Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Free Jack Idema Blogburst 10/4/2006

It's been an amazingly busy week in terms of developments in the campaign to free Jack Idema and Captain Brent Bennett, the U.S. Special Forces soldiers illegally imprisoned in Afghanistan. Not only has a great deal taken place since last Thursday, but there has also been a fair amount of misinformation given out in MSM. Accordingly, what I'd like to do is present an accurate timeline of events. All of the information below comes directly from Jack Idema himself, speaking via Cao's Blog and the SuperPatriots, who are U.S. Special Forces soldiers working in the campaign to help Jack and Brent.

Tuesday 26th September: Two cells, numbers 2 and 10, are cleared of Afghan prisoners at the Tawab Keef prison near the U.S. Embassy in Kabal. Everyone at Tawab Keef is informed that these cells are to be used to hold Jack and Brent, in solitary confinement and without the Northern Alliance guards who currently protect them at Pulacharke.

Thursday 28th September: Jack and Brent are invited to take their evening meal with the Commandant of Pulacharke prison. This isn't an unusual occurrence by itself, but Jack isn't feeling well and declines the invitation. This, oddly, sparks a flurry of phone calls to Jack, begging him to attend the dinner. Brent finally agrees to attend without Jack.

When Brent arrives at the dinner, he becomes suspicious, and calls Jack, telling him he has the feeling he's about to be ambushed. Jack tells Brent to just get up and leave.

Brent calls Jack a second time, telling him that he's now being prevented from returning to his quarters. Idema then tries to reach Brent, but finds himself locked in his quarters -- An unusual occurrence, since the ordinary Northern Alliance guards usually trust Jack not to leave the prison.

25 soldiers surround Brent during the 'dinner' and arrest him.

40 soldiers attempt to storm Jack's compound at the prison. Having survived more than a dozen assassination attempts, however, Jack is prepared to defend himself. He kicks a large can of gasoline down the stairs toward the advancing troops and lights his Zippo. They quickly withdraw.

Friday 29th September: Luckily, Lieutenant Banderas was not in the prison at this time, and managed to contact a group of Northern Alliance generals. They, in turn, used their political muscle to force the troops surrounding Jack's compound to stand down. Brent Bennett, however, remains in custody, whereabouts unknown.

Saturday 30th September: The next we here from Brent is at this point, when the press begin reporting that he has been 'released' and is on his way back to the States, accompanied by US State Department officials. In fact Brent was in custody, handcuffed, and forced to leave Afghanistan and Jack Idema behind. The intention, it seems, was to transport Bennett, presumably back to the US, but certainly out of Afghanistan, and certainly against his will. This 'Plan B' was necessary because the State Department and Karzai had failed to capture Jack Idema -- For their 'Plan A' to work, they needed both men locked down and silenced in Tawab Keef prison. Since this hadn't happened, they decided to force Brent out of the country, then, we presume, try again to capture Jack.

When Brent and his handlers arrived in Dubai, however, the immigration police refused to accept custody of Brent's passport and handed the documents from the State Department officials back to Brent. Brent Bennett then promptly gave his captors the slip and, according to Cao: 'Is now somewhere, but not on the way back to the US.'

Finally, there's this, from Dan at SuperPatriots:
Bennett family: Brent is fine, no thanks to the US State Department. A teammate of ours spoke to him. He is no longer in State Department custody, and the information on Cao's blog can be confirmed. He says he cannot make contact right now for reasons we can’t go into. Actually I should say he is not just fine, he is safe and continuing to support his teammates from an undisclosed location. Jack and Zorro are also fine, facing continued assaults by the State Department, but in good spirits and holding out while the dust settles. Rumor is that certain members of the Afghan govt are not happy about the State Department and FBI using Afghan forces for an illegal operation and attempted illegal extradition of Americans. Kabul TV announced tonight that the Supreme Court admitted the men had been innocent all along.
So, yes, it's been one hell of a week.

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.

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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 and You Don't Know Jack.