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March 08, 2006
I Take the Fifth

I'm Major General Geoffrey Miller, and I took the military equivalent of the Fifth Amendment so I wouldn't have to testify about whether or not soldiers at Abu Ghraib were acting under orders or not.

The article insists that he used this protection so he wouldn't have to answer questions he's answered before, but I've read that about others in other stories and I'm not impressed. Getting at the truth sometimes does mean repeating the same things to different people.

While I'm awfully sorry that the Major General and other superior officers are so bored by the whole thing, I think they owe it to themselves, enlisted personnel at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, and the professionalism of the military as a whole to suck it up and answer the questions as often as necessary.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:27 PM


If Rumsfeld wasn't trying to cover this up, Miller would have been a retired Major the day after he invoked Article 31. He would accept being busted for the good of the Service.

You have the right, but you don't ever invoke it unless you are sure you are about to be court martialed.

Posted by: Bryan at March 8, 2006 08:57 PM

I understand the concern with equating "taking the Fifth" as a refusal to admit your own guilt for something. I understand that that isn't necessarily the case.

I just don't understand what it means in this context, you know? (Not that I was really fantasizing that Rumsfeld, et. al. were enthusiastically pursuing the truth of our torture of prisoners.)

Posted by: Anne at March 9, 2006 10:14 AM

If he doesn't invoke Article 31 [military version of the 5th] he has to answer all of the questions put to him, and those questions would probably involve not only orders he gave, but the orders he received.

A two-star isn't very high in the Pentagon food chain, so there were people above him giving him direction. He has to be protecting someone, and that person is supplying him cover.

In normal times he would never appear on a promotion list, because the list would be blocked by a Senator.

This is just another example of things that have never occurred before in the military.

Posted by: Bryan at March 9, 2006 06:30 PM

"Never appeared before"?

That's very interesting.

Posted by: Anne at March 12, 2006 11:26 AM