Silent Witness: Australian Intelligence and East Timor

Desmond Ball

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The events in East Timor leading up to and immediately following the vote for independence from Indonesia in September 1999, and the attendant breach in Australian-Indonesian relations, posed the greatest challenge to the Australian intelligence agencies and the national security policy-making organization in more than a quarter of a century. On the whole, the intelligence agencies performed very well, producing timely, accurate and informative reports, with the important exception being the under-estimation of the scale of the killings and forced deportations in the fortnight after 4 September, 1999. However, there were serious deficiencies in the national security policy-making organization, and elements of the intelligence community succumbed to political pressures when the Government found some of the intelligence about Indonesian involvement in planning and directing the violence to be unpalatable.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMasters of Terror: Indonesia's Military and Violence in East Timor in 1999
    Editors D Ball & H McDonald
    Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
    PublisherAustralian National University
    ISBN (Print)0731554191
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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