Count Von Count Drones Yemen


The flurry of drone strikes in Yemen has gotten so difficult to keep up with that I imagine a twisted version of Count Von Count leading counting lessons after each one.

As of last count, he’d be up to the number 8. “You can hold it this way you can hold it that way.”

Three U.S. drone strikes killed a total of 12 suspected al-Qaida militants Thursday, a Yemeni military official said, raising to eight the number of attacks in less than two weeks as the Arab nation is on high alert against terrorism.

The uptick in drone strikes signals that the Obama administration is stepping up its efforts to target Yemen’s al-Qaida offshoot — al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula — amid fears of attacks after the interception of a message between its leader and the global leader of the terror network.

Since July 27, drone attacks have killed 34 suspected militants, according to an Associated Press count provided by Yemeni security officials.

Happy Eid, Yemen, Count Von Count would sing. Ha ha ha.

I can’t help but wonder whether the US wouldn’t look like it was in such a frenzy if it hadn’t leaked news of the conference call it compromised last week. It’s possible the compromise included location data. But at the very least, intelligence captured from the courier would seem to provide information that will lose value as AQAP figures out the US has it.

And given trickling reports that civilians are among the dead, on Eid? This drone frenzy could backfire if the attacks aren’t very carefully targeted.

Update: Tweaked courier language to reflect possibility he was never captured, just his message was.

7 replies
  1. harpie says:


    GregorydJohnsen ‏@gregorydjohnsen 43m
    Given the early reports of the dead and location of the strikes – it appears that the US is bombing in lieu of a strategy.

  2. harpie says:

    Michelle Shephard interviews “Abdulrazzaq al-Jamal, a journalist and researcher who has been given exclusive access to the terrorist group’s Yemen branch, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)”.

  3. Snoopdido says:

    Dana Priest has a story at the Washington Post where she purports to give “an explanation of the 215” program (Piercing the confusion around NSA’s phone surveillance program –

    Unfortunately, she must have missed Emptywheel’s piece – Stewart Baker’s User Interface and Edward Snowden’s Authorities – where the official FISC “Order for Business Records Collection Under the USA PATRIOT Act” contradicts several of Dana Priest’s most critical points.

    Such as:

    1. “When one of the analysts attempts to log into the database, the computer verifies whether the analyst has permission to do so. Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who leaked details of the program, would not have had such authority.”

    The FISC order specifically describes that IT personnel DO have such authority, and Edward Snowden may indeed have been one of those IT personnel.

    2. “Each NSA database search is audited afterward by compliance officials at the agency. How many phone numbers are searched is reported every 30 days to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Every 90 days, a small team from the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence spends a day at NSA looking over 215 documents and questioning analysts.”

    This too misses a key point that is again specifically described in that FISC order. Namely that once a query is made of the NSA domestic call records database, the resulting responses are moved to a “corporate store” database and the FISC order explicitly state that queries to this “corporate store” database are not to have audit trails.

    This means that when an NSA analyst queries the NSA domestic call records database for 1 hop search, a 2 hop search, or a 3 hop search, the resulting responses may produce 10’s of thousands of innocent American’s call records, and all of those responses are moved that unaudited “corporate store” database where anyone in the US government can do anything they like with them.

    Dana Priest is usually a pretty good journalist, so perhaps someone might clue her in to the actual contents of that 215 program by no other authority than the FISC and it’s 215 program orders.

  4. orionATL says:


    well, we can count on the guardian to lay things out straight:

    this story involves 702 not 215, but one way or another nsa gets its call records. the only way to stop this relentless evasion of privacy and law is to destroy the bureaucratic structure supporting it.

    let’s see now, how many lies are we up to?

    where did i put my lying-nsa-liars scorecard?

  5. Jessica says:

    @OrionATL “let’s see now, how many lies are we up to?” No kidding. Seriously, the gov should just put out a statement: ‘we will not have any response to leaked documents until they’ve all been leaked and we can get our story straight.’

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