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Geoffrey D. Miller
Born 1949 (age 60–61)
Geoffrey D. Miller.jpg
MG Geoffrey D. Miller - former Commander JTF Guantanamo
Place of birth Gallipolis, Ohio
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1972-2006
Rank Major General
Commands held JTF Guantanamo
Battles/wars Iraq War
Relations Bob Evans (uncle)
MG Geoffrey Miller honored after his retirement

Geoffrey D. Miller (born c. 1949) is a retired United States Army Major General who commanded the US detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Iraq. Detention facilities in Iraq under his command included Abu Ghraib prison, Camp Cropper and Camp Bucca. He is also famous for training soldiers in "improved interrogation techniques".[1]

Miller was born in Gallipolis, Ohio. He attended Ohio State University where he got an undergraduate degree in History, following up with a Master of Science in Education Administration at the University of Southern California. Miller is the nephew of Bob Evans, of Bob Evans Restaurants, franchiser from Rio Grande, Ohio.

Miller joined the US Army in 1972 and was trained in field artillery and army command. He spent time in Germany before being moved to Korea in 1980. There, he rose to become assistant chief of staff for operations in Korea. Miller later returned to the United States to become the deputy chief of staff for personnel and installation management for the US Army.

On November 2002, Miller was given command of Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay (GTMO), which runs the US detention facilities known as Camp X-Ray, Camp Delta and Camp Echo in Cuba. Miller claimed that two-thirds of the 600 prisoners had confessed to being involved in terrorism and were giving "actionable intelligence." However, instances of abuse such as beatings, using attack dogs to intimidate prisoners, and other abuses at Guantanamo Bay were alleged to have occurred under Miller's command.

On September 22, 2003, Miller ordered the arrest of James Yee, an Army captain who served as a chaplain for the Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo. Miller accused Yee of stealing classified documents and smuggling them out of the prison, but those charges were later dropped. It is believed that no evidence of espionage was found, but records on the case have been sealed.


Abu Ghraib prison scandal

In August 2003, Miller was sent to Iraq by the Department of Defense to help get more information out of Iraqi prisoners. In September, Miller submitted a report that recommended "GTMO-ising" their approach - combining the detention and interrogation units at Abu Ghraib into the Theater Joint Interrogation and Detention Center. Specifically, Miller suggested that prison guards be used to "soften up" prisoners for interrogations.

In his final report on the prison abuse, General Antonio Taguba blamed Miller's recommendations for the abuse at Abu Ghraib, and noted that using military police for interrogation was a breach of official policy. Miller denies that he was specifically ordering guards to humiliate and torture prisoners to get confessions out of them.

After the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse story broke in March 2004, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski was suspended and Miller was appointed the deputy commanding general for detainee operations for Multinational Forces in Iraq. In this role, Miller reports directly to Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez. Since his appointment, Miller has vowed to reduce the number of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, adhere to military laws as well as the Geneva Convention, investigate allegations of abuse, and reform the Iraqi prison system. He banned the use of hoods on prisoners during transport and set up a new system to allow prisoners to have visitors.

Since the investigation of abuses at Abu Ghraib, some have suggested that Miller encouraged abusive tactics. In an interview with BBC Radio, former prison commander Janis Karpinski claimed that Miller told her to treat prisoners "like dogs" in the sense that "if you allow them to believe at any point that they are more than a dog then you've lost control of them".[2] Major General Miller denies that he ever made the comparison.

Colonel Thomas Pappas, head of the military intelligence brigade at Abu Ghraib, has claimed that it was Miller's idea to use attack dogs to intimidate prisoners.[3] He said the same tactics were being used at Camp X-Ray. Several of the photos taken at Abu Ghraib show dogs surrounding (and in at least one case biting) screaming, naked detainees.

In November 2004, Miller was replaced as deputy commanding general for detainee operations for Multinational Forces in Iraq by MG William H. Brandenburg.[4]

Exercised his right to protect himself from self-incrimination

For a period of time Miller exercised his right to protect himself from self-incrimination.[5] According to the New York Times: "He changed his position when the US Senate Armed Services Committee delayed his retirement until he was more forthcoming."

In May 2006 Miller testified at the courts martial of the Abu Ghraib dog handlers that his instructions on the use of dogs had been misunderstood.[6] Miller testified that he instructed that dogs should be used "only for custody and control of detainees". Miller's testimony was directly contradicted, the next day, by Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Phillabaum, the commander of Abu Ghraib's Military Police detachment.

