« | »

Accused Gitmo Spy Now Obama Delegate

From an understanding Associated Press:

Ex-Army chaplain cleared in Gitmo spy case is Obama delegate

May 20, 2008

OLYMPIA — A former Army Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who was cleared of spy accusations is now a Democratic National Convention delegate pledged to Sen. Barack Obama.

Former Capt. James J. Yee was among the delegates who were elected by precinct representatives Saturday at the party’s 9th Congressional District convention at North Thurston High School…

Yee, a West Point graduate, was accused in 2003 of being part of a spy ring at the U.S. prison for suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay. He spent 76 days in solitary confinement before being exonerated and later resigned from the Army, receiving an honorable discharge

The experience left him as “living proof that civil liberties have been eroded since 9/11,” Yee told The Olympian newspaper on Monday.

He said that during the gathering Saturday, “I came out and basically reiterated that Sen. Obama is really the only candidate that consistently campaigns on rejecting torture without exception, on closing Guantanamo Bay, restoring habeas (corpus) and adhering to the Geneva Conventions.”

Well, the circumstances of the charges being dropped against Mr. Yee are a little more complicated than the article indicates:

From (left-leaning) Wikipedia:

James Yee

James J. Yee (Chinese: 余百康 or 余优素福, also known by the Arabic name Yusuf Yee) (born c. 1968) is an American, former United States Army chaplain with the rank of captain. He is best known for being subject to an intense investigation by the United States, but all charges were later dropped.

Yee, a Chinese American, was born in New Jersey and raised in Springfield Township, where he attended Jonathan Dayton High School. Yee graduated from West Point in 1990. Shortly afterward, he converted from Christianity to Islam in 1991, undergoing religious training in Syria and meeting his wife Huda, a Palestinian Arab, with whom he now has two children.

In his appointed role as chaplain, Yee ministered to Muslim detainees held at Guantánamo Bay Naval base. Yee was awarded two distinguished service medals for his work there.

When returning from duty at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, he was arrested on September 10, 2003, in Jacksonville, Florida, when a U.S. Customs agent found a list of Guantanamo detainees and interrogators among his belongings.

He was charged with five offenses: sedition, aiding the enemy, spying, espionage, and failure to obey a general order. These charges were later reduced to mishandling classified information in addition to some minor charges.

He was then transferred to a United States Navy brig in Charleston, South Carolina. The government did not name the country or entity for whom it suspected Yee was spying.

All court-martial charges against Yee were dropped on March 19, 2004, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller “citing national security concerns that would arise from the release of the evidence,” and he was released to resume his duties.

Yee was then accused of adultery and storing pornography on government computer; the charges were dismissed in April 2004. He left the US military with an honorable discharge in January, but he is also seeking an apology.

Which is to say, Mr. Yee wasn’t exactly “exonerated.” The charges against him were dropped because to present the evidence necessary for a conviction would have compromised national security.

But, sure, it’s a natural thing that Mr. Yee would be an Obama supporter.

Only too natural.

(Thanks to Nuthingbettertodo for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 20th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Accused Gitmo Spy Now Obama Delegate”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »