'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Yee Gets The Hell Out Of Dodge 

It's official -- xenophobic anti-muslim paranoia has destroyed James Yee's career: (from "Muslim chaplain James Yee to leave Army", Seattle Times)

Muslim chaplain James Yee yesterday said he will resign from the Army in January, ending a once-promising military career that was shattered when he was accused of espionage while ministering to Islamic prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.

"In 2003, I was unfairly accused of grave offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and unjustifiably placed in solitary confinement for 76 days," Yee wrote in his resignation letter.

"Those unfounded allegations — which were leaked to the media — irreparably injured my personal and professional reputation and destroyed my prospects for a career in the United States Army."

The bitterly worded letter, released to the media by his civilian lawyer, was the first time Yee has been publicly critical of the Army over his treatment. He was returned to his home base at Fort Lewis after charges were dropped earlier this year and ordered not to say anything negative about the Army.

The interesting thing here is that once Yee is out of the army, he will no longer be under a gag order. Recall that Yee was silenced by a simple military order from a higher ranking officer, not by means of a legal decree, like the magical "state secrets privilege", otherwise known as the Divine Right of John Ashcroft, sicced upon Sibel Edmonds. So when the paperwork goes through Yee can chat away about his case.

There always has been some mystery regarding the spark that started this whole sorry tale. What were the documents that Yee was supposedly trying to sneak out of Gitmo? We heard about a map, but what else was there? A few months ago a reasonable hypothesis floated around the blogosphere: suppose Yee was in possession of something like the photographs that broke the Abu Ghraib scandal. Wouldn't that explain the viciousness of the attack against him and the need levy a gag order? Just speculation, but ... we'll find out shortly what the story is.

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