Brennan’s Saudi Drone Base: Censorship, Assassinations, More Terrorists

Moon of Alabama
February 8, 2013

 

Is this the "secret" Saudi drone base?

Is this the “secret” Saudi drone base?

The administration’s counterterrorism policies are leading to media censorship, refutation of basic rights and to more terrorism. The man responsible for these consequences should not become head of the CIA.

Today the Washington Post’s homepage tries to sell this item as newsU.S. has secret drone base in Saudi Arabia

 

The piece says:

President Obama’s plan to install his counterterrorism adviser as director of the CIA has opened the administration to new scrutiny over the targeted-killing policies it has fought to keep hidden from the public, as well as the existence of a previously secret drone base in Saudi Arabia.

… a 2011 attack that killed al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki, was carried out in part by CIA drones flown from a secret base in Saudi Arabia.

The Washington Post had refrained from disclosing the location at the request of the administration, which cited concern that exposing the facility would undermine operations against an al-Qaeda affiliate regarded as the network’s most potent threat to the United States, as well as potentially damage counterterrorism collaboration with Saudi Arabia.

The Post learned Tuesday night that another news organization was planning to reveal the location of the base, effectively ending an informal arrangement among several news organizations that had been aware of the location for more than a year.

Moon of Alabama, unlike the self censoring Washington Post and other media, reveled that such a base is in Saudi Arabia in June 2011. Referring to a NYT piece we wrote:

Then this:

The Central Intelligence Agency is building a secret air base in the Middle East to serve as a launching pad for strikes in Yemen using armed drones, an American official said Tuesday.

The only plausible place for a base to strike in Yemen is Saudi Arabia.Sharurah would be a likely candidate.

Next to Yemen itself Saudi Arabia is the only country within reasonable flying distance to cover Yemen with drones. The Predator drones the U.S. uses have a combat radius of some 500+ miles. Flown from Sharurah, which already had a decent airport as is needed for the logistics, they can cover all of Yemen. If we could come to that conclusion others can certainly too. The censoring of that fact in U.S. media may hide it from the U.S. public but those who might think of attacking such a base will know where it is.

It is interesting to note that the most recent satellite pictures available via Google Map/Earth and Bing of Sharurah, Saudia-Arabia, are still from 2009, while those in other areas, for example nearby Seijun, Yemen, have been updated in 2010 and 2011 (twice). Are updates of sat pictures of Sharurah also censored?

In July 2011 a London Times piece confirmed our claim of a Saudi base:

The CIA has set up a network of secret drone bases in Arab states in a major intensification of its campaign against al-Qaeda militants in Yemen.

Sources in the Gulf say that the agency is now massed along Yemen’s borders, launching daily missions with unmanned Predator aircraft from bases in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates.

In September 2011 a Fox news report also confirmed our take that the base is in Saudi Arabia. But shortly after it came out that first report in U.S. media was censored and rewritten. Searching the web for “Obama Administration Building New Drone Bases in Horn of Africa, Saudi points to the original report on Fox news but also to copies of it on other sides. But the original report on Foxnews.com (though not its URL which still includes “Saudi”) has since been changed as can be seen when comparing it to the first version still available, for example, at Foxnews.mobi.

The original headline “Obama Administration Building New Drone Bases in Horn of Africa, Saudi” has been changed to “Obama Administration Building New Drone Bases in Horn of Africa, Arabian Peninsula” and while the original version included this:

In addition to Seychelles and Ethiopia, the senior U.S. military official said the United States got permission to fly armed drones from Djibouti, and confirmed the construction of a new airstrip in Saudi Arabia.

“Operations in Saudi are (the) only new expansion to this plan. The rest has been working for over a year when we long ago realized danger from AQAP,” the official said, describing the process as a “long-term deliberate effort where we used what we could (until) we got the locations we wanted.”

The censored version reads:

As part of the expanded program, the senior U.S. military official said the United States got permission to fly armed drones from Djibouti, and confirmed the construction of a new airstrip in the Arabian Peninsula.

The official said that was the “only new expansion to this plan.

“The rest has been working for over a year when we long ago realized danger from AQAP,” the official said, describing the process as a “long-term deliberate effort where we used what we could (until) we got the locations we wanted.”

While Fox news confirmed our take on the location of the base, its report was later censored to hide the fact that it is in Saudi Arabia. Thus is the Orwellian censorship power of the U.S. government.

Read the full article— Brennan’s Saudi Drone Base: Censorship, Assassinations, More Terrorists

Traces of Reality:  To sum up, the United States government and its armed forces, in its crusade to spread democracy, allied with anti-democracy despots in Saudi Arabia to setup a drone base which it used to launch drone strikes in Yemen that killed alleged terrorists who were American citizens.  “High-level officials” assume authority make this sort of determination of who will be eliminated by drone strike without any evidence of the target’s guilt, even if they are Americans who cannot be positively identified, and the war bureaucrats don’t feel like planning an operation to apprehend said target(s).  “These strikes are legal, they are ethical, and they are wise,” assures White House spokespuppet Jay Carney on behalf of the unaccountable crooks who are running this entire racket.  Catch an unconfirmed drone’s-eye view of the base here.  -DB