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Jack Idema: Conspiracy or Crazy?

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posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 03:39 PM
In case you didn't know, Jack Idema is the main person involved in the Afghanistan prison scandal. By that, I mean he was running one out of a house and was arrested after holding eight prisoners for some time. Now, what I want to know is why this conspiracy has been overlooked by the media and others. If he is a fraud, then fine. The problem is, most of what he says is apparently true.

First, we have this...
The Mysterious Case of Jack Idema: Was the Former Green Beret a Bounty Hunter for the US in Afghanistan?

Two weeks ago an Afghan court convicted two former U.S. soldiers and an Emmy Award-winning journalist and sentenced them to 8-10 years in prison for torturing Afghan prisoners in an illegal, private jail. Their U.S. attorneys are accusing the Afghan court system of conducting a sham trial. At the trial the attorneys attempted to introduce video evidence that indicates one of the defendants, Jonathan "Jack" Idema had close ties to the Pentagon and made personal calls to the office of Gen. William "Jerry" Boykin, who has a history of leading special operations. But the Afghan judge refused to play the video.

And his profile from the BBC News...
Profile: Jonathan 'Jack' Idema

Jonathan Keith "Jack" Idema, who has been jailed for 10 years in Afghanistan, was known in the country as a mysterious figure, often seen clad in combat gear and dark glasses, and armed to the eyeballs.

Idema always claimed to be a defender of American values, a patriotic ex-special forces soldier working on the front-line of the US war on terror, with the full backing of the Pentagon.

There are plenty of people who never believed him. Others say they did - and now regret it.

Idema is a former Green Beret who served in the 10th Special Forces Group for three years active duty and was honorably discharged. He then served in the another six years in the reserves. Idema and another then founded the Counterr Group (website is now gone) out of New York state which train law-enforcement groups on tactics, armed encounters, and terrorism prevention. During this time he traveled to Lithuania to train authorities and returned with detailed Intel regarding the Russian Mafia selling stolen Soviet Nuclear Arms material to terrorist groups. Actual knowledge, not fantasy.

The FBI investigated Idema at one point and convicted him of multiple counts of fraud. He always maintained it was a set up and not long after his conviction, the FBI agent the supposedly supervised the case - Earl Pitts - was found to be a Russian Spy.

Immediately after 911, Idema traveled to Afghanistan and set up shop during the same time US Special forces were arriving. He looked just like them, acted just like them, and in general...just fit right in to the community of "operators". According to some, Idema presented himself as a special representative from the Pentagon. Since there was no way to verify this, he was unchallenged in his movements and actions.

So he was there in Afghanistan and was the one who found captured video tapes showing Al Qaeda training operations, most of which made the airwaves on CBS.

Private Afghan torture jail trial- US approved or Idema's fantasy?

The trial against Jonathan Keith Idema, also known as "Jack" Idema, has begun in Afghanistan.

The American is accused of operating a freelance anti-terrorist organization and prison in Afghanistan. However, "Jack" Idema claims that he can prove that Afghan and US authorities were aware of his work.

Although American authorities deny any connection with Idema, they have admitted to taking one prisoner from him. The Afghan prisoner was believed to be a high level Taliban operative, but the US were unable to prove this claim and released him.

Even NATO were conned into believing that he was working with the blessing of US authorities and helped him on one occasion.

Now, Idema made the rounds through the media doing various things and then eventually made his way back to Afghanistan hot on the trail of Bin Laden himself. He assembled a team calling themselves Task Force Saber-7. Within a matter of weeks they captured someone Idema stated was a top Taliban official and turned him over to US soldiers. Then the team captured a man named Ghulam Sakhi, a supposed explosives man for Al Qaeda. They took Sakhi to the makeshift prison home and interrogated him using "aggressive" techniques, but still within the 20 sanctioned methods by the Pentagon, according to Idema and others. The plan was that the terrorists would use taxis to bomb an airbase. Soon Sakhi gave up a taxi driver which, once found and by the team and a search made revealed a detonator and traces of explosives. They continued the interrogations which led to other associates, one of which was an Afghan Supreme Court Judge and his two brothers.

The size of the prisoner group grew to eight, but Idema still claims he didn't know the person who ordered the base bombing plot. He knew that Afghan and US authorities knew about his operation, but in the week before his arrest wanted posters of him had hit the streets. He apparently called Lt. General Boykin's office and threatened to go public. He was told that a mistake was made and not to go to the media. Then the whole operation was busted and Idema and team was arrested.

