|Subject: Tempo/Patsy Spiers: The Shots
Heard Around the World [4 Reports]
4 Tempo Reports on US-Indon Military Ties:
- Timika: The Shots Heard Around the World
Tempo Mar 8-14, 2005
The Shots Heard Around the World
The identity of the gunman at Mile 62 is still a mystery. Indonesian Police do not have any evidence with which to arrest the FBI's suspect.
THE name of Antonius Wamang, which has long been out of the limelight, is again drawing public attention. This man was named a suspect in the shooting at Mile 62 Tembagapura, Papua, two and a half years ago. The event caused a stir in the United States because two of its citizens-Ted Burcon and Rickey Lean Spier-were killed. One Indonesian by the name of FX Bambang Riwanto was also injured in the incident.
The shooting incident has become a lively issue again due to the reopening of the US military training program for Indonesia (IMET or International Military Education and Training Program). One reason for the reopening was that they considered Indonesia did a good job of handling this tragedy at the Grasberg mountain range.
It is as if the handling of the incident in Timika reflected well on the Indonesian government. Naming Wamang a suspect seemed to further strengthen their image. The naming of a civilian suspect played down accusations that members of the Indonesian Military (TNI) were involved in the "bloody Grasberg" incident. Colonel Ahmad Yani Basuki, Head of the Public Information Office at TNI Headquarters, said that the case involving the shooting of two Americans in Timika is closed. "Investigative findings of the Indonesian Army and Police, as well as the [American] FBI, concluded that no TNI members were involved in the case," he said last Wednesday.
So the name of Antonius Wamang became connected with the incident at Mile 62 Tembagapura on August 31, 2002. He became a suspect after FBI investigators conducted a 21-month investigation. The FBI presented their findings to TNI Commander in Chief, General Endriartono Sutarto, at the end of June 2004. Quoting the FBI investigators, General "Tarto" said that Wamang was a member of the Free Papua Army (TPM), which is the military wing of the Free Papua Movement (OPM).
The suspicion that the TNI was involved came from the Papua Police Department investigation team, which was led by (then) Deputy Police chief Brig. Gen. Raziman Tarigan. This suspicion was based upon the testimony of Decky Murib-a civilian under the guidance of Indonesia's Army Special Forces-who claimed to be near the scene of the crime. Police investigation of the crime scene strengthened Murib's testimony. However, he recently withdrew his testimony in a slander hearing of the Commander of the XVII/Trikora Military Region vs. Elsham Papua.
Two and a half years have passed since the shooting, but Wamang has still not been brought up on charges, and it is difficult to determine if he is indeed the perpetrator. To this day, inconsistencies between the findings of the Indonesian Police and the FBI have not been reconciled. The police say that they still cannot bring in Wamang because there are no witnesses or sufficient evidence to support the charges. "The evidence is weak, and there are no eyewitnesses," said Insp. Gen. Aryanto Budiharjo, the Head of Public Relations for National Police HQ, last week.
A high-ranking police officer at National Police HQ firmly stated that the police cannot charge Wamang. It was concluded from the crime scene that the perpetrator was not from the OPM. He said that the FBI visited National Police HQ after conducting their investigation. At that time, the FBI stated that Wamang was the gunman. "However, the identity of Wamang was not described. Details such as where he hails from and his current whereabouts were not mentioned," said the source, who wished to remain anonymous. He became skeptical because the name Wamang is not used among the Timika or Wamena tribes.
Unfortunately, the police officers who investigated the incident at Mile 62 are now reluctant to say anything. Insp. Gen. Made Mangku Pastika, former Papua Police Department chief, for instance, feels that the findings of the FBI investigation, which identified Wamang, do not need to be compared with his investigative findings. "My investigation at that time was limited to the crime scene," said Pastika, who is currently Bali Police Chief.
