When killing the enemy is a crime.

| September 24, 2018

There are too many cases of warriors being sent to prison for killing people in a war zone.  In the most recent report, a Navy SEAL is being detained.

A Navy SEAL is being held in a military brig while authorities investigate the stabbing death of an Islamic State combatant while he was subdued in Iraq last year.

The Navy Times reported Friday the unidentified SEAL based in California was being held in the brig at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, though he has not been charged with a crime. Such confinement is allowed in the military justice system.

One of the cases I have followed for years is Sgt. Derrick Miller’s.   I find his story so disturbing because I can envision myself doing exactly what he and multiple witnesses testified that he did.

During a combat mission in a hostile area of Afghanistan in September 2010, Sgt. Derrick Miller’s attention was drawn to an Afghan national who had penetrated the defense perimeter set up by the US Army. The Afghan man was positively identified by another soldier under Sgt. Miller’s command who recognized him from a detainment the previous day. The man in question was the driver of a truck reported by military intelligence as transporting members of the opposition to a nearby combat firefight. US military intelligence let the trucks pass. Sgt. Miller was sent to question the Afghan national after observing the suspicious behavior of the man as he reconnoitered their defense perimeter. It appeared that the man was gathering information, and since he was already identified as an enemy combatant, Sgt. Miller was acting instinctively to protect his unit by detaining this man. During the questioning, which took place in an open area with another US soldier and an Afghan interpreter present, Sgt. Miller asked the man why he was within the perimeter. The man initially claimed to be an electrician who was responding to a downed power line, but later claimed to be there to fix a water pump. He had no tools with him, and no apparent means of carrying out the repairs he was supposedly there to address. The man was originally observed accompanied by two men whom he claimed were his sons and helpers. Both of those men had returned to the village without having performed any electrical work, and both in separate directions. They were not present during Sgt. Miller’s questioning. During the harsh questioning, the Afghan insurgent attempted to grab Sgt. Miller’s weapon, and was shot and killed in the struggle. Within 45 minutes, SGT Miller’s unit was attacked on three sides by Afghan insurgents. During Sgt. Miller’s trial, all the soldiers who appeared from his unit testified that the enemy had to have reconnoitered their position closely in order to attack in the manner they did. There was also testimony that the incident with Sgt. Miller forced the entire unit into full alert / 100% security, which prepared the soldiers for the attack. Because of Sgt. Miller’s actions, no American lives were lost due to the level of their preparation. As the details of the events of that day came to light, the US soldiers were suspicious of the Afghan man and the two other young men with him that he claimed were his sons and helpers. Yet at different times during the few hours that the Afghan was inside the perimeter, each of these men were sent back to the village by different routes. The Afghan interpreter testified that this happened. It is believed by the soldiers present at the time that these two men were carrying information to the insurgents detailing the most effective targets for the ensuing attack. Sgt. Miller believes, despite his conviction and sentence of life in prison for the murder of this Afghan insurgent, that he was acting solely in self-defense and with sound judgment.

Another link on Miller is HERE.   We are not alone in dealing with these cases, Canadian Robert Semrau and British Sergeant Alexander Blackman are just two more examples.   I am not suggesting that crimes are not committed during a time of war, I am suggesting that we no longer engage in war.  What we do is deploy Americans into places where we expect them to only kill people that don’t offend our social pallet.

Conducting operations that require warriors to seek permission from people who are at times not even in the same hemisphere should not be classified as a “War”.  The  Oise-Aisne American Cemetery Plot E holds the remains of many thousands of service members.  We now know that too many of them should have never been buried among the dishonored.  This is not a new problem, we have just not learned to deal with it very well.

Too often the enemy of a warrior is a peaceful citizen with offended sensibilities.



Category: Antiwar crowd, Military issues, Terror War

Comments (36)

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  1. Slow Joe says:

    September 2010?
    Wasn’t that under GEN McCrystal?
    Yes it was.

    Why hasn’t President Trump pardoned SGT Miller?

  2. Slow Joe says:

    8 years in prison for killing an enemy combatant.
    You have to be kidding me.
    We are selecting ourselves out.

  3. Roh-Dog says:

    What is cheaper, paying retirement or housing someone in the clink for a couple?
    Cost benefit analysis.

  4. J.R. Johnson says:

    I have seen some appeals for others that did not read like a Saint doing Saint’s work. This sounds like a lazy Defense attorney and an overzealous Prosecutor getting the Interpreter a sweet deal (which he probably would have gotten anyway) for making it sound like his cousin was not a Taliban. Then they but the strong arm on a Soldier for daring to side with the other American. This guy needs a pardon if not a retrial and a Medal. He saved his platoon’s life, not murdered someone for kicks.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    How much cash was sent to the “family” of the dead Afghan? Or the dead Isiser?

    If the instincts of all those present told them that they were going to be attacked, then why is the Sergeant in jail, again? Oh, I know – it wasn’t a real war, so it doesn’t count, right? Why is the SEAL in jail? Oh, it isn’t a real war. Doesn’t count.

    Don’t ask me about things like this. They are fodder for libertards to chew on.

