[Marxism] Moslem chaplain freed

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Nov 26 07:26:51 MST 2003


NY Times, November 26, 2003
Chaplain Held in Espionage Case Is Freed
By NEIL A. LEWIS

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25 — The military said on Tuesday that it was releasing 
Capt. James J. Yee, the former Muslim chaplain at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, 
after confining him for nearly three months on suspicion of espionage 
activities.

Captain Yee will be allowed to resume his chaplain duties at Fort 
Benning, Ga.

At the same time, though, the United States Southern Command, based in 
Miami, which administers the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, said it 
was investigating other possible violations of military code by Captain 
Yee, including contentions that he had kept pornography on his 
government computer and had an affair. [!!!!!] Those new charges are in 
addition to the ones brought in October contending that Captain Yee, 
also known as Youseff Yee, had disobeyed orders by taking classified 
information home when he was leaving Guantánamo in September.

Captain Yee's civilian lawyer, Eugene R. Fidell of Washington, said the 
fact that the new charges seemed to have nothing to do with national 
security demonstrated that military authorities had made a major error 
when they held up Captain Yee as a potential spy at Guantánamo, where he 
ministered to the mostly Islamic prisoner population.

Mr. Fidell said the initial set of charges of failing to obey a lawful 
order by taking classified information home without proper covers was 
not a serious infraction. The new charges, he said, showed that the 
military was persecuting Captain Yee to cover up its mistake.

"They have destroyed this man's reputation for what turns out to be no 
good reason," Mr. Fidell said, "and now it appears they are pursuing 
matters in a completely vindictive manner."

Raul Duany, a spokesman for the Southern Command in Tampa, disputed that 
assertion, saying: "At no time have we made any implications about what 
Captain Yee might have been charged with. We only said we're 
investigating him."

But unnamed military officials were quoted in numerous news reports as 
saying Captain Yee had apparently become sympathetic with the Muslims 
held at Guantánamo and had kept on his computer highly classified 
information. That information, they said, possibly included notes about 
which detainees had been questioned by which investigators and on what 
subjects.

Most of the 660 prisoners at Guantánamo were captured in Afghanistan or 
Pakistan.

In addition to the pornography and adultery charges against Captain Yee, 
the Southern Command also charged him on Tuesday with falsely telling a 
superior that certain compact discs had been cleared for use by 
detainees. The charge sheet did not provide further details.

Mr. Duany said Captain Yee would face an Article 32 proceeding, an 
investigation of the charges much like a grand jury in the civilian 
criminal-justice system. The proceeding could recommend dismissal of the 
case or some sort of court-martial. In this case, the Article 32 
proceeding would be open to the public.

Captain Yee has been held at a naval brig in South Carolina, and Mr. 
Fidell had complained that his client was needlessly kept in solitary 
confinement and often in chains and manacles.

On Monday, Mr. Fidell wrote to President Bush, asking him to intercede 
with the military to at least have Captain Yee released to less harsh 
conditions.

"I have no alternative to conclude that President Bush or his advisers 
had some hand in this," Mr. Fidell said on Tuesday, "and I give them 
great credit."

Captain Yee will have complete freedom at Fort Benning, Mr. Duany said, 
with the only restriction that he not contact anyone associated with the 
mission at Guantánamo.


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