Justice for Captain Yee

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush both must answer for the Pentagon’s attempt to frame Captain James J. Yee on phony espionage charges, an enterprise so clumsy the Pentagon dropped all charges against him March 19.

Yee was arrested last September when he returned from the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He had been serving there as the only Muslim chaplain for the 600 inmates, most of them Muslims.

The Bush administration unleashed an all-out media campaign, saying that Yee was caught smuggling classified documents and that he was part of a “spy ring” inside Guantanamo. The case was part of a broader effort to whip up racist hysteria against Muslims and Asians in order to justify Bush’s war on Iraq.

But now the Pentagon has dropped all mention of these so-called secret documents and has exonerated Yee of espionage. Instead of apologizing, they are attempting to smear him, claiming they found pornography on his computer hard drive, which they had confiscated. They also accuse him of engaging in an extramarital affair. This is nothing but a crude attempt to change the subject, reminiscent of a similar smear campaign against Iraq weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, who had debunked Bush claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

It’s time to tell it like it is. The Guantanamo Bay prison is a concentration camp. Hundreds of so-called “enemy combatants” have been held there as long as two years without being charged with a criminal offense. Great Britain raised such an outcry that five detainees who are British subjects were recently returned home. They were freed as soon as they touched British soil. This U.S. “Devil’s Island” should be closed. The detainees should be returned home. The Navy Base itself should be closed and the territory returned to Cuba. Add this atrocious Guantanamo Bay operation to the reasons to oust the Bush-Cheney gang next November.

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Save Hubble!

She came into the office wearing her Save Hubble T-shirt. Barb, a PWW staff member and science aficionado, joined the growing movement to save the Hubble telescope.

Called the greatest instrument since the invention of the telescope, Hubble has brought the secrets of the universe down to earth. It has allowed scientists to gauge the age and size of the universe and confirmed the existence of black holes. It brought us images that may reveal new clues about how galaxies form and how our solar system originated. Perhaps this may seem too “out of this world” for earthlings trying to live daily existence, but the discoveries Hubble offers can advance our understanding of our place in the universe. Studying the stars is something humanity has been doing since our beginnings, even before Galileo and Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen),who laid the foundations for the development of the microscope and telescope. Scientists, astronauts, senators and science lovers around the world have petitioned NASA to change its decision to abandon Hubble. A Brazilian Hubble fan, Fernando Ribeiro, started a Save the Hubble website and petition (www.savethehubble.com).

Officials say servicing missions are too risky in the wake of the Columbia disaster. Yet George W. Bush says he wants to move forward on the most reckless and insane of all space initiatives – the so-called missile defense system known as “Star Wars.”

The struggle for peace takes place on earth and in the heavens. Space should be for peaceful exploration, not a place to sink trillions of dollars into building weapons of mass destruction. Hubble is an instrument for the advancement of science, for global peaceful cooperation between nations to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

Write your representatives in Washington, D.C. Sign a petition. Save the Hubble.

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