I attended the Twenty-Ninth Annual Installation Dinner of the Asian-American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) on Friday, February 24, 2006. With over 700 attendees, highly deserving award recipients, inspirational speeches, and a lively atmosphere, the event was a great success. Personally, I had a great time having the good fortune to be sitting at the Sheppare Mullin table with my former firm colleagues, including AABA Mentorship Committee Co-chair David Sohn.
The keynote address was delivered by Captain James Yee, who spoke about his experience as a Muslim army chaplain at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, his imprisonment after being falsely accused of espionage and aiding the alleged Taliban and Al-Qaeda prisoners, and the subsequent dropping of all charges. His struggle for justice is chronicled in his recently published book: For God And Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire.
In an article from May 16, 2004, USA Today reported that a growing number of critics, including former military judges and prosecutors, say "the case offers a chilling glimpse into military anxiety at a time of heightened concern about terrorism." Yee’s experiences pointed out the crucial importance of protecting our civil liberties.