Collateral Damage


Capt. James Yee was proud to be one of the first Muslim chaplains ever
appointed to the U.S. armed forces, and his pride showed, according to a
copy of his performance review obtained by The Seattle Times. Yee's work at
the Guantanamo Bay prison camp won the highest possible marks.

Yee was "instrumental in making this detainee operation successful," his
Sept. 8 evaluation states. "Yee is an asset to the Army and should be
promoted at the first opportunity."

Just two days later, however, Yee was accused of being a traitor. He was
arrested Sept. 10 on suspicion of mutiny and sedition, espionage and aiding
the enemy. For a soldier, it doesn't get much worse. Yee's lawyers were
told he would face the death penalty.

But while he was sitting in solitary confinement for 76 days, a strange
thing happened to the charges against him -- they shrank. When the Army
couldn't make the original charges stick, he was accused of mishandling
classified information and some lesser offenses. In March, these were
dismissed, as well.

As if to ensure that Yee would be humiliated if nothing else, the Army also
accused Yee of the noncriminal offenses of adultery and downloading
pornography. Although he was found guilty of these tangents and
reprimanded, even this final stain on his record was removed in April.

But this week, he submitted a letter of resignation, effective in January,
admitting defeat. Despite the fact that he has prevailed in court against
his accusers, he wrote, his reputation and his prospects in the Army are
ruined…

 


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