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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 04:49 AM
Original message
U.S. Lifts Ban on Indonesian Commando Unit
Source: NYT

U.S. Lifts Ban on Indonesian Commando Unit
By ELISABETH BUMILLER
Published: July 22, 2010
JAKARTA, Indonesia The Defense Department said on Thursday that it was lifting a more than decade-old ban on contact with the elite Indonesian special forces, Kopassus, and would take beginning steps to train the commando unit which has been condemned by human rights groups for past killings of civilians and widespread abuses.

Pentagon officials made the announcement as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates arrived in Jakarta to meet with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to officially inform him of the decision, reached after intensive internal debate among the Pentagon, the White House and the State Department.

These initial steps will take place within the limits of U.S. law and do not signal any lessening of the importance we place on human rights and accountability, Mr. Gates told reporters at Istana, the presidential palace complex, after meeting with Mr. Yudhoyono. He called the steps a measured and gradual program of security cooperation activities with Kopassus.

The Pentagon had long pushed for the 1999 ban to be lifted, but there was resistance within the State Department and White House over the record of the group. Kopassus members have been convicted of abducting student activists in 1997 and 1998 and for abuse that led to the 2001 death of a Papuan activist. Kopassus was also implicated in serious human rights abuses in Aceh Province and in East Timor before it gained independence in 2002.



Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/23/world/asia/23military...
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Jdub4abluenc Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 07:07 AM
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1. Train em up'
Who knows we may need them to do our dirty work - remember how well we trained the Taliban!
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 08:54 AM
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2. The same goons who almost beat Amy Goodman to death.
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western mass Donating Member (718 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
3. they might be terrorists...
but they're OUR terrorists.
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Bragi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
4. Oh, those human rights groups!
They're always going on about past killings of civilians and widespread abuses.

As for Gates saying it does not signal any lessening of the importance we place on human rights and accountability this makes me wonder if he travels with his own laugh track machine.
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