A Cautious Man
March 30, 2004
Think it Over Judge, One More Time
Captain Yee's lawyer has filed an appeal of the reprimand (and refusal to clear his name of spy charges) he received from the Army. As recounted in this news report:
The attorney, Eugene Fidell, wrote "a grave miscarriage of justice has occurred. Decisions were made on insufficient evidence, and have had devastating effects.''

Fidell said the Army's decision to drop most of the charges and hold an Article 15 proceeding--used to settle minor disciplinary issues--hurt Yee's defense preparation and minimized media scrutiny. "This smacks of gamesmanship and bias,'' he wrote.

Fidell is requesting Gen. James T. Hill, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, recuse himself from the case and asks that the military return Yee's passport, restore him to duty and grant him a formal apology.
[Edited 3/31/04 to add] ... and in this morning's NY Times there is a letter continuing the smear and innuendo campaign, from one Lt. Col. Costello, a "public affairs" director with the U.S. Southern Command (sorry, the link may require registration). Lt. Col. Costello asserts:
Capt. James Yee was never charged with espionage or characterized as traitorous by government officials. He was found guilty on adultery and pornography charges and processed through nonjudicial punishment.

Official government spokesmen consistently stated that Captain Yee was part of a continuing interagency investigation, and that the public needed to allow the judicial process to work before jumping to conclusions.
That assertion is incredible, in light of the orchestrated release of information and charges (as previously noted here), as well as the fact that the Army went ahead with a public proceeding when (a) it never conclusively determined which documents were confidential, (b) it seems that exactly one expert concluded that Captain Yee had pornography (which the government knew nothing about before detaining the chaplain), and (c) the prima facie case for adultery never demonstrated circumstances or allegations which rose to the level of the military's own criteria for prosecution of such a charge.

In short, the Army appears to be continuing its strategy of parading allegations in order to discredit Chaplain Yee. The "public affairs" officer concludes:
It was Captain Yee, not the Army, who chose to abandon his luggage at an airport in Jacksonville and try to avoid Customs; who decided to commit adultery; who downloaded pornography onto a taxpayer-financed computer; and who sullied his reputation as a chaplain and a military officer.

As it turns out, in dropping the charges and punishing Captain Yee nonjudicially, the Army effectively gave him what he requested.
Want to guess again on that last point?



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