Is this How the Yemeni-American Partnership Works?
In my post on the government’s invocation of state secrets to hide the things national security officials have already leaked to the press, I linked to David Ignatius’ largely-overlooked report that Yemen first asked us to target Anwar al-Awlaki, and only thereafter did we get around to targeting him and telling courts they had no business asking why we had done so.
Last October, the Yemeni government came to the CIA with a request: Could the agency collect intelligence that might help target the network of a U.S.-born al-Qaeda recruiter named Anwar al-Aulaqi?
Keep that in mind as you read this story about a Yemeni woman trying to FOIA information about US involvement in her US citizen husband’s abduction in Yemen. (h/t Political Carnival)
As [Sharif Mobley] drank tea on a Sana’a street, eight masked men burst from two white vans and tried to grab him. Terrified, he ran, but was brought crashing to the ground by two bullets to his legs and bundled into one of the vans.
The method of abduction may have been brutal, but it was not the work of a rebel group or criminal gang. Instead, the armed men were Yemeni security agents, and in a set of legal documents seen by Al Jazeera, Mobley’s lawyers allege they were operating on behalf of the US government.
Now, the story only presents the Mobley’s family’s story, in which they claim that while Mobley had had contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, he never had any dealings or awareness of ties to al Qaeda.
“Sharif openly admits that he had been in limited contact with al-Awlaki,” says Cori Crider, Mobley’s lawyer. “But he categorically denies that he was involved in or aware of any plot or link to al-Qaeda.”
Perhaps Mobley’s family is just spinning, downplaying more developed ties between Mobley and AQAP. Though note that any contact with al-Awlaki would have happened before Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was designated a terrorist organization, and even then, the government claims that terrorist designation should not limit others’ First Amendment rights to associate with members of designated terrorist groups.
Whether or not Mobley’s story is correct or not, it doesn’t dismiss the other allegation: that someone apparently tied to the US embassy raided the Mobley family home, all while pretending that Yemen–not the US–had sole custody of Mobley.
When she realised her husband was missing, [Mobley’s wife, Nzinga Saba Islam] immediately reported his disappearance to the embassy, where she was told to file a report with Yemeni police.
That night, at 1am, as she lay worrying about what had happened to her husband, the documents say around 15 men burst into the family home. The family were held at gunpoint and searched, while the house was raided and items confiscated.
Nzinga has told lawyers that the following morning she returned to the US embassy. As she waited to file a report about what had happened, she insists that she saw the man who had led the raid on her home wearing a US embassy pass.
“He was, as far as Nzinga could tell, in charge of the raid on her home,” Crider says. “She asked the embassy about him and what he was doing there, but embassy officials never gave her a straight answer.”
The documents allege that embassy officials listened to what Nzinga had to say, and began to question her about her husband’s activities in Yemen. Amongst the items she says they showed her were photographs taken during the raid on the house.
Mind you, none of this would be new. By all appearances, the US has used Pakistan as a proxy for arresting US citizens to avoid granting those citizens the legal rights they otherwise would have.
But the move is troubling, given the appearance that Yemen pushed this crack-down before the US did, and given the US government’s refusal to make public their larger case against al-Awlaki.
Anwar al-Awlaki is very quickly becoming our next surrogate bogeyman in the war on terror (the one designed to distract from the continued freedom of the people who actually targeted us on 9/11). And along with that, the government seems intent on hanging a whole lot more terrorist designations on people–including American citizens–without ever showing the evidence that al-Awlaki himself was operational.
Wow – and after the guy was kept in alleged abused and then finally tried to escape, he killed a guard in his escape effort and now faces execution for that. Yeah – it would be kindasorta important to find out what was really going on. Mercenaries hang out there as an option too. But the fixation on rape – that seems such a CIA/US military fixation – threatening men with rape, raping men with objects, and outright rape of women and children. That, and threats to family that appear in the CIA IG report as well.
Mary, I don’t know what you’re so hung up about. After all, Gitmo rulings tell us that rape threats–even when used against a teenager and implicitly including death thraets–don’t constitute torture or abuse.
As may be. Perhaps, “it” is all legal and proper and so forth, now, and possibly even enshrined as a major part of that ever-growing “everything” because of 911, has “changed” narrative? Yet it does not roll off the tongue like “truth” or “justice” however much it is now the new American “way”, it does not seem to have the cachet of “freedom” and one doubts the judges who have legitimized “it” brag loudly and overmuch to their spouses, significant others, or their children about “it”.
One imagines that “it” is merely one of those many “hard” things that those who “practice” the law must, in good conscience, honestly, bravely and reverently do as part of their obligation to protect and defend the Constitution and uphold the rule of law.
“It” must be really hard … sometimes.
(More like utterly “pathetic”, well beyond reason and humanity … but it IS deferential.)
And the rape and abuse Obama has pictures of can’t be prosecuted bc some people might get angry over the rape and abuse.
And Algerian women are fair game for CIA agents with cocaine issues.
BTW – whatever happened at Warren’s sentencing? It was supposed to be Sept 9.
but I can’t find a report.
