Secret Drone War in Yemen Continues

U.S. suspected in killing suspected terrorists



The U.S. drone campaign in places like Yemen is still technically secret. From Reuters:

At least four people were killed and a number of others wounded in a drone strike on a vehicle carrying suspected al Qaeda members in southern Yemen, a local official said on Saturday.

The official said the strike took place at dawn on Saturday on a road to the north of Jaar in Abyan Governorate, near Aden. He did not say who was behind the strike, but previous drone strikes have been carried out by the United States.

An alleged foiled terrorist plot by Al-Qaeda in Yemen reported by the AP last May is likely the story behind the DOJ's seizure of the media organization's phone records.

Last month, Yemeni writer Farea al-Muslimi testified in a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing about drone strikes in his country. Reuters again:

He said the target of the strike [in his hometown a week before the hearing] was known to many in the village and Yemeni officials could easily have arrested him.

"The drone strikes are the face of America to many Yemenis. If America is providing economic, social and humanitarian assistance to Yemen, the vast majority of the Yemeni people know nothing about it," he said.

"Everyone in Yemen, however, knows about America and its drones." Al-Muslimi said that allows the Yemen-based al Qaeda affiliate to "convince more individuals that America is at war with Yemen."

There have been at least 45 (and up to 92) drone strikes in Yemen since 2002 according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, all but one occurring since President Obama took office in 2009.

More Reason on Yemen.

NEXT: The IRS v. the First Amendment

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  1. on a vehicle carrying suspected al Qaeda members in southern Yemen, a local official said on Saturday.

    I would hope they are more than just suspected if we are killing them.

    1. If they someday, somewhere might be involved in an attack, as determined by whomever the president decides should do the determining, they are fair game these days for execution, even were they American citizens. That’s the standard now.

    2. Are you implying that they can’t tell for sure from 30,000 feet up through the roof of a truck?

    3. Look, the administration, which has proven itself so very competent in a myriad of ways, has people to determine who is suspected and who isn’t. Don’t you worry yourself about it. They’re on it.

      1. If you can’t trust the leader of Yemen to only finger Al Queda operatives, and not people who he wants liquidated, whom *can* you trust?

      2. It’s a fascinating mix of incompetence, corruption, political warfare, and lying for the sake of lying. Really, it’s like a reality show–what’s the next disaster in the making? Will America survive this week?

        1. Big Brother: White House

          They kicked Rahm out of the house because they caught him with nightvision cameras taking a whore’s bath in the fridge on AF1.

          1. Now a hit series on CBS!

            1. We should be running the networks.

              1. Want to save commercial television? You talk to us.

    4. I would hope they are more than just suspected if we are killing them.

      Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

    5. Look, if they’re on the Presidential Terrorist List, then they must be a terrorist. QED.

      Do we have to spell everything out to you?

  2. “Suspected” is close enough for government work.

    1. If they don’t want to be targets, all they have to do is come forward and prove their innocence. What’s the big deal?

      1. It also wouldn’t hurt if they took a little time to point out who the actual terrorists were.

        1. If you need to ask, they’re not going to tell you.

        2. There’s no time to make sure we are killing the right people. Since our actions will never produce blowback and never be used to recruit militants or ever make people angry at us, she safest course of action is to take the shot.

          People in the Middle East are the dogs; we are the Bakersfield PD. All shoots are good shoots before they are even shot.

  3. “Everyone in Yemen, however, knows about America and its drones.” Al-Muslimi said that allows the Yemen-based al Qaeda affiliate to “convince more individuals that America is at war with Yemen.”

    And yet Rudy Giuliani assured me there was no such thing as blow back.

    1. Blowback is an imaginary phenomenon. The only reason people in Yemen would attack the US or its citizens is because they were going to anyway.

      1. ..because they hate us for our freedoms

    2. How the Hell do you know that Giuliani said that unless you were listening? Why would you do that? Even his kid ignores him.

  4. I suppose there are worse agencies to be targeted by than the IRS…

    1. Until the IRS gets their own drones, anyway.

    2. Maybe they were ex-pats, trying to duck paying their fair share.

  5. Hey, just saw Star Trek Into Darkness…. nice pot shot at Obama’s drone murder program, with Spock convincing Kirk that killing a suspected criminal from afar, rather than capturing him and making him stand trial, is immoral and unbefitting the Federation, even when the suspect’s guilt is evident and there are no innocent bystanders or family members in the target zone.

