We look at Obama’s role in the continued imprisonment of a Yemeni journalist and the issues behind it.
Al Jazeera, 24 March 2012
Rarely does the Listening Post dedicate a whole show to the story of a single journalist. But when that story speaks so eloquently of how world history is being written, or erased, we decided it was something we just could not ignore.
In December 2009, Yemen’s air force claimed it had killed 30 suspected al-Qaeda operatives during an airstrike on a training camp in the southern Abyan province.
This version of events was circulated around the world but when Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye managed to get to the scene, the remains of the missiles he found were clearly marked ‘Made in the USA’. And among the dead were 14 women and 21 children.
Shaye’s subsequent report incriminated the US in a military operation in which they had been so keen to deny any involvement. Yemen dismissed the report and the US refused to comment – and Shaye became a marked man. He was accused of being an al-Qaeda operative and has been behind bars ever since.
Last month, the Yemeni government pardoned Shaye and was about to release him. But it took just one phone call from the US president urging them to reconsider, and the government backtracked.
Shaye remains locked up.
In this week’s Listening Post, we take an in-depth look at the case of Abdulelah Shaye: what it reveals about the politics and the dangers of reporting the so-called war on terror – and what the world stands to lose when the work of independent journalists is put on the line.
Phi Beta Iota: Lies are the lowest form of corruption, and they are like sand in the gears of a delicate complex system of systems. Every lie told has a cost and a consequence far exceeding the temporal benefits to the few of the lie in that time and place. This is where science, religion, and philosphy converge, in integral consciousness–i.e. intelligence with integrity.