Request for war crimes prosecution

In November 2006, the German government received a complaint seeking the prosecution of then-Attorney General and former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales for alleged war crimes. [1]

Other co-defendants include: Donald H. Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Stephen Cambone, Ricardo S. Sanchez, Geoffrey Miller, Walter Wojdakowski, Thomas M. Pappas, Barbara Fast, Marc Warren, John Yoo, William J. Haynes, II, David Addington, and Jay Bybee.

On 14 November 2006, German attorney Wolfgang Kaleck filed the complaint with the German Federal Attorney General (Generalbundesanwalt) against Mr. Miller for his complicity in torture and other crimes against humanity at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Mr. Kaleck acts on behalf of 11 victims of torture and other human rights abuses, as well as about 30 human rights activists and organizations who are co-plaintiffs. The co-plaintiffs to the war crimes prosecution include: 1980 Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (Argentine), 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner Martín Almada (Paraguay), Theo van Boven, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Sister Dianna Ortiz (Torture survivor, Executive Director of TASSC), the International Federation for Human Rights, the International Peace Bureau (Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1910), the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), European Democratic Lawyers, European Democratic Jurists, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Comité de Acción Jurídica (CAJ) (Argentina) , Liga Argentina por los Derechos del Hombre (Argentina), Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS), Lawyers against the War (LAW) (Canada), Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (Colombia), Association Africaine des Droits de l’Homme (ASADHO) (Democratic Republic of Congo), Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) (Egypt), Ligue Française des Droits de l'Homme (LDH), The Republican Attorneys' Association (RAV) (Germany), Amman Center for Human Rights Studies (ACHR) (Jordan), Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH), Liga Mexicana por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (LIMEDDH), Centro Nicaraguense de Derechos Humanos (CENIDH), Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Association Tchadienne pour la Promotion et la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (ATPDH) (Chad), Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO) (Senegal), The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), National Lawyers Guild (NLG), Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC), and Veterans for Peace. [2]

Congressional testimony

In July 2005 discrepancies emerged between Miller's May 2004 testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, and sworn statements he made three months later.[7][8]

Gen. Geoffrey Miller told the Senate Armed Services Committee in May 2004 that he had only filed a report on a recent visit to Abu Ghraib, and did not talk to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld or his top aides about the fact-finding trip.
But in a recorded statement to attorneys three months later, Miller said he gave two of Rumsfeld's most senior aides - then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary for Intelligence Steve Cambone - a briefing on his visit and his subsequent recommendations.


Miller retired from the Army on July 31, 2006.[9] The Washington Post reports that Miller had wanted to retire, in February, forgoing trying for promotion to Lieutenant General, because his reputation had been damaged by alleged links between his policies at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp, and at Abu Ghraib, and the abuse of prisoners.

The Washington Post reports that Congress delayed his retirement because Senators weren't confident he told the truth when he testified before them. The Washington Post reports that he was allowed to retire only when he promised, in writing, to appear before congress, and testify truthfully.

At his retirement service, Miller was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, and praised as an "innovator".[10]

See also


  1. ^ US Operatives Torture Detainees to Death in Afghanistan and Iraq, Project Censored, May 27, 2007
  2. ^ Iraq abuse 'ordered from the top', BBC, June 15, 2004
  3. ^ General Is Said To Have Urged Use of Dogs, Washington Post, May 24, 2004
  4. ^ "Major General William H. Brandenburg Bio". Combined Federal Campaign. Retrieved 2007-01-29.  
  5. ^ Court in Abuse Case Hears Testimony of General, New York Times, May 24, 2006
  6. ^ Testimony at SoCal man's court-martial centers on use of dogs, San Jose Mercury, May 25, 2006
  7. ^ Not so fast, General, Salon (magazine), March 7, 2006
  8. ^ 'Gaps and Discrepancies', Newsweek, May 24, 2004
  9. ^ General Who Ran Guantanamo Bay Retires, Washington Post, August 1, 2006
  10. ^ Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller retires after 34 years, Army News Service, August 1, 2006

External links

Preceded by
BG Janis Karpinski
Deputy Commanding General (Detainee Operations) / Commanding General Task Force 134
Succeeded by
MG William H. Brandenburg

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