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Rumsfeld "Condoned Private Interrogation Centre" Claim!

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posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 12:34 PM
The saga of "Jack" Idema's operations in Afghanistan has taken a new twist . He claims that he was acting as a freelance terrorist hunter and that Donald Rumsfeld was fully aware of his operations and condoned them.

Rumsfeld knew all about me, says American 'jailer' held in Kabul

Duncan Campbell
Thursday July 22, 2004
The Guardian

The saga of "Jack" Idema, the American arrested for running a private interrogation centre in Afghanistan, took a new twist yesterday when he claimed that he was acting with the knowledge and agreement of Donald Rumsfeld's office.
Mr Idema, who has been accused of having a makeshift jail in which detainees were hung by their feet, claimed that US authorities "condoned and supported" his freelance activities.

"We were working for the US counter-terrorist group and working with the Pentagon and some other federal agencies," said Mr Idema, whose full name is Jonathon Keith Idema, before the opening of a court hearing in Kabul, according to Reuters.

He told reporters: "We were in contact directly by fax and email and phone with Donald Rumsfeld's office.

"The American authorities absolutely condoned what we did. We have extensive evidence to that ... We're prepared to show emails and correspondence and tape-recorded conversations."

From New York, Mr Idema's lawyer, John Tiffany, told the Guardian: "We have documentary evidence regarding the US government's knowledge of my client's intended activities in Afghanistan."

Mr Tiffany said his client was not denying he had taken people into custody but would claim he had done so with the authorities' full knowledge.

Mr Tiffany suggested Mr Idema would never have been arrested had it not been for the publicity over treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq. But a US defence department spokesman in Washington denied Mr Idema's claims yesterday. "He is nothing to do with us," he said. "Idema does not represent the US government and we do not employ him." US military authorities in Afghanistan have also denied Mr Idema was acting with their knowledge.


And today's Guardian is reporting that US troops assisted Mr Idema in his activities. Apparently there is proof that one of the suspects he captured was handed over to US Troops, who further interrogated him for a month at Bagram Airport.


US worked with torture suspect

Duncan Campbell
Friday July 23, 2004
The Guardian

The case of "Jack" Idema, the American accused of running a private interrogation centre in Kabul, could now lead to full-scale embarrassment for the US authorities.
It emerged yesterday that Mr Idema had handed over to the US military an Afghan who was subsequently held for a month by them in Bagram air base.

Mr Idema, two other Americans and four Afghans are facing charges of hostage-taking and torture in Kabul.

They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Yesterday a US military spokesman, Major Jon Siepmann, admitted that they had received a detainee captured by Mr Idema's organisation, Counter Group, at Bagram on May 3.

Major Siepmann said that Mr Idema had appeared "questionable" when he presented the detainee, and that suspicion grew when, one month later, the man turned out not to be the top suspect that Mr Idema had described, according to Associated Press.

"That doesn't mean at the time that we knew Mr Idema's full track record or other things he was doing out there," Major Siepmann said.

Originally, the US authorities distanced themselves from Jonathon Keith "Jack" Idema, saying that he had no connection with them.

Mr Idema, a former member of US special forces who has a fraud conviction in the US, claims that the US and Afghan authorities were well aware of his activities.

His lawyer, John Tiffany, told the Guardian that there was video evidence of American troops cooperating with Mr Idema, who claims to be running a freelance counter-terror unit hunting for Osama bin Laden.

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