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


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?


The Official Story: How NY Times Covers Yemen Drone Strikes


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.


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.


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 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 […]


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.


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"?


Drone Strike Testimony: Not News?


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.


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.


An 'Informal Arrangement' to Not Report the News


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.


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.


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.


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

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 […]


What WaPo Won't Tell You About CIA's Yemen Drone Base

In a piece today, the Washington Post's Greg Miller reports on a CIA base that will be used to conduct drone strikes in Yemen: The agency is building a desert airstrip so that it can begin flying armed drones over Yemen. The facility, which is scheduled to be completed in September, is designed to shield the CIA's aircraft, and their sophisticated surveillance equipment, from observers at busier regional military hubs such as Djibouti, where the JSOC drones are based. The Washington Post is withholding the specific location of the CIA facility at the administration's request. The existence of the base […]