Article 31

ARTICLE 31….Hmmm. Colonel Thomas Pappas, the commanding officer at Abu Ghraib, has been granted immunity from prosecution and will be testifying about the military’s interrogation policies at an upcoming court martial. But what about the guy responsible for “Gitmo-izing” those policies in the first place?

Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, a central figure in the U.S. detainee-abuse scandal, this week invoked his right not to incriminate himself in court-martial proceedings against two soldiers accused of using dogs to intimidate captives at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, according to lawyers involved in the case.

….Miller invoked his military Article 31 rights through his Army lawyer on Tuesday, after a Navy judge in the Military District of Washington ruled that lawyers defending the two dog handlers could interview Miller this week. Article 31 rights are almost identical to those afforded civilians by the Fifth Amendment, and invoking them does not legally imply guilt.

….In an interview with defense attorneys for those MPs in August 2004, Miller said he never told Pappas to use dogs in questioning detainees….”At no time did we discuss the use of dogs in interrogations,” Miller said, according to a transcript.

So why isn’t Miller willing to repeat his previous denial? His lawyer’s explanation is basically that Miller is a busy guy and he’s already answered the question. Am I the only one who finds that slightly less than convincing?

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