There is another person who was involved in the investigation, namely former Mimika Police Department chief, Adj. Sr. Comr. Sumardjiyo, who is currently the Chief of Police in Bondowoso, East Java. He said that he was transferred to his present position before the investigation was complete. "At that time, it was not yet known who the perpetrator of the shooting was," he said last week. This statement is a bit different from his explanation to Tempo in 2003. At that time, Sumardjiyo firmly stated that the gunman was not from the OPM. "From the beginning of our investigation, there has been no indication in the direction of OPM [involvement]," he said (Tempo Indonesian edition 46, November 19, 2003).
Today, proving or disproving the role of Wamang in the incident at Mile 62 may no longer be important-especially for the United States. Last week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that IMET was definitely being reopened for Indonesia. The name of Wamang may only be a distant echo among the valleys of Grasberg.
Tulus Wijanarko, Martha Warta, Mahbub Djunaidiy (Bondowoso), Rofiqi Hasan (Bali)
Tempo Mar 8-14, 2005
Patsy Spiers: "Solving this case is in both our interests"
THE attack in Timika in August 2002 not only wounded Patsy Spiers, it also killed Rick Spiers, her beloved husband of 20 years. But the former teacher who taught at the American school in Tembagapura, West Papua, does not want to dwell on tragedy. Instead, she is actively lobbying the US Senate and House of Representatives to pressure the Indonesian government to arrest her husband's killer.
Because Indonesia was seen to be insufficiently serious in solving the attack within the Freeport mining area, the US Department of Defense revoked the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program intended for the TNI (Indonesian Military). That ban has recently been lifted, although the investigation into the Timika case is not complete.
How does Patsy feel about the latest development? Tempo reporter Andari Karina Anom interviewed her last week. Excerpts:
What is your reaction to the resumption of the IMET program by the US government even though the Timika case has not been solved yet?
The Administration has always maintained they want normalized relations with the TNI. It's the US Congress that put restrictions on the full-funded IMET program for the TNI.
Has the US government tried to approach you on this?
I have always known that the Administration wanted the normalization of military ties, so they never had to approach me. I looked upon the IMET ban as an encouragement to the Indonesian authorities to cooperate with our US investigators on the terrorist attack that killed and wounded both Indonesians and Americans in West Papua.
Reportedly, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sent an envoy to meet you.
I have met personally with Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, the new Deputy Secretary of State Zoellick, the former Attorney General Ashcroft, FBI Director Mueller, General Made Pastika, General Da'i Bachtiar and the Indonesian Ambassador to the United States. All of those officials have listened to what I had to say, and many asked a lot of questions about the ambush.
What was discussed at those meetings?
I wanted them to know what my agenda was: to have a thorough investigation to find out who ordered and who carried out the ambush. I believe that if the Indonesian authorities and our US authorities work together we will be able to find and bring to justice, in a manner consistent with international standards, those responsible.
Did they offer you compensation so that you would withdraw your demand for the TNI to conduct a proper investigation?
No, I have never been offered compensation or anything. No one has ever suggested that I withdraw.
Do you still regularly meet with the victims or their families?
Before the ambush I was friends with all the teachers. I am in regular contact with all the survivors, and I am in weekly e-mail contact with them. We correspond about our lives.
Do you still have contact with Indonesian NGOs in Papua?
I am in contact with NGOs in West Papua and all over the world. If we all work together by sharing information, I believe we will find those responsible and bring them to justice. I ask all the organization that I am in contact with to communicate any information they may have to the FBI.
What is the latest progress on the FBI's Timika investigation?
The Timika case is ongoing, there is one indictment, but it should not be forgotten that the FBI and the Indonesian Police are pursuing other participants who were involved in that ambush. We need to apprehend the one man indicted, Anthonius Wamang. He needs to be brought into safe custody so that we can begin to know why the ambush occurred and who ordered it.
Has the FBI told you the real result of its investigation?
The FBI has told me that the investigation is not finished. The FBI were able to gather enough evidence to issue one indictment, now I am hoping that the Indonesian authorities will issue an indictment for Wamang's arrest and apprehend him. Solving this case is in both Indonesia's and America's interest.
Tempo Mar 8-14, 2005
Argument on Capitol Hill
America has reopened a funded educational program for TNI officers. Is it on account of an improved record or vested interests?
