White House 'concerned and disappointed' that Yemeni Journalist Imprisoned in Sham Trial Was Released Two Years Early

White House is "concerned and disappointed" about this picture. ||| (Reuters/Farouq al-Sharani)(Reuters/Farouq al-Sharani)Yesterday I relayed news that Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, who was convicted in January 2011 for what international observers regarded as a sham trial for collaborating with Al Qaeda not long after he had exposed a deadly U.S. attack against Yemeni women and children, was finally being released, 29 months after President Barack Obama had called his Yemeni counterpart on the phone to urge that Shaye remain behind bars.

So what does the Obama administration say now? Jeremy Scahill, whose book Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield discusses the Shaye case at length (see my Reason.tv interview with him here), gets a reaction from National Security Council Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan:

We are concerned and disappointed by the early release of Abd-Ilah-Shai, who was sentenced by a Yemeni court to five years in prison for his involvement with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Shaye's trial and sentencing, notes Foreign Policy, "has drawn criticism from Human Rights WatchAmnesty International, the International Federation of Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Yemen-based Freedom Foundation." This is your Nobel Prize-winning president, demonstrating his respect for an "unfettered" press.

More background from Scahill here.

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  • WTF||

    We are concerned and disappointed by the early release of Abd-Ilah-Shai, who was sentenced by a Yemeni court to five years in prison for his involvement with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

    Here come the drones...

  • Metazoan||

    My thoughts exactly.

  • ||

    Has anyone seen any liberals trying to justify this? Or are they all just conveniently ignoring it?

    I bet if I posted this on Facebook, all I would get is "yabut Bush was worse!"

  • Metazoan||

    Or but Zimmerman is racist!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Why everyone continues to think the left will be better on civil liberties is beyond me.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    You just have a different definition of civil liberties. Just like some people have a different definition of what it means to be pro-choice.

  • Metazoan||

    Some of them are. My rep is a fairly liberal Dem and consistently votes against privacy invasions like this. But you're right, for most, if they have to sacrifice some part of their position, it's the part involving liberty.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Apparently his alleged crimes are of concern to the US. Does this mean he violated US law? Has he been indicted in the US? Or is he in compliance with US law and the administration is outsourcing what it cannot do itself to countries with sketchy civil-liberties records?

    I am genuinely curious - I'm not familiar with this case.

    I know that Al Quaeda sent a fake journalist to assassinate one of their opponents in Afghanistan, so I know being a journalist is no guarantee of innocence. So I'm just in search of info.

  • Hyperion||

    he had exposed a deadly U.S. attack against Yemeni women and children

    Well, now we know why Obama wants him in prison, where he can't talk. This guy has a drone with his name on it, right beside the Snowden drone.

  • ||

    And the Manning drone. And the Assange drone.

  • Hugh Akston||

    And, come election time, the Amash drone and the Paul drone, along with drones aimed at any other enemas to the state.

  • Hyperion||

    Just add the entire H&R community to that, it's easier that way.

  • gaijin||

    enemas to the state

    An Enema of the People

  • SugarFree||

    Pro-Tip: Do not share enemas with The People.

  • Hyperion||

    And the Kaptious drone.... Oh shit! I wasn't supposed to tell you about that!

    Add a Hyperion drone to the list..

  • ||

    Droning me at work would take out a very large U.S. government cabinet-level Department, so y'all should totally get on board with the program!

  • T||

    That's why it'll be done when you're attending a wedding out-of-state.

  • WTF||

    That's why it'll be done when you're attending a wedding out-of-state.

    So it'll be like a Kill Bill drone.

  • T||

    Slightly OT, but Jeremy Scahill is one of these people whose work I would like to read, but he's such a tendentious ass he makes it impossible for me. Admittedly, that's based on trying to read his anti-Erik Prince, anti-Blackwater screed he cleverly disguised as a book.

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