Dead Silence

Of all the hardware currently deployed in aceh—U.S.-supplied bombers, British-made jets, tanks, armored troop carriers, assault helicopters, warships—it was a slate-gray Japanese sedan that unnerved us journalists the most. The car bore a large sign reading "Press," yet it carried several uniformed men with guns. Who were they? Rebels of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM)? Not likely: the car was spotted several times in broad daylight in areas controlled by the Indonesian military (T.N.I.). More likely, we thought, the passengers were soldiers deliberately misusing press stickers to besmirch our independent and noncombatant status, and to draw us into the line of...

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