When we think about a secret drone strikes, we often imagine remote and mountainous North West Pakistan, where Taliban fighters flee from neighboring Afghanistan in order to rest, recruit and regroup. Although the majority of America’s robotic death rains down there, other parts of the world are on the receiving end of this superpower’s displeasure.

Yemen is one such place. There the US supported government struggles against rebels and, according to diplomatic cables, allegedly acquired by Bradley Manning and released by Wikileaks, the Yemeni government pretends US drone strikes are its own. The puppet state imprisons journalists at the direct request of President Obama, and the military actions are approved by him at a weekly meeting that the White House staff and others call “Terror Tuesday.”

Our story stretches from cruise missile fragments found in desert nomad camps amongst the charred corpses of infants to prisons in Sanna, Yemen’s Capital, to the infamous American torture camp at Guantanamo Bay, to London and Washington, to rendition and torture in America’s secret Gulag, to America’s streets, to outright lies in the White House press room and back again. Just as the NSA links us all in a worldwide web of possible suspects, the story shows the linkage of all the worst abuses of post-constitutional America.

Abdulelah Haider Shaye is a prominent journalist from Yemen. Today, although he has been released from prison, he has been restricted from traveling outside Sanna. He was pardoned by the President of Yemen on condition he not travel for 2 years in order to stop him from continuing to directly report on US drone and cruise missile strikes. President Obama personally telephoned the Yemeni president to urge the continued imprisonment of Shaye. The White House later condemned his release in an official statement "We are concerned and disappointed by the early release of Abd-Ilah-Shai, who was sentenced by a Yemeni court to five years in prison for his involvement with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula."

Shaye was imprisoned on terrorism related charges after his reporting was called Al-Qaida propaganda by a secret Yemeni military court in 2010. His crime was reporting that an American ordinance and not a Yemeni air-strike had struck the Village of al-Majalah, which was alleged to be a terrorist training camp. The strike killed 14 women and 21 children. Fragments found at the scene indicate that the weapons used were Tomahawk cruise missiles which are not in the Yemeni arsenal. Diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks later confirmed that this war crime was a US military strike. Such strikes require personal authorization from Nobel Peace Prize winner President Obama. Once authorization is given, theater level commanders, in this case General David Petraeus, determine how the strike will be carried out.

Although Shaye often interviewed Al-Qaida members, he directly challenged them on the conduct of their war against the United States. He was especially critical in his questioning of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who joined Al-Qaida. According to Jeremy Scahill, Shaye asked al-Awlaki about the infamous underwear bombing attempt “But that was a plane full of civilians. How was that a legitimate target?" Shaye’s reporting sought to understand both sides of a brutal worldwide conflict and reflect the motivations of it’s actors in their own words.

Al-Awlaki gave his last interview to Shaye before being killed in a US drone strike. This strike was denied by the White House for years, claiming until recently that American citizens were never targeted without trial. A later strike killed his 16 year old American born son. The White House claims his son was not the intended target.

Al-Awlaki was arrested in Yemen in 2006 at the behest of the United States Government and held for 18 months without charge or trial. Before his death he claimed that he was tortured during interrogations. He also claimed that American agents were present during his torture directing the interrogations. The experience seems to have been the leap down his road to radicalism. Before his incarceration he was considered by some to be a moderate cleric. In a 2001 interview given to National Geographic while he lived in Washington DC he denounced the 9/11 attacks saying “There is no way that the people who did this could be Muslim, and if they claim to be Muslim, then they have perverted their religion." It appears that during his 18 months in prison he was literally beaten into Osama Bin-Laden’s embrace.

Closer to home, the United States imprisoned Sami al-Hajj, a Sudanese cameraman working for Al Jazeera, in Guantanamo for nearly 7 years as an enemy combatant. Although claims that he had ties to Al-Qaida were found in his secret detainee file, which was released by Wikileaks, the file also noted that al-Hajj is “"careful not to implicate himself as a member of an extremist organization, or to have had any dealings with extremists beyond performing interviews as a journalist."

While al-Hajj’s links to Al-Qaida and the Taliban were never proven, and he was never tried for a crime or even charged with one, he was pressured to implicate Al-Jeezera as a terrorist organization during torture sessions carried out by American military and intelligence officers. Clive Stafford Smith notes in his book Bad Men: Guantanamo Bay and the Secret Prisons: “In the first 100-plus sessions, the US military never posed a question about the allegations against him, as they were only interested in turning him into an informant against al-Jazeera. He had to ask them to interrogate him about what he was supposed to have done wrong.”

Al-Hajj was released to Sudan in 2008 after a hunger strike which lasted 438 days during which he was force fed. He lost 55 pounds and left the aircraft that brought him home on a stretcher.

The seven year agony of Al-Hajj may have been brought on by America’s need to justify its earlier “accidental” bombing of Al-Jeezera office on two occasions, once in 2001 in Kabul and again in Baghdad in 2003. The latter bombing killed one reporter and injured another. Although the bombs used in both cases were precision satellite guided weapons that the United States claims never miss, the American military claimed that both strikes were accidental.

America’s own fawning compliant media is too busy to discuss these issues. It spends more time on skew-polling based on various show trials of Edward Snowden than the murder of Reuters Journalists that Bradley Manning exposed via Wikileaks. It allows the Attorney General to define it. The media is more interested in access and acclaim from the powerful than taking risks. It would be more comforting to think that American reporters fear meeting with a mysterious accident or at least prosecution, but comforts are rarer than truth in post-constitutional America.