Friday, March 19, 2004

Yee Free, No BCD

Remember James Yee? He was the Muslim Army chaplain charged with possession of classified documents when going on leave from Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba last year. The Army has dropped all of the major charges against CPT Yee and is returning him to his base at Ft. Lewis, WA.

Citing national security concerns, the Army on Friday dropped all charges against a Muslim chaplain accused of mishandling classified documents at Guantanamo Bay (search), which houses suspected terrorists.


In dismissing the charges, Mac. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller (search), 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.
So what's left? Adultery and possession of pornography on a government computer. These charges will likely be handled by Article 15 proceedings at Ft. Lewis. Such marks on his official records mean that CPT Yee's career is essentially over.

There are procedures in military law that account for the use of classified materials and all member of a court martial either have security clearances or can be granted temporary clearances so the excuse of national security problems rings hollow. Courts Martial are typically closed hearings, so I wonder at the worry. It all seems a cover for military embarrassment.

NOTE: BCD is shorthand for Bad Conduct Discharge - actually it's more the result of Article 15 procedures than a court martial, but I used it for the power of the rhyme. Other military slang has it as "Big Chicken Dinner."

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