Sgt. Derrick Miller is one more from among the trove of America’s treasure to be sentenced to life in prison for defending himself, and his men, against Afghan nationals. First, the details of his case, and then I hope you will continue to read about his exemplary military career.
According to Miller’s mother, Renee Meyers:
● Sgt. Miller had no run-ins with the law, or any history of violence.
● In court, there was no crime scene evidence, or forensics. No evidence or corroborating evidence.
● An unnamed Afghan civilian was offered money, and a Visa, and is now living in the U.S.
● One witness admitted to lying.
● The name of the man Miller shot, Atta Mohammed, was not allowed to be mentioned during his trial. Turn that name around, and you have the 9-11-01 lead attacker of the Twin Towers.
● Fourteen people showed up to testify that Miller saved their lives – only four were allowed to testify.
● Only two of the 10 on the jury had combat experience.
Case Details, September 26, 2010:
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 Millers 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.
“Prosecuting attorney Major Matt Calarco claimed Miller’s actions weren’t in line with military protocol, painting him as a murderer instead of a soldier defending himself and his unit.
Specialist Charles Miller, an eyewitness, Guardsman, and owner of the firearm that was eventually used to kill the combatant, testified that he had heard Miller threatening to kill the man if he didn’t tell the truth. He also testified that Mr Miller straddled the man, who was lying on his back “in the latrine,” before shooting him in the head.
But during an Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury, Spc. Miller testified that Sgt. Miller was a “squared away” soldier who acted “reasonably in pressure situations.”
“I wouldn’t question his judgment if he believed the use of deadly force was necessary,” Charles Miller said.
In addition to the eyewitness testimony of Charles Miller, all five of the other soldiers who testified, including his commanding officer, described Derrick Miller as a model soldier:
“I observed him on a daily basis,” 1st Lt. Joseph R. Costello said. “In my 18 years of service, Sgt. Miller was one of the best soldiers I had. In combat, he displays excellent judgment.” End dcxposed quotes
The point is, three Afghan civilians penetrated a No Go Red Zone. If our warriors were allowed to fight the fight, and protect our men, the three intruders would have died then and there.
The number of U.S. battlefield fatalities exceeded the rate at which troop strength surged in 2009 and 2010, prompting national security analysts to assert that coinciding stricter rules of engagement led to more deaths.
A connection between the sharp increase in American deaths and restrictive rules of engagement is difficult to confirm. More deaths surely stemmed from ramped-up counterterrorism raids and the Taliban’s response with more homemade bombs, the No. 1 killer of NATO forces in Afghanistan.
But it is clear that the rules of engagement, which restrain troops from firing in order to spare civilian casualties, cut back on airstrikes and artillery strikes — the types of support that protect troops during raids and ambushes.
In Afghanistan, the [rules of engagement] that were put in place in 2009 and 2010 have created hesitation and confusion for our war fighters,” said Wayne Simmons, a retired U.S. intelligence officer who worked in NATO headquarters in Kabul as the rules took effect, first under Army Gen. Stanley M. McChrystal, then Army Gen. David H. Petraeus.
“It is no accident nor a coincidence that from January 2009 to August of 2010, coinciding with the Obama/McChrystal radical change of the [rules of engagement], casualties more than doubled,” Mr. Simmons said. “The carnage will certainly continue as the already fragile and ineffective [rules] have been further weakened by the Obama administration as if they were playground rules.
Sgt. Miller’s Military Career:
● Enlisted in the Army National Guard.
● Immediately after Infantry OSUT, he reported to the Maryland Army National Guard and was assigned to 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment.
● Soon after his graduation ceremony, his unit deployed to Iraq. Derrick deployed with 1-175IN in May 2007.
● During this first tour in Iraq Derrick served as an M240B and M2 .50 cal. Gunner at FOB Q-West. His unit’s mission was FOB security, Vehicle Search Lanes, ECP Duties, Security for Third Country National Logistics Contractors, and QRF.
● Derrick earned his Combat Infantryman Badge on that deployment during a QRF mission to seize an enemy weapons cache and capture insurgents in the area.
● He returned to his family in April 2008. Derrick was saddened to learn that a number of friends he had been deployed with committed suicide as a result of the things they had seen and done during their tour.
● Derrick left in July 2008 to volunteer with the Indiana Army National Guard to deploy again to Iraq. During that deployment he served as an MK 19 and .50 caliber Gunner and an ASV Driver with 1st Battalion, 152d CAV. The unit’s primary mission was to conduct supply convoys throughout our AOR, including areas like Ramadi, Fallujah, and Baghdad. That tour he saw his first significant experience with friendly casualties. His unit frequently came under attack from IEDs and RPG ambushes. He saw a number of friends seriously wounded, but thankfully they all came home. Derrick returned from that deployment in December 2008.
● During the time following his second deployment, Derrick returned to the Maryland Army National Guard and was made a squad leader in an infantry platoon as a Specialist. He graduated from Air Assault School and spent a great deal of time away from home for training. Derrick also took a job as a Department of the Army Security Guard at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
● …Derrick volunteered to mobilize with the Connecticut Army National Guard to Afghanistan, where he served from November 2009 until October 2010 with D Company, 1st Battalion, 102d Infantry Regiment, attached to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He was a member of a heavy weapons platoon and served as a M240B, MK 19, and M2 .50 caliber Gunner.
…Derrick qualified as expert on every weapon system and was named the Battalion “Top Gun” on the M240B. His unit was first assigned to Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, to conduct security and stability operations in the AOR. The unit frequently came under attack by IEDs, indirect fire and suicide bombers.
…his unit moved to FOB Kalagush in Nuristan Province. There, as a small heavy weapons company, they were responsible for being the only maneuver element in a very large battle space.
In August 2010, Derrick was promoted to Sergeant and made a Team Leader in the platoon where he was involved a great deal more in the planning and execution of operations and began leading dismounted patrols. They were under almost constant attack from heavy machine guns, mortars, RPGs, rockets, and attempts to infiltrate the FOB. On multiple occasions they were aware of supposedly friendly Afghan Security Guards aiding the enemy in directing fire on the FOB. The FOB Motor Pool and Armor Room were both burned to the ground during a nighttime rocket attack, which was followed by an attack by mortars and small arms. Members of his unit were awarded approximately eleven purple hearts within a span of two months.
● Derrick was deployed three times within three years, and spent two years in detainment and is now incarcerated at Ft. Leavenworth, Ks.
There are things we can do. We can all make calls, write letters, email and fax our U.S. Representatives. For inspiration, watch the video linked below with Dana Loesch and Bevery
The video below is Renee Meyers speaking at a recent rally to raise awareness of her son’s plight. She is an excellent speaker. You’ll learn a lot about the story if you have the time to watch. Below the video are additional links.
If you would like to receive Maggie’s Notebook daily posts direct to your inbox, no ads, no spam, EVER, enter your email address in the box below.