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

Monday, December 20, 2004

Yee in the Times 

There was a big article on the Yee and Al Halabi cases in the Times yesterday. I think it contained some new information. The article stated directly what has often been implied, that Yee and al Hallabi were targeted because they were too concerned with the plight of the Gitmo detainees:

There was also an argument - often made by Captain Orlich - that Captain Yee and some members of his small Muslim prayer group at Guantánamo constituted a suspicious fellowship of servicemen who appeared to sympathize with the detainees and question some of the government's counterterrorism policies.

"There was a concern that there was, like, a clique of people who would go off and spend time away from the unit and were not as supportive of the mission as they ought to be," said the chief Air Force prosecutor in the Al Halabi case, Lt. Col. Bryan T. Wheeler. "If people want to have a prayer group, that's great. If, on the other hand, you have people complaining about the treatment people are receiving, there are ways to do that. Subverting the mission is not the way to do it."

Over the course of 2002, the handling of the Guantánamo detainees had been criticized in briefings and memorandums by many of those who served there: General Baccus, his counterpart for intelligence, Maj. Gen. Michael E. Dunlavey, a chief of the C.I.A. field group on the base, the military's criminal investigators, senior F.B.I. agents and others.

But according to many officers, General Miller ran a tighter operation. Morale improved, they said, but with that came an atmosphere in which criticism of the detainees' treatment was tacitly discouraged.

"People were definitely careful about expressing their opinions," said one Guantánamo veteran who knew Captain Yee and Airman Al Halabi. "But a lot of us felt some sympathy for some of the detainees. A lot of those guys were low-level or no-level. They were not terrorists."

Also, according to the Times, there was dubious evidence linking Yee to Omar Abdel Rahman. Omar Abdel Rahman, you might recall, is the guy Lynne Stewart was defending that started that whole saga.

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