Abu Ghraib Ringleader Discovers the Constitution
Major General Geoffrey D. Miller was one of the ringleaders of the torture scandal at Abu Ghraib. He was previously in charge of POWs at Guantanamo Bay, and was sent to Abu Ghraib to help set up operations.
Miller’s name came up during the court-martial of two American soldiers accused of using dogs on Iraqi prisoners.
OK, here’s our Moment of Irony: Someone who thinks the Geneva Convention is “quaint” and that accused prisoners have no rights, is now wrapping himself in the Constitution. He’s discovered the Fifth Amendment.
The two dog-handling soldiers claim they were following orders, and Miller’s testimony was requested.
Miller discovered the Fifth Amendment after Colonel Thomas Pappas — commanding officer at Abu Ghraib — accepted immunity from prosecution and was ordered to testify at the upcoming court-martial. Pappas could shed some light on Abu Ghraib torture methods, who ordered their use and their possible connection to officials in Washington.
The president of the Center for Constitutional Rights said “This could be a big break if Pappas testifies as to why those dogs were used and who ordered the dogs to be used. It’s a steppingstone going up the chain of command, and that’s positive. It might demonstrate that it wasn’t just a few rotten apples.”
Major General Miller invoked his rights through Article 31, the Army’s version of the Fifth Amendment. A Washington expert in military law said “It’s very unusual for senior officers to invoke their Article 31 rights. The culture in the military tends to encourage cooperation rather than the opposite.”
Miller was sent to Abu Ghraib in August 2003 for the purpose of “streamlining” intelligence-gathering operations. His "expertise" at Guantanamo Bay was supposed to serve as the model. Because of the correlation between Miller’s arrival in Iraq and the prison abuses that followed, Miller has been in the spotlight for a long time.
I think people accused of a crime should all have the same standard of legal protection, whatever that standard is. Either:
1. All captives and prisoners are protected against torture and are considered innocent until proven guilty; or
2. Major General Miller, who could blow the cover off this whole disgraceful un-American scandal, needs to coerced — by whatever means necessary — into telling everything he knows. Bring in the electrodes, the dogs. Start the waterboarding.
So which is it?