LAST Wednesday was a tiring day for Major General Sudrajat. On a clear day in Washington, United States, this Director-General of Defense Strategy headed for the Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense.
Sudrajat arrived together with a number of members of the Indonesian legislature. There they met with Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, who was once the US Ambassador to Indonesia. Wolfowitz gave them a warm reception. He praised the Indonesian Military (TNI) for a successful start on reformation and applying democracy.
From there, Sudrajat's delegation went to Capitol Hill, where the offices of the members of Congress are located. There they met with five congressmen in turn. Each meeting took 40 minutes.
While they were well-received at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill their entourage was subjected to a verbal assault. One lady member of Congress was fond of making disparaging remarks. She, for instance, made a blunt statement that Indonesia must give the right of self-determination to the people of Papua. "If East Timor was given the right of self-determination, why hasn't Papua?" asked the congresswoman.
Sudrajat answered that in 1969 there was a People's Referendum, and the people of Papua, "Chose to be a part of Indonesia." But she did not stop there; she took up the issue of the recent proliferation of illegal logging, and said that Indonesia has colonized Papua. Sudrajat kept his cool. "Papuans," he said, "are our own brethren." At the end of the meeting, the congresswoman commented, "OK. The important thing is that Indonesia doesn't colonize Papua."
The arrival of Sudrajat's delegation in the US was to discuss the technical aspects of the reopening of the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, which was reopened on Sunday two weeks ago. This military cooperation program for members of the TNI had been halted by the US as a result of the tragedy in Santa Cruz, East Timor, on November 12, 1991. The amount of deaths mentioned as a result of this riot varies. Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo mentioned 25 deaths, while the Indonesian government only mentioned five. This grisly event was credited as being the starting point for gathering support for the independence of East Timor.
In addition to discussing the IMET program, Sudrajat also wanted to "woo" the US Congress and Senate to lift the military embargo that has been in effect for the past 13 years. As a result of the embargo, a number of Indonesian fighter planes are inoperable due to the lack of spare parts. Only 40 percent of the 255 planes and helicopters belonging to the Indonesian Air Force are operable. The rest are kept in hangars, in need of replacement parts.
Actually, the lobby to soften up Uncle Sam has been going on for some time, but the US has not been listening. Up until July 2000, the United States Congress was still flashing a red light to Jakarta.
Tired of always being blamed, the then Indonesian Minister of Defense Mahfud Md. sent a counter-argument. "If the US continues its embargo, Indonesia will look into forming defense treaties with Asian nations such as China, Japan, and Korea," said Mahfud. This was not just a bluff, as Jakarta is actively lobbying those countries.
Perhaps on account of that threat, at the end of 2000, Washington eased up. The embargo on spare parts for Hercules airplanes and ejector seats for jet fighters was lifted. The embargo on spare parts for small aircraft was also revoked.
However, there was one damaging incident which took place in Timika, Papua, on August 31, 2002. A group of teachers and some goldmine workers from the US company PT Freeport were shot by a number of unidentified assailants. Two US citizens, Ted Burgon and Rick Spiers, were killed. A number of congressmen on Capitol Hill accused Jakarta of being reluctant to find the perpetrators of the shooting. The green light had gone red. The IMET schooling program stayed closed, and the military equipment sought by Jakarta continued to be embargoed.
However, security cooperation between the two nations was not cut off completely. In September 2002, in Washington, the Indonesian and American Departments of Defense agreed to form a joint exchange medium called the Security Dialog Forum. Through this forum, the two nations shared their experience regarding defense systems. Major General (ret) Sudrajat actively participated in this forum.
A series of meetings was held. In April 2002, a gathering was held in Jakarta. The theme was the same: sharing defense system experiences. The dialog temporarily stopped when the United States was occupied with attacking Iraq. The dialog was taken up again in Washington in April 2004. At this point, communications between the two nations improved. The Pentagon felt that the TNI was serious about reforming itself and safeguarding human rights.
