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.
When the team here at the Listening Post has watched as much serious news as it can possibly take – we switch to The Onion – the US-based satirical website for some light relief. Every news channel loves a political panel discussion and the Onion has its own. On the table for discussion this week, a revolutionary thought: Could The Use Of Flying Death Robots Be Hurting America’s Reputation Worldwide? Watch our online video of the week.