  6. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    I was unfamiliar with the Miller case until you brought it up. Miller was with the MD Guard and volunteered to join the Connecticut Guard for its pending deployment. It was Miller’s third deployment in four years, including two to Iraq. Miller was convicted in 2011 after about two hours of deliberations. He admitted to putting a gun to the bad-guy’s head and threatening to kill him but said he was only trying to scare him. Another soldier, also named Miller, testified that the bad guy pushed D. Miller away and was shot dead. That other Miller also testified that he “wouldn’t question his judgment if he believed the use of deadly force was necessary.” Four other soldiers, including at least one officer who knew D. Miller well, testified on his behalf.

    Something is wrong here. The tactic that Miller employed is nothing new and, as a practical matter, a dead prisoner can provide no intel. If one believes that a prisoner gave up all of the intel he had and is then shot, that’s a different matter entirely. But that wasn’t the case here. also, if one separates the threat from the shot, there was an intervening factor, the aggression by the bad guy. It appears that there was no close order of threat…push…shot but that there was separation between the threat and the push/shot. This stinks.

  7. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    The Rainbow Division’s 135th Infantry (a/k/a The Fighting 69th) in WW I had a nasty reputation among the Germans for not taking prisoners. Attempting to surrender was writing one’s own death warrant. It wasn’t always so but developed as the unit grew in experience.

  8. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Shame on me. It was the 165th not 135th.

  9. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    As a nation we lack the iron will of our forefathers and our grandfathers, our warriors still have this iron will but our society is a bunch of pussy hat wearing fucking idiots unable to distinguish real enemies from those who just hurt their feelings.

    Consequently we put men and women in untenable situations on foreign shores during hostile encounters and believe we can apply high society rules for etiquette to the resulting behaviors. Which is sadly untrue and wildly inappropriate for men and women of war.

    I long for the days when we understood the Romans and their rather well constructed motto for their enemies, Oderint Dum Metuant or Let Them Hate, So Long As They Fear…..

    • 5th/77thFA says:

      ^this^^word^^ditto^^Preach^…..Damn, wasn’t familiar with this at all. Prosecuted for doing his job, looking out for his people, and defending his post. Dahell and daphuque! and Say whaaaaat???!!! It is strange and very stupid the lessons that our “leadership” remembers and the ones they forget. They remember to prosecute and hold to impossible standards very good warrior soldiers for doing their jobs, but forget that our enemies have no morals or compunctions over bringing every weapon to bear, infiltrating our lines and ranks with supposed allies. How many times during the Viet of the Nam was Victor Charles working on the firebase by day and leading a sapper attack that night. How many “blue on blue” attacks have been made over the last 17 years. Get us out of the $#!&hole country(ies) and let them continue to kill off each other in wholesale amounts. Oh, and while we’re at it, deport every f’ing one of the SOBs. Are we no longer producing the Hal Moores, Omar Bradleys, George Pattons, Beedle Smiths, and yes Chesty Pullers of yore? Officers who supported and looked after their men. And to paraphrase “So long as they Die”

  10. Just An Old Dog says:

    When the 45th Infantry Division liberated Dachau Concentration camp the men became so enraged they executed German Guards they caught in the area. They went as far as going to a nearby Military Hospital and pulling out and executing any SS troops they found, regardless that these particular SS troops were Waffen SS and not camp guards.
    Patton personally squashed the investigation.

    • David says:

      The 45th encountered heavy SS resistance, it was a battle. Don’t taint all the division with the actions of a few after the fighting stopped. You ever stop to think that after fighting SS, the difference between SS guards and WaffenSS is pretty minimal? All SS.

      • 2/17 Air Cav says:

        I think you missed JAOD’s point entirely, David.

        • David says:

          Think you missed mine as well. Not a worry. Me, I heard about the 45th’s entry into Dachau from a participant, whose view was perhaps more limited but iron-clad.

      • Just An Old Dog says:

        There was no battle at all there. I’m not judging what these men did at all. They had a guttural reaction after seeing the camp, and from their own experience or second hand knowledge of the SS.
        I suppose if I was in a situation where I had came across a group of ISIS fighters next to cages where they burned people alive the chances of them making it back top Battalion for interrogation by S-2 would be non existent.

    • Forest Green says:

      A recap of the 45th at Dachau (the place where all NAZI death camp personnel received their initial training).


      • 2/17 Air Cav says:

        Yes, unlike David’s, that’s a solid, sourced account with eyewitness quotes and photos. There was no resistance and there were sporadic killings of SS by GIs. Thanks.

        • Forest Green says:

          There is plenty of conflicting information among eyewitnesses and participants at Dachau, but there was no “battle”. A really good book on the 45th is “Rock of Anzio”. The 45th had been chewed up pretty well by SS units prior to Dachau, so there was no love lost for them.

    • We had a retired NYPD LEO working for us after he retired from the PD and he told us that his brother and guys in his outfit shot concentration camp guards after they entered and saw the carnage. He was a little too young to join the service and he retired from NYPD as soon as the Knapp Commission started hearings.

