Journalism

Report: Yemeni Journalist Who Obama Reportedly Helped Keep Behind Bars Is Now Free

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In his recent book Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, Jeremy Scahill, the national security correspondent for The Nation, writes movingly and angrily about the case of jailed Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye. (The book's final line is "He should be set free.") Shaye exposed a reported Yemeni government attack on Islamic militants as actually being a U.S. military strike that killed 35 women and children, a scoop for which he was reportedly beaten and then convicted and imprisoned of aiding Al Qaeda. In February 2011, as the Yemeni government was preparting to release Shaye under public pressure, President Barack Obama called his Yemeni counterpart and "expressed concern" about the release. Shaye remained behind bars.

At least until now. Tweets Scahill:

Journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, kept in a Yemeni prison at Pres. Obama's request, is reportedly free & on his way home

Watch Scahill talk about Shaye and other White House behaviors toward journalists in a Reason.tv interview below:

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  1. Shaye exposed a reported Yemeni government attack on Islamic militants as actually being a U.S. military strike that killed 35 women and children

    It was a small price for them to pay so we can all pretend we are safe.

    1. I am always curious about the real stories behind such drone strikes. The attacks are meant to kill militants, but sometimes they also kill their family members, bystanders, or just hit a group that is entirely innocent. One trouble is that the militants have an incentive to lie, and claim that the dead are always innocent. Being totally ruthless fanatics, I would not put it past them to, after a strike, murder some nearby innocents, move them to the site, and claim that the drone did it.

      So I take all these reports with some skepticism.

      1. “Being totally ruthless fanatics, I would not put it past them to, after a strike, murder some nearby innocents, move them to the site, and claim that the drone did it.”

        Except that even the droners don’t even know who they’re droning, given that any collection of military-aged males is assumed to contain exclusively militants.

        So who are the totally ruthless fanatics again?

        1. given that any collection of military-aged males is assumed to contain exclusively militants

          This is the official policy? Are you sure?

          1. Yes, unfortunately that appears to be the case:

            “It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent,” is how the Times report it. “Counterterrorism officials insist this approach is one of simple logic: people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good.”

            From:
            http://rt.com/usa/drone-strike…..lties-604/

            1. There are different things here.

              1) “With a top Al Qaeda operative”: I’d say valid, unless he’s just at the cobbler’s picking up his repaired boots.

              2) “People in an area of known terrorist activity”: Maybe. It depends on the people, and the area. If the area or “strike zone” is Yemen, then no. If it’s “right next to this known and isolated terrorist camp,” then yes.

              3) “Any collection of military-aged males is assumed to contain exclusively militants”: No, that would be wrong, and your quote doesn’t say that.

              I think they go through a complex series of decisions. No doubt they make mistakes, but I don’t think it’s “Look, two adult males talking, in Yemen! Drone ’em!”

      2. The news is interesting. You should read it.

        http://www.independent.co.uk/n…..93253.html

        http://www.foreignpolicy.com/a…..lians_dead

  2. Does anyone know the current status of this guy?

  3. Creepy ass cracker had it coming

  4. He needs to watch out for drones

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