line had known that President Kennedy would have signed the determination routinely, we were all surprised when President Johnson refused.

Someone at Freeport was so pleased with Johnson's behavior that he supported his presidential run in 1964: Augustus C. "Gus" Long.
Long had been Chairman at Texas Company (Texaco) for many years. In 1964, he and a bunch of other conservative, largely Republican business moguls, joined together to support Johnson over Goldwater. The group, calling themselves the National Independent Committee for Johnson, included such people as Thomas Lamont, Edgar Kaiser of Kaiser Aluminum, Robert Lehman of Lehman Brothers, Thomas Cabot of Cabot Corporation of Boston, and many other luminaries of the business world.

Long had two toes in the Indonesian fray-one for Freeport, one for Texaco. In 1961, Caltex-jointly owned by Standard Oil of California (Socal) and Texas Company (Texaco)-was one of the three major oil companies in Indonesia forced to operate under a new contract with Sukarno's government. Under the new terms, 60% of all profits had to be given to the Indonesian government. So he had two reasons to be concerned by Kennedy's support of Sukarno's brand of nationalism, which threatened the interests of both companies in which he had a substantial stake.

In Part I, we mentioned that Long had done "prodigious volunteer work" for Presbyterian Hospital in New York, said by a former employee of their PR firm, the Mullen Company, to be a "hotbed of CIA activity." Now we add that Long was elected President of Presbyterian Hospital two years running-1961 and 1962. In 1964, Long retired his role as Chairman of Texaco. He would be reinstated as Chairman in 1970. What did he do in the interim?

In March of 1965, Long was elected a director of Chemical Bank-another Rockefeller-controlled company.
In August of 1965, Long was appointed to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, where he would approve and suggest covert activities.

In October of 1965, covert activities sealed Sukarno's fate.









The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967
Peter Dale Scott

See also:


U.S. Support for the Suharto Faction Before Gestapu
American officials commenting on the role of U.S. aid in this period have taken credit for assisting the anti-Communist seizure of power, without ever hinting at any degree of conspiratorial responsibility in the planning of the bloodbath. The impression created is that U.S. officials remained aloof from the actual planning of events, and we can see from recently declassified cable traffic how carefully the U.S. government fostered this image of detachment from what was happening in Indonesia.81

In fact, however, the U.S. government was lying about its involvement.
In Fiscal Year 1965, a period when The New York Times claimed "all United States aid to Indonesia was stopped," the number of MAP (Military Assistance Program) personnel in Jakarta actually increased, beyond what had been projected, to an unprecedented high.82 According to figures released in 1966,83 from FY 1963 to FY 1965 the value of MAP deliveries fell from about fourteen million dollars to just over two million dollars. Despite this decline, the number of MAP military personnel remained almost unchanged, approximately thirty, while in FY 1965 civilian personnel (fifteen) were present for the first time. Whether or not one doubts that aid deliveries fell off as sharply as the figures would suggest, the MILTAG personnel figures indicate that their "civic action" program was being escalated, not decreased.84 We have seen that some months before Gestapu, a Suharto emissary with past CIA connections (Colonel Jan Walandouw) made contact with the U.S. government. From as early as May 1965, U.S. military suppliers with CIA connections (principally Lockheed) were negotiating equipment sales with payoffs to middlemen, in such a way as to generate payoffs to backers of the hitherto little-known leader of a new third faction in the army, Major-General Suharto -- rather than to those backing Nasution or Yani, the titular leaders of the armed forces. Only in the last year has it been confirmed that secret funds administered by the U.S. Air Force (possibly on behalf of the CIA) were laundered as "commissions" on sales of Lockheed equipment and services, in order to make political payoffs to the military personnel of foreign countries.85

In this short paper on a huge and vexed subject, I discuss the U.S. involvement in the bloody overthrow of Indonesia's President Sukarno, 1965-67. The whole story of that ill-understood period would transcend even the fullest possible written analysis. Much of what happened can never be documented; and of the documentation that survives, much is both controversial and unverifiable. The slaughter of Sukarno's left-wing allies was a product of widespread paranoia as well as of conspiratorial policy, and represents a tragedy beyond the intentions of any single group or coalition. Nor is it suggested that in 1965 the only provocations and violence came from the right-wing Indonesian military, their contacts in the United States, or (also important, but barely touched on here) their mutual contacts in British, German and Japanese intelligence.

And yet, after all this has been said, the complex and ambiguous story of the Indonesian bloodbath is also in essence simpler and easier to believe than the public version inspired by President Suharto and U.S. government sources. Their problematic claim is that in the so-called Gestapu (Gerakan September Tigahpuluh) coup attempt of September 30, 1965 (when six senior army generals were murdered), the left attacked the right, leading to a restoration of power, and punitive purge of the left, by the center.1 This article argues instead that, by inducing, or at a minimum helping to induce, the Gestapu "coup," the right in the Indonesian Army eliminated its rivals at the army's center, thus paving the way to a long-planned elimination of the civilian left, and eventually to the establishment of a military dictatorship.2 Gestapu, in other words, was only the first phase of a three-phase right-wing coup -- one which had been both publicly encouraged and secretly assisted by U.S. spokesmen and officials.3

Before turning to U.S. involvement in what the CIA itself has called "one of the worst mass murders of the twentieth century,"4 let us recall what actually led up to it. According to the Australian scholar Harold Crouch, by 1965 the Indonesian Army General Staff was split into two camps. At the center were the general staff officers appointed with, and loyal to, the army commander General Yani, who in turn was reluctant to challenge President Sukarno's policy of national unity in alliance with the Indonesian Communist party, or PKI. The second group, including the right-wing generals Nasution and Suharto, comprised those opposed to Yani and his Sukarnoist policies.5 All of these generals were anti-PKI, but by 1965 the divisive issue was Sukarno.

The simple (yet untold) story of Sukarno's overthrow is that in the fall of 1965 Yani and his inner circle of generals were murdered, paving the way for a seizure of power by right-wing anti-Yani forces allied to Suharto. The key to this was the so-called Gestapu coup attempt which, in the name of supporting Sukarno, in fact targeted very precisely the leading members of the army's most loyal faction, the Yani group.6 An army unity meeting in January 1965, between "Yani's inner circle" and those (including Suharto) who "had grievances of one sort or another against Yani," lined up the victims of September 30 against those who came to power after their murder.7

Not one anti-Sukarno general was targeted by Gestapu, with the obvious exception of General Nasution.8 But by 1961 the CIA operatives had become disillusioned with Nasution as a reliable asset, because of his "consistent record of yielding to Sukarno on several major counts."9 Relations between Suharto and Nasution were also cool, since Nasution, after investigating Suharto on corruption charges in 1959, had transferred him from his command.10

The duplicitous distortions of reality, first by Lt. Colonel Untung's statements for Gestapu, and then by Suharto in "putting down" Gestapu, are mutually supporting lies.11 Untung, on October 1, announced ambiguously that Sukarno was under Gestapu's "protection" (he was not); also, that a CIA-backed Council of Generals had planned a coup for before October 5, and had for this purpose brought "troops from East, Central, and West Java" to Jakarta.12 Troops from these areas had indeed been brought to Jakarta for an Armed Forces Day parade on October 5th. Untung did not mention, however, that "he himself had been involved in the planning for the Armed Forces Day parade and in selecting the units to participate in it;"13 nor that these units (which included his own former battalion, the 454th) supplied most of the allies for his new battalion's Gestapu activities in Jakarta.