  11. E4 Mafia For Life. says:

    This should be a non-event. This is the face of modern warfare. No boundaries, no clear enemy, no start and end date.
    It’s cancer. Cancer has to be excised every time it is encountered.
    the Betrayus/obam’allah machine punished warriors for doing what we are supposed to.
    When you take the bindings off, we win.
    There are lines not to be crossed for sure like raping or killing infants but I’m good with efficiently just killing all threats.
    Torture is debatable. If not done correctly or applied dynamically, you can get no result or misinformation that gets people killed or missions failed.

  12. Sparks says:

    This is just so wrong.

  13. 26Limabeans says:

    My dad bombed churches, hospitals, schools, factories and on and on.
    Innocent people died. Women and children.

    By todays standards he should be dug up and hanged.


      Let’s not stop there. George Washington owned slaves, so did Tom Jefferson. Why not give them all the ‘Cromwell Treatment’? JFK cheated on his wife, so gotta get him too……..;)

  14. OWB says:

    If we are unwilling to fight to win, we should not fight.

    Do the decision makers think this is ballet class? Well, it’s not. Our war fighters aren’t in tutus, yet. Heaven help us all.

  15. AnotherPat says:

    According to SGT Miller’s Mom Website, SGT Miller’s sentence was reduced from Life to 20 years, which means he may be eligible for Parole:


    Preliminary hearings may start around 9 October 2018.

  16. FatCircles0311 says:

    Confinement without charges. “Justice”

  17. Thunderstixx says:

    This was part of the the “let’s be firends” ofuckface administration and the man is caught in the wheels of so called justice as that moron threw the whole part of American Justice into the trash heap…
    Same thing with the mess that the fucksticks accusing a very capable high court nominee with the latest clown college accusations with zero proof…
    Welcome to the world of the libtard fucks…
    I feel for this guy, I really feel for him and hope that President Trump does give him a pardon, he has truly earned it…
    I don’t know how, but I hope that all these asswipes get their karma dosage before or after they cross the bridge and spend a few hundred centuries in the hell they put others through….
    This is not a pillow fight, no matter how much the snowflakes want it to be…

  18. Reddevil says:

    Killing a detainee or incapacitated enemy combatant is a war crime, plain and simple.

    This is testimony from an eyewitness in SGT Miller’s trial:
    “I never saw the man grab Sgt. Miller’s weapon but he did try to create space between them by putting a hand towards his chest, however, he never created space between them,” Charles Miller said. “Sgt. Miller then put the gun to the man’s head and pulled the trigger. About 30 seconds went by between the time (he) tried to create space and when Sgt. Miller pulled the trigger.”

    This is not something that Obama or one of his generals dreamed up, and it isn’t part of the rules of engagement. It isn’t a ‘let’s be friends approach’, and it isn’t being soft on the enemy.

    It is part of the Laws of Armed Conflict, and every Troop is trained in it in basic training and briefed again prior to deployment. If you don’t like it, you don’t belong in he US military service- it is one of the ‘orders of the officers appointed over me’ that everyone swears or affirms they will obey.

    Every Soldier and Marine knows the 5 Ss: Search, Silence, Segregate, SAFEGUARD, Speedy return to the rear. In none of those cases did the accused make any tactical or intelligence gains for their unit- they simply
    took the lives of defenseless humans- in two cases a detainee.

    Your examples were all from ABCA countries, and that is no coincidence- these countries all share a set of core values, and one of those values is the value of human life. We recognize that war is abhorrent but sometimes necessary, and therefore resolve to wage war ethically- this means we minimize loss of life, suffering, and destruction.

    All of the cases you cited were professional soldiers that knew better- in fact, 3 were non-commissioned officers and one was a commissioned officer, which means they were responsible for enforcing these values.

    We are engaged in bloody, destructive, horrible conflicts with an enemy that does not share our values. We may never achieve anything that looks like a victory, but if we preserve our values while fighting the war we will at least maintain our national character.

  19. timactual says:

    “We now know that too many of them should have never been buried among the dishonored.”

    I am curious as to where you got that information. Wikipedia and other sources say Plot E contains 96 Americans executed for rape and/or murder during WWII.

    “Victims of these criminals include 26 American soldiers who were all murdered and 71 British, French, German, Italian, Polish, and Algerian civilians who were raped and/or murdered.”


  20. Alan Cagle says:

    Your article has the following, ” Oise-Aisne American Cemetery Plot E holds the remains of many thousands of service members.” According to Wm Bradford Huie, there are only 95 dishonored members of the ETO, MTO, and Africa, buried there. After the movie about the execution of Pvt Slovack, a benefactor had his remains removed and re-buried in Detroit.

  21. Frank says:

    And O’BAMA released Al-Baghadi from Camp BUCCA, removed US forces from Iraq creating a vacuum, funded then ISIL via the Muslim Brotherhood then exported hundreds of tons of GHADAFY’S weapons to the JV league ISIL.
    Looks like if you murder hundreds of thousands in a war you get off. Kill one unlawful enemy combatant and you get jail.