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The U.S. government had intimate knowledge of the mass killing of alleged communists in Indonesia in the mid 1960s even as it failed to publicly reveal the slaughter, newly declassified U.S. documents show. The documents also reveal Indonesian army intermediaries told Western embassies they were considering toppling then-President Sukarno less than a fortnight after the killing of six generals by rebel military personnel that sparked the bloodletting.The murder of the generals on Sept. 30, 1965, is still widely depicted as an attempted communist coup against Sukarno. A U.S. consular officer in the city of Surabaya, in East Java, said in a telegram that members of Ansor, the youth wing of the Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic organization, were responsible for "widespread slaughter" and they thought killing communists was a "ticket to heaven".Gen. Sjarif Thajeb told a U.S. Embassy official Sukarno planned to accuse foreigners and their "little army friends" of orchestrating the Sept. 30 killings.Army Gen. Suharto became acting president of Indonesia in March, ushering in some three decades of military dictatorship.
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