Sunday, June 24, 2007

New Forensic Technology

Merrill is good about keeping a journal of his activities. I wish I were so good. He sends out portions of his journal for family and friends to read. He has included me on his distribution list. I particularly liked this entry. Rather than try to re-write their experience, especially since I wasn’t there, I’ll let him tell it in his own words…

“One day when CPT Dickert, Wais and I went to meet with one of our ANA counterparts who is both a prosecutor and a lead member of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) he was asking for lab equipment. When we asked what kind of equipment he said they wanted these vacuum cylinders that they could use to extract the scent from a footprint and use it in a court by letting out a little air into a dog’s nose and have the dog see if the accused is the criminal. At first we thought he was joking but it was good we didn’t laugh because he was very serious. Wais said sometimes he is embarrassed by the Afghan people. We know they mean well and have their ways different from our own. I feel that education and freedom to choose will help these people in the future.”

The officer Merrill is writing about is COL Rahmatullah and it didn’t surprise me in the least when I read that it was him. As Merrill writes, more than anything these people need more education to help them progress. To him, I’m sure this was a perfectly logical request and he had every reason to believe that such technology exists out there. This just accentuates why we need to be here and why we need to continue to be here.
Here's a picture of Merrill and I with COL Karim, the SJA - he's in the middle, with his legal officers and COL Rahmatullah. Even though he'll never know that his story has been posted here, I don't want to point him out.

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