All eight prisoners claimed various abuses and the FBI took computers, videotapes, and all documents for study. During the trial Idema would claim that the US "supported" his operation, yet authorities claimed he was a freelance bounty hunter gone rogue. All evidence from the prosecution was testimony by the men detained by Idema's team. Then a US Military spokesman did admit that Idema "showed up with a person of interest" and that they had taken custody, but earlier in the case...they claimed no knowledge or support. Idema had also claimed the FBI had taken all his evidence about the plot even though they have no jurisdiction in Afghanistan. Some videotape evidence was eventually shown to the court which show Idema working in cooperation with various groups such as Afghan NDS, the Defense Ministry, and ISAF bomb experts who located explosives where Idema showed them they would.

Finally, the tape showed something bigger. A phone call Idema was on that was being recorded. A voice stating to him "We passed on all your information to the J-2 staff (Pentagon Intelligence) here and to the DIA. And we were trying to protect our boss from getting associated with it because he does not need any scrutiny right now by the press. So we are trying to put a firewall between your efforts and him because we did not want to connect anything there. And there is no need to do that."

Despite the evidence, Idema and others were convicted and sentenced to 10 years in an Afghanistan prison and he still refuses to name a single US contact he may have had. Idema believes the FBI gave him up, one of his suspects had legal connections, and the Abu Ghraib prison scandal was all over the news. The evidence seems to definitely point to a conspiracy located at some very high levels of the US Intelligence community.

What do you think? Conspiracy or Crazy?

Additional Reference material:
Maxim magazine December 2004 - by Laura Winter
Outsourcing War Crimes
Dispatch From Afghanistan
The War On Terror Makes The World Safe For Barbarism
US Worked With Torture Suspect
Report: US admits contact with Idema
The Case of Keith Idema

[edit on 10-12-2004 by ZeddicusZulZorander]

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 03:45 PM
Besides a phone call, what actually stands as evidence that he was workign for the US government? As opposed to say, operating as a mercenary there, with some people in the governement knowing he was there and basically not interfereing?

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 03:50 PM
I believe him. Way too much red tape to go through for a small group in a war zone with no connections to even get there, let alone operate like that. Totally a US agent of some sorts, or a hired contractoer at the very least.

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 03:53 PM

Originally posted by Nygdan
Besides a phone call, what actually stands as evidence that he was workign for the US government?

If he did in fact work unofficially for the US government, performing illegal operations, what evidence would there be?

That was a very interesting read but I don't know what to make of it, I can't decide if I believe him or not.

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 05:55 PM
Great story. He seems to be quite effective, rousting Russian spies out of the FBI and exposing Afghan Supreme Court Justices. Most likely true, and we need more men like him. Too bad he was left hanging out to dry.

[edit on 10-12-2004 by jsobecky]

posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 01:06 AM
Thanks Zeddicus, I wasn't aware of the Earl Pitts connection,the fraud charge was troubling me...pieces are fitting nicely.The few reports I saw were quick to mention it to further undermine his credibility.Here's some more interesting info that didn't get much coverage and probably sealed his fate:

"I gave [the FBI] bin Laden's exact address right outside Peshawar," a northwestern Pakistani city, he said. "I gave them the grid coordinates, the street and house number and everything. They got there five days after he left. It's like, what are you doing? Do you not want to catch bin Laden?" He said the FBI later confirmed bin Laden had been at the house.

FBI spokesman Bill Carter said Saturday the agency couldn't respond to the allegations because of the ongoing trial.

'Too unbelievable'

Idema said he also passed along the location and satellite phone number of Ayman al-Zawahri, the alleged al-Qaeda No. 2, but the FBI again failed to act. He said the incident occurred earlier this year, and that his frustration prompted his trip to Afghanistan in April.

posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 11:00 AM

Originally posted by John Nada

If he did in fact work unofficially for the US government, performing illegal operations, what evidence would there be?

If there can't be any evidence, then one can't say that he did work for them.

Most likely true, and we need more men like him

He was kidnapping people all across afghanistan and locking them up in his own private little prison. He's what used to be called an 'adventurer', or a mercenary, sort of like the guys that Thatcher was allied with that tried to overthrow a small african nation.

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