Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Investigate Dennis Blair!

The Obama administration has issued contradictory statements regarding its plans to prosecute Bush Administration officials over the use of harsh interrogation techniques of terrorism suspects.

However, if President Obama is going to probe the Bush administration over its interrogation methods, it would behoove him to first investigate his own intelligence director, namely, Dennis Blair, over a terrorist massacre that occurred before a pivotal meeting in which Mr. Blair, then-commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, offered support and US aid to the commander of the massacre forces:
The massacre took place at the Liquica Catholic church in Indonesian-occupied East Timor two days before Blair met face-to-face with the Indonesian armed forces commander, Gen. Wiranto (the massacre occurred on April 6, 1999; Blair and Wiranto met April 8.

A classified US cable shows that rather than telling Wiranto to stop the killing, Blair invited Wiranto to be his guest in Hawaii, offered him new US military aid, and told the Indonesian general that he was "working hard" on his behalf, lobbying the US government to restore US military training aid for Indonesia. (That training had been cut off by Congress after the 1991 Dili, Timor massacre...)

Blair's support at that crucial April 8 meeting buoyed Wiranto, and his forces increased the Timor killings, which came to include new attacks on churches and clergy, mass arsons, and political rapes...
I cited this news item in my previous post, including Mr. Blair's prevarications on the matter. Mr. Blair is not as innocent as he maintains. Read the full story here.

But aside from investigating his own intelligence director's callous disregard for the innocent victims of East Timor, the president must also come clean and tell us about his vetting of Mr. Blair's apparent support and abetment of the East Timor killing spree at the time he appointed him intelligence director.

There's no need for the president to probe the actions and deeds of previous administrations, when there's plenty of stuff on his plate and in his own administration to probe.

Mr. Obama, the victims of East Timor and the American people would greatly appreciate your quick resolve of this matter. From the aforementioned news item, it would seem to me that Adm. Blair is guilty as hell and should be prosecuted accordingly, but ultimately, the final judgment should be left to the judicial system. Whatever information you can tell us about your own knowledge pertaining to Mr. Blair's involvement in the East Timor massacres would also be greatly appreciated. For indeed, you must have vetted this man before you appointed him intelligence director.

In any case, the vetting process was clearly flawed. The proof is here.

Hence, I hereby call on the president and congress to begin a thorough investigation of Mr. Blair and his abetment of the East Timor killing spree.

Mr. President, members of congress, let the investigations begin!