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Schumer the Grand Inquisitor

By Michael J. Smith on Friday December 2, 2005 11:38 AM

Latest issue of the New York Review of Books has an interesting piece on Muslim chaplain James Yee's book recounting his persecution by the US Army. Yee served as Muslim chaplain at the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp and made the mistake of objecting to the abuse of prisoners there. The brass threw him in the brig and charged him with mutiny, aiding the enemy, and espionage, and told the media Yee was a member of al-Qaeda.

None of these charges had any basis, of course. Yee is now a free man and his story makes quite a read.

Among Yee's persecutors was none other than Vile Chuck Schumer, democratic Senator from New York and pilotless drone of the Israel lobby. The NYRB piece notes that Schumer "seize[d] on [Yee's] arrest as evidence that radical Islamists had taken control of the recruitment of Muslim chaplains into the armed forces."

Amazingly, or perhaps not so amazingly, "Up" Chuck still has these fantasies posted on his Web site. "NEW REVELATION: CAPTAIN YEE WAS TRAINED AND SELECTED TO BE A MUSLIM CHAPLAIN BY GROUP BEING INVESTIGATED FOR TERRORISM," Chuck's headline screams. The body text is a thing of beauty -- Roy Cohn would have been proud to claim it. Vague references to "connections" among groups, "investigations" that implicitly constutitute evidence of guilt, people with "checkered pasts" and sinister links on Web sites -- it's a minor masterpiece of scattershot character assassination firmly based on thin air.

As a New Yorker, I feel about my distinguished Democratic senators pretty much as Mr Bennett, in Pride and Prejudice, feels about his sons-in-law. I admire them both highly; but Schumer is, perhaps, my favorite.

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