Friday, October 14, 2011

Excerpt of the day

From The End of America by Naomi Wolf

"Could what happened to Maher Arar happen to a U.S. citizen? Chaplain James Yee was arrested and investigated on suspicion of "espionage and possibly treason" on September 10, 2003. It is not widely reported that he had also spoken up on behalf of better treatment for the detainees in Guantanamo. Military officials claimed that Yee had classified documents that included diagrams of cells at Guantanamo and lists of detainees. He was also said to have "ties to [radical Muslims in the U.S.]."

Chaplain Yee was taken to a navy brig in Charleston, South Carolina, and interrogated. He was blindfolded; his ears were blocked; he was manacled and then put into solitary confinement for seventy-six days; he was forbidden mail, television, or anything to read except the Koran. His family was not allowed to visit him. He was demonized on TV, radio, and the internet and accused of being an operative in "a supposed spy ring that aimed to pass secrets to al-Qaeda from suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo ... Court papers said he would be charged with espionage, spying, aiding the enemy, mutiny or sedition, and disobeying an order." Chaplain Yee, born in New Jersey and raised a Lutheran before converted to Islam, was baffled at the accusations. His lawyers were told he could face execution. Within six months, the U.S. government had dropped all criminal charges against Yee. But the government said it did so to avoid making its sensitive evidence public, not because Yee is innocent.

Yee was released - but charged with what looked like punitive "Mickey Mouse" charges: "adultery, lying to investigators and two counts of downloading porn." In the presence of his humiliated wife and his 4-year-old daughter, military prosecutors compelled Navy Lt. Karyn Wallace to testify about their extramarital affair. The military rarely prosecutes adultery. The government never presented the evidence on which it based its first accusations against Yee. But after Yee was set free, he was placed "under a new Army order not to talk about his ordeal in any way that might be seen as critical to the military." If he says anything negative about what happened to him, he faces further prosecution.
Yee has since been released from his gag order.

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