Sgt. Derrick Miller
Try to enter a military base here in the US. Any American citizen who is wandering aimlessly in a military base and can’t explain why he is there, would be in trouble. If he says he is a repairman, he will be expected at least to have some tools; if he is a contractor, he will have to have some papers, or at least a person in a uniform to accompany him. Otherwise his presence there would be suspicious and may lead to actions against him. If he tries to attack the soldier who is questioning him, he’ll be in even greater trouble, and may be even shot. The soldier who does that will be considered to have done his duty, and even if there is some investigation, it is very unlikely that there would be court-martial or any verdict. And here in the US we are not even at war, and no one normally expects groups of terrorists to attack a military base here.
These rules of common sense for the protection of a military base obviously change when we are talking about military bases in war areas, like Afghanistan. Our soldiers there are not allowed to defend themselves or their bases or their comrades. If a civilian is on the base, without tools, without papers, and without any explanation as to why he is there, and if that civilian tries to take the soldier’s rifle, the soldier is not allowed to shoot him. You don’t believe it? Think again.
Sgt. Derrick Miller has been sentenced by a military court to life in prison for the premeditated murder of an Afghani civilian who was roaming aimlessly on the territory of Miller’s base. Miller questioned the man with the help of a translator. The man gave insufficient explanation for the reason he was there; later he was identified as a truck driver for terrorists. In the course of questioning the man tried to grab Sgt. Miller’s weapon. In the struggle that followed, Sgt. Miller prevailed and shot the man. The testimony of the translator confirmed Sgt. Miller’s story. Miller believed that the man was there on reconnaissance for an insurgent group. A later attack against the base confirmed his assessment.