WIKIPEDIA: A top secret CIA report described the massacre as “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century, along with the Soviet purges of the 1930s, the Nazi mass murders during the Second World War, and the Maoist bloodbath of the early 1950s” MORE
JOSH OPPENHEIMER (DIRECTOR, THE ACT OF KILLING): You can see that the United States made it very clear that, as a condition for future aid, the Indonesian army must go after the whole Communist Party. And they had guys in the State Department compiling death lists for the army—communist leaders, union leaders, intellectuals who were left-leaning. The signal from the U.S. was clear: “We want these people dead.”
ERROL MORRIS (PRODUCER, THE ACT OF KILLING): Often the study of history is like pulling on a thread: Some detail catches your attention and leads to something else, another detail. A narrative slowly unraveling, slowly revealing something behind it, something hidden or forgotten. Not just the story of a crime, but the story of interconnected crimes. Is this a story about Indonesia or also a story about us? Oppenheimer had said that the killings were facilitated by the State Department and the CIA. Was this true?I had picked up Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and U.S.-Indonesian Relations, 1960–1968, a book by Bradley Simpson, professor of history at Princeton. I didn’t have to read far: The first pages recapitulate the relevant history leading to the violence. Simpson calls it “an army-led and U.S.-backed campaign of extermination.
ANWAR CONGO (INDONESIAN DEATH SQUAD LEADER): If we watched a happy film, like an Elvis movie, we’d walk out of the cinema with a smile, dancing along to the music. Our hands and feet, still dancing—still in the mood of the film—and if girls passed, we’d whistle. We were excited. We didn’t care what people thought. This was the paramilitary office, where I always killed people. I’d see the person being interrogated … I wouldn’t be sadistic. I’d give the guy a cigarette … It was like we were killing happily. […] There’s many ghosts here, because many people were killed here … They died unnatural deaths. They arrived perfectly healthy. When they got here they were beaten up and died … Dragged around … And dumped … At first we beat them to death. But there was too much blood. There was so much blood here … So when we cleaned it up, it smelled awful. To avoid the blood, I used this system. Can I show you …? MORE
RELATED: The U.S. provided lists of thousands of names, intellectuals, journalists, trade unionists, writers, who they wanted the I government to go after and kill…I think the real function of the American death lists was to send a strong signal to the Army to go after everybody, kill everybody, we want everybody dead. The US was providing some weapons, the us was providing some money, the us was providing radios so the army could coordinate this killing campaign across the vast archipelago… MORE