Weird, weird, weird … Late reports out of Afghanistan say that an American named Jonathan Idema was arrested with others for conducting a “self-appointed counterterrorism mission that included abusing eight inmates in a private jail by hanging them by their feet.”
Jonathan Idema is apparently the same guy as ‘Keith Idema’ who was a short-term commando celeb in Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002 appearing on various TV networks. He also turns up in various jails or suing Steven Spielberg et al. for stealing ideas for a movie script he and others allegedly wrote.
The US military has gone to great lengths to disassociate itself from Idema since he was apparently putting himself forward as some sort of US special forces operator or contractor. A statement from the US military said “the public should be aware that Idema does not represent the American government and we do not employ him.”
Indeed, “security sources” tell the BBC that the “US military circulated warning notices about Mr Idema some time ago, describing him as armed and dangerous and accusing him of interfering with military operations in Afghanistan.”
But here’s what I don’t understand: Who runs their own private jail? And why?
I understand that contractors might, for various reasons, be hired to provide security or run detention facilities. But that doesn’t seem like what we’re talking about here. The article gives the impression that this guy went over there, set up his own private jail so he could go out and arrest locals and hang them by their feet — some unholy mix of Kurtz and Barney Fife.
I don’t get that.
Is there money in setting up your own jail? Kicks perhaps, as we’ve seen. But certainly there must be enough bad-acts to go around back in the states, right?
It just seems like someone must have been paying this guy to do something, unless it’s like a blog where you just set up shop and figure that someday a revenue stream might turn up.