Revelations from Australian spy transcripts on the degree to which senior generals directed the violence surrounding East Timor's 1999 independence vote have failed to stir public debate. The transcripts leaked by Australia's Defence Signals Directorate show that the then-chief security minister, General Feisal Tandjung, enlisted two other retired generals and fellow cabinet members, information minister Mohammad Yunus Yosfiah and transmigration minister A. M. Hendropriyono, to orchestrate the violence. Within two weeks of then-president Bacharuddin Habibie promising the East Timorese a vote on their future, these men appear to have set up a parallel project to terrify East Timorese into voting against independence. When that failed, they ordered their militias to wreak havoc in the territory and force about 250,000 East Timorese to flee. 'I am not surprised if Feisal was involved. I am not surprised that Hendropriyono was involved,' said Afan Gaffar, of the politics faculty of Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Central Java. He said General Hendropriyono was a slick man with a long background in covert and violent operations. He was allegedly involved in the deaths of about 30 civilians in South Sumatra in 1989. General Yosfiah has long been criticised overseas for his commanding role in the unit that killed five Australian journalists in Balibo, East Timor, in 1975. The transcripts appear to support the view that then-armed forces chief general Wiranto was not involved in the campaign. As commander in chief, however, Mr Wiranto became a scapegoat and was sacked from president Abdurrahman Wahid's cabinet in February 2000. The transcripts, reported in the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, suggest more attention should be given to the three generals, none of whom is indicted in the East Timor crimes against humanity trials that began on Thursday. General Hendropriyono now leads Indonesia's intelligence service at a time when the United States wants to engage its help in its war against terrorism. Another name in the transcripts is that of Major-General Sjafrie Sjamsuddin, the recently appointed spokesman for the Indonesian armed forces (TNI). Both General Hendropriyono and General Sjamsuddin were yesterday expected to meet FBI director Robert Mueller, who is visiting Jakarta to discuss anti-terrorism co-operation. 'Only the decades of impunity enjoyed by the Indonesian security forces make the country's leadership unabashed by the irony that Hendropriyono and Sjamsuddin are now the public faces of a TNI and intelligence service being asked to join the war against terror,' wrote Hamish McDonald, who received the transcripts, in the Sydney Morning Herald. An Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman said reports of the leaked transcripts could not be used as a basis for policy.