Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Dennis Blair, Nominee for Dir. of National Intel Connected to E. Timor Massacre

Posted in Barack Obama, politics by allisonkilkenny on January 6, 2009

Democracy Now

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Dennis Blair

Investigative journalist Allan Nairn reveals Admiral Dennis Blair played a critical role in backing the Indonesian occupation of East Timor during the 1990s. At the height of a wave of ruthless attacks on Timorese that killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands, Blair personally informed top Indonesian general Wiranto of unwavering U.S. support. He continued to support the Indonesian military until international outcry forced the Clinton administration to withdraw its military and diplomatic backing.

President-elect Barack Obama has made his final cabinet selections, filling both top intelligence posts. Democratic officials have confirmed Obama has chosen Leon Panetta to head the Central Intelligence Agency. A former Congressmember, Panetta also served as White House Chief of Staff under President Clinton. Many observers call him a surprise pick because of limited intelligence experience and his public opposition to the Bush administration’s policies on torture.

Some top Democrats are suggesting they’ll oppose Panetta. In a brief statement, the new chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein of California, said: “My position has consistently been that I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.” The outgoing, intelligence committee chair, Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, says he shares Feinstein”s concerns.

It’s interesting to compare that to the reaction to Obama’s other top intelligence pick. While lawmakers from Obama’s own party are vowing oppositon to a torture opponent, they’ve expressed no complaints about another nominee accused of backing torture and murder abroad.

The former commander of US military forces in the Pacific, Admiral Dennis Blair, has been tapped to become the Director of National Intelligence. It’s the nation”s top intelligence job, overseeing sixteen agencies.

Blair played a critical role in backing the Indonesian occupation of East Timor during the 1990s. At the height of a wave of ruthless attacks on Timorese that killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands, Blair personally informed top Indonesian general Wiranto of unwavering U.S. support. He continued to support the Indonesian military until international outcry forced the Clinton administration to withdraw its military and diplomatic backing.

Allan Nairn is an award-winning investigative journalist who’s reported from Indonesia for years. In 1999, he broke the story on Blair”s secret meeting backing the Indonesian military. Allan Nairn joins me here in the firehouse.

Allan Nairn, Award-winning journalist who has reported from Indonesia for years. In 1999 he broke the story on Dennis Blair’s secret meeting with Indonesian generals to affirm U.S. support for their violent crackdown on East Timorese.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

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