Suharto's first two broadcasts reaffirmed the army's constant loyalty to "Bung Karno the Great Leader," and also blamed the deaths of six generals on PKI youth and women, plus "elements of the Air Force" -- on no other evidence than the site of the well where the corpses were found.14 At this time he knew very well that the killings had in fact been carried out by the very army elements Untung referred to, elements under Suharto's own command.15

Thus, whatever the motivation of individuals such as Untung in the Gestapu putsch, Gestapu as such was duplicitous. Both its rhetoric and above all its actions were not simply inept; they were carefully designed to prepare for Suharto's equally duplicitous response. For example, Gestapu's decision to guard all sides of the downtown Merdeka Square in Jakarta, except that on which Suharto's KOSTRAD [Army Strategic Reserve Command] headquarters were situated, is consistent with Gestapu's decision to target the only army generals who might have challenged Suharto's assumption of power. Again, Gestapu's announced transfer of power to a totally fictitious "Revolutionary Council," from which Sukarno had been excluded, allowed Suharto in turn to masquerade as Sukarno's defender while in fact preventing him from resuming control. More importantly, Gestapu's gratuitous murder of the generals near the air force base where PKI youth had been trained allowed Suharto, in a Goebbels-like manoeuvre, to transfer the blame for the killings from the troops under his own command (whom he knew had carried out the kidnappings) to air force and PKI personnel who where ignorant of them.16

From the pro-Suharto sources -- notably the CIA study of Gestapu published in 1968 -- we learn how few troops were involved in the alleged Gestapu rebellion, and, more importantly, that in Jakarta as in Central Java the same battalions that supplied the "rebellious" companies were also used to "put the rebellion down." Two thirds of one paratroop brigade (which Suharto had inspected the previous day) plus one company and one platoon constituted the whole of Gestapu forces in Jakarta; all but one of these units were commanded by present or former Diponegoro Division officers close to Suharto; and the last was under an officer who obeyed Suharto's close political ally, Basuki Rachmat.17

Two of these companies, from the 454th and 530th battalions, were elite raiders, and from 1962 these units had been among the main Indonesian recipients of U.S. assistance.18 This fact, which in itself proves nothing, increases our curiosity about the many Gestapu leaders who had been U.S.-trained. The Gestapu leader in Central Java, Saherman, had returned from training at Fort Leavenworth and Okinawa, shortly before meeting with Untung and Major Sukirno of the 454th Battalion in mid-August 1965.19 As Ruth McVey has observed, Saherman's acceptance for training at Fort Leavenworth "would mean that he had passed review by CIA observers."20

Thus there is continuity between the achievements of both Gestapu and the response to it by Suharto, who in the name of defending Sukarno and attacking Gestapu continued its task of eliminating the pro-Yani members of the Army General Staff, along with such other residual elements of support for first Yani and then Sukarno as remained.21

The biggest part of this task was of course the elimination of the PKI and its supporters, in a bloodbath which, as some Suharto allies now concede, may have taken more than a half-million lives. These three events -- Gestapu, Suharto's response, and the bloodbath -- have nearly always been presented in this country as separately motivated: Gestapu being described as a plot by leftists, and the bloodbath as for the most part an irrational act of popular frenzy.

U.S. officials, journalists and scholars, some with rather prominent CIA connections, are perhaps principally responsible for the myth that the bloodbath was a spontaneous, popular revulsion to what U.S. Ambassador Jones later called PKI "carnage."22 Although the PKI certainly contributed its share to the political hysteria of 1965, Crouch has shown that subsequent claims of a PKI terror campaign were grossly exaggerated.23 In fact systematic killing occurred under army instigation in staggered stages, the worst occurring as Colonel Sarwo Edhie's RPKAD [Army Paracommando Regiment] moved from Jakarta to Central and East Java, and finally to Bali.24 Civilians involved in the massacre were either recruited and trained by the army on the spot, or were drawn from groups (such as the army- and CIA-sponsored SOKSI trade unions [Central Organization of Indonesian Socialist Employees], and allied student organizations) which had collaborated for years with the army on political matters. It is clear from Sundhaussen's account that in most of the first areas of organized massacre (North Sumatra, Aceh, Cirebon, the whole of Central and East Java), there were local army commanders with especially strong and proven anti-PKI sentiments. Many of these had for years cooperated with civilians, through so-called "civic action" programs sponsored by the United States, in operations directed against the PKI and sometimes Sukarno. Thus one can legitimately suspect conspiracy in the fact that anti-PKI "civilian responses" began on October 1, when the army began handing out arms to Muslim students and unionists, before there was any publicly available evidence linking Gestapu to the PKI.25

Even Sundhaussen, who downplays the army's role in arming and inciting the civilian murder bands, concludes that, whatever the strength of popular anti-PKI hatred and fear, "without the Army's anti-PKI propaganda the massacre might not have happened."26 The present article goes further and argues that Gestapu, Suharto's response, and the bloodbath were part of a single coherent scenario for a military takeover, a scenario which was again followed closely in Chile in the years 1970-73 (and to some extent in Cambodia in 1970).

Suharto, of course, would be a principal conspirator in this scenario: his duplicitous role of posing as a defender of the constitutional status quo, while in fact moving deliberately to overthrow it, is analogous to that of General Pinochet in Chile. But a more direct role in organizing the bloodbath was played by civilians and officers close to the cadres of the CIA's failed rebellion of 1958, now working in so-called "civic action" programs funded and trained by the United States. Necessary ingredients of the scenario had to be, and clearly were, supplied by other nations in support of Suharto. Many such countries appear to have played such a supporting role: Japan, Britain, Germany,27 possibly Australia. But I wish to focus on the encouragement and support for military "putschism" and mass murder which came from the U.S., from the CIA, the military, RAND, the Ford Foundation, and individuals.28

The United States and the Indonesian Army's "Mission"
It seems clear that from as early as 1953 the U.S. was interested in helping to foment the regional crisis in Indonesia, usually recognized as the "immediate cause" that induced Sukarno, on March 14, 1957, to proclaim martial law, and bring "the officer corps legitimately into politics."29

By 1953 (if not earlier) the U.S. National Security Council had already adopted one of a series of policy documents calling for "appropriate action, in collaboration with other friendly countries, to prevent permanent communist control" of Indonesia.30 Already NSC 171/1 of that year envisaged military training as a means of increasing U.S. influence, even though the CIA's primary efforts were directed towards right-wing political parties ("moderates ... on the right," as NSC 171 called them): notably the Masjumi Muslim and the PSI "Socialist" parties. The millions of dollars which the CIA poured into the Masjumi and the PSI in the mid-1950s were a factor influencing the events of 1965, when a former PSI member -- Sjam -- was the alleged mastermind of Gestapu,31 and PSI-leaning officers -- notably Suwarto and Sarwo Edhie -- were prominent in planning and carrying out the anti-PKI response to Gestapu.32

In 1957-58, the CIA infiltrated arms and personnel in support of the regional rebellions against Sukarno. These operations were nominally covert, even though an American plane and pilot were captured, and the CIA efforts were accompanied by an offshore task force of the U.S. Seventh Fleet.33 In 1975 a Senate Select Committee studying the CIA discovered what it called "some evidence of CIA involvement in plans to assassinate President Sukarno"; but, after an initial investigation of the November 1957 assassination attempt in the Cikini district of Jakarta, the committee did not pursue the matter.34

On August 1, 1958, after the failure of the CIA-sponsored PRRI-Permesta regional rebellions against Sukarno, the U.S. began an upgraded military assistance program to Indonesia in the order of twenty million dollars a year.35 A U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff memo of 1958 makes it clear this aid was given to the Indonesian Army ("the only non-Communist force ... with the capability of obstructing the ... PKI") as "encouragement" to Nasution to "carry out his 'plan' for the control of Communism."36

The JCS had no need to spell out Nasution's "plan," to which other documents at this time made reference.37 It could only imply the tactics for which Nasution had distinguished himself (in American eyes) during the crushing of the PKI in the Madiun Affair of 1948: mass murders and mass arrests, at a minimum of the party's cadres, possibly after an army provocation.38 Nasution confirmed this in November 1965, after the Gestapu slaughter, when he called for the total extinction of the PKI, "down to its very roots so there will be no third Madiun."39

By 1958, however, the PKI had emerged as the largest mass movement in the country. It is in this period that a small group of U.S. academic researchers in U.S. Air Force- and CIA-subsidized "think-tanks" began pressuring their contacts in the Indonesian military publicly, often through U.S. scholarly journals and presses, to seize power and liquidate the PKI opposition.40 The most prominent example is Guy Pauker, who in 1958 both taught at the University of California at Berkeley and served as a consultant at the RAND Corporation. In the latter capacity he maintained frequent contact with what he himself called "a very small group" of PSI intellectuals and their friends in the army.41

