July 13, 2007

a Jack of all trades

You may remember the strange story from 2004 about an American who was apprehended in Afghanistan for running a private prison and engaging in some freelance torturing of the inmates. Jonathan Keith "Jack" Idema was sentenced to 10 years in an Afghan prison, where he somehow managed to maintain a website explaining how he'd been wronged by the American authorities and the media, as well as providing useful recipes for food you might try to cook in the Pulacharke jail. He's just been released under an amnesty granted by Hamad Karzai.

You can find a wonderful story here by my friend Mariah Blake about Idema's long, colorful career as a peddler of information of dubious veracity to the press. (I should note that I did fact checking for the piece.) No-one seems to know where Idema went after he left Afghanistan, but he is clearly a very resourceful guy, so I wouldn't be surprised to hear about him again someday.