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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

While there have been no changes in the circumstances of Jack Idema and Captain Brent Bennett since last week's Blogburst, we are beginning to discover more details of what happened two weeks ago.

For anyone interested in reading Brent's own account of his forcible removal from Pulacharke prison, his statement can be found, in full, here and here. There's also an affidavit from one of Jack and Brent's closest allies, Lieutenant 'Zorro' Wahid Rasuli Banderas, who elected to stay by Idema's side after he was released from prison in 2005.

Also of much interest is the following account by none other than Tawous Noorzai, the Deputy Commander of Block 3 at Pulacharke. Here's how he introduces himself:
My name is Tawous Noorzai. I am employed as Deputy Commander of Block 3, where Captain Brent Bennett, Cmdr. Jack Idema, and Lieutenant Z. Wahid Rasuli Banderas were housed at Pulacharke Prison. I have held various positions in the Ministry of Justice over the past four years, including, Block Commander, Special Deputy, before that I was a commissioned officer in the Ministry of Interior for 19 years.
And here's how he describes Jack Idema:
For all of the time here at Pulacharke these three men have been the most liked and respected men ever at this prison, and this includes officers. They have never been considered prisoners, they have never been treated as prisoners, and they have never been called prisoners. Mujahadeen all over Afghanistan consider these men heroes of our country, and we all believe that they were oppressed without any crime except saving the lives of our Mujahadeen leaders (United Front) [Commander Massoud’s UN recognized government prior to the interim government]. Everyone at Pulacharke knows that their case is political. On the roster here they have been listed as political prisoners by the Minister of Justice. They have Prisoner of War Identification cards, and all five generals who have been Commandants at Pulacharke have given them all full Prisoner of War rights here. They could escape at any time, but they have never once even attempted this. During the last three prison uprisings, these three men have been against the prisoners and terrorists, and with the officers. Cmdr Jack ran a command post, with Captain Brent, Lieutenant Banderas, and another Lieutenant during the riot early this year, where all of the senior officers slept and where he helped keep our communications working and other things that helped stop the riot.
I'm quoting at length here because it really is important to grasp how well-liked Jack and Brent are among their Northern Alliance 'jailors'. The bond of loyalty between Jack and the Northern Alliance is something we've stressed time and again ... So how was it that Brent could be removed from Afghanistan? And how did Jack wind up having to fend off Karzai's troops with a can of gasoline?
Last week, the American Embassy ordered the new general to attack Jack, Captain Brent and Lieutenant Banderas. They were to attack them, drag them out of their compound at Block 3, and turn them over to the American Embassy. In the recent past, Ministry of Justice officers at Pulacharke Prison had refused to take any action against them, officers have died for them, and most officers here would die for them again. When Captain Brent went to dinner with the Security Commandant last week, the American Embassy made their call to a man here who is not an officer, and started their plan against them. They surrounded Captain Brent and attacked on top of Cmdr Jack. The officers involved were not our past regular officers, and most of us were home. I was not there when the attack happened, and almost all of the longtime senior officers had been given that night off to spend Ramadan with their families.
Clearly, then, a great deal of planning went into the attempt to remove Jack and Brent from Pulacharke. Regular guards were given time off and non-Northern Alliance troops were drafted in. What's more, it's becoming very clear that most of the shots were called from the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan:
This is hard for people to understand, but in this country the American Embassy controls this government, more than the Russians ever did. If you refuse the orders of the US Embassy you can be fired or put in jail. This is not done directly, it is done through our high levels "behind the curtain" [the Afghan phrase used for this]. This is what happened here. When General Shamir [Pulacharke's recently-replaced Commandant] refused the Embassy, they put pressure on the Minister who passed the threat to the new Brigadier General.
Let's be quite clear about this: when Deputy Commander Tawous Noorzai uses the term 'threat', he isn't exaggerating:
The only people responsible for the action against Captain Brent and Cmdr Jack were the Americans at the Embassy. They ordered this. No Afghan officer or official ordered this or wanted this. For writing this I will probably be fired or arrested and I say these things because it is truth, I just ask that if am arrested the American Embassy not hurt my family and not order anyone to hurt my family or bribe anyone to hurt my family.
So this is the real deal in Afghanistan today -- An officer in the Northern Alliance, the force who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us in the fight against the Taliban, is fearful of speaking the truth because someone in the U.S. Government on the ground may 'hurt his family'. This is absolutely outrageous.

So what can we do? Well, anyone reading this with their own blog can sign up for the weekly Free Jack Idema Blogburst by emailing Cao or Rottweiler Puppy for details. I'd urge everyone to do this, as we're still terribly short on takers. If you want to know more about the story, Cao's Blog has a large section devoted to Jack Idema. There's also a timeline here, and, of course, a huge amount of information is available over at SuperPatriots, without whose work none of us would have learned about Jack's story.

Finally, PLEASE NOTE: The SuperPatriots and Jack images on this site are used with WRITTEN COPYRIGHT PERMISSION and any use by any third party is subject to legal action by SuperPatriots.US.

The Free Jack Idema Blogroll:
The Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill, The Lone Voice, Kender's Musings, Irate Nate, The Devil's Kitchen, Cao's Blog, Big Dog's Weblog, Theodore's World, NIF, Rottweiler Puppy, Making Headlines, Right For Scotland, Freedom Folks, The City Troll, Sacramento Boxing, Causes of Interest, Concatenation of Events, Hyscience, Stuck On Stupid, The Daily Blogster, You Don't Know Jack and Right Wing Nation.

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