Archive

Archive for the ‘Drones’ Category

Yemeni Journalist Who Obama Kept in Prison Is Free


Posted on July 24, 2013 on Akashma Online News

By: Tuesday July 23, 2013 3:27 pm UPDATED February 16, 2014 4:54 pm

Photo posted to Facebook by @aljamal2007 of Abdulelah Haider Shaye, after he was freed from prison

Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, who United States President Barack Obama had been keeping in prison, has been released.

Shaye was apparently given a presidential pardon that requires him to remain in Sanaa for two years. This means he would be prohibited from traveling to many of the areas where US drone strikes have taken place while he was in prison or where they will take place over the next two years.

Journalist Iona Craig, a Times of London correspondent in Yemen who had covered Shaye’s case for two years, reacted, “Delighted to say, after two years of covering his case, jailed journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye is free. I can’t quite believe it.”

Craig acknowledged that Yemen President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi deserved credit for keeping his word and releasing Shaye. She also praised the organization, Index on Censorship, in the United Kingdom for calling attention to “Shaye’s long-running story” and the threat his imprisonment posed to freedom of expression.

Farea al-Muslimi, a Yemeni youth activist and writer who testified before Congress this year on the impact of US drone operations in his country, reacted, “After FOUR years of jailing him by order from Barack Obama, Yemeni government releases journalist Abdulelah Shaea.” He also said, “Only Barack Obama can compete with Yemen’s dictators (throughout history) in jailing journalists and killing civilians in Yemen,” and, “What a great Iftar Shaea’s kids might be having today; having their father back with them after 4 years in prison.”

The story of Shaye is told in detail by Jeremy Scahill in his book, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield. Shaye went to the site of a US cruise missile attack in al Majalah where at least 21 children and 14 women were killed. He also tracked down US-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki to interview him on how he could support the US Army medical officer Nidal Hasan, who went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood and why he believed Umar Farouk Abdulumutallab, the Christmas Day underwear bomber, was justified to have targeted a “civilian airliner.”

His reporting made him a target the United States wanted to neutralize. According to his lawyer, Abdulrahman Barman, whom I interviewed in May 2012:

[Shaye] is one of those who got all of the information quickly and put it out there for the public. His work actually impacted the Yemeni government and US government in ways where they didn’t want to see it. The Yemeni intelligence were trying to actually recruit Shaye and have him work in the intelligence but he refused. So, after the attack on al-Majalah where so many civilians including women and children were murdered, Abdulelah was beaten up and kidnapped [in June 2010] by the national security agency and he was asked to shut up and be silent and not to talk about these kind of issues.

This did not stop Shaye from practicing journalism.

After he was abducted in July 2010 by Yemeni intelligence agents and went on television to share what had happened to him, US government officials, according to Scahill, began “privately telling major US media outlets that were working with Shaye that they should discontinue their relationships with him. The government alleged he was “using his paychecks to support al Qaeda.”

In  August 2010, Barman told Firedoglake Shaye was kidnapped by national security agency people. He was beaten and dragged to “national security cars.” He was held for thirty-five days incommunicado while activists protested his detention in front of intelligence services and judicial system buildings. These agencies claimed they had not detained him, but he discovered his location through a released prisoner, who had seen him one of the cells. This led to the national security agencies transferring him to another location.

Barman eventually was able to be with him during interrogation and he said there was no evidence against him for the terrorism-related charges he faced.

Shaye was held in solitary confinement for a period, denied access to his lawyer, and subjected to psychological torture and abuse and appeared in a cage before a special tribunal on September 22, 2010. The judge read the charges he faced, which included “being the ‘media man’ for al Qaeda, recruiting new operatives for the group and providing al Qaeda with photos of Yemeni bases and foreign embassies for potential targeting.

According to Scahill, when Shaye heard the charges, he reacted, “When they hid murderers of children and women in Abyan, when I revealed the locations and camps of nomads and civilians in Abyan, Shabwah and Arhab when they were going to be hit by cruise missiles, it was on that day they decided to arrest me…You notice in the court how they have turned all of my journalistic contributions into accusations. All of my journalist constributions and quotations to international reporters and news channels have been turned into accusations.” And, as he was dragged off by security, he shouted, “Yemen, this is a place where, when a young journalist becomes successful, he is viewed with suspicion.”

In January 2011, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison and two years of house arrest in his hometown.

Shaye went on hunger strike in November 2011 and support for his release increased. Yemeni activists protested in front of the US embassy and, finally, Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president of Yemen at the time, was willing to release him. But he received a phone call from President Obama who opposed his release.

In May of this year, Craig reported that Hadi had confirmed there was “an order from the president to release” Shaye “soon.” However, no details were given on when he would be released.