Was reset to November 18th.
You two are like the Iris and Pupil for the all-seeing eye.
What a bombshell of an Al Jazeera story. Does it ever raise questions – questions that a functioning, independent Congress, if we still had one, would be jumping all over.
No more “black sites”? No more “rendition to third country torture” at the behest of the U.S.? Oh, really?
For starters, I hope these details are sufficient to serve as irrefutable proof that the United States is not “at war” with Yemen, and for that reason, cannot merrily trespass in that nation at will, without its permission. And I trust that even our power-mad Executive – even if only in filings to our power-serving judiciary – won’t attempt to claim, and if it does, won’t be allowed to get away with claiming that shooting and kidnapping an unarmed fleeing civilian found drinking tea on the street at a public cafe is somehow capturing an “enemy combatant” “on the battlefield.”
Secondly, all indications certainly seem to point to the fact that the U.S. Executive has some form of “permission” from Yemen to conduct various campaigns of covert violence on sovereign Yemen territory, to which neither Yemen’s corrupt government, nor ours, will publicly admit. Nevertheless, Congress (its “Intelligence” Committees among others) is obviously absolutely obligated to demand to be kept informed of any such secret pacts between these corrupt governments, in order to keep the President’s men from inadvertently triggering a declaration of war by Yemen, or from otherwise stomping all over what’s left of the law of nations.
“His privacy…” – oh, how rich. Never mind his life or liberty… “Authorities” in the USSR could not have said it better.
That was the reason given for not revealing if federal prosecutors who behaved badly were disciplined … “their privacy”.
Guess the only way the gummint protects “privacy” is if you are either a “government” criminal or someone the gummint decides, secretly or otherwise, is a criminal who DOESN’T work for said gummint.
That’s prolly why executions, generally, aren’t public …yet.
That seems to fold together pretty well with this from William Engdahl from last Jan.
The Yemen Hidden Agenda: Behind the Al-Qaeda Scenarios, A Strategic Oil Transit Chokepoint
More at the link
And, what’s across the Sea from Yemen? … Somalia
Where there was an attack by a mysterious helicopter yesterday. And if I were betting on it, I’d say the attack was carried out by these guys
Thanks for sharing that – adds a lot of layers.
Some free Obama administration advice for the Yemenis in our Yemini/American partnership:
…and he used that threat to coerce Zardari to detain Shahzad’s father, father-in-law, wife, and child, so as to in turn coerce Shahzad to cooperate, and repeatedly claim he didn’t want a lawyer and didn’t mind being kept awake 24-7.
I’d venture a guess that the very same coercion was instrumental in Shahzad’s guilty plea as well.
“Political realities” are now justification for this nation – no doubt without consulting Congress – to commit an act of war against a nuclear power, because one of its citizens living in this country, and unallied with his own government, attacked us??
This is insane talk, as far as I’m concerned (how does it differ from Richard Armitage’s juvenile, bullying threats to foreign government officials during the Bush administration?). And it ties right in with Jim White’s diary today, detailing our government’s latest corrupt dealings with the dictatorial, nuclear-armed semi-client state of Pakistan:
“Rogue operators” is putting it mildly.
If you fund and protect dictatorial client states, are you not a dictatorial state yourself? [Who doubts that we’re helping Yemen to repress the latter grassroots group, in the name of covertly chasing the “tiny” former group, in John’s excerpt @ 14: “The curious emergence of a tiny but well-publicized al Qaeda in southern Yemen amid what observers call a broad-based popular-based Southern Movement front that eschews the radical global agenda of al Qaeda…”]
Again, as with Yemen, we’re acting in Pakistan with the “permission” (bought at obscene cost to the U.S. taxpayer) of what passes for the government there. Even as that government nominally helps us track down the true targets of the 2001 force authorization. Thus, we are not in fact “at war” with Pakistan itself. Whatever U.S. forces are secretly doing in Pakistan, it isn’t fighting “a war with Pakistan.” But now the saber-rattlers in the administration think a car bomb in New York is worth risking a nuclear attack, (and a failed attack is worth threatening Pakistan with war), while Congress snoozes amidst its lobbyist largesse? I mean… Where does this end?
As we know all too well, our wildly-mistargeted and disproportionate response to 9/11 began with an Authorization for the Use of Military Force quickly rubberstamped by Congress back in 2001. A never-revisited (and, thus, apparently-permanent “military force, not law enforcement, authorization”) AUMF which the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has of late interpreted so broadly that this is how legitimate targets of that AUMF (and thus legitimate wartime-“protected” detainees in that conflict) are now legally defined in America (quoting Judge Reggie Walton’s recent summary of the lay of the land in his denial of the Sulayman habeas petition):
How does merely being a “part of” the Taliban (once and apparently thus forever, however flimsy the evidence, unless you’re now part of our puppet Afghanistan government), al Qaeda, or “associated forces” (whatever that means) make one a “combatant” in an “armed conflict” with the United States under the 2001 AUMF, which identifies its targets as the perpetrators of 9/11 and their accomplices?? Never mind under the definition of an armed conflict under the law of war – which, of course, the two radicals on the Circuit who created the Al Bihani precedent threw out the window as inapplicable to government actors in the U.S. (according to their likeminded colleagues, via mere dicta, but according to Judge Walton’s interpretation, as part of their binding precedent)?
