Saturday, March 20, 2004

SPY, ADULTERER, WHATEVER. Check out Jacob Sullum's chilling account of the travails of Capt. James Yee.
Based on a list of anticipated charges that included mutiny, sedition, espionage, and aiding the enemy, Yee was held in solitary confinement at the naval brig in Charleston, South Carolina, for 76 days. Military prosecutors intimated to his lawyers that he might face the death penalty.

But when Yee was officially charged a month after his arrest, the Army did not accuse him of betraying his country. Instead it said he had mishandled classified material by taking it home and transporting it "without the proper security containers or covers"—an offense usually punished with a slap on the wrist.

In late November the government released the man it had portrayed as a grave threat to national security and let him return to duty at Fort Benning, Georgia. In a desperate attempt to beef up their indictment, prosecutors tacked on charges of adultery, based on a two-month affair that Yee had with a female lieutenant at Guantanamo, and conduct unbecoming an officer, based on pornography investigators found on Yee's government-issued laptop computer.


According to recent news reports, the Army is close to an agreement with Yee's attorneys under which it would drop the charges of mishandling classified material, punish him administratively for the adultery and pornography, and grant him an honorable discharge.

It seems certain the deal won't include the one thing Yee clearly deserves: an apology.

One can't help but agree with Sullum's conclusion:
But the case can still have a positive impact by demonstrating the risk of rushing to judgment and the need to preserve an open, adversarial process for determining guilt.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?