Does the name Qassem Aqlani ring any bells? Bet not. No House hearings for the death of this man. He was murdered in Yemen, not Libya. An employee of a U.S. Embassy. No Issa hearing for this poor fellow. Little news coverage on this man. Then we have “our man Hadi” our latest Arab Spring nominee to lead Yemen. The only thing is he doesn’t like us too much. So here is a bit of what is going down lately so we can get ready for the next Libya coming our way. Video included.
A drive-by shooting Thursday that killed a top Yemeni security official who worked at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa has raised concern that al Qaeda militants here are bouncing back and getting bolder after suffering defeats this year in a U.S.-Yemeni military offensive. (We have Al Qaeda back on their heels, I know, Obama just told us).
Al Qaeda in Yemen has carried out a string of assassinations of top security and military officials and deadly suicide bombings in recent months. Security officials said they believe it has a hit list to kill more in an attempt to paralyze Yemen’s new leadership installed this year and throw the anti-al Qaeda assaults into turmoil. ABC News
BONUS UPDATE: State Department Spokesdrone Victoria Nuland confirmed her lack of connection with reality by saying “We determined that the security at Benghazi was appropriate for what we knew.”
What the Video of the Attack on Our Embassy in Yemen Reveals
Video is afloat on the internet showing the attack on America’s Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen. Any casual look tells you this is not a good thing, but there is more on display than first meets the eye.
But what don’t you see? Any Yemeni cops around? Any host country forces trying to restore order? Nope. Let’s look at another clip; watch towards the end, around 0:54:
Next video:There’s the Yemeni security guy, a soldier or a cop. He’d been watching the whole time. He only fired his 20mm cannon– into the air– when the mob seemed to get too close to him. He and whatever colleagues of his were around did not intercede to stop the riot.
The video shows that the Yemeni security forces either can’t, or more likely, wouldn’t, defend the US Embassy from the mob. This is bad, really bad. It could mean the Yemeni government is on the side of the mob, or, more likely, that the Yemeni government is more afraid of the mob than the US. That as far as we can tell from these videos the Yemenis stood by and let the mob ransack the Embassy is a very, very ominous sign for the future. H/T: We meant well blog
Yemen demands US Marines leave
The day after Qassem Aqlani was murdered, the Marines were scheduled to leave Yemen anyway according to several news reports I heard, but can find no confirmation if they did. Maybe a reporter or two could track this info down, just saying.
Now the good news: The Yemeni parliament has demanded the removal of US Marines sent to boost security efforts in the capital Sanaa. According to the state-run Saba news agency the parliament strongly opposes the presence of any foreign military under any pretext. Video H/T: CNTV
Now for our part in this nasty business:
“It’s portrayed as picking off the bad guys from a plane,” she said. “But it’s actually surveilling entire communities, locating behavior that might be suspicious and striking groups of unknown individuals based on video data that may or may not be corroborated by eyeballing it on the ground.” New York Times : Oct 13, 2012
Who is held to account for deaths by drone in Yemen?
There is a history of Yemeni officials lying to protect the US, and the Pentagon and CIA greeting queries with obfuscation.
When news flashed of an air strike on a vehicle in the Yemeni city of Radaa on Sunday afternoon, (Reported Thursday September 6, 2012), early claims that al-Qaida militants had died soon gave way to a more grisly reality.
At least 10 civilians had been killed, among them women and children. It was the worst loss of civilian life in Yemen’s brutal internal war since May 2012. Somebody had messed up badly. But was the United States or Yemen responsible?
Local officials and eyewitnesses were clear enough. The Radaa attack was the work of a US drone – a common enough event. Since May 2011, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has recorded up to 116 US drone strikes in Yemen, part of a broader covert war aimed at crushing Islamist militants. But of those attacks, only 39 have been confirmed by officials as the work of the US.
The attribution of dozens of further possible drone attacks – and others reportedly involving US ships and conventional aircraft – remains unclear. Both the CIA and Pentagon are fighting dirty wars in Yemen, each with a separate arsenal and kill list. Little wonder that hundreds of deaths remain in a limbo of accountability. Guardian U.K.
Full story October 13 at New York Times :
How many people have been killed by these unmanned aircraft in the Central Intelligence Agency’s strikes in Yemen and Pakistan? How many of the dead identified as “militants” are really civilians? How many are children?
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism in Britain has estimated that, in the first three years after President Obama took office, between 282 and 535 civilians were credibly reported killed by drone strikes — including more than 60 children.