If you go to Yemen where I was, and you see the unexploded cluster bombs, and you have the list and photographic evidence, as I do, of women and children that represented the vast majority of deaths in the first strike that Obama authorized on Yemen, those people were murdered by President Obama, on his orders, because there was believed to be someone from Al Qaeda in that area.Jeremy Scahill, national security reporter for The Nation • Leveling a dire condemnation against President Obama, on the topic of U.S. drone strikes. Scahill was speaking on MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes” (clearly a show accustomed to recent controversy), and as one could expect his remarks have drawn wide criticism. This is an issue Scahill is very close to — he’s reported from Yemen before, and claims one strike he investigated killed some 35 people, 14 of them children. Redstate.com founder Joshua Treviño pushed back, suggesting he was saying something ‘no reasonable person’ would. We think there’s a very worthy conversation to be had about the moral ramifications of this new sort of warfare, we just hope it doesn’t become too intense at expense of the dialogue. source (via • follow)
» Military leaders targeted: The rehearsal for Tuesday’s National Day parade, in Sanaa, was not interrupted until an explosion during final salutes. Several army commanders and a defense minister were beleived to be the target of the attack. Officials say that the parade will take place as scheduled. The bombing is the most serious attack orchestrated by the al-Qaeda affiliated group, who also warned of further violence should the U.S. not withdraw its military from the region.
Making bombs is not that difficult. It’s the creative touch he adds, how they’re concealed, how they’re conceived. The printer bomb, for instance, was considered by bomb technicians around the world to be a brilliant stroke. So it boils down to one person, but one very dangerous person.CBS correspondent and former Deputy Director of National Intelligence John Miller • Discussing the alleged creator of the latest “underwear bomb,“ Ibrahim Hassan al Asiri, who is considered supremely skilled at creating — and more importantly, cleverly hiding — dangerous weapons. The bomb was uncovered before it could get on a plane and acquired via a covert CIA operation in Yemen. FBI bomb experts are currently investigating the weapon in Virginia, which they note does not contain metal. (via • follow)
In the end, we felt there was enough good to be gained that it was worth managing the criticism that we’d get, including any comparisons to past episodes.A U.S. official • Speaking about the decision to let Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh into the U.S. for medical reasons — which runs counter to what Saleh himself said a couple of days ago. The Yemeni leader claimed over the weekend that he would head to the U.S. just to get away from the region to let electoral officials do their work, but considering the fact that Saleh got burned so severely in his assassination attempt, the alternate story is by no means a surprise. By the way, when the official refers to “past episodes,” he means a 1979 episode where Jimmy Carter let an ailing Iranian shah into the U.S. — which angered officials in Iran. Already, similar concerns are coming up amongst Yemeni activists who worry the U.S. may give Saleh a safe harbor. source (via • follow)
I will go to the United States. Not for treatment, because I’m fine, but to get away from attention, cameras, and allow the unity government to prepare properly for elections. I’ll be there for several days, but I’ll return because I won’t leave my people and comrades who have been steadfast for 11 months. I’ll withdraw from political work and go into the street as part of the opposition.Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh • Discussing his plans to leave Yemen soon, in an effort to give the government space so they can start the electoral process. This appears to be a major concession on the part of Saleh, as he’s gotten in the way of transition efforts in the past — especially prior to an assassination attempt earlier this year. Being halfway around the world, playing tourist in the U.S. (he’d get a kick out of Disney World), will probably go a long way towards encouraging peaceful elections in the country. source (via • follow)
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So long, Saleh: As we mentioned last night, reports had been swirling that Ali Abdullah Saleh, the embattled (and battling, judging from the violence his government wrought against citizen protests) leader of Yemen, had arrived in Saudi Arabia to strike an agreement with the opposition to end his rule. Today, the New York Times has reported that exactly that took place: Saleh signed on to an end to his 33-year tenure, but he will officially retain the title of “President” until new elections are held three months from now. Whether this is truly the end of Saleh’s influence in Yemeni politics is unclear, however — his family still holds many powerful positions in Yemen’s military and intelligence agencies. source