Browse over a thousand CIA records about Indonesian mass killings

Browse over a thousand CIA records about Indonesian mass killings

Agency prepared weekly reports on “situation in Indonesia,” gave Congress an estimated death toll between 50,000 to 150,000

Written by
Edited by Beryl Lipton

Recently declassified records released to the National Security Archive confirm the U.S. government’s awareness of, and active participation in, the Indonesian mass killings that spanned late 1965 to early 1966. A search through the Central Intelligence Agency’s archives for that time period reveals over a thousand related records in various degrees of redaction, showing the Agency’s keen interest in the “Situation in Indonesia.”

Starting with the execution of six generals by the “30 September Movement,” the Agency began compiling almost weekly reports on the country, presenting it as an act of unprovoked communist aggression

that was in turn driven back by the army in small-scale skirmishes.

If there’s any mention of massive-scale systematic massacre, it’s still redacted 50 years later - though there is one brief mention warning that anybody not in line with the military’s policies would be “crushed.”

Condensed versions of these reports also made it into the President’s daily briefings

with similar half-century old redactions.

The one report discovered so far mentioning casualties is in a SECRET congressional briefing from January 1966 - while the killings were still ongoing - which puts the death toll somewhere between 50,000 to 150,000.

Conservative estimates put the final number of casualities at 500,000, with some going as high as three million.

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Image via Wikimedia Commons