“Actually, if they–if they knew that this was classified information–I think action should be taken, especially on something of this magnitude. I know that the whole issue of leaks has been gone into over the last month. I think something on this magnitude, there is an obligation, both moral but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something which would so severely compromise national security.” – New York Republican Rep. Peter King
My initial reaction to Rep. King’s statement was one of disgust.
Reasoning with my gut, I incorrectly assumed precedent had already been established in the matter of protecting journalists from prosecution for publishing leaks. Continue reading
Du’aa at the Change Square memorial for the Jumaat al-Karama martyrs. In this picture, the memorial was 7 days old. The dead were buried just a few days before.
Smiling and chuckling with Saudi leaders, Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh seemingly relinquished power last Thursday in Riyadh, signing the controversial Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative after a 10-month long standoff. Unfortunately, in spite of countless hours of work undertaken by the international community, the power transfer is already beginning to seem impotent.
Just a single day after the superficial power transfer, government forces killed five protesters in Sana’a. Chanting, “The revolution will continue, no immunity for murderers,” pro-government plainclothes gunmen opened fire on thousands of demonstrators marching toward the foreign ministry. The Coordinating Council of the Youth Revolution of Change (CCYRC), Yemen’s largest protest committee, has even pledged to burn their electoral ID cards — an ominous sign of things to come. Continue reading
Today, news broke (here is the story in Marib Press) of an attack on a Republican Guard barracks near Nihm, northeast of Sana’a. Nihm is a tribe that began to completely embarrass the Republican Guards last May when Nihm tribesmen overran a Republican Guard base. The attack was carried out shortly after the same men managed to shoot down a helicopter en route to their village. While there is some dispute over whether they were transport helicopters or Russian Hind attack helicopters, one was shot down while two others were forced to land with their pilots fleeing to safety.
No one is sure of what became of those helicopters. Some of us joked that we would run for our live if we spotted three helicopters coming over the mountains into Sana’a, flying and shooting sporadically. The Nihm helicopter trio never cropped up.
In the possession of three new helicopters, they figured, what the hell, lets see if we can get that Republican Guard base. They did. After some negotiation, the base was handed back over to a new commander. Continue reading
Many thanks to Marib Press and to Abdul Kader al-Guneid for translating and posting my last blog entry for the Marib Press website. I’m really enjoying reading the comments to hear what Yemenis have to say about my writing. Now that I’m back home, that’s a rare privilege.
Here is the link to the article posted in Arabic
الصحفي الأميركي جيب بوون: الحركة الاحتجاجية في اليمن وصلت إلى حالة احتباس مسلح بلا غالب ولا ومغلوب
As all Yemen obsessed folks know, following the events unfolding in the region from thousands of miles away is absolutely maddening. When my phone beeps with one of my many Yemen related Google alerts, I leap from a shallow slumber to rush to the nearest electronic device with an internet connection.
It’s ironic to expect the power to be on and to be awoken by an electronic beep instead of an artillery strike in a pitch black room void of electric lighting. In some ways I prefer the explosion, at least I’m put at ease realizing that I’m one of the first to know about it.
Clicking refresh on Al-Masdar online and Marib Press every thirty seconds isn’t healthy but at least it’s good Arabic practice. Continue reading