All charges against Caption James Yee dropped


The Army's allegations last year were grave: A military chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was linked to a possible espionage ring and eventually charged with mishandling classified information. See also earlier report. Six months later, the military said March 19 that all charges against Capt. James Yee had been dropped. Yee now faces only minor punishment and should be back at work soon.

In dismissing the charges, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, which operates the detention center, cited ``national security concerns that would arise from the release of the evidence'' if the case proceeded.

Charges against Yee had included mishandling classified material, failing to obey an order, making a false official statement, adultery and conduct unbecoming an officer for allegedly downloading pornography on his government laptop.

The U.S. Southern Command said in a release from its Miami headquarters that Yee will face nonjudicial punishment for two side issues, allegations of adultery and pornography, at a hearing Monday at Fort Meade, Md. Only minor punishment, such as duty restriction or a temporary pay cut, is expected. Yee then will allowed to return to his previous duty station at Fort Lewis, near Tacoma, Washington, where he previously was a chaplain. His wife and child live in Olympia. Senior Airman Ahmad I. Al Halabi, an Arabic translator for the Air Force, is accused of trying to deliver more than 180 written and e-mail messages from Guantanamo detainees to Syria. His next hearing is scheduled for March 24. Yee was believed to be the first U.S. soldier detained in the war on terror. (Source: AP, March 19, 2004)



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