Apr
22
2014

In Yemen, Drones Don't Kill Innocents

NYT-Yemen-422

There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about reports about the military strikes in Yemen.

Dec
17
2013

A Wedding Was Bombed–Don't Worry, It Was by the US, Not in the US

nbc-yemen

What seemed to be a US drone strike hit a wedding convoy in Yemen, killing over a dozen people. What kind of coverage does an event like that get on US television?

Dec
13
2013

The Official Story: How NY Times Covers Yemen Drone Strikes

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The New York Times' report on yesterday's drone strike in Yemen leads with the claim that "most of the dead appeared to be people suspected of being militants linked to Al Qaeda." The paper has a pattern of this kind of reporting, often because they take the US or Yemeni government's word.

Oct
23
2013

iPads, Flying Pets and Other Things More Newsworthy Than Deadly Drone Strikes

People gather near the wreckage of a car destroyed by a U.S. drone air strike that targeted suspected al Qaeda militants in August 2012, in al-Qatn

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both released reports on civilian deaths from US drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. Despite being front-page news in the New York Times, the reports were absent from the network evening newscasts.

Aug
12
2013

Who Dies in Yemen Drone Strikes?

FireShot Screen Capture #573 - 'Drone kills suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen - CNN_com' - www_cnn_com_2013_08_08_world_meast_yemen-drone-strike

A headline is sometimes worth a thousand words, and this was definitely the case after a deadly drone strike occurred in Yemen last week.  "Drone Strike Kills Six Suspected Militants in Yemen,” a Reuters headline (8/7/13) declared.  "More Suspected Al-Qaeda Militants Killed as Drone Strikes Intensify in Yemen," a CNN.com headline  (8/8/13) offered. Whatever the language, one message was clear: "Suspected terrorists" or "militants" had been killed. But with several drone strikes over the past week in Yemen, how can anyone actually know who is being killed? The deceptive way the Obama administration defines "militants" has already been well-established–as the New […]

May
25
2013

Still Getting Gitmo Wrong

Guantanamo (Joshua Nistas/US Army)

President Barack Obama's address yesterday on U.S. terror strategies got a lot of attention for supposedly charting a new course in America's longest war. But some of the facts were mangled along the way.

May
03
2013

Guantanamo Prisoners as 'Reengaged' Terrorists

FireShot Screen Capture #456 - 'The Washington Post' - thewashingtonpost_newspaperdirect_com_epaper_viewer_aspx

If Guantanamo prisoners are being held without charge, and there is no available evidence to charge them with any terrorism-related offenses, why is the Washington Post talking about the possibility that they may "reengage in extremist activity"?

Apr
24
2013

Drone Strike Testimony: Not News?

Farea-Al-Muslimi-screenshot

In a moment when media are fixated on terrorism and the possibility that some people might be motivated to carry out acts of violence against the United States in part because of the effects of U.S. wars, a Yemeni writer's account of the effects of drone strikes on his village would be well worth covering.

Mar
12
2013

Killing a Citizen: NYT, Awlaki and 'Muddying the Moral Clarity'

Anwar Al-Awlaki (Al-Malahem Media/screenshot: Magharebia)

The Obama administration has not wanted to explain in any great detail how it justified killing an American citizen in Yemen. But there were apparently plenty of current and former officials willing to explain their case to the New York Times.

Feb
06
2013

An 'Informal Arrangement' to Not Report the News

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The Washington Post reported some news that it's known for years, but had decided not tell us until now: The CIA has a drone base in Saudi Arabia. Their rationale for withholding this information was simple: The government didn't want them to. And from what the Post is telling us today, they weren't the only ones.

Jan
29
2013

Iranian Meddling in Yemen, Says Unnamed Official From Meddling Country

Sanaa, Yemen (photo: Ammar Abd Rabbo)

The country that has invaded and occupied two countries in the region, and is currently waging a drone war in Yemen–not to mention the occasional cluster bomb attack–is granted anonymity to call out another country's alleged "meddling" there.

Jan
02
2013

Some Cluster Bombs More Newsworthy Than Others

photo from Amnesty International.

The use of cluster bombs against civilians is newsworthy depending on who is using them. If it's an enemy state, like Syria or Qaddafi's Libya, you can expect to read about it, and in clear language on the front page. And an article like this will mention, almost in passing, that our own government does the same.

Mar
15
2012

Why Is It Hard to Believe President Obama Would Want a Journalist in Prison?

Abdulelah Haider Shaye

Jeremy Scahill's piece at the Nation website ("Why Is President Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison in Yemen?," 3/13/12) about imprisoned Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye is riveting and deeply reported. But to Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum, the story doesn't quite add up…because Barack Obama seems like a decent guy. As Scahill reports, Shaye has "risked his life to travel to areas controlled by Al-Qaeda and to interview its leaders." He argues that this reporting has not exactly won him friends in the U.S. or Yemeni governments: His collision course with the U.S. government appears to have been set […]