CLAIM : SAS WERE READY TO STAGE A RESCUE, TOLD TO STAND DOWN
Indonesia wasn't fucking around in 1975 when it told Australia to get the hell out of East Timor before they invaded the tiny country.
Five Australian journalists ignored the warnings to leave and stayed on to cover the unfolding genocide of the East Timorese. The journalists were killed, apparently upon request of the Indonesian government, their bodies were dismembered and burned.
For 30 years, friends and family of the five slain journalists have fought for the truth to be exposed. They've been called kooks and trouble makers and conspiracy theorists and "anti-Indonesian".
But in 2007, these brave and dedicated Australians, who always believed that their friends and sons and husbands had been murdered for daring to show reality of what was happening to the East Timorese, are probably going to find out more about what happened than they could have ever possibly imagined.
Incredibly, new claims are being made that the Australian Special Forces were on a Darwin airstrip, ready to fly in and pluck the five journalists out of the free-fire zone, when they were told to cancel their mission.
Probably the biggest question to be answered in next year's public inquiry into the murder of these journalists will be this one : Just how high up in the government was the decision made to call off the SAS and leave these Australians to the Indonesian death squads?
Investigators are hoping to get former prime minister, Gough Whitlam, into the witness box.
Absolutely amazing, dramatic Australian history back in the news, and looking set to become one of the biggest news stories of 2007.
From the Daily Telegraph (Sydney) :
Special forces soldiers were disgusted when the operation was called off and they learned that the five - all journalists - had been killed, according to sources.
It is the first confirmation that the Australian Government considered moves to rescue the newsmen - a shocking secret held since they were killed by Indonesian invasion forces in Balibo in October 1975.
NSW deputy state coroner Dorelle Pinch, who will conduct the inquest, was told at a preliminary hearing last week of evidence that the government "at a high level" knew the (Indonesian) nvasion was to take place and that the Australian journalists would be targeted.
"It is clear that this was going to be a deniable, or black, operation," Mr Peters' solicitor Rodney Lewis told the court.
Previously-hidden intelligence intercepts have revealed the newsmen were assassinated on the orders of Indonesian generals.
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