This ought to shut up our European detractors who've been screaming that we are torturing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Not only do we provide the inmates there with medical care, surgery, dentistry, reading matter, familiar and religiously permitted foods, copies of the Koran and religious services -- we've also provided spies. Two, at least -- and counting -- to judge from news reports.
The first is Capt. James Yee, 35, who served as a Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo. Yee is a Chinese American who was raised a Lutheran but converted to Islam while in the military. After converting, he resigned his commission and traveled to Syria, where he remained for four years to pursue the study of Islam and Arabic. When he returned, he rejoined the Army and was assigned to Guantanamo, where he counseled detainees and conducted Friday services. Both the Pentagon and the State Department boasted of his appointment. He claimed to believe that violence was un-Islamic. Whether that was a cover or a sincerely held belief will now be probed in a court martial.
The Washington Times reports that the military is considering a number of charges against Yee, including sedition, aiding the enemy, espionage and failure to obey a general order. In his possession, U.S. officials discovered a number of classified documents, including a list of detainees and the names of U.S. personnel at Guantanamo. The list of prisoners is a closely guarded secret and would be most valuable to Al Qaeda. The names of U.S. personnel stationed there, if handed over to terrorists, could make the service members' families vulnerable.
Before the shock of that revelation wore off, the Air Force announced that Ahmad al Halabi, 24, a translator at Guantanamo, had also been arrested and charged with spying for Syria and Qatar. Halabi moved to the United States with his parents when he was a teen-ager. According to military sources, Halabi attempted to deliver two notes and a laptop computer with 180 emails from prisoners to an enemy of the United States. He also allegedly attempted to download materials from a classified military computer to his laptop, including sketches, photographs and blueprints of the Guantanamo facility. Halabi and Yee knew one another, though it is not yet known whether they were part of a spy ring. The Los Angeles Times reports that more arrests may be imminent.
How is it possible that a man who spends four years in Syria is not more closely scrutinized by the United States military? Syria routinely appears on the State Department's list of terror-sponsoring nations. The notorious Bekka Valley in Lebanon -- nest of the world's most vile terrorists -- is a protectorate of the Syrian state.