Sgt Derrick Miller was a member of the Connecticut Army National Guard when he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. But he received life in prison for shooting an Afghani man who breached the perimeter around a mortar unit.
It is only one of many cases in which the government has managed to convict military and former military for doing their duty.
Sgt Miller was convicted of premeditated murder in the death of Atta Mohammed, whom the news media called a”civilian.” But was he a “civilian” or was he a Taliban operative whose sole purpose was to breach the US unit?
According to the Defense, Sgt Miller believed Mohammad was a danger to his unit. As he was questioning him at the perimeter, he tried to grab Derrick’s gun, and was fatally shot.
The questioning took place in an open area with another soldier and an Afghan interpreter present. During questioning, Sgt. Miller asked the man why he was within the perimeter. As the man began to speak, his story changed, not once, but twice. He originally claimed to be there to fix a power line that was down. Later he claimed he was there to fix a water pump.
Originally he was seen accompanied by two men whom he claimed to be his sons and helpers. However, both of these men left the perimeter without performing any work, and going separate directions to their village. These men were not present during Sgt. Miller’s questioning. While questioning the insurgent things began to get heated. The Afghan insurgent attempted to grab Sgt. Miller’s weapon, ultimately leading to him being shot and killed in the struggle.
Why was the man’s name not mentioned? Was he a Taliban operative?
The prosecution never mentioned Mohammad’s name during the trial. WHY?
Witnesses testified that Miller threatened to kill the man before shooting him in the head.
The Guardian wrote at the time:
But Charles Miller, a witness and Guardsman from Maryland, testified that he heard Sgt Miller threatening to kill the man if he did not tell the truth and then straddling the man, who was lying on his back, before shooting him in the head.
Maj Matt Calarco, a prosecuting lawyer, said during closing arguments: “Immediately following the event the accused said, ‘I shot him. He was a liar.'”
The jury deliberated for less than three hours before finding Miller guilty.
Fast Forward to 2016
Sgt. Miller’s family has left no stone unturned in the effort free him. His legal options have been exhausted. They contacted their legislators and received no help whatsoever.
“I can tell you that it is difficult as a mother to see your only son thrown into prison for doing his duty, and then watch the people with the power to do something about it look you in the eye and choose to do nothing.” Renee Y. Myers, Sgt Miller’s mother
Their Congressmen and Senators on Capitol Hill ignored their pleas. The government and their prosecutors have done everything in their power to let him rot in prison for the rest of his life… for doing his job.
The factor here that is missing? Witnesses LIE. And in an effort to appease Islamic governments, this government will do anything they have to in order to make sure anyone who harms an insurgent gets punished.
Sgt Derrick Miller is serving his sentence in Leavenworth. America has turned its back on him. And he is not alone.