    1. Wow. Even Abrams is against Obama? The tide is turning!

    2. What’s ironic is that JJ Abrams brought it up, but then almost immediately dismisses it using the shock and awe spectacle of the rest of the picture.

      Exactly how government and the media deflects any thoughts or actual reporting on subjects like these.

  6. Clearly what the IRS needs is drones so they can better combat the scourge of rich Tea Party class enemies who do not pay their fair share.

  7. Secret Drone War in Yemen Continues

    If Ed Krayewski is printing it in a blog post on Reason, then I dare say it’s not very secret, is it?

    1. The DoJ and IRS should be with Ed shortly. How dare he ask these questions?!

    2. Come on Paul. “Serious” people don’t read Reason. Only wingnut, pot-smoking, newsletter-reading, government-hating libertarians read this stuff.

      1. It’s a newsletter I subscribe to, and I’m definitely your garden variety talking, talking cautionary tale.

      2. I’m a wingnut, newsletter-reading, government-hating libertarian…so how do I get some of that pot you speak of ?

  8. Where’s Cyto to tell us they deserve it?

    1. “In your heart, you know he’s nuts.”

      1. technically it’s “in your guts….”

    2. To be fair, he doesn’t think they deserve it, he just doesn’t give a shit if they deserve or not. Anyone that doesn’t want to be arbitrarily killed should move out of Yemen (but not to America). Anyone who doesn’t move away must want to be killed or is in on it.

      I mean, what is a few dead innocents when you don’t think anyone is innocent? That we might have killed some suspected terrorists maybe is the thing to focus on.

      1. Not quite. The last time he and I discussed it, he seriously argued that people were either for us or against us. Those who are for us should welcome the martyrdom when American bombs land on them, and those who are against us deserve death.

        The man is a bona fide jihadi, pure and simple. If he’d been born in Waziristan, he’d be throwing acid in school girls’ faces.

        1. Martydom is new. I guess even he couldn’t support the “if you didn’t want to get blown up, maybe you show move” nonsense any longer.

          1. Actually, it was when he first burst on the scene. It was that thread where Warty of all people called him out as a psychopath.

            1. Warty is just misunderstood. If your penis looked like that, you’d scare a lot of people as well.

            2. Well Warty has never struck me as an actual bad guy or nuts, he’s just part of a big running gag, and a surprisingly good sport about it.

              Cyto, though, is what I would call a “foreign policy sociopath”. The lives of other people outside the US simply don’t matter to him if they’re in our way. A few days ago, in an abortion thread someone said he was “consistently pro-death”.

              1. The lives of other people outside the US simply don’t matter to him if they’re in our way.

                Comically, our little jihadi lives in Canada.

                1. Yeah, but Canada is one of the “good guys”. It’s not as much country-based as it might seen, but rather a supposed struggle between the morally superior nations and the morally inferior nations.

                  He’s said before that if he thought Canada was a freer place than the U.S., it would be their duty to invade us and make us more free. Presumably he’d be okay with any losses of life on our side in that case, because hey, if we didn’t want to die we’d just join the good guys, right?

  9. I like the targeting of “a drone strike on a vehicle …”.
    Reminded me of Nathan, “He hates these cans!”

  10. Isn’t focusing on these specific drone strikes just obscuring the larger issue of the President’s power to unilaterally wage war? By talking so much about these drone strikes, Reason is making this into a partisan issue by constantly harping on this or that drone strike just makes them look partisan and turns this into a partisan issue. Right?

    1. Also, this is REALLY old news.

      Old. So that means we can’t talk about it any more and anything Obama wants is OK.

      What difference, at this point, does it make?

      It’s old.

      Everybody knows that everything old is legal.

      We have to look forward, not back.

      1. Exactly. Nothing Obama did was really wrong. They were just the inevitable result of a flawed system. So lets look forward and fix the system instead of getting bogged down in partisan fights.

      2. Everybody knows that everything old is legal.

        Unless it’s like 100 years old, then it doesn’t count at all.

      3. We have to look forward, not back.

        It’s “Lean Forward”. Please get with the pogrom, er, program.

  11. Thank Gaia that these brown people are being killed by a fellow man of color rather than a rich, racist Texan!

    1. Would ya rather they was thrown outa windows, little goil ? (Archie Bunker)

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