Thursday, September 16, 2004


Idema case comes to a close

So "Jack" Idema and his cohorts who ran a private prison and torture chamber (just doing their part in the war on terrorism) received their prison sentences in Afghanistan yesterady. Idema and Brent Bennett were sentenced to 10 years in prison each and Edward Caraballo, who videotaped Idema and Bennett for a film he said he was making on the war on terrorism in Afghanistan, got 8 years in prison. This BBC article by Andrew North explains the chaotic trial situation, with "stand-up rows" between witnesses and defendants, translation problems, challenges as to the standards of the Afghani court system, and also the videotaped evidence of meetings and interactions between Idema and US and Afghani officials that were not allowed to be introduced in the courtroom.
The former soldier and his lawyer John Tiffany protested they never had a chance to present the evidence that would have done so - because it was taken and held by the FBI.
It seems that the US and Afghan militaries and governments are more than happy to have this over with and out of the way, with very little emphasis placed on the relationship between Idema's enterprise and government/military/intelligence types from either the US or Afghanistan. There is really very little coverage even of the verdict.

I especially like the description of the trial as "shambolic". It is interesting how very little coverage this got in the US. Compared to real real important stuff like whether or not the Dan Rather Docs are forgeries, I mean.
shambolic! haha. perfect.
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