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May 20, 2008

Accused (but Acquitted) Gitmo Chaplain Spy Is an Obama Delegate


If he was really and truly "exonerated" and not simply acquitted, there's no there here. I'll do a quick search on him.

A former Army chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who was cleared of spy accusations will be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

Former Capt. James J. Yee, a Muslim, was among the delegates pledged to Sen. Barack Obama who were elected by precinct representatives Saturday. He's representing the state's 9th Congressional District at the party's convention in Denver in August.

The West Point graduate was accused in 2003 of being part of a spy ring at the U.S. prison for suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay.

After spending 76 days in solitary confinement, he was exonerated, resigned from the Army and received an honorable discharge.

Thanks to Doug.

Update: Seems he was pretty much actually exonerated:

The criminal proceedings against Capt. James J. Yee, the former Muslim chaplain at Guantánamo 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 hearing was postponed until Jan. 19 to give the prosecutors time to review the documents that set off a major investigation into whether Captain Yee was a spy, a contention from which the government has since emphatically distanced itself.

The military's case against Captain Yee ostensibly began when customs officials found documents they believed were suspicious and possibly containing classified materials in his backpack on Sept. 10 when he arrived from Guantánamo at the naval air station in Jacksonville, Fla. Officials initially thought Captain Yee might have been part of an elaborate plan to infiltrate the Caribbean base, where some 660 prisoners from the Afghan war are being held.

Officials placed Captain Yee in solitary confinement for nearly three months in a naval brig while they completed their investigation into possible espionage. Maj. Scott Sikes, one of Captain Yee's defense lawyers, said on Tuesday that military prosecutors once told him that they might seek the death penalty in the case.

But when the investigation was completed last month and Captain Yee was released, the military did not bring any serious espionage case. Instead, he was charged with two counts of mishandling classified data, a reference to the materials found in his luggage, as well as four new charges with no apparent connection to security issues. Those included adultery and keeping pornography on his government computer, issues that prosecutors said came to their attention in the espionage investigation.

After repeated complaints from defense lawyers that they could not proceed on the issue of mishandling classified information if it remained unclear whether the documents were classified, the government acquiesced on Tuesday. Lt. Col. Mike Mulligan, one of the prosecutors, said the government had decided to conduct a thorough classification review of the documents.

On the other hand, he's found gainful employment as a terror-symp propagandist against the US military and Gitmo. And seems to be in-demand as a speaker at left-wing anti-war confabs.

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posted by Ace at 03:20 PM

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