What's Good for Exxon Is Bad for Terrorism?

The U.S. State Department is seeking dismissal of a human rights lawsuit against Exxon Mobil's activities in Indonesia, where villagers say that they were victims of murder, torture, kidnapping and rape by the military unit guarding the company's gas field. "In response to a request by the corporation for an opinion, the department declared that pursuit of the case would harm Washington's campaign against terrorism," reports the New York Times. Last week Secretary of State Colin Powell promised $50 million in military aid to Indonesia, where human-rights groups blame the army for regular abuses against civilians. More than 12,000 people, mainly civilians, are estimated to have died in Aceh during a 26-year separatist war. Indonesia has also failed so far to convict any of the 18 military officers, militia and civilians alleged to be responsible for killings in East Timor.