New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0235-2004    Version: * Name: Inquiry into the handling of the case of United States Army Chaplain, Captain James Y. Yee.
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Committee: Committee on State and Federal Legislation
On agenda: 3/24/2004
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the United States Government to initiate an immediate inquiry into the handling of the case of United States Army Chaplain, Captain James Y. Yee.
Sponsors: John C. Liu, Yvette D. Clarke, Lewis A. Fidler, Helen D. Foster, Vincent J. Gentile, G. Oliver Koppell, Margarita Lopez, Hiram Monserrate, James Sanders, Jr., Albert Vann, David I. Weprin, Leroy G. Comrie, Jr., Sara M. Gonzalez
Council Member Sponsors: 13
Attachments: 1. Agenda, 2. Committee Report, 3. Hearing Transcript, 4. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 5/5

Res No. 235

Resolution calling upon the United States Government to initiate an immediate inquiry into the handling of the case of United States Army Chaplain, Captain James Y. Yee.

 

By Council Members Liu, Clarke, Fidler, Foster, Gentile, Koppell, Lopez, Monserrate, Sanders, Vann, Weprin, Comrie and Gonzalez

 

Whereas, United States Army Chaplain, Captain James Y. Yee is an American-born Chinese-American who was raised in Springfield, New Jersey and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, located in Orange County, New York; and

Whereas, After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Captain Yee fulfilled his military obligation in the United States Army where he served a tour of duty as a Patriot missile officer in Saudi Arabia, the place where he became interested in Islam; and

Whereas, After being discharged from the Army, Captain Yee pursued his interest in Islam by traveling to Damascus, Syria, where he studied Islam for four years and became a trained Muslim imam; and

Whereas, Upon his return to United States, Captain Yee re-enlisted in the Army as a Muslim Chaplain where he ministered to the Army’s Muslim military personnel; and

Whereas, After the horrific terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, Captain Yee became a prominent officer for the Army by working to diffuse misguided anger against Muslims, educating the military about Islam and helping to counsel Muslim soldiers; and

Whereas, Towards the end of 2002, Captain Yee was assigned to a tour of duty at the United States Military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he provided counseling for the Muslim detainees captured in Afghanistan and Pakistan during America’s war on terror and the efforts to capture Osama bin-Laden and members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban; and

Whereas, On September 10, 2003, Captain Yee was arrested on suspicion of espionage for allegedly carrying classified documents out of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay and imprisoned at a naval brig in Charleston, South Carolina for nearly three months; and

Whereas, According to Captain Yee’s father, Joseph Yee, while imprisoned, Captain Yee was denied his basic rights as an American Citizen, since he was not able to contact his family or an attorney, held in solitary confinement, often in chains and manacles, and denied any reading materials other than the Koran; and

Whereas, The military did not charge Captain Yee with any crimes until October 10, 2003, one month after he was detained, at which time he was charged with mishandling classified information, disobeying a general order, downloading pornography and committing adultery; and

Whereas, Captain Yee was never charged with the more serious crimes of espionage and aiding the enemy and has been allowed to resume his duties as a chaplain at a base located in Fort Benning, Georgia after his release from prison; and

Whereas, Captain Yee’s father believes that the charges against his son are based on ethnic and religious profiling and should therefore be dropped; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the United States Government to initiate an immediate inquiry into the handling of the case of United States Army Chaplain, Captain James Y. Yee.

RA/LS#710

3/19/2004