Imagine a family member being suddenly arrested and charged with crimes you
know, beyond doubt, he did not commit.
Imagine the loved one being branded a spy, thrown into solitary
confinement, denied his most basic civil rights and threatened with a death
sentence while you fight, in vain, to be shown the alleged proof of his guilt.
Imagine that months later, the accusations suddenly evaporate and your
family member is released – while those responsible for the nightmare
refuse to offer so much as an apology for the destruction of his life,
career and reputation.
One year ago, Goodyear residents John Yee and his son, Chris, could not
have conceived of such a Hitchcock-ian scenario. But now, they have lived it.
John and Chris are the uncle and cousin, respectively, of Capt. James Yee,
the Chinese-American Muslim army chaplain who was ministering to Muslim
prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, when he was arrested last Sept. 10 and
accused of espionage.
John and Chris learned of Yee’s arrest the same way nearly everyone in the
country learned of it: from a TV news program.
“My immediate response was total disbelief. Utter, utter shock and
disbelief; no way, no how, something is wrong with this,” recalled the
35-year-old Chris, who is the West Valley View’s circulation manager.
“To me, it was typical of the kind of reaction that Sept. 11 started,
especially in the Army,” said John, 72. “I could not conceive, in my
wildest dreams, that this could be true. Because of his background, and
from what I know of his father [John Yee’s brother] and mother, I knew it
was just impossible…