In a RAND Corporation book published by the Princeton University Press, Pauker urged his contacts in the Indonesian military to assume "full responsibility" for their nation's leadership, "fulfill a mission," and hence "to strike, sweep their house clean."42 Although Pauker may not have intended anything like the scale of bloodbath which eventually ensued, there is no escaping the fact that "mission" and "sweep clean" were buzz-words for counterinsurgency and massacre, and as such were used frequently before and during the coup. The first murder order, by military officers to Muslim students in early october, was the word sikat, meaning "sweep," "clean out," "wipe out," or "massacre."43

Pauker's closest friend in the Indonesian army was a U.S.-trained General Suwarto, who played an important part in the conversion of the army from a revolutionary to a counterinsurgency function. In the years after 1958, Suwarto built the Indonesian Army Staff and Command School in Bandung (SESKOAD) into a training-ground for the takeover of political power. SESKOAD in this period became a focal-point of attention from the Pentagon, the CIA, RAND, and (indirectly) the Ford Foundation.44

Under the guidance of Nasution and Suwarto, SESKOAD developed a new strategic doctrine, that of Territorial Warfare (in a document translated into English by Pauker), which gave priority to counterinsurgency as the army's role. Especially after 1962, when the Kennedy administration aided the Indonesian Army in developing Civic Mission or "civic action" programs, this meant the organization of its own political infrastructure, or "Territorial Organization," reaching in some cases down to the village level.45 As the result of an official U.S. State Department recommendation in 1962, which Pauker helped write, a special U.S. MILTAG (Military Training Advisory Group) was set up in Jakarta, to assist in the implementation of SESKOAD's Civic Mission programs.46

SESKOAD also trained the army officers in economics and administration, and thus to operate virtually as a para-state, independent of Sukarno's government. So the army began to collaborate, and even sign contracts, with U.S. and other foreign corporations in areas which were now under its control. This training program was entrusted to officers and civilians close to the PSI.47 U.S. officials have confirmed that the civilians, who themselves were in a training program funded by the Ford Foundation, became involved in what the (then) U.S. military attache called "contingency planning" to prevent a PKI takeover.48

But the most significant focus of U.S. training and aid was the Territorial Organization's increasing liaison with "the civilian administration, religious and cultural organizations, youth groups, veterans, trade unions, peasant organizations, political parties and groups at regional and local levels."49 These political liaisons with civilian groups provided the structure for the ruthless suppression of the PKI in 1965, including the bloodbath.50

Soon these army and civilian cadres were together plotting disruptive activities, such as the Bandung anti-Chinese riots of May 1963, which embarrassed not just the PKI, but Sukarno himself. Chomsky and Herman report that "Army-inspired anti-Chinese programs that took place in West Java in 1959 were financed by U.S. contributions to the local army commander"; apparently CIA funds were used by the commander (Colonel Kosasih) to pay local thugs in what Mozingo calls "the army's (and probably the Americans') campaign to rupture relations with China."51 The 1963 riot, which took place in the very shadow of SESKOAD, is linked by Sundhaussen to an army "civic action" organization; and shows conspiratorial contact between elements (an underground PSI cell, PSI- and Masjumi-affiliated student groups, and General Ishak Djuarsa of the Siliwangi Division's "civic action" organization) that would all be prominent in the very first phase of Suharto's so-called "response" to the Gestapu.52 The May 1963 student riots were repeated in October 1965 and (especially in Bandung) January 1966, at which time the liaison between students and the army was largely in the hands of PSI-leaning officers like Sarwo Edhie and Kemal Idris.53 The CIA Plans Directorate was sympathetic to the increasing deflection of a nominally anti-PKI operation into one embarrassing Sukarno. This turn would have come as no surprise: Suwarto, Kemal Idris and the PSI had been prominent in a near-coup (the so-called "Lubis affair") in 1956.54

But increasingly Suwarto cultivated a new student, Colonel Suharto, who arrived at SESKOAD in October 1959. According to Sundhaussen, a relatively pro-Suharto scholar: "In the early 1960s Soeharto was involved in the formation of the Doctrine of Territorial Warfare and the Army's policy on Civic Mission (that is, penetration of army officers into all fields of government activities and responsibilities).55 Central to the public image of Gestapu and Suharto's response is the much-publicized fact that Suharto, unlike his sometime teacher Suwarto, and his long-time chief of staff Achmad Wiranatakusuma, had never studied in the United States. But his involvement in Civic Mission (or what Americans called "civic action") programs located him along with PSI-leaning officers at the focal point of U.S. training activities in Indonesia, in a program which was nakedly political.56

The refinement of Territorial Warfare and Civic Mission Doctrine into a new strategic doctrine for army political intervention became by 1965 the ideological process consolidating the army for political takeover. After Gestapu, when Suwarto was an important political advisor to his former SESKOAD pupil Suharto, his strategic doctrine was the justification for Suharto's announcement on August 15, 1966, in fulfillment of Pauker's public and private urgings, that the army had to assume a leading role in all fields.57

Hence the army unity meeting of January 1965, arranged after Suharto had duplicitously urged Nasution to take "a more accommodating line"58 towards Sukarno, was in fact a necessary step in the process whereby Suharto effectively took over from his rivals Yani and Nasution. It led to the April 1965 seminar at SESKOAD for a compromise army strategic doctrine, the Tri Ubaya Cakti, which "reaffirmed the army's claim to an independent political role."59 On August 15, 1966, Suharto, speaking to the nation, justified his increasing prominence in terms of the "Revolutionary Mission" of the Tri Ubaya Cakti doctrine. Two weeks later at SESKOAD the doctrine was revised, at Suharto's instigation but in a setting "carefully orchestrated by Brigadier Suwarto," to embody still more clearly Pauker's emphasis on the army's "Civic Mission" or counterrevolutionary role.60 This "Civic Mission," so important to Suharto, was also the principal goal and fruit of U.S. military aid to Indonesia.

By August 1964, moreover, Suharto had initiated political contacts with Malaysia, and hence eventually with Japan, Britain, and the United States.61 Although the initial purpose of these contacts may have been to head off war with Malaysia, Sundhaussen suggests that Suharto's motive was his concern, buttressed in mid-1964 by a KOSTRAD intelligence report, about PKI political advances.62 Mrazek links the peace feelers to the withdrawal of "some of the best army units" back to Java in the summer of 1965.63 These movements, together with earlier deployment of a politically insecure Diponegoro battalion in the other direction, can also be seen as preparations for the seizure of power.64

In Nishihara's informed Japanese account, former PRRI / Permesta personnel with intelligence connections in Japan were prominent in these negotiations, along with Japanese officials.65 Nishihara also heard that an intimate ally of these personnel, Jan Walandouw, who may have acted as a CIA contact for the 1958 rebellion, later again "visited Washington and advocated Suharto as a leader."66 I am reliably informed that Walandouw's visit to Washington on behalf of Suharto was made some months before Gestapu.67

The U.S. Moves Against Sukarno
Many people in Washington, especially in the CIA Plans Directorate, had long desired the "removal" of Sukarno as well as of the PKI.68 By 1961 key policy hard-liners, notably Guy Pauker, had also turned against Nasution.69 Nevertheless, despite last-minute memoranda from the outgoing Eisenhower administration which would have opposed "whatever regime" in Indonesia was "increasingly friendly toward the Sino-Soviet bloc," the Kennedy administration stepped up aid to both Sukarno and the army.70

However, Lyndon Johnson's accession to the presidency was followed almost immediately by a shift to a more anti-Sukarno policy. This is clear from Johnson's decision in December 1963 to withhold economic aid which (according to Ambassador Jones) Kennedy would have supplied "almost as a matter of routine."71 This refusal suggests that the U.S. aggravation of Indonesia's economic woes in 1963-65 was a matter of policy rather than inadvertence. Indeed, if the CIA's overthrow of Allende is a relevant analogy, then one would expect someday to learn that the CIA, through currency speculations and other hostile acts, contributed actively to the radical destabilization of the Indonesian economy in the weeks just before the coup, when "the price of rice quadrupled between June 30 and October 1, and the black market price of the dollar skyrocketed, particularly in September."72

As was the case in Chile, the gradual cutoff of all economic aid to Indonesia in the years 1962-65 was accompanied by a shift in military aid to friendly elements in the Indonesian Army: U.S. military aid amounted to $39.5 million in the four years 1962-65 (with a peak of $16.3 million in 1962) as opposed to $28.3 million for the thirteen years 1949-61.73 After March 1964, when Sukarno told the U.S., "go to hell with your aid," it became increasingly difficult to extract any aid from the U.S. congress: those persons not aware of what was developing found it hard to understand why the U.S. should help arm a country which was nationalizing U.S. economic interests, and using immense aid subsidies from the Soviet Union to confront the British in Malaysia.

