Thursday, July 08, 2004


Yesterday I wrote about Americans who were arrested in Afghanistan while running their own jail and interrogation facility. According to this AP story, the U.S. and Afghan governments are distancing themselves from the men -- for good reason:

...Afghan officials also dismissed claims by the apparent ringleader, Jonathan K. Idema, that he was a "special adviser" to their security forces, saying the three had posed as military agents on a self-appointed hunt for terrorists.

The Americans and four Afghans who were detained along with them "formed a group and pretended they were fighting terrorism," Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali said. "They arrested eight people from across Kabul and put them in their jail."

Another Afghan security official said intelligence and police officials who raided the group's house Monday found the prisoners strung up by their feet.

"They were hanging upside down,"
said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said a report showed the men also were beaten....

One police official said Idema's group appeared to be behind the disappearance of a man in west Kabul three weeks ago.

The missing man was identified as Abdul Latif, and his wife told authorities she believed he had been taken into custody by members of the NATO-led force that patrols the capital, said the police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity....

Anarchy. The U.S. left the job half-done in Afghanistan; al-Qaeda survived, a the Taliban and warlords still make trouble in the hinterlands, and maroons like this can set themself up as a cure that's it's only marginally distinct from the disease. Mission not accomplished, Shrub.

(By the way, the linked story gives some of Idema's background; read it if you think I was slandering the guy yesterday; there's no reason to doubt that Jonathan Idema is Keith Idema, and is a shady character.)

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