File:James Yee.jpg

James J. Yee (Chinese: 余百康 or 余优素福) is an American, former United States Army chaplain with the rank of captain. He is best known for being subject to an intense investigation by the United States, but charges were later dropped.

Yee, a Chinese American, was born in New Jersey and graduated from West Point military academy in 1990. Shortly afterward, he converted from Christianity to Islam in the 1990s, undergoing religious training in Syria and meeting his wife, a Palestinian Arab, with whom he now has two children.[1]


In his appointed role as chaplain, Yee ministered to Muslim detainees held at Guantánamo Bay naval base purportedly related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, some of whom are suspected al Qaeda terrorists and members of the Taliban. Yee was awarded two distinguished service medals for his work there. [2]

When returning from duty at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, he was arrested on September 10, 2003, in Jacksonville, Florida and charged with five offenses: sedition, aiding the enemy, spying, espionage, and failure to obey a general order. He was then transferred to a United States Navy brig in Charleston, South Carolina. The government did not name the country or entity for whom it suspected Yee was spying.

All court-martial charges against Yee were quietly dropped on March 19, 2004, and he was released to resume his duties. In April the noncriminal charges of adultery and storing pornography on government computers were dropped. He retired from the US military with an honorable discharge in January, but he is also seeking an apology.

In October 2005 Yee published his book, For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire. [1] In it Yee writes that he was kept in solitary confinement for seventy-six days, and that he was forced to undergo sensory deprivation. He also wrote that General Geoffrey Miller routinely incited the guards to hate the detainees. He alleges serious mistreatment of prisoners [3] [4]. Yee argues that most of the detainees had little or no intelligence value:

"The people down in Guántanamo probably know as much about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida as any private in the military would know what's going on inside the Pentagon."


  1. Yee, James (2005). For God And Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 1-58648-369-2.

External linksEdit

In ChineseEdit

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