Craig recounted how the US Ambassador to Sanaa, Gerald Feierstein, had told her, “Haidar Shaye is in jail because he was facilitating al-Qaeda and its planning for attacks on Americans and therefore we have a very direct interest in his case and his imprisonment,” despite the fact that no evidence confirming this allegation had ever been presented.

She highlighted the effect of his imprisonment on Yemeni journalists:

Yemeni journalists have repeatedly expressed their lingering fear over America’s meddling in Shaye’s case. Many became afraid to report on air strikes. One Yemeni journalist, like Shaye a specialist on al-Qaeda, renamed himself an “analyst of Islamic groups” and refused to do TV interviews especially with Al Jazeera after what happened to Shaye.

It had been said by Scahill that Shaye was “rotting away losing his mind in a Yemeni prison.”

What effect his imprisonment will have on him as he resumes life obviously remains to be seen, but one hopes he has not lost his spirit and commitment to journalism and, despite restrictions on traveling outside of Sanaa, will eventually return to doing what he was doing before he was unjustly imprisoned at the behest of the Obama administration.

It takes courage to do what Shaye was doing before he was imprisoned in Yemen. Sadly, when he wound up in prison, US media outlets virtually abandoned him. He had contributed to outlets such as the Washington Post and ABC News but they apparently did not ever find it appropriate to raise their voices to get answers from the administration on why a journalist was being kept in prison.

In solidarity, it is good to see Shaye be freed. Obama owes Shaye an apology and reparations of some kind for depriving him of the years of his life that he spent in prison and could not be with his family or out in the field doing journalism. Unfortunately, as much as the administration may claim to support press freedom, it is pretty much a certainty that there will not be a peep from the Obama administration where they acknowledge it was wrong to keep Shaye jailed.

More on Drones

Leaked official document records 330 drone strikes in Pakistan

January 29, 2014 by Alice K Ross

The Bureau is today publishing a leaked official document that records details of over 300 drone strikes, including their locations and an assessment of how many people died in each incident.

The document is the fullest official record of drone strikes in Pakistan to have yet been published. It provides rare insight into what the government understands about the campaign.   ….Read More……..

Leaked Pakistani Document Exposes Civilian, Child Casaulties Of Drone War 

London’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism released a leaked Pakistani report on Monday that details numerous civilian casualties by drone strikes in the country’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The document provides crucial new data on civilians casualties of U.S. and NATO strikes in Pakistan.

The 12-page dossier was compiled for the the authorities in the tribal areas, the Bureau notes, and investigates 75 CIA drone strikes and five attacks by NATO in the region conducted between 2006 and 2009. According to the document,

Is Pakistan drone strike hiatus linked to peace talks?

February 6, 2014 by Patrick Galey

Peace talks between Pakistani authorities and the Taliban (TTP) have been delayed or derailed at least four times since January 2013 because of US drone strikes on high-ranking militants, the Bureau has found.

It is now 43 days since the last reported US drone strike in Pakistan – the longest hiatus in over two years. Rahimullah Yusufzai, a Peshawar-based reporter who is part of the team negotiating with the TTP on behalf of the Pakistani government, confirmed to the Bureau that Islamabad had asked the US for a cessation of drone strikes during the latest round of peace talks, which started today…..Read More……………

Obama’s ‘kill list’ critic found dead in New York City

Prominent American blogger and computer prodigy Aaron Swartz, who spoke against US President Barack Obama’s “kill list” and cyber attacks against Iran, has been found dead in New York.

Court Rules that CIA Cannot Deny “Interest” in Drone Program

March 15, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court ruled today that the Central Intelligence Agency cannot deny its “intelligence interest” in the targeted killing program and refuse to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests about the program while officials continue to make public statements about it.

How America the world’s most violent country slaughters children at home and abroad

December 21, 2012 3 comments

Posted on December 21, 2012 by Akashma Online News

By Jerry Kroth
Counterpunch
17 December 2012

UPDATED

America is the only country in the world perpetually at war: in 2011-2012 alone, the United States was killing people in nine different countries, from Afghanistan to Yemen.

Children Killed in Pakistan by US Drone

EACH TIME there is an outbreak of homicidal mania, whether Columbine, Virginia Tech, or Adam Lanza’s slaughter of twenty eight innocents in Connecticut, the media directs us to stories about gun control and the need for better policing of individuals with mental illnesses.

The larger context—that America is a society brimming over with violence—is entirely lost in the discussion.

There are 192 million firearms owned by Americans, more than any other society in the world. Our rate of death from firearms is three times that of France and Canada, fourteen times greater than Ireland, and two hundred and fifty times greater than Japan, where firearms are aggressively controlled.

