The CIJ estimates that between 50 and 100 civilians have been killed in the various recent attacks, and that Obama has taken a very hands-on approach to his lethal little war. The Bureau also obtained a copy of a report listing the names of all the victims of the 2009 cluster bomb attack that killed 14 militants and 44 civilians -- including a year-old baby and several pregnant women. The American government has steadfastly denied responsibility, despite photographic evidence to the contrary and email confirmation from WikiLeaks.
One of the CIJ's main sources for its exposés has been Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, now jailed on trumped up charges of being an al Qaeda sympathizer. Shaye, who has led media outlets to physical evidence of US-manufactured military hardware strewn around human "collateral damage",
had been set to be released from custody after a national outcry. But then Obama himself butted in and essentially ordered his Yemeni puppet government to keep the reporter chained and muzzled. You can watch a video on this travesty, featuring another great investigative reporter (Jeremy Scahill) here, and read Glenn Greenwald's equally invaluable reporting on the matter here.
This is the kind of stuff that should bother otherwise smart Obama supporters and journalists, but it rarely ever does. This is a country in the thrall of the kind of authoritarianism that has a unique photogenic appeal all its own. Obama has teflon on his teflon. Reagan would be envious.
|Composite of Drone Victims, Yemen, 2009 (Al Jazeera)|