Thus a public image was created that under Johnson "all United States aid to Indonesia was stopped," a claim so buttressed by misleading documentation that competent scholars have repeated it.74 In fact, Congress had agreed to treat U.S. funding of the Indonesian military (unlike aid to any other country) as a covert matter, restricting congressional review of the president's determinations on Indonesian aid to two Senate committees, and the House Speaker, who were concurrently involved in oversight of the CIA.75

Ambassador Jones' more candid account admits that "suspension" meant "the U.S. government undertook no new commitments of assistance, although it continued with ongoing programs.... By maintaining our modest assistance to [the Indonesian Army and the police brigade], we fortified them for a virtually inevitable showdown with the burgeoning PKI."76

Only from recently released documents do we learn that new military aid was en route as late as July 1965, in the form of a secret contract to deliver two hundred Aero-Commanders to the Indonesian Army: these were light aircraft suitable for use in "civic action" or counterinsurgency operations, presumably by the Army Flying Corps whose senior officers were virtually all trained in the U.S.77 By this time, the publicly admitted U.S. aid was virtually limited to the completion of an army communications system and to "civic action" training. It was by using the army's new communications system, rather than the civilian system in the hands of Sukarno loyalists, that Suharto on October 1, 1965 was able to implement his swift purge of Sukarno-Yani loyalists and leftists, while "civic action" officers formed the hard core of lower-level Gestapu officers in Central Java.78

Before turning to the more covert aspects of U.S. military aid to Indonesia in 1963-65, let us review the overall changes in U.S.-Indonesian relations. Economic aid was now in abeyance, and military aid tightly channeled so as to strengthen the army domestically. U.S. government funding had obviously shifted from the Indonesian state to one of its least loyal components. As a result of agreements beginning with martial law in 1957, but accelerated by the U.S.-negotiated oil agreement of 1963, we see exactly the same shift in the flow of payments from U.S. oil companies. Instead of token royalties to the Sukarno government, the two big U.S. oil companies in Indonesia, Stanvac and Caltex, now made much larger payments to the army's oil company, Permina, headed by an eventual political ally of Suharto, General Ibnu Sutowo; and to a second company, Pertamin, headed by the anti-PKI and pro-U.S. politician, Chaerul Saleh.79 After Suharto's overthrow of Sukarno, Fortune wrote that "Sutowo's still small company played a key part in bankrolling those crucial operations, and the army has never forgotten it."80

U.S. Support for the Suharto Faction Before Gestapu
American officials commenting on the role of U.S. aid in this period have taken credit for assisting the anti-Communist seizure of power, without ever hinting at any degree of conspiratorial responsibility in the planning of the bloodbath. The impression created is that U.S. officials remained aloof from the actual planning of events, and we can see from recently declassified cable traffic how carefully the U.S. government fostered this image of detachment from what was happening in Indonesia.81

In fact, however, the U.S. government was lying about its involvement. In Fiscal Year 1965, a period when The New York Times claimed "all United States aid to Indonesia was stopped," the number of MAP (Military Assistance Program) personnel in Jakarta actually increased, beyond what had been projected, to an unprecedented high.82 According to figures released in 1966,83 from FY 1963 to FY 1965 the value of MAP deliveries fell from about fourteen million dollars to just over two million dollars. Despite this decline, the number of MAP military personnel remained almost unchanged, approximately thirty, while in FY 1965 civilian personnel (fifteen) were present for the first time. Whether or not one doubts that aid deliveries fell off as sharply as the figures would suggest, the MILTAG personnel figures indicate that their "civic action" program was being escalated, not decreased.84 We have seen that some months before Gestapu, a Suharto emissary with past CIA connections (Colonel Jan Walandouw) made contact with the U.S. government. From as early as May 1965, U.S. military suppliers with CIA connections (principally Lockheed) were negotiating equipment sales with payoffs to middlemen, in such a way as to generate payoffs to backers of the hitherto little-known leader of a new third faction in the army, Major-General Suharto -- rather than to those backing Nasution or Yani, the titular leaders of the armed forces. Only in the last year has it been confirmed that secret funds administered by the U.S. Air Force (possibly on behalf of the CIA) were laundered as "commissions" on sales of Lockheed equipment and services, in order to make political payoffs to the military personnel of foreign countries.85

A 1976 Senate investigation into these payoffs revealed, almost inadvertently, that in May 1965, over the legal objections of Lockheed's counsel, Lockheed commissions in Indonesia had been redirected to a new contract and company set up by the firm's long-time local agent or middleman.86 Its internal memos at the time show no reasons for the change, but in a later memo the economic counselor of the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta is reported as saying that there were "some political considerations behind it."87 If this is true, it would suggest that in May 1965, five months before the coup, Lockheed had redirected its payoffs to a new political eminence, at the risk (as its assistant chief counsel pointed out) of being sued for default on its former contractual obligations.

The Indonesian middleman, August Munir Dasaad, was "known to have assisted Sukarno financially since the 1930's."88 In 1965, however, Dasaad was building connections with the Suharto forces, via a family relative, General Alamsjah, who had served briefly under Suharto in 1960, after Suharto completed his term at SESKOAD. Via the new contract, Lockheed, Dasaad and Alamsjah were apparently hitching their wagons to Suharto's rising star:

When the coup was made during which Suharto replaced Sukarno, Alamsjah, who controlled certain considerable funds, at once made these available to Suharto, which obviously earned him the gratitude of the new President. In due course he was appointed to a position of trust and confidence and today Alamsjah is, one might say, the second important man after the President.89
Thus in 1966 the U.S. Embassy advised Lockheed it should "continue to use" the Dasaad-Alamsjah-Suharto connection.90

In July 1965, at the alleged nadir of U.S.-Indonesian aid relations, Rockwell-Standard had a contractual agreement to deliver two hundred light aircraft (Aero-Commanders) to the Indonesian Army (not the Air Force) in the next two months.91 Once again the commission agent on the deal, Bob Hasan, was a political associate (and eventual business partner) of Suharto.92 More specifically, Suharto and Bob Hasan established two shipping companies to be operated by the Central Java army division, Diponegoro. This division, as has long been noticed, supplied the bulk of the personnel on both sides of the Gestapu coup drama -- both those staging the coup attempt, and those putting it down. And one of the three leaders in the Central Java Gestapu movement was Lt. Col. Usman Sastrodibroto, chief of the Diponegoro Division's "section dealing with extramilitary functions."93

Thus of the two known U.S. military sales contracts from the eve of the Gestapu Putsch, both involved political payoffs to persons who emerged after Gestapu as close Suharto allies. The use of this traditional channel for CIA patronage suggests that the U.S. was not at arm's length from the ugly political developments of 1965, despite the public indications, from both government spokesmen and the U.S. business press, that Indonesia was now virtually lost to communism and nothing could be done about it.

The actions of some U.S. corporations, moreover, made it clear that by early 1965 they expected a significant boost to the U.S. standing in Indonesia. For example, a recently declassified cable reveals that Freeport Sulphur had by April 1965 reached a preliminary "arrangement" with Indonesian officials for what would become a $500 million investment in West Papua copper. This gives the lie to the public claim that the company did not initiate negotiations with Indonesians (the inevitable Ibnu Sutowo) until February 1966.94 And in September 1965, shortly after World Oil reported that "indonesia's gas and oil industry appeared to be slipping deeper into the political morass,"95 the president of a small oil company (Asamera) in a joint venture with Ibnu Sutowo's Permina purchased $50,000 worth of shares in his own ostensibly-threatened company. Ironically this double purchase (on September 9 and September 21) was reported in the Wall Street Journal of September 30, 1965, the day of Gestapu.

