Why Is It Hard to Believe President Obama Would Want a Journalist in Prison?

Abdulelah Haider Shaye

Jeremy Scahill’s piece at the Nation website (“Why Is President Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison in Yemen?,” 3/13/12) about imprisoned Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye is riveting and deeply reported. But to Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum, the story doesn’t quite add up…because Barack Obama seems like a decent guy. As Scahill reports, Shaye has “risked his life to travel to areas controlled by Al-Qaeda and to interview its leaders.” He argues that this reporting has not exactly won him friends in the U.S. or Yemeni governments: His collision course with the U.S. government appears to have been set […]


Why Hold a Journalist at Guantanamo?

Today’s New York Times report (4/25/11) on the WikiLeaks Guantanamo files provides an answer: The documents show that a major reason a Sudanese cameraman for Al Jazeera, Sami al-Hajj, was held at Guantanamo for six years was for questioning about the television network’s “training program, telecommunications equipment and newsgathering operations in Chechnya, Kosovo and Afghanistan,” including contacts with terrorist groups. The Times‘ piece is definitely worth reading, though I wish they didn’t feel the need to add this type of equivocation: The Guantanamo assessments seem unlikely to end the long-running debate about America’s most controversial prison. The documents can be […]