TBogg

Yee-haw Watch

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We stumbled upon Jihad Watch the other night while we were scraping a barrel and busted through the bottom into the muck below. It looks like JW is some sort of spawn of Little Green Fuhrers, possibly the end result of yet another Boys from Brazil experiment gone horribly awry. Anyway, one of the Assistant Manager Jackboots In Training provides us with proof positive that Guantanamo chaplain Captain James Yee betrays “his own disturbing mindset when he attempts to identify the “real” reason he was arrested”. (bolding is from the original post):

I knew why I had been arrested: it was because I am a Muslim. I was just the latest victim of the hostility born the moment when the planes flew into the twin towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

My real “crime” had been that I had tried to ensure that the suspected Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters detained in the Gitmo cages were given every opportunity to practice their religion freely, one of the most fundamental of American ideals.

Yee goes on to suggest that the conditions at Guantanamo were inhumane, especially for a population of prisoners who he calls “friendly.”

By the time I got to Guantanamo, Camp X-Ray was too small for the number of prisoners coming in. When I saw its remains I couldn’t believe that humans were once held here. It looked like a cattle yard. There were hundreds of cages in rows. The only protection from the blistering sun was a tin roof. Dozens of enormous rodents crawled throughout the camp. I was told that these were banana rats and would attack if provoked.

The new prison, Camp Delta, consisted of 19 blocks, each holding 48 detainees in individual open-air cells with steel mesh walls. Like other military personnel, I was briefed that the detainees were among the most dangerous terrorists in the world. We were told that many of the prisoners were responsible for the attacks of September 11 and would strike again if given the opportunity.

I expected to come face-to-face with hundreds of Osama Bin Ladens, but most prisoners were friendly. There were approximately 660 from dozens of countries, including Britain.

While fervently extolling his innocence and the aggressive hatred of American officials, Yee makes mention of past actions which would raise eyebrows even among the most lenient investigators:

On holiday after graduating from West Point, however, I met a young woman who was intrigued by Islam. I began to read about it and eventually converted. Then, after the US army sent me to Saudi Arabia and allowed me to visit Mecca, I wondered why there were no Muslim chaplains in the US military.

My father had taught me as a boy that America promises all people an opportunity to lead an extraordinary life. By becoming a Muslim chaplain in the summer of 2000, after four years’ study in Damascus, I saw myself fulfilling this opportunity. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for.

There you have it.

A) He believes he was arrested because he is a Muslim
B) Most prisoners were friendly
C) He went to Mecca
D) He studied in Damascus

Yup. Terrorist.

Of course no accusation of an America-hating hater of America would be complete without a little scholarship behind it which would explain why in 2005 the post would include a link to a “historical document&#169” (copyright Condi Cover-Up LLC) written in 2003.

the New York Times reported that “the criminal proceedings against Capt. James J. Yee, the former Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, fell into confusion on Tuesday and stalled as the military prosecutors asked for extra time to determine whether documents that were found in Captain Yee’s luggage when he was leaving the base were, in fact, classified.” The Times noted that Yee’s hearing was set back to January 19 so that prosecutors would have time to find out if the documents were indeed classified.

They have to find out whether or not the documents were classified? It is astounding that at this point there would be any question about that, since that was why Yee was arrested in the first place.

This kind of bungling is not only appalling; it’s dangerous. Al-Arian, despite years of investigations and mountains of evidence, could walk on a technicality without the implications of that evidence ever being fully examined. He may not go back to his alleged bad habits after this experience, but still: while it’s good to show the scrupulousness of our justice system, it would also send a signal that we may not have the nerve for this kind of prosecution. As for Yee, if he wasn’t mishandling classified material, he never should have been bothered in the first place. There are other cases involving misuse of classified documents at Guantanamo, and this case is diverting time and manpower from them.

Which, if you actually read it, would seem to indicate that the Yee case was a bunch of crap from the start as was proved later:

Accused of espionage, Army Capt. James Yee saw his notoriety bloom overnight. He was vilified on the airwaves and on the Internet as an operative in a supposed spy ring that aimed to pass secrets to al-Qaeda from suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where Yee ministered to them. After his arrest, Yee was blindfolded, placed in manacles and taken to a Navy brig, where he spent 76 days in solitary confinement.

Eight months later, all the criminal charges against the 36-year-old West Point graduate have melted away. A subsequent reprimand has been removed from his record. And while many legal analysts are questioning whether a security-conscious military over-reached in its investigation, Yee is back home at Fort Lewis, Wash., pondering what remains of his military career.

Military officials involved in the case won’t say what they thought they had on Yee, or why they pursued him with such zeal. Prosecutions are proceeding against three other men — two Arabic translators and an Army Reserve colonel — who worked at Guantanamo, where the military is holding nearly 600 suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The decision to jail Yee was made by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, then commander of Guantanamo’s detention camp. He oversaw the espionage investigations of all four men. He has since been transferred to Iraq, where he is now engulfed in the controversy involving prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.

When the Army dropped six criminal counts against Yee in March, military officials said they did so to avoid making sensitive information public — not because he was innocent. An Army general stressed that again in April, when he took the unusual step of removing the case from Yee’s permanent military record.

But a growing number of critics say the Yee case demands further examination. The critics, who include former military judges and prosecutors well-versed in military law, say the case offers a chilling glimpse into military anxiety at a time of heightened concern about terrorism.

“This is a case that’s so obviously wrong that (even) people who don’t know military law are, if not outraged, then very concerned about what happened,” says Kevin Barry, a retired Coast Guard judge. “There apparently was no evidence. If they had the goods, they would have prosecuted.”

Like Barry, many of the critics suggest that the case collapsed not because of national security concerns, but because the evidence against Yee, whatever it was, didn’t hold up. They wonder whether the military’s threshold for suspicion at Guantanamo was such that benign behavior too easily could have been mistaken as sinister.

…benign behavior too easily could have been mistaken as sinister“.

Imagine that…

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