The CIA's "[One Word Deleted] Operation" in 1965
Less than a year after Gestapu and the bloodbath, James Reston wrote appreciatively about them as "A Gleam of Light in Asia":

Washington is being careful not to claim any credit for this change in the sixth most populous and one of the richest nations in the world, but this does not mean that Washington had nothing to do with it. There was a great deal more contact between the anti-Communist forces in that country and at least one very high official in Washington before and during the Indonesian massacre than is generally realized.96

As for the CIA in 1965, we have the testimony of former CIA officer Ralph McGehee, curiously corroborated by the selective censorship of his former CIA employers:

Where the necessary circumstances or proofs are lacking to support U.S. intervention, the C.I.A. creates the appropriate situations or else invents them and disseminates its distortions worldwide via its media operations.
A prominent example would be Chile.... Disturbed at the Chilean military's unwillingness to take action against Allende, the C.I.A. forged a document purporting to reveal a leftist plot to murder Chilean military leaders. The discovery of this "plot" was headlined in the media and Allende was deposed and murdered.
There is a similarity between events that precipitated the overthrow of Allende and what happened in Indonesia in 1965. Estimates of the number of deaths that occurred as a result of the latter C.I.A. [one word deleted] operation run from one-half million to more than one million people.97

McGehee claims to have once seen, while reviewing CIA documents in Washington, a highly classified report on the agency's role in provoking the destruction of the PKI after Gestapu. It seems appropriate to ask for congressional review and publication of any such report. If, as is alleged, it recommended such murderous techniques as a model for future operations, it would appear to document a major turning-point in the agency's operation history: towards the systematic exploitation of the death squad operations which, absent during the Brazilian coup of 1964, made the Vietnam Phoenix counterinsurgency program notorious after 1967, and after 1968 spread from Guatemala to the rest of Latin America.98

McGehee's claims of a CIA psychological warfare operation against Allende are corroborated by Tad Szulc:
CIA agents in Santiago assisted Chilean military intelligence in drafting bogus Z-plan documents alleging that Allende and his supporters were planning to behead Chilean military commanders. These were issued by the junta to justify the coup.99

Indeed the CIA deception operations against Allende appear to have gone even farther, terrifying both the left and the right with the fear of incipient slaughter by their enemies. Thus militant trade-unionists as well as conservative generals in Chile received small cards printed with the ominous words Djakarta se acerca (Jakarta is approaching).100

This is a model destabilization plan -- to persuade all concerned that they no longer can hope to be protected by the status quo, and hence weaken the center, while inducing both right and left towards more violent provocation of each other. Such a plan appears to have been followed in Laos in 1959-61, where a CIA officer explained to a reporter that the aim "was to polarize Laos."101 It appears to have been followed in Indonesia in 1965. Observers like Sundhaussen confirm that to understand the coup story of October 1965 we must look first of all at the "rumour market" which in 1965 ... turned out the wildest stories."102 On September 14, two weeks before the coup, the army was warned that there was a plot to assassinate army leaders four days later; a second such report was discussed at army headquarters on September 30.103 But a year earlier an alleged PKI document, which the PKI denounced as a forgery, had purported to describe a plan to overthrow "Nasutionists" through infiltration of the army. This "document," which was reported in a Malaysian newspaper after being publicized by the pro-U.S. politician Chaerul Saleh104 in mid-December 1964, must have lent credence to Suharto's call for an army unity meeting the next month.105

The army's anxiety was increased by rumors, throughout 1965, that mainland China was smuggling arms to the PKI for an imminent revolt. Two weeks before Gestapu, a story to this effect also appeared in a Malaysian newspaper, citing Bangkok sources which relied in turn on Hong Kong sources.106 Such international untraceability is the stylistic hallmark of stories emanating in this period from what CIA insiders called their "mighty Wurlitzer," the world-wide network of press "assets" through which the CIA, or sister agencies such as Britain's MI-6, could plant unattributable disinformation.107 PKI demands for a popular militia or "fifth force," and the training of PKI youth at Lubang Buaja, seemed much more sinister to the Indonesian army in the light of the Chinese arms stories.

But for months before the coup, the paranoia of the PKI had also been played on, by recurring reports that a CIA-backed "Council of Generals" was plotting to suppress the PKI. It was this mythical council, of course, that Untung announced as the target of his allegedly anti-CIA Gestapu coup. But such rumors did not just originate from anti-American sources; on the contrary, the first authoritative published reference to such a council was in a column of the Washington journalists Evans and Novak:

As far back as March, General Ibrahim Adjie, commander of the Siliwangi Division, had been quoted by two American journalists as saying of the Communists: "we knocked them out before [at Madiun]. We check them and check them again." The same journalists claimed to have information that "...the Army has quietly established an advisory commission of five general officers to report to General Jani ... and General Nasution ... on PKI activities."108

Mortimer sees the coincidence that five generals besides Yani were killed by Gestapu as possibly significant.
But we should also be struck by the revival in the United States of the image of Yani and Nasution as anti-PKI planners, long after the CIA and U.S. press stories had in fact written them off as unwilling to act against Sukarno.109 If the elimination by Gestapu of Suharto's political competitors in the army was to be blamed on the left, then the scenario required just such a revival of the generals' forgotten anti-Communist image in opposition to Sukarno. An anomalous unsigned August 1965 profile of Nasution in The New York Times, based on an 1963 interview but published only after a verbal attack by Nasution on British bases in Singapore, does just this: it claims (quite incongruously, given the context) that Nasution is "considered the strongest opponent of Communism in Indonesia"; and adds that Sukarno, backed by the PKI, "has been pursuing a campaign to neutralize the ... army as an anti-Communist force."110

In the same month of August 1965, fear of an imminent showdown between "the PKI and the Nasution group" was fomented in Indonesia by an underground pamphlet; this was distributed by the CIA's long-time asset, the PSI, whose cadres were by now deeply involved:

The PKI is combat ready. The Nasution group hope the PKI will be the first to draw the trigger, but this the PKI will not do. The PKI will not allow itself to be provoked as in the Madiun Incident. In the end, however, there will be only two forces left: the PKI and the Nasution group. The middle will have no alternative but to choose and get protection from the stronger force.111

One could hardly hope to find a better epitome of the propaganda necessary for the CIA's program of engineering paranoia.
McGehee's article, after censorship by the CIA, focuses more narrowly on the CIA's role in anti-PKI propaganda alone:

The Agency seized upon this opportunity [Suharto's response to Gestapu] and set out to destroy the P.K.I.... [eight sentences deleted].... Media fabrications played a key role in stirring up popular resentment against the P.K.I. Photographs of the bodies of the dead generals -- badly decomposed -- were featured in all the newspapers and on television. Stories accompanying the pictures falsely claimed that the generals had been castrated and their eyes gouged out by Communist women. This cynically manufactured campaign was designed to foment public anger against the Communists and set the stage for a massacre.112

McGehee might have added that the propaganda stories of torture by hysterical women with razor blades, which serious scholars dismiss as groundless, were revived in a more sophisticated version by a U.S. journalist, John Hughes, who is now the chief spokesman for the State Department.113

Suharto's forces, particularly Col. Sarwo Edhie of the RPKAD commandos, were overtly involved in the cynical exploitation of the victims' bodies.114 But some aspects of the massive propaganda campaign appear to have been orchestrated by non-Indonesians. A case in point is the disputed editorial in support of Gestapu which appeared in the October 2 issue of the PKI newspaper Harian Rakjat. Professors Benedict Anderson and Ruth McVey, who have questioned the authenticity of this issue, have also ruled out the possibility that the newspaper was "an Army falsification," on the grounds that the army's "competence ... at falsifying party documents has always been abysmally low."115

The questions raised by Anderson and McVey have not yet been adequately answered. Why did the PKI show no support for the Gestapu coup while it was in progress, then rashly editorialize in support of Gestapu after it had been crushed? Why did the PKI, whose editorial gave support to Gestapu, fail to mobilize its followers to act on Gestapu's behalf? Why did Suharto, by then in control of Jakarta, close down all newspapers except this one, and one other left-leaning newspaper which also served his propaganda ends?116 Why, in other words, did Suharto on October 2 allow the publication of only two Jakarta newspapers, two which were on the point of being closed down forever?

