Saturday, April 21, 2007

Free Jack Idema Blogburst 4/21/2007

Before I start this week's Free Jack Idema Blogburst, I would like to share with you my great joy at Jack's release from that horrible place--prison. He is still having problems getting home due to the state dept. (I refuse to capitalize that dept because I want them shut down. It was Bremmer, after all, who screwed up Iraq.)

Also, you will begin to see a much smaller list of names supporting Jack now, because Cao and Rotty have ask us to re-up if we wanted to keep posting. I don't know if you are aware of this, but many of the people on the blogburst seldom or never posted. At least not on a regular basis. Also, many people only signed up until Jack was released. This has been accomplished, and Jack would truly like to thank each and every one of you who kept Brent and him in your prayers. He is very grateful.

Now we are seeking justice. If you would like to join us, there will be instructions at the end of this post. Thank you so much.

Here we go:

Although illegally-imprisoned US Special Forces soldier Jack Idema has now been officially released from prison in Afghanistan, it seems the US State Department is doing everything in its power to prevent him returning home.

Earlier today, Jack's Afghan lawyer, Rahim Ahmadzai, put out an affidavit which confirms many of the things the Free Jack campaign has been saying all along. Before presenting the facts, though, I'll let Ahmadzai introduce himself:
My name is Rahim Ahmadzai. I am an attorney licensed to practice law in all courts of Afghanistan. Prior to 2005, I was employed as an administrative member of the Supreme Court and by the National Security Courts of Afghanistan. I received my degree in Shariat law in 1979, and my Masters Degree in Islamic Religious Jurisprudence in 1988, and have practiced law or been a judge since.

Over the past 25 years, I served as a judge in the Human Rights court, then as a judge in the Family Court, then a judge in the Criminal Courts, then a Judge in the Juvenile Courts, then a Judge in the National Security Court, and finally, a member of the Supreme Court of Afghanistan. I was intimately involved in the trial of Cmdr. Jack Idema, Captain Brent Bennett, and Lieutenant Z. Wahid Rasuli Banderas.
So, question: How many high-court judges do you know who have the moral courage to step down from the bench in order to prevent a miscarriage of justice? Well. Exactly. Rahim Ahmadzai is to be commended for his bravery.

That said, Ahmadzai has many interesting things to say on the subject of Jack and Brent's first 'trial:
It was because of their trial and the way it was mishandled illegally, that I resigned from the Court and left the government in disgust. The entire trial and subsequent conviction was orchestrated and controlled behind the curtain by the United States Embassy in Kabul. These men never would have been charged or prosecuted had it not been for the United States Embassy.

It was a known fact that they were officially working for the Afghan National Security Advisor and Minister of Defense. The trial violated almost every aspect of the Afghan Penal Code, Criminal Code, and Constitution related to criminal trial conduct. In the second trial the men were declared innocent, but again the US Embassy stopped their release.
The complete illegitimacy of Jack's first, September 2004 trial is something we've remarked upon again and again in this blogburst. As it turns out, the 'ex'-Taliban judge who presided over that travesty, Bakhtyari, is now doing the kind of work more suited to a man of his dubious talents:
Judge Bakhtyari has since been demoted and reassigned as a small claims judge in civilian small claims court - to my knowledge, he does not have any formal education in law or any other subject.
While Bakhtyari struggles to resolve whose-goat-is-it-anyway? disputes in his small-claims courtroom, however, it really is worth asking why a group of US soldiers and their Northern Alliance allies wound up having their liberty taken away by a man with no legal (or, indeed, any) education? Were no competent judges available? Or, more likely, did the US State Department actually prefer that Jack and Brent's case be presided over by an incompetent judge?

Whatever the truth of that, right now, Jack is faced with the following difficulties:
In March 2007, I visited Jack Idema and volunteered to represent him against certain Afghan officials who, acting under the orders of the United States Embassy, violated his rights. I also volunteered to represent Captain Brent Bennett, who has been illegally denied a visa to return to Afghanistan for his property. That visa was blocked at the direction of the United States Embassy in Kabul which exercises extensive, if not full control, over the government agencies involved in the Bennett and Idema case.

I also volunteered, at Jack Idema’s request, to represent for the first time in my legal career their dog, Nina Natasha Nikita, in an effort to also secure the release of the dog from Afghanistan.

The United States Embassy has since blocked the return of Jack Idema’s original passport, which is prima facie evidence of his innocence on several of the accusations made. Additionally, the United States Embassy has blocked the return of Jack Idema’s documents and property from the National Security Directorate (NDS).
Now, we will remember that one of the original charges against Jack was that he'd entered Afghanistan illegally. Obviously his passport is the key to disproving this entirely false allegation, which is why the US Embassy staff are currently refusing to hand the document over. They are also withholding documents that would prove his innocence on the charges of kidnapping and torture. Here's Rahim Ahmadzai, describing his encounter with the US authorities in Afghanistan:
I was at NDS approximately three weeks ago, after the Saleh Order was signed, when US government agents were there requesting NDS withhold the property, passport, and evidence and not follow the Saleh Order. After the US Embassy met with the 17th Division of the NDS, Director Modafi, who worked with (and for) the US Embassy in the original trial against these men, he refused to return Jack Idema’s and Brent Bennett’s property, documents, and evidence.
Let's put all this together. Here we have a US citizen, illegally-imprisoned for three years on the say-so of the US State Department and a small-claims court 'judge'. When said US citizen is finally released, the US authorities promptly confiscate all documents which would prove said citizen's innocence. They even attempted to use said citizen's beloved pet dog as a bargaining-chip in the wrangle -- You get to go home with the mutt, we get the documents which prove your innocence.

How far we have fallen from the high purpose of those post-9/11 days. Back then, Jack Idema and dozens of men like him, helped the Northern Alliance decimate the Taliban and their al-Qaeda cohorts, driving the bearded-crazies out of power in the name of a free Afghanistan. And today?

Today Jack Idema fights to recover his own passport, while his lawyer, obviously disgusted with what has become of Afghanistan under Karzai, has the following to say:
Contrary to what appears on the surface in Afghanistan in this country, the American Embassy controls this government completely. If you are employed by the Afghan government, you simply do not refuse the orders of the Embassy unless you are ready to be fired or arrested.
This is an absolutely disgusting situation. Let's hope and pray it is resolved soon.

END of this week's news.

If you would like to join now, you may give me an e-mail. I will see to it that you receive all the information you need. Please also visit Cao's and Rottweiler Puppy's sites also. Cao has very much information on this topic.

On the 19th of this month, she has gathered all of her posts and placed them on one post. This way you may educate yourself as to what is already known and/or answered. She has been writing about Jack Idema since September 2004, trying to free him.

I am only grateful I had the opportunity to do my little itty bitty part by posting the blogburst here every week. It is so wonderful to finally have some good news. However, it is not time to quit! That is most people, countries, situations lose! They quit right before they win! Please join us in helping to correct this injustice. Thank you, and have a nice day.

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