Farea al-Muslimi, the Yemeni youth activist and journalist who testified at the Senate Judiciary Hearing this week on the drone war, will be meeting with White House officials to tell them too about how the drone war terrorizes civilians and helps al-Qaeda recruitment.
Danger Room has confirmed that before he leaves Washington D.C. on Friday, al-Muslimi will meet with White House officials to tell them what he told a Senate subcommittee yesterday: CIA and military drone strikes are strengthening al-Qaida’s Yemeni affiliate and making average Yemenis hate America.
“He will meet with a working-level expert on Yemen policy,” a White House official confirms, declining to provide the name of the official or the time of the meeting. In other words, he shouldn’t count on an Oval Office sit-down with the President — or even a quick meet with Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco. And the meeting isn’t a response to al-Muslimi’s testimony yesterday.
But there’s buzz now around al-Muslimi, a Sana’a-based freelance writer on public policy. And that didn’t exist the last time he came to Washington — when al-Muslimi also had a White House meeting. In September, he recalls to Danger Room, al-Muslimi trudged from one drab policymaker’s office to another — he declines to give specifics — while his interlocutors grew uncomfortable when he wanted to talk about the human costs of the drones. “It was a taboo,” al-Muslimi says, “like if you’re talking in a conservative society about sex.”
In other words, don’t hold your breath that the Obama White House cares about al-Muslimi’s eye-witness testimony of the human costs of the secret bombing campaign in Yemen.
Here is al-Muslimi’s powerful testimony to the Senate committee this week: