Saturday, October 4, 2008

Secret Agent Faleomavaega?

Although we did not make much of it at the time, we did find it strange that after years of severely criticizing Indonesia for its policies towards its West Papua province, Faleomavaega pronounced himself satisfied with the approach Jakarta was now taking towards West Papuan self-determination as he departed the capital on a visit in July, 2007, even though he was refused permission to visit the province.

Others apparently have not dismissed this trip so lightly because the blogosphere has come alive with speculation that this trip was more consequential than might seem at first blush. First, the facts. Both Faleomavaega and Barack Obama spent a good portion of their time growing up in Hawaii. At a time when vitually all of the elected Democrats and party leaders in American Samoa were supporting the presidential bid of Sen. Hillary Clinton, Faleomavaega was backing Obama. Indeed, among House members, he was one of Obama's earliest supporters. Faleomavaega did make a trip to Indonesia in July, 2007 and even though he was refused access to West Papua, he did say he was satisfied with the progress the national government was making with the province. Those are the dots.

Now, a number of theorists have connected those dots and are asking if Faleomavaega's trip as the Asia subcommittee chairman was a cover for a secret mission he was making on behalf of Obama. The purpose of the trip? To get Indonesian authorities to seal the education records from Obama's early years living there. The payoff? The records get sealed and Faleomavaega backs off the criticism of the government's record in West Papua. Is there any truth to these allegations. This blog has no idea. There are a lot more questions being asked and this blog has more details on this matter: Bloggers are demanding Faleomavaega release his records of the trip but there is no evidence he is paying any attention to them. If there are new developments, we will post them.


Anonymous said...

There's a better explanation of the allegations here:

Anonymous said...

Did you see the story about the Indonesian ambassador requesting Eni's help on freeing 42 Indonesians stuck here? What popped out at me is that the Indonesian ambassador is coming down next week. It is increasingly clear that Eni is going to have real trouble in this election. With diplomatic privileges the ambassador's luggage likely will not be searched at the airport but customs needs to be alert. If all this stuff going around on the internet about Eni being Obama's secret emissary to Indonesia, we need to guard against the possibility the ambassador may be smuggling into the territory a suitcase full of cash for Eni to distribute around on election day.