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Wednesday, April 21, 2004
The letter, received on April 6, informed Yee that as a soldier he is ordered — with threat of punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice — to refrain from any speech violating what sound like fairly vague and malleable criteria.
"Speech that undermines the effectiveness of loyalty, discipline, or unit morale is not constitutionally protected," Whitaker wrote. "Such speech includes, but is not limited to, disrespectful acts or language, however expressed, toward military authorities or other officials."
(Read the letter sent to Yee.)
Yee is also barred from any "(a)dverse criticism" of the Department of Defense "or Army policy that is disloyal or disruptive to good order and discipline."
Yee's attorney, Eugene Fidell, told ABCNEWS: "The punch line is, 'Pal — you're walking in a minefield and we're not going to tell you where the mines are, proceed at your own risk.' "
Fidell says the letter defines prohibited speech so broadly, Yee is effectively barred from saying anything about his ordeal since "adverse criticism" of the "Army policy" that resulted in his detention would certainly qualify in the list of forbidden topics.