As was stated at the outset, it would be foolish to suggest that in 1965 the only violence came from the U.S. government, the Indonesian military, and their mutual contacts in British and Japanese intelligence. A longer paper could also discuss the provocative actions of the PKI, and of Sukarno himself, in this tragedy of social breakdown. Assuredly, from one point of view, no one was securely in control of events in this troubled period.117

And yet for two reasons such a fashionably objective summation of events seems inappropriate. In the first place, as the CIA's own study concedes, we are talking about "one of the ghastliest and most concentrated bloodlettings of current times," one whose scale of violence seems out of all proportion to such well-publicized left-wing acts as the murder of an army lieutenant at the Bandar Betsy plantation in May 1965,118 And, in the second place, the scenario described by McGehee for 1965 can be seen as not merely responding to the provocations, paranoia, and sheer noise of events in that year, but as actively encouraging and channeling them.

It should be noted that former CIA Director William Colby has repeatedly denied that there was CIA or other U.S. involvement in the massacre of 1965. (In the absence of a special CIA Task Force, Colby, as head of the CIA's Far Eastern Division from 1962-66, would normally have been responsible for the CIA's operations in Indonesia.) Colby's denial is however linked to the discredited story of a PKI plot to seize political power, a story that he revived in 1978:

Indonesia exploded, with a bid for power by the largest Communist Party in the world outside the curtain, which killed the leadership of the army with Sukarno's tacit approval and then was decimated in reprisal. CIA provided a steady flow of reports on the process in Indonesia, although it did not have any role in the course of events themselves.119

It is important to resolve the issue of U.S. involvement in this systematic murder operation, and particularly to learn more about the CIA account of this which McGehee claims to have seen. McGehee tells us: "The Agency was extremely proud of its successful [one word deleted] and recommended it as a model for future operations [one-half sentence deleted]."120 Ambassador Green reports of an interview with Nixon in 1967:

The Indonesian experience had been one of particular interest to [Nixon] because things had gone well in Indonesia. I think he was very interested in that whole experience as pointing to the way we [!] should handle our relationships on a wider basis in Southeast Asia generally, and maybe in the world.121

Such unchallenged assessments help explain the role of Indonesians in the Nixon-sponsored overthrow of Sihanouk in Cambodia in 1970, the use of the Jakarta scenario for the overthrow of Allende in Chile in 1973, and the U.S. sponsorship today of the death squad regimes in Central America.122

University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A., December 1984

Notes and References in Full Article





CIA's Covert Indonesia Operation in the 1950s Acknowledged by U.S. :
Cold War: State Department publishes unprecedented 600-page history documenting anti-Communist program.

WASHINGTON — In the first official acknowledgment of its kind, the State Department has provided a detailed account of major covert operations launched by the CIA in Indonesia during the 1950s, when it feared growing Communist influence over President Sukarno.

A 600-page documentary history published this month shows that the Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration mounted clandestine intelligence operations to support anti-Communist rebels in Indonesia in what was, in some respects, a forerunner of the Bay of Pigs operations against Cuba.

William Z. Slany, the State Department's official historian, wrote in an introduction that the new book represents "a transitional volume on the road to fuller release of important intelligence operations" carried out by the CIA.
Until now, the official documentary histories of U.S. foreign policy, which are called "Foreign Relations of the United States," have been written as though the CIA did not exist.

In an interview, Slany said that before the new Indonesia volume, State Department histories had never published information about covert CIA operations--with the single exception of some intelligence activities in Vietnam in the early 1960s, when the United States was an overt and active participant in that country's civil war.
Indonesia was a more typical Cold War intelligence operation. Publicly, the United States maintained normal diplomatic relations with Sukarno's government in Jakarta. Meanwhile, the Eisenhower Administration secretly intervened in military actions against him.

Secretary of State John Foster Dulles said at one key meeting that Sukarno was "dangerous, untrustworthy and by character susceptible to the Communist way of thinking." And so, in early 1958, the United States began secretly supplying and supporting dissident military groups on Indonesia's outer islands of Sumatra and Sulawesi.
"There is ample evidence that the United States encouraged and supported the rebellion, until it was clear that it was failing," the State Department historians concluded.

Historians say the fact that the CIA mounted the covert operations in Indonesia was already known. Indonesia began complaining about the CIA's activities after it shot down and captured an American pilot, Allen Pope, who was bombing military targets in support of the rebels. Howard P. Jones, American ambassador to Indonesia, later wrote a book in which he acknowledged, and criticized, the covert intelligence operations.
But the new State Department book makes public for the first time the Eisenhower Administration's decision-making, the internal policy papers and accounts of the meetings at which the covert operations were planned and launched.

Then-CIA Director Allen Dulles sat in on all the key strategy sessions, trying to manage the day-to-day details of an Asian land that he viewed through Western eyes. At one point, he told the National Security Council: "As a people, the Indonesians often do a lot of talking, accompanied by very little action."
By 1959, when it became clear that the rebels would fail, Eisenhower shifted course. Instead of backing the rebels, he decided to throw U.S. support to the regular Indonesian army that had been fighting them--in hopes that military leaders would provide a counterweight to Sukarno and Indonesia's Communist Party.

Over the long term, that strategy was more effective. In 1965, amid a mysterious flurry of attempted coups, Indonesian military leaders led by Gen. Suharto took control of the country, gradually easing Sukarno from power. Suharto remains Indonesia's president today.

The State Department history ends in 1960, and there is no evidence in it of any CIA role in the military's 1965 seizure of power.
"After it (the covert operation in support of the Indonesian rebels) failed in 1958, we just backed off," former CIA Director William E. Colby said in an interview.

"In the early 1960s, we had people there (in Indonesia) trying to find out what was going on but we didn't have any active cooperation (with the Indonesian military). . . . Our problem . . . was trying to find out what they were doing with the Soviets."
The State Department has been under pressure from Congress to provide more information about American intelligence operations since the early 1990s.

The American Historical Assn. criticized the State Department for publishing a history of the restoration of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran to his throne in 1953, without ever mentioning the CIA's well-documented role in returning him to power.
In 1991, Congress passed a law requiring the CIA and other intelligence agencies to cooperate with State Department historians by giving them complete access to all information relevant to foreign policy decisions. The Indonesia book is the first one in which the State Department shows openly the extensive role of the CIA in the making of American foreign policy.

The Indonesia book also underscores the cozy relationship between the CIA and the press during the Eisenhower era.
After American correspondents in Indonesia saw American pilots airdropping supplies to the rebels, the CIA director called executives at two publications seeking to keep the news from becoming public.

In the end, one of the news stories described the supplies as falling to the rebels "like manna from heaven."




In the first fifty years of independence Indonesia was led by 2 powerful presidents.The first two president of Indonesia Sukarno (1945-1967) and Suharto (1967-1998) led the country in a world dominated by Western powers and their allies fighting Sovjet communism in the cold war.

Sukarno a fierce nationalist, a forefighter of neutralism rejecting both political and economic imperialism and refused to become a Western political ally.

Suharto, his successor, was a staunch US ally and allowed a western corporate takeover of the country's economic development.
Under his reign Indonesia became closely aligned with western interests and was rewarded with aid and investment to foster rapid economic growth , aid and investment granted with specific interest of the donor countries in mind. Indonesia's economy became a slave of Western interests.

Sukarno, the First President of Indonesia, founded an independent country after 350 years of Dutch colonization which suppressed nationalist aspirations, racially restricted education and treated the people ("inlanders") as third class citizens in their own country.

Politically the Sukarno Presidency , unfortunately, became part of the Cold War conflict. US Policy was aimed at protecting their own anti-communist interests in the Cold War. Indonesia with its abundance of natural resources and strategic location, was considered important for the Western effort in their fight against communism and thus was designated to become a western ally.

Concerned about Sukarno's political direction and the powerful Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), President Eisenhower ordered the CIA to foment a coup in 1958.
The coup failed, but its planning linked the CIA and Pentagon with
Suharto and other Indonesian
military officers who saw an opening to power

Sukarno's neutralism placed him on the wrong side of the US government. US policies were and still are dominated by the principle that you are either pro or anti the US and that it is the obligation of the US to bring you to the right side - the US side - no middle way, no neutralism accepted.
If diplomatic persuasion fails other methods will be applied. Sukarno's independent stand resulted in unabated US sponsored Western bloc treacherous efforts to bring him down. This was finally accomplished after the 1965 Gestapu affair.

In his book Sukarno-A Political Biography, J. D. Legge reminds us of his achievements.
Modern Indonesia came into being under Sukarno’s leadership and vision. The politics of the region and of the century were influenced by him. And he was leader of one of the world’s most populous countries for over two decades.






