Barack Obama emulates George W. Bush, again.

March 14, 2012 | By | 4 Replies More

Glenn Greenwald has just published this infuriating story. It starts with a big lie: the U.S. and the government of Yemen have a good laugh that a U.S. drone attack on Yemeni soil, killing 14 women and 21 children was a successful attack against “insurgents” and “militants” that did not involve the U.S. When a reporter exposes the U.S. involvement, a fact that has been corroborated by a Wikileaks cable release, he ends up in prison on trumped up charges. When he’s about to be pardoned, Barack Obama intervenes. The reporter, Abdulelah Haider Shaye, has spent the past two years in prison, where he has been beaten and held in solitary confinement.  This is all part of a highly coordinated war on whistle-blowers by the Obama Administration, a fact duly ignored by most media outlets, who serve as stenographers for the American military-industrial complex and its Commander in Chief:

So it is beyond dispute that the moving force behind the ongoing imprisonment of this Yemeni journalist is President Obama. And the fact that Shaye is in prison, rather than able to report, is of particular significance (and value to the U.S.) in light of the still escalating American attacks in that country. Over the past 3 days alone, American air assaults have killed 64 people in Yemen, while American media outlets — without anyone on the scene — dutifully report that those killed are “suspected Al Qaeda insurgents” and “militants.”

Should anyone trust the United States’ claims about whether any dead people were “terrorists”? Greenwald says no (and see here).

It’s incredibly instructive to compare what we know (thanks to Shaye) actually happened in this Yemen strike to how The New York Times twice “reported” on it. I quoted above from these two NYT articles, but it’s just amazing to read them: over and over, the NYT assures its readers that this strike was carried out by Yemen (with U.S. assistance), that it killed scores of critical Al Qaeda leaders and other “militants,” that the strike likely killed “the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, and his deputy, Said Ali al-Shihri, who were believed to be at the meeting with Mr. Awlaki,” etc. How anyone, in light of this record of extreme inaccuracy, can trust the undocumented assertions of the U.S. Government or the American media over who is and is not a Terrorist or “militant” and who is killed by American drone strikes is simply mystifying.

There is much more to be considered in Greenwald’s piece, all of it ignored by Obama apologists everywhere. And no, I’m not a Republican. I voted for Barack Obama, yet I find many of his actions disgraceful.


Category: Blackouts, Civil Rights, Corruption, Journalism, Law Enforcement Abuses, Propaganda, snake oil

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    From Huffpo:

    Abdulelah Haider Shaye has been in prison since January of 2011. In a new article for The Nation, Scahill placed the blame for Shaye’s continued imprisonment — which has been condemned by many human rights and press freedom groups — squarely on Obama. According to Scahill, Obama “expressed concern” about Shaye during a phone call with then-Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had signalled his intent to pardon the journalist and free him. Instead, Shaye remains behind bars, branded as an ally of al Qaeda.

  2. Adam Herman says:

    I used to say during the 2008 election that Obama was a lot more likely to be Bush’s 3rd term than McCain. McCain may be more ideologically aligned with George Bush, but he built his career on reforming government and following his own conscience. Obama was just a go along to get along guy. I knew he wouldn’t challenge the career officials in the military and State Department, and he hasn’t. I’m sure there’s still torture going on, but since Bush is no longer in office, the media can’t be bothered to find out.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    “A Pakistani lawyer who represents victims of U.S. drone strikes has been forced to cancel a trip to the United States after the U.S. government failed to grant him a visa. Shahzad Akbar was scheduled to speak later this month at an International Drone Summit in Washington, D.C. Akbar is co-founder of the Pakistani human rights organization, Foundation for Fundamental Rights. He filed the first case in Pakistan on behalf of family members of civilian victims.”

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    “The brutality of “signature strikes” is not new for the CIA leadership. As the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism has reliably reported, “signature strikes” have regularly targeted funeral ceremonies in Pakistan. The amorality of the U.S. actions is chilling. An alleged militant is killed by a U.S. drone. Then when his family and friends try to come to mourn him, the U.S. attacks the gathering from the sky, on the grounds that attending an al-Qaida funeral is evidence of hostile intentions toward the United States. In one such attack reported by the New York Times in June 2009, 60 people were killed. Local press accounts of the incident, cited by BIJ, put the death toll at 83, 45 of whom were non-combatants. It is said that 10 were children.”

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