On account of the improvement in the TNI record, defense relations between the two countries advanced to the next level. The Security Dialog Forum became the Bilateral Defenses Dialog (BDD)-a dialog on joint defense cooperation. In a meeting held in Jakarta in June 2004, the two agreed to come up with general guidelines for defense relations. It was during this meeting that, for the first time, IMET was discussed. The American delegation agreed to reopen the program upon the condition that Jakarta work seriously to uphold human rights and that the TNI would reform itself.
At the start of 2005, officials at the Pentagon felt that Jakarta had done the job. A number of the TNI's shining improvements included: staying neutral in the 2004 General Elections, being willing to relinquish their membership in the legislature, and their energetic efforts to restore Aceh after the region was devastated by a tsunami in December 2004. They also felt that the TNI was cooperative with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in solving the Timika case.
These were the official reasons which were cited. However, many suspect that the IMET program was reopened because President Bush wants to win over the heart of the Indonesian government to support the so-called war on terror.
Aside from this speculation, the Pentagon has slipped Indonesia's improved record into the pocket of Condoleezza Rice, who has been appointed as the new US Secretary of State. Condy, as she is often called, has actively lobbied the US Congress and Senate to reopen a number of educational programs for Jakarta.
The members of the Congress and Senate are divided on this issue. Some agree, while others strongly oppose. Keith Luse - Chief Aide to Senator Richard Lugar- who in the past was very outspoken with Jakarta, eased up after receiving a lengthy explanation from Condaleezza Rice. "I am convinced by the response of the Indonesian government, and I believe that they will be cooperative with the investigation team from the FBI in the Timika case," said Luse to Tempo.
On the other hand, the camp which opposes the opening of the IMET program feels that they have been misled by Condoleezza Rice. Tim Rieser, Head of the Expert Staff for Foreign Relations at the office of Senator Patrick Leahy, faults the decision. Leahy is a senator from Vermont who has vehemently opposed full assistance for the TNI. In 1999, Patrick Leahy was the man behind the Leahy Amendment-a strong statement which called for Congress to provide military assistance to Indonesia only upon the condition that the TNI seriously prosecute soldiers who violate human rights.
Rieser related that, two weeks ago, Rice met with Senator Patrick Leahy to discuss lifting the embargo on Indonesia. In this meeting, according to Rieser, Rice said that this policy was only in the consideration stage. Thinking that the matter was still under consideration, Leahy was surprised to hear that Rice had already made a decision. "With this decision, Rice has erased all of our influence," said Rieser.
This camp does not even believe that the TNI was cooperative with the FBI in investigating the Timika case. According to Rieser, "The only reason there was progress in the investigation was because there was pressure from Congress and Patsy Spier, the widow of a victim in Timika." Rieser questioned why Antonius Wamang, the only person determined to be involved in the Timika case, and who admitted his guilt, has not been brought to trial. The Timika case, in their opinion, is still shrouded in mystery.
Rice has won this round. The IMET was reopened last week. This was made possible due to a regulation approved by Congress last year which mentions that IMET funds for Indonesia could be released with the endorsement of the Secretary of State, with no need for Senate and Congress approval. Funds of Rp5.5 billion have been budgeted for 2005, and Rp7.3 billion for 2006.
Realizing their defeat, the disagreeing camp proposed an amendment to this regulation, with Senator Russ Feingold as its main supporter. They are urging that, for the 2006 fiscal year, the Bush administration must first provide a factual report regarding the status of the Timika case before IMET funds can be approved by Congress. This amendment was unanimously agreed to by the Foreign Relations Committee last Thursday. So, for the 2005 budget year, Rice may act on her own, but in 2006 she must face hardliners in Capitol Hill.
The Indonesian Military has not rushed to comment on the reopening of the IMET program. Moreover, said Major General Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, it is not required to apply what is learned in the US. "That education is just to make a comparison between existing systems," said the TNI senior spokesman.
As for the matter of arresting Antonius Wamang, who is suspected of being the gunman in Timika, Colonel Ahmad Yani Basuki, Head of the TNI Public Information Office, said that it is police business. He was sure to point out that, "None of our members were involved," (see The Shots Heard Around the World).