PRRI Permesta

In 1957, President Eisenhower, his secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, and the CIA--unbeknownst to Congress or to the American public--launched a massive covert military operation in Indonesia to topple President Sukarno.

President Eisenhower and CIA chief Allen Dulles were concerned that the success of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) in winning fourth-place in the 1955 elections (most of these votes came from Java) might be precursor of Indonesia becoming a communist state.

The US operation was a tragic failure another example of US interference in a government not willing to side with their Cold War ambitions,



CIA - NSA documents

A supposedly secret State Department history, released July 27, 2001 by a private research group, discloses new details of United States policy during the 1965 campaign by the Indonesian Army to wipe out the Communist opposition in Indonesia.

The CIA, as well as action officers at the State Department, have prevented the official release of either volume, already printed and bound by the Government Printing Office.




A socalled abortive coup on Sept. 30, 1965.
Suharto used the plot as a pretext for mounting a
large-scale attack on the Communist Party and
unseating Indonesia's founding president, Sukarno.

The circumstances surrounding the abortive coup d'état
of September 30, 1965--an event that led to Sukarno's displacement from power; a bloody purge of PKI members on Java, Bali, and elsewhere; and the rise of Suharto as architect of the New Order regime--remain shrouded in mystery and controversy.



Treacherous end of a Presidency

On March 11, 1966, Sukarno signed an executive order (Supersemar) that (reportedly) transferred all his power to Suharto. The Supersemar document is surrounded by mystery as the original has never been made available.
Suharto placed Sukarno under house arrest where he died on June, 21 1970.

The primary significance of the Supersemar is that it was apparently misinterpreted and used by Soeharto as the basis for the establishment of what he called "The New Order" to replace the "Old Order" under Sukarno.

There are multiple versions in circulation, the original document has not been found, reportedly kept by Suharto.




INDONESIA 1957 - 1958


The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower,
Volume XIX - The Presidency: Keeping the Peace
Part IV: Recession and Reform; February 1958 to May 1958
Excerpt on Indonesia

Communist strength in Indonesia had increased steadily since anti-colonialist leader
Achmed Sukarno had declared the island archipelago independent from the Netherlands in 1945 Recent nationalistic moves
against Dutch interests in New Guinea had provided additional opportunities for the communists to strengthen their position. Anti-communist groups, including a large group of orthodox Moslems, comprised the majority of the population, but rivalries
had prevented united action.
Dissatisfaction with the corruption and inefficiency of Sukarno's leftist-oriented government had resulted in an ultimatum
demanding a new Indonesian cabinet free from communist influences. Rejection of the ultimatum by the government had led Moslem and Christian leaders in Sumatra, an area rich in oil and other natural resources, to establish a revolutionary anti-communist government headed by former Vice-President Mohammed Hatta


The PRRI Permesta Affair

CIA Director Allen Dulles had told the National Security Council on February 27 that
if the dissident movement failed, Indonesia would move into the Communist camp.
At this point Eisenhower told the council that the United States "would have to go in"
to prevent a Communist take-ove




 As the situation worsened, Secretary Dulles and other State Department officials had discussed with Eisenhower the possibility of covert assistance to the rebels.
The President authorized a confidential message to the rebel leaders, telling them that
if they mounted a "stubborn resistance" to the expected attack by government forces,
the United States would offer some form of recognition, which would in turn permit overt U.S. support.




In 1957, President Eisenhower, his secretary of state, John Foster Dulles,
and the CIA -- unbeknownst to Congress or to the American public-- launched a
massive covert military operation in Indonesia.

During the 1950s the Eisenhower administration provoked and strongly abetted a major rebellion and then civil war in Indonesia that tore the country apart. Aiming to replace and transform its political leadership, the administration launched what was then the largest U.S. covert operation since World War II, involving not only the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) but also the U.S. navy and a camouflaged American airforce.



Indonesia 1957-1958

Dwight D. Eisenhower had emphatically denied charges that the United States
was supporting the rebellion against President Sukarno.

"Our policy," he said at a press conference on April 30,
"is one of careful neutrality and proper deportment all the way through so as not
to be taking sides where it is none of our business."



Aviator Pope was captured carrying a set of incriminating documents, including
those which established him as a pilot for the US Air Force and the CIA airline CAT.



13 January 1959
Pat Landry, leader of the Padang (Sumatra-Indonesia) advisory team
receives the Intelligence Star for his efforts from CIA Director Allen Dulles
(Source: "Feet to the Fire" by Conboy & Morrison)



Editor's Note:
Who ignored the hard facts?

NY Times editorial:
On 9 May, an editorial in the New York Times had stated:
It is unfortunate that high officials of the Indonesian Government have given further circulation to the false report that the United States Government was sanctioning aid to Indonesia's rebels. The position of the United States Government has been made plain, again and again. Our Secretary of State was emphatic in his declaration that this country would not deviate from a correct neutrality ... the United States is not ready ... to step in to help overthrow a constituted government.
Those are the hard facts. Jakarta does not help its case, here, by ignoring them.




Subversion as a Foreign Policy:
The secret debacle of Eisenhower and Dulles in Indonesia

 Its aims were to topple or weaken Indonesia's populist President Sukarno, viewed as too friendly toward Indonesia's Communist Party, and to cripple the Indonesian army. The CIA, run by Allen Dulles, the brother of the secretary of state, funneled financial support and weapons to rebel colonels on the islands outside Java, seat of the government. In the ensuing civil war, thousands of civilians were killed; the Indonesian army put down the rebellion and crushed noncommunist political parties




American Babylon

Indonesia 1965

Indonesia gained independence from the Netherlands in December of 1949, and their leader Achmad Sukarno quickly came to be a major thorn in the side of the Anglo-American Establishment. He became an outspoken enemy of Imperialism and one of the most important Third World leaders forging an independent path between the Soviet bloc and the Anglo-American Imperial faction.

In 1955 he convened the Conference of Asian and African Nations in Bandung, Indonesia. It became known as the Bandung Conference, and it led to the creation of the Nonaligned Movement in 1961. Sukarno, Nehru (India), Nasser (Egypt), Tito (Yugoslavia), and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana (who the Establishment will get to next), were all founding members of this Third World organization that unsuccessfully tried to create a new international economic order.

However, the power and wealth of the Anglo-American faction was too great, and Indonesia was steadily pushed into submission. The article "A Brief History of the International Financial Institutions in Indonesia," describes how Sukarno put up a strong fight,

Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, the Indonesian economy faced a crisis caused by the sudden drop in the world market price for natural rubber, at that time the country's main export. The US and the World Bank seized on this "opportunity" and lobbied the left-wing Sukarno government to receive a delegation from the World Bank. The delegation offered substantial loans to Indonesia conditional upon the implementation of severe austerity measures and the denationalisation of the previously foreign-owned sector the economy. The World Bank package was rejected and President Sukarno confronted the US ambassador before a mass rally in Jakarta with the cry: "Go to hell with your aid!"

With Sukarno unwilling to play ball the Establishment was left with their last, but always reliable option, which was simply the fact that President Sukarno allowed a large communist party, the PKI, to exist within his country. Once again, a "communist threat" emerged to save Anglo-American Imperialism. The excuse came when, according to Blum,

...a small force of junior military officers abducted and killed six generals and seized several key points in the capital city of Jakarta. They then went on the air to announce that their action was being taken to forestall a putsch by a 'General's Council' scheduled for Army Day, the fifth of October [1965]. The putsch, they said, had been sponsored by the CIA and was aimed at capturing power from President Sukarno.

To confront this threat the powerful CIA-backed General Suharto and his colleagues and troops sprang into action. They charged that the PKI was behind the uprising, and that Communist China was backing the PKI. To "restore order" General Suharto grabbed control of the Sukarno government, and then crushed the faction involved in the uprising in a matter of days. With Sukarno neutralized General Suharto then turned his attention to the PKI and other potential rivals. Once again, the CIA provided the Indonesian military with long lists of "communists" to be eliminated. Over the next few years Indonesia was engulfed in a terrible bloodbath, where suspected communists, large numbers of ethnic Chinese, and any other undesirables were arrested, tortured or killed. Estimates of the final death toll range from 500,000 to a million victims.

