James Yee   Military Chaplain


Date Interviewed: December 5, 2010


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James Yee bio

James Yee is a former US Army Chaplain and graduate of West Point who served as the Muslim Chaplain in Guantanamo. He converted to Islam while serving as a Patriot Missile Fire Control Officer in the aftermath of the First Gulf War. In 1993 he went on reserve status to study the Arabic language and traditional Islamic sciences in Damascus, Syria. He then returned to active duty and arrived at Guantanamo in November 2002. After being officially recognized for outstanding performance, Yee was arrested and imprisoned in a Naval brig for 76 days while on leave in Florida in September 2003. He was subject to intense government investigation and eventually all charges were dropped. No evidence was released. In October 2005 Yee published an account of his Guantanamo experience and struggle for justice in his book, God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire. In June 2006, Yee earned his masters degree in International Relations. He now lectures on his ordeal, Guantanamo Bay, Islam, Asian American and religious diversity issues, and the challenges of protecting both national security and civil liberties.

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