If Obama can silence dissent offshore now, wait until he has a second term

How — and Why — Obama Kept a Jailed Yemeni Journalist From Being Pardoned  
Written by Michael Tennant, The New American
Friday, 16 March 2012 10:00
Obama

A journalist is arrested, convicted by a kangaroo court, and imprisoned because he reports stories embarrassing to the government under which he lives. After a great public outcry, the President of the country is preparing to pardon him when he receives a telephone call from the leader of a foreign country. That leader, also shamed by the journalist’s reporting, asks him to keep the man behind bars. The President complies; and an innocent man remains incarcerated for the crime of telling the truth.

According to a detailed article by Jeremy Scahill in the Nation, that is precisely what happened in Yemen on February 2, 2011. The innocent journalist is Abdulelah Haider Shaye; the President of Yemen at the time was Ali Abdullah Saleh; and the foreign leader who convinced Saleh not to pardon Shaye is none other than Barack Obama, President of the United States.

Shaye, 35, is a highly respected investigative journalist of the type that is always in short supply: one who takes the time to get the facts for himself and to report them, letting the chips fall where they may. He is not content simply to rehash government press releases; but though he has interviewed many al-Qaeda figures, he does not repeat what they say uncritically either. He abhors the criminal tactics of both terrorists and state functionaries and exposes them.

Shaye is “very open-minded and rejects extremism,” his best friend, dissident Yemeni political cartoonist Kamal Sharaf, told Scahill. “He was against violence and the killing of innocents in the name of Islam. He was also against killing innocent Muslims with pretext of fighting terrorism. In his opinion, the war on terror should have been fought culturally, not militarily. He believes using violence will create more violence and encourage the spread of more extremist currents in the region.”

 

Read rest of Michael Tennant’s “New American” article here

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2 thoughts on “If Obama can silence dissent offshore now, wait until he has a second term

  1. Rwolf March 17, 2012 / 11:28 AM

    The article by Michael Tennant raises important questions for U.S. journalists and Americans.
    In 2011 did President Obama convince Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh not to pardon highly respected investigative journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye—because of his factual reporting that included exposing what really happened—that it was the U.S. not Yemen Government that bombed the Yemeni village of al Majala—killing fourteen women and twenty-one children. It is unimaginable to think a U.S. President would stoop so low to cause the imprisonment of a journalist because of truthful reporting. The U.S. Government claims journalist Shaye was “facilitating” the work of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)…” but refused to provide any evidence to back U.S. Government’s assertion. That should greatly concern American journalists and writers.
    Next: Could Pres. Obama or U.S. Government invoke provisions of the passed Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA) to charge a U.S. journalist’s past or current writings supported or aided terrorists, provoked combatants or belligerents as a (premise) to order an author’s Indefinite Detention? Adding concern: Homeland Security announced in mid-January 2012 its National Operations Center (NOC) received permission from Washington to monitor journalists and retain data on users of social media and online networking platforms. Some Americans believe Homeland Security’s spying, tracking U.S. journalists and Americans online will chill free speech; might be a prelude to U.S. Government arresting and indefinitely detaining American journalists and Citizens that speak out, post comments on the Internet—deemed inappropriate by U.S. Government; cause Americans to be investigated; or lose their job, especially if they work for the government or a government contractor?
    It appears that “Americans” who write on the Internet or verbally express an opinion against any entity of U.S. Government or its coalition partners—may under the Patriot Act or The Defense Authorization Act—be deemed by U.S. Government (someone likely to engage in, support or provoke violent acts or threaten National Security).

    • Talon's Point March 18, 2012 / 4:33 PM

      Sorry for the Spam block. Sometimes I don’t get why WP does that. Thanks for the comments and hopefully it won’t happen again.

      Your fears are shared among millions. I weighed then myself before I started speaking up. In the end I decided I would rather suffer like a Jew in WWII Germany than live in fear for speaking truth. If my children ever see their dad punished for speaking in defense of liberty I pray they grasp it was for them.

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