Chaplain James Yee
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Chaplain James Yee

Seattle, Washington, United States

Seattle, Washington, United States
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The best kept secret in music


"Duke Human Rights Center"

"James Yee is an informative, engaging speaker who is able to talk about these complex issues in human terms. He is especially effective with students, and is able to challenge them while treating them with kindness and respect. I highly recommend him as a guest speaker." - Robin Kirk

"Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area"

"Captain James Yee was a riveting speaker at the Annual Dinner of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area. His personal story of what happens when our government denies civil liberties in name of national security is chilling and should be a lesson to all Americans." - David Chiu, President

"UC Davis Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas"

"James Yee is an extremely energetic, articulate, organized speaker who has an extremely important message to convey."

- Almerindo Ojeda, Director


"James Yee represents the kind of courage, compassion, and caring that this nation should be known for throughout the world. He is one of the most patriotic voices to emerge in the last decade and as an Asian American, I am so very happy that his is a voice that is emerging." - Angela E. Oh


"I had the benefit of hearing [James Yee] as a keynote speaker for the OCA Greater Philadelphia Lunar New Year Banquet and as a panelist at the NAPABA convention. He came across as knowledgeable, articulate, and highly persuasive. With all the calls to shut down the Guantanamo detention center, Chaplain Yee's unique personal experience adds much light to the debate, regardless of your persuasion." - Tsiwen Law

"Churches' Center for Theology and Public Policy"

"James Yee has important story to tell both about being a Muslim chaplain in the U.S. army and about being a prisoner at Guantanamo. At a time where there is a great deal of interest in U.S.-sponsored torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, Chaplain Yee provides his listeners with an important portrayal of his personal experiences in a prison where habeas corpus is not assured and detainees are not provided the protections of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. I urge audiences across the country to hear Chaplain Yee's message."

- Rev. Richard Killmer, Program Director

"Publishers Weekly book review"

"A searing indictment of justice gone awry and unchecked, systemic, ignorance, Yee's story is sure to stimulate its share of discussion on a volatile subject at a crucial time." - Publishers Weekly

"Washington Post book review"

"...should be required reading for all U.S. officials waging war on Islamist terrorists. For God and Country is an indictment of the sloppy assumptions and religious and cultural blindness that he charges U.S. officials frequently reveal in their struggle with the jihadists." - Washington Post

"Associated Press book review"

"This is a powerful book that exposes how fear and ignorance can lead to an abuse of justice." - Associated Press


Still working on that hot first release.




Chaplain James J. Yee is a former US Army Chaplain and graduate of West Point who served as the Muslim Chaplain for the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba that would become controversial for its treatment of detainees designated as "enemy combatants" by the U.S. government. While ministering to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Captain Yee advised the commanders of the camp on detainee religious practices and objected to the cruel and degrading abuses to which the prisoners were subjected.

After being officially recognized twice for outstanding performance, Captain Yee was arrested and imprisoned in a Naval brig for 76 days in September 2003 while being falsely accused of spying, espionage, and aiding the alleged Taliban and Al-Qaeda prisoners. He was held in solitary confinement and subjected to the same sensory deprivation techniques that were being used against the prisoners in Cuba that he had been ministering to. After months of government investigation, all criminal charges were dropped. With his record wiped clean, Chaplain Yee was reinstated to full duty at Fort Lewis, Washington. He tendered his resignation from the U.S. Army and received an Honorable Discharge on January 7, 2005. Upon separation he was awarded with a second Army Commendation medal for "exceptionally meritorious service."

Chaplain Yee's gripping account of his Guantanamo experience and struggle for justice has been recently published and is entitled For God And Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire. The Washington Post called it "required reading for all U.S. officials waging war on Islamist terrorists." For this work, Yee receiveded the Exceptional Communicator Award from New America Media in Jan 2006.

Chaplain Yee is a third-generation Chinese American who converted to Islam in April of 1991. After serving in the aftermath of the first Gulf War as a Patriot Missile Fire Control Officer, he traveled to Damascus, Syria studying the Arabic language and the traditional Islamic sciences. Four years of intensive study led to a Certificate of Islamic Studies equivalent to a graduate degree. An endorsement from the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council (AMAF&VAC) brought Chaplain Yee back to active duty as a U.S. Army Muslim Chaplain in January 2001.

Following September 11, 2001, Chaplain Yee represented Muslims in the military "with great distinction" handling a multitude of national and global media requests. He endeavored to educate soldiers about Islam by building bridges of understanding.

In June 2006, Chaplain Yee earned his Masters degree in International Relations. He now lectures about his harrowing ordeal, Guantanamo, Islam, Asian-American and religious diversity issues, and the challenges of protecting both national security and civil liberties.

He has appeared on national and global news programs including The O'Reilly Factor, MSNBC's Hardball, CNN Paula Zahn Now, Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, PBS Religion and Ethics, Al-Jazeera's From Washington, Democracy Now, NPR All Things Considered, MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson, CSPAN-2 After Words, ABC Australia's The 7:30 Report, UK Sky World News Tonight, and BBC World Service. Chaplain Yee has recently made presentations on Capitol Hill to congressional staff members, at Harvard University, Dartmouth, Duke, Northwestern University and several other academic institutions of higher learning.