When the smoke cleared the Establishment stepped in. British investigative journalist John Pilger explains what happened in his book The New Rulers of the World,

In November 1967, following the capture of the 'greatest prize', the booty was handed out. The Time-Life Corporation sponsored an extraordinary conference in Geneva which, in the course of three days, designed the corporate takeover of Indonesia. The participants included the most powerful capitalists in the world, the likes of David Rockefeller. All the corporate giants of the West were represented: the major oil companies and banks, General Motors, Imperial Chemical Industries, British Leyland, British-American Tobacco, American Express, Siemens, Goodyear, the International Paper Corporation, US Steel. Across the table were Suharto's men, whom Rockefeller called 'Indonesia's top economic team'.
The 'top team' was led by the Sultan of Jogjakarta, Hamengku Buwono, whom Suharto had persuaded to join him, and Adam Malik, an old political warhorse, in a triumvirate that now ruled the country. Suharto knew he needed America to underwrite him; and in April 1967, he had asked the Sultan to draw up a plan for a 'market economy'. In fact, the plan was the inspiration of the Ford Foundation, which had a long history in Indonesia, often working through CIA front organisations like the Center for International Studies, and the Stanford Research Institute, which sent a team to Jakarta immediately after the coup. It was written by Harvard economist Dave Cole, hired by the US Agency of International Development, a branch of the State Department. Cole was fresh from re-writing South Korea's banking regulations according to Washington's requirements.
In Geneva, the Sultan's team were known as the 'Berkeley Mafia', as several had enjoyed US government scholarships at the University in Berkeley. They came as supplicants and duly sang for their supper. Listing the principal selling points of his country and its people, the Sultan offered '...abundance of cheap labour... a treasure house of resources... vast potential market'...
On the second day, the
Indonesian economy was carved up, sector by sector. 'This was done in a most spectacular way,' said Jeffrey Winters, professor at Northwestern University, Chicago, who, with doctoral student Brad Simpson, has studied the conference papers. 'They divided up into five different sections: mining in one room, services in another; and what Chase Manhattan did was sit with a delegation and hammer out policies that were going to be acceptable to them and other investors. You had these big corporate people going around the table, saying this is what we need: this, this and this, and they basically designed the legal infrastructure for investment in Indonesia. I've never heard of a situation like this where global capital sits down with the representatives of a supposedly sovereign state and hammers out the conditions of their own entry into that country.'
The Freeport Company got a mountain of copper in West Papua (Henry Kissinger is currently on the board). An American and European consortium got West Papua's nickel. The giant Alcoa company got the biggest slice of Indonesia's bauxite. A group of American, Japanese and French companies got the tropical forests of Sumatra, West Papua and Kalimantan. A Foreign Investment Law, hurried on to the statutes by Suharto, made this plunder tax-free for at least five years. Real, and secret, control of the Indonesian economy passed to the Inter-Governmental Group on Indonesia (IGGI), whose principal members were the US, Canada, Europe and Australia and, most importantly, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank...

Under Sukarno, Indonesia had had few debts; he had thrown out the World Bank, limited the power of the oil companies and publicly told the Americans to 'go to hell' with their loans. Now the big loans rolled in, mostly from the World Bank, which had the job of tutoring the 'model pupil' on behalf of the IGGI godfathers. 'Indonesia,' said an official of the bank, 'is the best thing that's happened to Uncle Sam since World War Two.'

Rockefeller was Chase Manhattan's president and co-CEO, along with George Champion, during the November 1967 "division of the spoils" conference in Geneva. In his 500-page Memoirs, just published in 2002, "Indonesia" does not even appear in the index, and the only hint we get of Chase Manhattan's involvement is his brief remark on page 204 that Chase established a branch in Jakarta in the late '60s.
David Rockefeller became full CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank in early 1969 and, as his memoir recounts, he became a leading figure in (if not the originator of) Nixon's policy of engagement with the Soviet Union and Red China. Rockefeller writes,

President Nixon regarded broadening commercial intercourse with the Soviet Union an integral element in his policy of détente. The Soviet leadership, hungry for access to the modern technology and capital resources of the West, were eager to oblige, and the framework for a trade treaty was incorporated in the agreements signed at the 1972 Moscow Summit that inaugurated a "new era in Soviet-American relations." As part of the "new era," a Soviet-American Commission was created to work out the details that would lead to most-favored nation (MFN) status for the Soviets.

In 1973 Rockefeller opened up a Chase branch in Moscow, and Chase also became the first American bank to sign an agreement with Red China during Rockefeller's visit there the same year as well. His bank would help to openly prop up International Communism for the next decade and a half. For further information on the Establishment's long-standing support for Russia and China see The Best Enemy Money Can Buy, by Antony Sutton.

Regarding Indonesia, under Sukarno the nation had been relatively debt free, but after thirty years under General Suharto (with World Bank and IMF direction, while multinational corporations extracted untold billions of dollars in natural resources), Indonesia now has a total debt of $262 billion, which is 170 percent of its gross domestic product. Pilger writes, "There is no debt like it on earth. It can never be repaid. It is a bottomless hole." Then when General Suharto fled the country in 1998 he took a "retirement bonus" of $17 billion with him. This nation was, according to the World Bank, its "model pupil."



How the West has won
The Sukarno years, the first period of Indonesian independence
A suitable title for a story of how the West, led by the US and United Kingdom, brought Sukarno down
and happily worked with a successor who was more receptive to their demands.


Books related to anti-Sukarno operations








Treacherous end of a Presidency



March 11, 1966, was a turning point in Indonesia's history. It was the day the late president Sukarno issued an order,
later known as Supersemar (Surat Perintah 11 Maret, or the March 11 Order) to Soeharto, then a major general.
The Supersemar, the Indonesian abbreviation for Surat Perintah Sebelas Maret (Order of March the Eleventh) was a document ostensibly signed by the Indonesian President Sukarno on March 11, 1966, giving the Army commander Lt. Gen. Suharto authority to take whatever measures he "deemed necessary" to restore order in the chaotic situation following the events of the previous September
The primary significance of the Supersemar is that it was used by Soeharto as the basis of the establishment of what he called "The New Order" to replace the "Old Order", which referred to the era of "Guided Democracy" under Sukarno.
Supersemar, a letter signed by Sukarno 11/3/66 handing over powers to the military, is the document used to justify the New Order. Rumour is strong that Soeharto has never publicized its second page, which lists many conditions on his power. M Jusuf is widely supposed to have the original text.




Gestapu - The 30 September 1965 movement

The events of October 1, 1965, in Indonesia and their origin may truly be called "a riddle wrapped in an enigma."
There is no consensus among students of Indonesia about the "correct" explanation. All existing theories have their articulate and plausible critics. Probably the majority of careful Indonesian scholars have abandoned the search for explanation.
GESTAPU is an enormously complicated puzzle in which the pieces never fit together, their shape constantly changes, and new pieces keep appearing.

In 2001, the National Security Archive at George Washington University obtained several internal documents of the U.S. Department of State, bolstering the ambassadors' claims of American collaboration with Suharto. However, the National Security Archive claims that communications between Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency have been heavily redacted.
There are other statements which may be pertinent to the question of American involvement. Former US Ambassador Marshall Green, speaking in Australia in 1973 where he was then ambassador, is reported as saying: "In 1965 I remember, Indonesia was poised at razor's edge. I remember people arguing from here that Indonesia wouldn't go communist. But, when Sukarno announced in his August 17 speech that Indonesia would have a communist government within a year [?] then I was almost certain.... What we did we had to do, and you'd better be glad we did because if we hadn't Asia would be a different place today."


July 27, 2001
CIA Stalling State Department Histories
Blocks Release of Information on Indonesia's Campaign Against PKI in 1965-66



Special Reports - Indonesia documents


Sukarno's confrontation With Malaysia: January-November 1964

Sukarno's confrontation With the United States: December 1964- September 1965

Coup and Counter Reaction: October 1965-March 1966

The United States and Suharto: April 1966-December 1968




 Indonesia Digest

 Global Digest







This website has been created with intensive use of internet research, linking information as available
on the internet, and various publications and books. I have attempted to give due credit to the sources.
My apologies for the ones I may have missed. I will make corrections as required