Don’t ask me. Ask federal district Judge Lewis Kaplan (a fitting New York colleague of Judge Richard Berman’s, it would appear), who had no trouble in July declaring that the “speedy trial” rights of Ghailani (whose federal trial began today), after years of post-indictment U.S. detention and torture (first in CIA custody abroad for two years, and then in military custody at Guantanamo) without trial, were neither here nor there. Meaning that his Constitutionally-guaranteed speedy trial rights were not abridged, according to Judge Kaplan (who had his conclusion, and was in desperate need of a justification), because Ghailani – charged with acts committed in Africa in 1998 – could lawfully have been swept up in 2004 under the 2001-authorized armed conflict as an “enemy combatant” merely for being a member of al Qaeda – and thus held indefinitely, whether or not he was ever prosecuted, or treated humanely, or provided POW protections, or, or, or… (‘whatever the guvmint says, Sir’).
My contempt for incumbent Members of Congress, for letting our nation reach this deeply deplorable and dangerous state of affairs, is off the charts.
Well, really, come on, Ghailani IS getting a speedy trial in relation to the date he was formally charged you know.
Oh, wait, that is not quite right either now is it?? Because the official case docket number on ECF is 1:98-cr-01023-LAK. Yes, that’s right, the indictment in this case was filed on December 16, 1998, and a superseding indictment filed on February 3, 1999. so, yes, this pretty makes a complete mockery of speedy trial rights when Ghailani was taken into US custody on July 25, 2004 and intentionally prevented from receiving criminal due process until June 9, 2009 and not given a trial until now.
OT but related – from WaPo’s Jeff Stein:
O/T, w apologies. They even rounded up a Nepalese Buddhist.
Ashcroft’s Post-9/11 Roundups Spark Lawsuit
“Hundreds of people who believe they were falsely detained and imprisoned by the Department of Justice in the wake of the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks are now seeking redress through the U.S. courts.
. . .
“Some of the abuse included beatings, repeated strip searches and sleep deprivation. The allegations of inhumane and degrading treatment have been substantiated by two reports of the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, and several defendants in the case have been convicted on federal charges of cover-ups and beatings of other prisoners around the same time period.”
I used to think that O just got his rocks off watching snuff drone films. Now I think he ❤ him some torture flicks. No wonder Mrs. O hates being First Lady.
This reminds me a bit of a Scott Horton article a few days ago:
Eileen Nearne and the Times Torture Policy
Briefly… Eileen Nearne, a woman who served as a British spy in Nazi-occupied France during World War II.
Horton makes the point:
I don’t know, sometimes some context sheds light on this stuff. We’ve slipped a long ways here in go ‘ole USA.
Anwar al-Awlaki is very quickly becoming our next surrogate bogeyman in the war on terror (the one designed to distract from the continued freedom of the people who actually targeted us on 9/11).
I gather I’m in the minority here (of one?) but who does ew think actually targeted us on 9/11? Steel framed buildings don’t fall down in their own footprints at the speed of gravity other than by controlled demolition, whether the fires are hot or whether, as in the Twin Towers and Building 7 they were going out pretty fast.
Nor is there any independently verified evidence of wreckage at any of the four “crash” sites; nor is there any ditto evidence of highjackers, nor DNA of “plane” victims.
That’s the most moronic post I’ve read today.
Let’s just take one tiny part controlled demolition.
It would take months of “construction” work to place the explosives and run the miles of wire for a CD of the WTC towers.
All visible to the tenants of the buildings.
So here’s my offer: Produce one tenant who was a witness to this work, and can name the demolition company, and I’ll pay you $1,000.
Idiotic, moronic, uninformed stupidity, with complete ignorance of the strength of steel under heat, and the latent energy contain is kerosene.
The steel structure did not have to melt to fail – it just needed to reach dull read heat, about 350 deg C to 400 deg C.
And yes ALL engineering failures happen quickly. Too fast for humans to react.
Something related came up in connection to US drone assassinations on Pakistani territory: there were reports that the Pakistani government was able to hand in their own kill lists, with an apparent quid-pro-quo of “you can target yours if you also take out ours”. In other words, the JSOC and CIA+PMC death-from-above assasination mills are actually partially a “for hire” service offered to foreign governments – a bargaining chip to a foreign policy focused on extending the reach of that same assasination mill.
That’s one Racket-22 you have there, worthy of the constitution. Apparently, “target yours” now also includes citizens. Maybe somebody from the US asked the Yemeni government to provide a convenient request? The “secrecy” aspect is just an artifact of the incompetent blundering of the Obama administration in implementing illegal acts without anticipating legal challenges, the “quid pro quo” is where it gets ugly beyond belief.
Hostis humanis generis.