Wenseslaus Manggut, Sunudyantoro and Wendy Ruki Mogul (Washington)
Tempo Mar 8-14, 2005
The Point of the Bayonet
JOSEPH Moakley, a member of the US Congress from the Republican Party, has said: "The US must get out of the business of training the foreign military. Democracy cannot be taught at the point of a bayonet." However, he made this statement five years ago, when the US military training project known as International Military Education and Training (IMET) was being criticized by international NGOs.
Now, IMET has been reopened. Actually, the IMET program is not the only US military program for foreign nations. In addition to IMET, there are still a number of other programs connected with the sale of weapons, as well as military exchange programs. Specifically, IMET is a grant program which was formed by the US Congress in 1976 as a part of the Arms Export Control Act.
Although the IMET program first started in 1976, training programs for Indonesian Military officers in the US had been underway since the 1950s. In 1950, Commodore Suryadi Suryadarma, the Indonesian Air Force Chief of Staff at that time, sent 60 cadets to the TALOA (Trans Ocean Airlines Oakland Airport) flight school in California. A number of young officers who were sent there went on to become Air Force chiefs of staff, such as Air Marshal Omar Dhani, Air Marshal Sri Mulyono Herlambang, and Air Chief Marshal Saleh Basarah.
A number of high-ranking Indonesian Army officers have also studied in the US. The late General Ahmad Yani, former Army Chief of Staff General Soerono Reksodimedjo, former Head of the State Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Bakin) Lt. Gen. Soetopo Juwono, former Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Lt. Gen. Alamsyah Ratuperwiranegara, and dozens of other TNI (Indonesian Military) officers are graduates from the US Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is one officer from the National Military Academy (now Akabri) who completed his military education in Kansas. Other graduates from Fort Leavenworth include former Army Chief of Staff General (ret) R. Hartono, former Head of Territorial Staff Lt. Gen. (ret) Agus Widjojo, and former Commander of the Army Strategic Reserves Command the late Lt. Gen. Agus Wirahadikusumah. "Over there we learned a lot about how to use logical reasoning in critical fashion," said Agus Widjojo.
Before beginning the advanced education in the US, Indonesian officers usually have to study English at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. "All branches of the armed forces must study there first," said Air Vice Marshal Zacky Ambadar, a former Commander of the National Air Defense Command. From here, they would spread out depending on which branch of the armed forces they were from, as well as their military function.
The United States has made many schools available to Indonesian Army officers. For the infantry, young Indonesian officers are usually sent to Fort Benning, Columbus, Georgia. This is the headquarters of the US Army Infantry Training Brigade, US Infantry School, Ranger Training Brigade, Airborne School, and the School of the Americas, which recently changed its name to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation after being criticized on account of many of its graduates becoming human rights violators.
Officers from the Army Special Forces usually take courses at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The former Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces, the late General L.B. Moerdani, also studied at this headquarters of the Green Berets. Those in the cavalry study at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Artillery officers study at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, while army pilots take up flight lessons at Fort Rucker, Alabama. The military police are educated at Fort Gordon, Georgia. In these forts, TNI officers take up education which is similar to special training and advanced course for officers in Indonesia.
In addition to this, there are nine US Air Force bases that accept young TNI officers as flight students. Zacky Ambadar, for example, studied at Vance Air Force Base (AFB) in Oklahoma. There is also Laughlin AFB and Shepperd AFB, both of which are in Texas. Maxwell AFB in Georgia offers a course at the level of the Indonesian Air Force Command and Staff School and Air War College for Indonesian officers. However, not many educational choices are available for the Indonesian Navy. One of them has even become a place for intelligence courses at the US Navy's Little Creek Base in Virginia.
When the IMET was criticized for teaching too many lethal skills, the US Congress formed E-IMET (Expanding IMET), which taught more non-combative skills, such as negotiation skills, civilian-military relations, the laws of war, and others. However, behind Congress's back, training in lethal skills continued under the name JCET (Joint Combined Exchange Training).
Now the IMET program is being reopened because, in the eyes of the US, Indonesia has met certain conditions of reform. So, the decision to open or close the program depends on whether or not the point of the bayonet benefits the US.
Hanibal W.Y. Wijayanta
Back to March menu