Subject: Published Letters to the Editor on Blair Nomination
January 17, 2009
Dennis Blair and Indonesia
It's odd that an article titled "A military man who's not a militarist gets a big job," (The Jakarta Post, Jan. 14, p. 7), discussing Admiral Dennis Blair, does not mention his role in Indonesia in 1999 -- the momentous year when East Timor finally got its vote on independence.
While Pacific Commander, Blair downplayed human rights concerns. He actively worked to reinstate military assistance and deepen ties with Indonesia's military despite its ongoing rights violations in East Timor and consistent record of impunity.
In April 1999, just days after Indonesian security forces and their militia proxies carried out a churchyard massacre, Blair delivered a message of "business-as-usual" to Indonesia's commander.
He failed to warn the military of its support for its militias or urge an end to the killings. It wasn't until President Clinton finally cut off all military assistance to Indonesia that the military-orchestrated violence finally ended.
Following East Timor's pro-independence vote, Blair sought the quickest possible restoration of military assistance, despite Indonesia's highly destructive exit from the territory. Continued US military assistance has contributed to the impunity that military leaders continue to enjoy.
JOHN M. MILLER
-- Houston Chronicle
Opposed to Blair
Jan. 17, 2009, 12:25AM
Regarding the Jan. 6 article “Two intel nominees signal new direction / Selection of Panetta, Blair surprise to the spy community”: The nomination of Adm. Dennis Blair for Director of National Intelligence cannot be permitted to pass.
As reported by Democracy Now, when genocidal monsters in the Indonesian military were committing massacres in East Timor, Admiral Blair defied his orders to get them to stop and instead gave them encouragement to continue. He then lied to Congress about it all. No such loose cannon with such blood on his hands can be allowed in the new administration.
LORIE KRAMER, Houston
The Monterey County Herald
Posted: 01/14/2009 01:36:52 AM PST
No on Blair, Yes on Panetta
The Senate will be voting on "Night" and "Day" nominees for intelligence leaders of this country. Adm. Dennis Blair's behavior when dealing with the Indonesian military officials responsible for hacking people to death with machetes in East Timor should automatically disqualify him.
Then, lying to Congress about the communications dealing with the massacre is in itself reason to vote no. What is to prevent Blair from continuing to lie once he is director of National Intelligence? The darkness of the last eight years will continue if this man is confirmed.
The daylight appointment is Leon Panetta. As a resident of Carmel Valley (his home), I have never heard a negative comment about him. His commentaries in the local press, the work at the Panetta Institute and the public forums he presents demonstrate his integrity, honesty and support of the Constitution and founding principles of the United States.
No on Blair, Yes on Panetta.
Fresno Bee (California)
January 14, 2009 Wednesday FINAL EDITION
Adm. Dennis Blair is an unacceptable nominee for director of national intelligence because he condoned atrocities committed by the Indonesian military against the civilian population of East Timor.
Fortunately, there are many other experienced and knowledgeable U.S. military and intelligence community veterans that respect human rights to select from as the nominee.