The U.S. has more prisoners, per capita, than any country on earth—three times more than Cuba, seven times more than Germany—and, indeed, we house twenty-five percent of all the prisoners in the world.

As for media violence, by the time the average American child leaves elementary school, they will have witnessed 8,000 murders and over 100,000 other acts of violence, and, to rub more salt into these open wounds, the U.S. also leads the world in the sale and rental of violent video games.

That litany of statistics comes to us compliments of our gratuitous interpretations of the First and Second Amendments.

But the forest we are talking grows ever larger.

Since World War II, the United States engaged in over fifty military operations abroad killing some four million people (Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama, the list goes on). If you add in to that total massacres by proxies and surrogates, the number flirts with five million (Indonesia, Chile, Guatemala, and elsewhere).

We are the only country in the world seemingly perpetually at war. In 2011-2012 alone, the United States was killing people in nine different countries: Iraq and Afghanistan with troops, Libya with rockets, Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen with drones, Honduras with raids against drug cartels, the Philippines with air support against insurgents, and most recently in Kenya as 150 Special forces started their operations. No other country in the world can boast of so many military involvements.

To remedy the horrors we saw in Connecticut should not be limited to screening mentally ill individuals from purchasing Glocks—which is about as far as our craven mainstream media wishes to venture. Instead we need to recognize the massacres of Jonestown, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Connecticut are merely symptoms of a much more ubiquitous cancer.

To finally address this problem is to begin a long and arduous process of cultivating a culture of peace. Such collective psychotherapy begins by treating the patient on many fronts and in a multi-dimensional way: To forbid the sale of handguns, nationwide; to ration the sale of ammunition; to prohibit the sale of violent toys to children (Greece already does), to aggressively control the sale and access of violent video games to children (Australia, Venezuela, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Brazil already do), and to prohibit the broadcast of violent scenes, explicit or implicit, on network television during family viewing hours, a practice already in effect in many European countries

And, who knows, we might even take it one step further and retreat from our aspirations of empire and global hegemony, close down our military operations, and bring our vast armies and armadas home —over 400,000 Americans at last count stationed in almost 1,000 overseas military bases.

Russia has ten overseas military bases. China none.

So much room to grow!

Imagine our progressive President, instead of limiting his compassion to the shedding of a tear at a press conference, actually proposed comprehensive and revolutionary changes and legislation that focussed not on the symptoms but, at long last, finally started to address the disease itself.

The Woes of an American Drone Operator

Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.“Did we just kill a kid?” he asked the man sitting next to him.

“Yeah, I guess that was a kid,” the pilot replied.

US drones kill up to 80% civilians – Pakistan Interior Minister

There are no exact statistics on the number of people killed in drone strikes in Pakistan. Estimates vary from about 2,500 to over 3,000 victims. As many as 174 of them were reportedly children.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

December 14, 2012

I m still researching on the the two events. The 2th Amendment come to my mind very clearly. All the crisis that is exciting the people around the world it is something to get worry about it, and our government will subject Americans to more control. It will force Americans to surrender their guns.

Instead of the government to go home to home and confiscated the arms,  American will be fearful enough to relinquish  their own constitutional rights.
The occupy movement is not death, and the Middle East, and Europe is getting in fire.  I m scare that the emotions get high in the US and there will be some kind of chaos looming close to home.

The economy is really bad, farmers lost their lands to the banks, homeowner lost their homes to the banks.

The number published are fake to keep the public’s “peace of mind”. The underemployment is raising. There are more homeless in the streets that never before.
The information bellow is important to tie some ends to the two stories.

Brzezinski: “Its easier to kill a million people…than it is to control them”

In a country where there almost as many guns as citizens, the odds are against the government. I really doubt that the US government will be able to control 300 million American going into the streets like Egyptian Tahir Square did it, specially if those American are taking their legally owned guns with them to protest the actions of the government.
Colorado Shooting and Connecticut Shooting. Plus the video . Please be objective and think little bit on conspiracies.

Conneticut Shooting – (3 combined shooters) Police Audio and Witness Video Testimonies

“The father of Newtown Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza is Peter Lanza who is a VP and Tax Director at GE Financial.
The father of Aurora Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes is Robert Holmes, the lead scientist for the credit score company FICO.
Both men were to testify before the US Senate in the ongoing LIBOR scandal. The London Interbank Offered Rate, known as Libor, is the average interest rate at which banks can borrow from each other. 16 international banks have been implicated in this ongoing scandal, accused of rigging contracts worth trillions of dollars. HSBC has already been fined $1.9 billion and three of their low level traders arrested.” Libor Scandal

%d bloggers like this: