It was all being kept quiet until AP released the news yesterday.
WASHINGTON: An American prisoner held in Afghanistan for allegedly running a private prison was scheduled to be released from his Afghan prison as the State Department and the FBI faced a Tuesday deadline to answer allegations that they ordered his torture and manipulated the Afghan judicial system.
Jack Idema is the last of three U.S. citizens imprisoned in Afghanistan in the alleged operation. Idema said they were hunting terrorists as part of a mission sanctioned by U.S. counterterror officials.
Idema's attorneys filed a lawsuit in Washington in 2005 challenging his detention. Idema accused the State Department and FBI of illegally keeping him imprisoned in a deplorable Afghan prison, directing his torture, destroying evidence and ultimately trying to have him killed. He said he has audio recordings and documents to back up his claims.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan had said he was "deeply troubled" by the allegations and had given the U.S. government until Tuesday to respond.
"Petitioners allege that United States officials ordered their arrest, ordered their torture, stole exculpatory evidence during their trial and appeal, exerted undue influence over Afghan judges, and either directly or indirectly ordered judges who found petitioners innocent not to release petitioners from prison," Sullivan wrote.
The U.S. Justice Department, which represents the government in court, did not respond to the Tuesday deadline. Instead, government attorneys asked that the case be thrown out because they say the Afghan government granted Idema amnesty and commuted his sentence.
Whatever the facts, there seem to be some very murky allegations surrounding the whole debacle. I shall follow the court case with interest...
UPDATE: Rotty has more...